While each one of Christine Esser’s cases is different, they share a common theme: Clients are struggling to put their lives back together after an accident.
“I am helping clients when they are most in need of help and are not sure what to do next,” said Esser, the manager of Habush Habush & Rottier’s Sheboygan office. “I guide them through the process and work to get them a just settlement.”
While Esser originally went to law school with the intention of joining the FBI, she discovered that the bureau wasn’t hiring. Following graduation, she worked for a judge on the Iowa Supreme Court. That year-long experience opened her eyes how litigation can help in turn someone’s life around.
Esser specializes in personal injury. By 2005, her extensive trial experience had led her to become the first woman in Wisconsin to be named a board-certified civil trial specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocates.
“I don’t get into court as much as I used to, but a good number of my cases still go to a jury,” she said.
Esser is a volunteer with both legal and community organizations, said Laurence Fehring, her partner at Habush, Habush & Rottier.
“She’s an exemplary leader, not just for our firm and profession, but in the community too,” he said.
Some of Esser’s legal activities include participating with the Wisconsin Association of Justice, the Wisconsin Women’s Caucus, and the Sheboygan County Law Explorers Program. In the community, she tutors illiterate adults, serves as a lunch buddy to an elementary school student through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Sheboygan and speaks frequently to local students where children learn about the legal system by pretending to convict the fairytale character Goldilocks of different crimes.
Esser’s love of horses has led to her participation in the Ozaukee County 4-H Horse and Pony Project and Helping Hands Healing Hooves, a therapeutic equine-assisted riding program for those with special needs.
While most people wouldn’t equate working with horses to the law, Esser sees a connection.
“Teaching young people how to handle horses is a lot like the law. You can’t force any person or horse to do something, so you need to earn their trust to work with them,” she said.