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Quest for truth starts at home

By: Justin Kern//September 19, 2012//

Quest for truth starts at home

By: Justin Kern//September 19, 2012//

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Wisconsin Law Journal photo/Kevin Harnack

Simply asking someone in the Lonergan family to pass the mashed potatoes during dinner probably would have started a debate over the reason for the request.

Kristen Lonergan, of Bremer & Trollop in Wausau, said her tenacious search for the truth on behalf of personal injury clients stems from those types of lively conversations at home when she was young. The debates, she said, usually were led by her father Kevin Lonergan, a torts attorney in Appleton.

She searches now for education and reassurance for injured clients combating big-name insurance providers, she said, in the same way she sought details about the famed McDonald’s hot coffee spill lawsuit when she was a child.

“I’d go home and ask my dad what actually happened in that case, the circumstances,” Lonergan said. “I’m learning about all of this while I’m in grade school, and, right away, I learned what you hear from people’s rumblings isn’t always the true story.”

Outside of the courtroom, she has taken a role with the Wisconsin Association for Justice advising law students on ways to refine their litigation skills. Lonergan was emboldened in her efforts there after overhearing a law professor call litigation a “dying art.”

“That struck to the core of what drives me, what I’ve known my whole life,” she said. “If you can stand up and impress a judge, that can change a way judges and others look at young lawyers.”



What was your most useful law school course?

Mock trial

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


What can you spend hours doing that’s not law-related?

Being outdoors in the Wausau area

If you could be a superhero, who would you be?


What profession would you not like to participate in?

Port-O-Potty attendant

What trait do you most like in others?


What is the first concert you went to?


Which living people do you most admire?

My parents

Favorite author?

Patrick Rothfuss

What do you miss most about your childhood?

Free time

Finish this sentence: Happiness is …

following your passions.

Do you have any tattoos?



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