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Thomas L. Shriner, Jr.

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

Thomas L. Shriner, Jr.

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

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Explaining that he has worked at Foley & Lardner his entire career, Tom Shriner says he obviously has “no imagination at all.”

But the results of that career suggest the opposite is true.

Shriner’s experience consists of one of the most interesting mixes imaginable: litigation in state and federal courts; trial and appellate courts; and complex commercial and public interest litigation. He also practices bankruptcy and business reorganizations.

Shriner estimates he’s argued a dozen cases before the Wisconsin Supreme Court, a couple dozen before the Seventh Circuit, and has tried 75-80 cases.

He got his start in public interest litigation early when, because he had clerked at the Seventh Circuit after law school, the partners figured he would be a good associate to assign cases involving constitutional issues on appeal; the practice grew from that.

Over the years, he has become a leader to young lawyers at the firm and law students. He chaired Foley’s litigation group at one time, mentors associates, and supervises associates handling criminal appeals before the Seventh Circuit pro bono.

He also teaches Advanced Civil Procedure, Federal Courts, and a U.S. Supreme Court seminar at Marquette University Law School.

In addition, Shriner has participated in many of the most high profile cases in Wisconsin courts. In the mid-1980s, he represented many of the suburbs in the landmark inter-district school integration case brought by the City of Milwaukee. The parties ultimately reached a settlement calling for the inter-district transfer of students.

He also participated in the landmark “redlining” lawsuit against American Family Insurance, and successfully defended the state’s judges in an action seeking to eliminate at-large, countywide election of circuit court judges.

Recently, Shriner obtained a favorable jury verdict in a suit alleging that it would violate anti-discrimination laws for a Milwaukee County municipality to raze a housing project with many minorities and disabled persons as residents.

Shriner is also a leader in the legal community. He has served on the advisory board of the Milwaukee chapter of the Federalist Society, since its founding by younger Foley and Lardner attorneys. He is also a past president of the Seventh Circuit Bar Association, and a past member of the state bar’s Board of Governors, and the Board of Directors of the Milwaukee Bar Association. He’s also a former state chairman of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

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