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Home / 2011 Up and Coming Lawyers / Hruz tackles attorney sanctions, property easements

Hruz tackles attorney sanctions, property easements

WLJ Photo by Kevin Harnack

Tom Hruz doesn’t just practice appellate law; he also is working to change the rules that apply when the Wisconsin Court of Appeals sanctions attorneys.

In contrast to federal courts, the Court of Appeals issues sanctions without giving notice or opportunity to respond.

The State Public Defender is challenging that practice in the Supreme Court, seeking a procedure that requires the Court of Appeals to issue an order to show cause before imposing sanctions.

The Appellate Practice Section of the State Bar supports the SPD, and Hruz, 37, was the lead attorney in preparing the amicus curiae brief the section filed with the court last month.

“Before publicly impugning an attorney, at a minimum, the court should give the opportunity to explain,” Hruz said.

When he’s not advocating for the interests of appellate attorneys, Hruz does general civil litigation at Meissner Tierney Fisher & Nichols SC.

Recently, he successfully prevailed in the 7th Circuit on behalf of property owners subject to railroad easements in Bayfield County. The court agreed with Hruz that the property owners, not the county, own the land abandoned by the railroads.

A partner at his firm, Hruz also is active in recruiting and hiring.

— David Ziemer

What was your most useful law school course?

Advanced Civil Procedure. If you don’t know the rules and procedures, knowing the substantive law won’t do any good.

What is the best part of being an attorney?

I get to earn a living in which one of my principal tasks is to think — to challenge and use my mind — all to find solutions that help clients.

What is your favorite Supreme Court opinion?

Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (1803)

If you hadn’t become a lawyer, what would you have done?

Become a history professor

What is your favorite thing to do in Wisconsin?

Go up north to Vilas County and “reboot” on the lake

What is the first concert you went to?

Billy Squier in 1991

Who are your favorite writers?

Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek

Which living person do you most admire?

My three older brothers, equally

What trait do you most like in others?

Humble confidence

What word in the English language do you most wish you had invented?

Friend. We all need them and they make us smile when we see them

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