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Catherine M. Rottier

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//March 8, 2010//

Catherine M. Rottier

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//March 8, 2010//

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As a trial attorney who spends most of her time representing insurance companies in defense of auto accident cases or malpractice cases, Catherine M. Rottier enjoys a break from the norm.

So, she is elated when a case comes along that allows her to draw on her rural roots.

“I grew up on a small dairy farm with seven brothers so I like the variety of being able to work on a farm loss case,” said Rottier of Boardman Suhr Curry & Field LLP, in Madison.

Rottier has worked on cases involving sheep, pigs and calves in the last year and has come to be playfully known as the “Farmer McDonald” of the firm.

But she said the cases are often complex and interesting, ranging from issues like pesticide soil contamination to livestock illness caused by moldy corn.

“When you’ve been doing this for 20 years, you see lot of car accidents and after awhile, it’s nice to have to figure out the gestational cycle of sheep,” she said. “The legal issues, like measuring damages for farm losses, can be really interesting.”

Beyond her own practice, Rottier is an active advocate for fellow defense lawyers.

She currently serves as President of the Wisconsin Defense Counsel and has served on the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Litigation Section Board for the last two years.

Given the impact the economy has had on many attorneys and their clients, Rottier said it’s especially important for lawyers to take an active role in the world around them.

In the last year, Rottier, along with the WDC, spoke out on legislation which sought to change the state’s standards for joint and several liability as well as jury instruction rules.

“The economy is a common topic of conversation and I think it’s important for lawyers to have their voices heard in a way that talks about its impact on mom and pop businesses,” she said.

Rottier has also dedicated her time as a board member for the Wisconsin Special Olympics and served as a judge of high school mock trial competitions for more than a decade.
Prior to becoming a lawyer, Rottier managed two Lum’s Family Restaurants in Madison.

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