Federal law and Trump’s ‘Mexican judge’ comments

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Fairfield, Conn., on Saturday. Trumps’ comments about U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel were out of line, but they do provide a chance to reflect on how principles should guide our relationships with the judicial branch. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

In an election year of equal opportunity hyperbole, presidential candidate Donald Trump’s comments in late May and early June about U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel — suggesting that his “Mexican” heritage creates an “absolute conflict” precluding him from presiding over the Trump University class action suit — were certain to ignite strong feelings, fears and days of seemingly endless talking-head debates.

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Making the jump from criminal to civil is more natural than you may think

Andrew Wier is an associate at Habush Habush & Rottier’s Kenosha office whose practice includes all types of personal-injury claims. Before the firm, Wier workedfor five years as an Assistant District Attorney in the Racine County District Attorney’s Office. He currently serves on the Caledonia Police and Fire Commission and is the President-Elect of the Kenosha County Bar Association.

I spent five years as a prosecutor in the Racine County District Attorney’s office and made the leap to civil law in January of 2014 with Habush Habush & Rottier. Since then, I’ve heard the above comment expressed with some frequency by lawyers who only practice criminal law and question how well their experience would transfer to a civil practice.

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A crawl space too small

Russ Golla is the 60th president of the Wisconsin Association for Justice. He has been a partner at Anderson, O’Brien, Bertz, Skrenes & Golla since 1986.

My job, like any Wisconsin trial lawyer, is to make sure safety rules are followed. That means if you are injured or a loved one is injured because of someone else's carelessness, shortcuts, or cover-up of a problem, we're here to help you.

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