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Kaplan excels at finding solutions in complex cases

Benjamin Kaplan - Michael Best & Friedrich

Benjamin Kaplan –
Michael Best & Friedrich

When Benjamin Kaplan gets a new case, he looks at it as a puzzle and immediately begins developing a plan that he believes will lead to the best solution.

“It is all about getting your client to where he wants to be,” said Kaplan, an associate in Michael Best & Friedrich’s litigation practice in Milwaukee.

Specializing in commercial litigation, Kaplan works with defendants in a variety of class-action cases dealing with matters ranging from wage-and-hour to consumer complaints.

“These cases have very high stakes and your work needs to be very nuanced and detail orientated,” he said. “Class-action cases add more complexity to the puzzle.”

Much of the job involves research and writing, Kaplan said. “There’s a big focus on strategy. If hurdles come up, you figure out how to navigate them,” he said.

Kaplan excels at writing briefs and it shows. He often serves as the lead brief writer on single-issue state appeals to a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari submitted to the Supreme Court, said Jon Margolies, a patent litigator at Michael Best. He added that Kaplan has developed effective and beyond-the-ordinary ways of improving client services.

“Ben adds a lot to every team and all the partners want Ben to be on their team,” said Margolies, adding Kaplan has led the firm’s litigation associates in billable hours for the past six years and across all practice groups for five of the last six years.

Kaplan enjoys working on complex litigation cases. He has, for instance, represented an appliance manufacturer in a $40 million class action in which the plaintiffs put forward a variety of false-advertising claims. He headed up efforts in the case related to discovery, certification briefing and dispositive-motion briefing. Margolies said Kaplan’s careful planning and execution contributed greatly to the eventual victory.

As his busy caseload allows, Kaplan also helps out at the Milwaukee Justice Center and the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic.

“When you work on pro bono work, it is a very different perspective. There is a different level of impact,” Kaplan said, adding that he appreciates the firm’s support for pro bono work. “Most people are not sure how the legal system works so you try to answer any questions they throw at you.”

Kaplan has also represented several inmates who are involved in civil-rights disputes. These cases bring their own difficulties, he said.

“When your client is in prison, communicating with them and preparing them for trial can be challenging since your access to them is limited,” he said.

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