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Cimpl tradition brightens holidays

WLJ photo illustration by Ingrid Johansson

WLJ photo illustration by Ingrid Johansson

Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Dennis R. Cimpl is jollier than most at this time of year.

Cimpl annually suits up as Santa Claus for the Milwaukee Society of the Polish Center’s Christmas party and also makes a stop at St. Francis Hospital in Milwaukee. Soon after joining the bench in 2005, Cimpl was enlisted by his colleagues to fill the role of Santa and he often takes a judicious approach when children ask for presents: never promise a gift, but tell them good behavior might enhance their chances of getting what they want.

The Branch 19 judge is currently in the Felony Division and is the son of Milwaukee attorney Richard F. Cimpl and the father of Quarles & Brady attorney Allison E. Cimpl-Wiemer.

Cimpl injected some holiday cheer into this week’s Asked & Answered.

Wisconsin Law Journal: If you could develop one CLE course for credit, what would it be about?

Hon. Dennis R. Cimpl: Taking care of the high maintenance client.

WLJ: What are the best holiday gifts you have ever given and received?

Cimpl: The best received has been the past few years when I see the reaction of the patients at St. Francis Hospital when I appear as Santa Claus in their rooms. It puts one in the spirit of Christmas. The best given was when I obtained a hard-to-find present for my son about twenty years ago when he was six. My daughter was eight and about ready to stop believing in Santa Claus. She helped me wrap a different gift for my son. I then substituted the hard-to- find gift and changed the tag to read from Santa instead of Dad. On Christmas morning, she was at a loss to explain what happened and believed in Santa for another year.

WLJ: What is your favorite website and why?

Cimpl: MLBtraderumors.com, because I love baseball, and eBay because I love buying old baseball cards and old books. I own every Perry Mason novel in hard cover and every Topps Baseball Card from 1960 to 1965, and 1972 to present.

WLJ: Which actor would play you in a movie and why?

Cimpl: Danny DeVito probably looks the most like me, although I’m partial to Raymond Burr.

WLJ: What is one thing attorneys should know that they won’t learn in law school?

Cimpl: How to take care of the high maintenance client.

WLJ: What is the first concert you went to?

Cimpl: Sly & the Family Stone in the rain at the first Summerfest. Didn’t everyone?

WLJ: If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would it be and why?

Cimpl: Bob Uecker. I’d do his job for nothing.

WLJ: In three words or less, describe your legal career?

Cimpl: Rewarding and Satisfying.

WLJ: What is the one luxury item you cannot live without?

Cimpl: My sports car.

WLJ: If you were State Bar President for a day and could make one permanent change to the profession, what would it be?

Cimpl: Peace and Good will to all members of the practice, especially the Supreme Court

Jack Zemlicka can be reached at jack.zemlicka@wislawjournal.com.

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