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Fasi fulfills a childhood dream

Joseph Fasi II found his career path between commercial breaks.

“I was inspired by the attorneys I saw on TV in courtrooms, trying cases in front of juries,” he said. “Speaking in front of people came naturally to me.”

Fasi, an equity partner and co-chairman of the litigation group at Gonzalez Saggio & Harlan LLP, has been lead counsel in more than 80 jury trials in Wisconsin and Florida, as well as in the federal court system. His expansive practice ranges from product liability to medical malpractice defense.

Fasi, who worked as a teacher before starting law school, also is a frequent lecturer and author on legal topics and trial techniques.

“Being in a courtroom,” he said, “is a lot like being in front of a classroom.”

And in both the courtroom and the classroom, there are rules of conduct. While the attorneys on the shows Fasi watched as a child would go after each other in court, he said, he always makes a point of treating the opposing counsel with respect.

“I’ve had other attorneys say they’re going to whip my butt in court, but I try to go out there and just do the right thing,” he said. “I present the case to the best of my abilities and hope the jury avoids any emotional aspects of the case and do the right thing.”

Nathanial Cade, an attorney with Gonzalez Saggio & Harlan, said he admires the way Fasi treats opposing attorneys.

“Joe demonstrates that the only thing that matters at the end of the case is whether you have proven to the jury your client is the correct party to win,” Cade said, “not being a jerk to the lawyer on the other side and not making it personal.”

Fasi said the law he practices today bears little resemblance to what he used to watch on TV as a child.

“TV makes it look like it’s always exciting, but there’s a lot of work that goes on before you step one foot in a courtroom,” he said. “That being said, I thoroughly enjoy what I do and wouldn’t change a thing.”


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