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Success in the pipeline for Blinka

By: Erika Strebel, [email protected]//September 19, 2017//

Success in the pipeline for Blinka

By: Erika Strebel, [email protected]//September 19, 2017//

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David Blinka - Habush Habush & Rottier
David Blinka –
Habush Habush & Rottier

When David Blinka was brought onto the team at Habush Habush & Rottier’s Madison office, his first task — for someone fresh out of law school — could safety be deemed one of Herculean proportions.

As part of a team representing Jackson residents whose well water was contaminated when a gas pipeline burst, Blinka was charged with preparing the experts and reports that would be needed during pretrial discovery. The work called for him to get about 400 plaintiffs ready for depositions.

“It was a sink-or-swim situation — and he swam,” said Jason Knutson, who had interviewed Blinka for the position at Habush and has become one of his mentors at the firm.

Knutson notes that it was a special combination of qualities that helped Blinka deliver in the pipeline case.

“He’s intelligent, but he’s also such a personable guy and a Wisconsin native,” said Knutson. “The plaintiffs immediately trusted him, and he formed all these great relationships with people.”

And Blinka has kept swimming ever since.

Five years into practice he has not only successfully represented injured clients; he’s written articles for legal journals, been recognized for his pro bono work by the Wisconsin State Bar and established an annual judge’s night for young lawyers in Dane County.

Part of what Blinka enjoys most about his work is engaging in legal discussions with other attorneys in the office. But the cases can be tough — particularly when clients won’t be able to make a financial recovery even though they’ve been harmed through no fault of their own, he said.

“I think I get my motivation by not wanting to let anyone down and be a dependable and reliable lawyer for the person I’m representing,” Blinka said. “And, yeah, while there isn’t enough time in the day, it definitely requires doing work on weekends or at night on occasion just to make sure that everyone gets the best representation possible.”

Blinka says he inherited his interest in trial work from his father, a former prosecutor and well-known Marquette University law professor.

“Growing up and hearing the cases he prosecuted while he was a prosecutor … made it easier for me to envision my career,” Blinka said.

But his father doesn’t get all the credit. Blinka said he has received a great deal of help over the years from his mother, as well as his colleagues at the firm.

“For me, my mom, as much as my dad, had an important role in emphasizing that in order to achieve success you need a lot of time and effort,” he said. “But also I’d say more specifically within my law firm there are a lot of very good lawyers here who have encouraged me to enjoy working on cases and learning about novel problems.”

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