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Ress finds rush in law career

David Ress - Bell, Moore & Richter (Staff Photo by Kevin Harnack)

David Ress –
Bell, Moore & Richter (Staff Photo by Kevin Harnack)

In 2009, David Ress was a second-year law student at Marquette University writing bench memos as an intern for the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Just six years later, he was getting ready to argue before the state’s high court a case concerning recreational immunity.

How the years must have flown.

“It felt like I was in a roller coaster just short of the peak, and I was ready for the rush,” Ress said. “I wasn’t nervous because I was focused on my arguments.”

Ress didn’t win. But he had reached what he considered yet another high mark for a lawyer who says he “lucked” into the law.

Ress studied history as an undergraduate at UW-Madison, and then struggled to find the right career.

“It came down to reading, writing and research as my main strengths,” said Ress, “and when I connected those skills with the law, it all came together.”

His colleagues at Bell, Moore & Richter praise the Wausau native for keeping his cool, for having a sense of humor that helps him keep everything in perspective, and for his being ever-willing to lend a hand.

Named a director at Bell, Moore & Richter this year, Ress has helped expand the firm’s worker’s compensation practice. And that Supreme Court case? Even though he lost, Ress was asked afterward to give a case presentation to the Wisconsin Bar Association.

Home life for Ress and his wife, Katie, a UW Hospital nurse, revolves around their daughter, Caroline — their first child. Ress has also been active in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program since 2011.

If the David Ress, a director at a law firm, could talk to the younger David Ress, the student intern from six years ago?

“I would tell him to stay the course and it’s all going to work out in the end.”

With his previously noted sense of humor in full view, Ress said, “I would have also told young David Ress to mark his calendar early for that future date with the Supreme Court.”

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