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Building a practice on breath, blood

By: JESSICA STEPHEN//September 19, 2012//

Building a practice on breath, blood

By: JESSICA STEPHEN//September 19, 2012//

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Wisconsin Law Journal photo/Kevin Harnack

Lauren Stuckert quickly learned that it can be best to face the biggest challenges early in a career.

“To become a breath- and blood-test expert your first year out of law school, when you don’t have much of a science background, was tough,” said Stuckert, a criminal defense attorney with a specialty in drunken driving law.

During the past three years, Stuckert, a member of the National College for DUI Defense, has gone to trial more than 60 times and faced 17 juries. Her first was just one week into her practice.

“It was challenging,” she said. “I put in a lot of hours and read the case law, read the statutes, read the books on the science. So, that was hard. But it just laid the foundation for my practice.”

And she’s built on that foundation with ongoing education about blood and breath analysis, including a hands-on, five-day course in Chicago.

“I was actually running samples through and seeing issues that can arise from that,” Stuckert said. “I obviously didn’t come out an expert on blood. But the more I try these cases, the more I can look at the blood and see the issues.

“I want people to learn it. We’re trying to raise the bar for defense attorneys in this area.”

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What is the single best part about being an attorney?

It’s the criminal defense element of it that I really do love. I get paid to think and read and argue and talk to juries. And it’s all while I’m defending these people who chose me and have enough faith in me to represent them.

What’s your favorite thing to do in Wisconsin?

Everything. I love this state. I was born and raised here. In the summer, I love to go up north to Minocqua. I love being on the lakes, any lakes, here. And Packer and Badger games in the fall. Everything, except hunting. I’m not a hunter.

What is your greatest fear?

Probably being old with regrets, looking back and wishing I’d done something differently.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I can be very impatient, so I need to just make sure that I find time to stay mellow and relax.

Which living person do you most admire?

My parents. My father is the most selfless, honest person I’ve ever known. And my mother for her inspiring work ethic, kindness and support.

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