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Home / Legal News / WHO’S DOING WHAT: State Bar names Innovator award winners; attorneys earn honors

WHO’S DOING WHAT: State Bar names Innovator award winners; attorneys earn honors

Plaintiff’s bar recognizes lawyers, paralegal

The Wisconsin Association of Justice will be recognizing the following three lawyers and a paralegal at its 2018 President’s Dinner & Reception on Dec. 7 in Milwaukee:

Middleton attorney Eric Haag of Atterbury, Kammer & Haag will receive the 2018 President’s Award.

Milwaukee attorney Ann Jacobs of Jacobs Injury Law will receive the 2018 Robert L. Habush Trial Lawyer of the Year Award.

Milwaukee attorney Eric Knobloch of Gruber Law Offices will receive the 2018 Outstanding Young Trial Lawyer Award.

Corinne Dulak, paralegal and office manager at Milwaukee-based Domnitz & Domnitz, will receive the Paralegal of the Year Award.

State Bar announces legal Innovator awards

The State Bar of Wisconsin honored the following six legal innovators as part of its “That’s a Fine Idea: Legal Innovation Wisconsin” initiative:

  • Emery Harlan, a partner with MWH Law Group, for championing diversity in the legal profession. Harlan helped found in 2001 the National Association of Minority & Women Owned Law Firms to promote diversity by fostering successful relationships between diverse attorneys and both private and public legal clients. During the past couple years at MWH and for many years before that at his previous firm, Gonzalez, Saggio & Harlan, Harlan has worked to hire and promote minority and female attorneys.
  • Sheila Sullivan and her team, who are heading up a victims rights project established by Legal Action of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Judicare with the support of the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Office of Crime Victim Services and a partnership with Wisconsin Judicare. The team includes project supervisor Sullivan and project attorneys Ann Rufo, Becca Donaldson, Kori Ashley, Susan Lund and Rachel Sattler of Legal Action of Wisconsin, as well as attorneys William Baynard and Amanda Rabe and supervising attorney Beth Ann Richlen of Judicare.
  • Abby Churchill, who founded the nonprofit law center Trans Law Help Wisconsin, to assist transgender people with legal services.
  • Heidi Wegleitner, Rebeka Pritchett, Raphael Ramos, Don Tolbert, Maggie Niebler-Brown and Sofia Ascorbe for their work on the Eviction Defense Project, which helps tenants facing eviction in Madison and Milwaukee get legal help.
  • Attorneys Collin Schaefer, Anne Smith, Eric Englund and Louis Condon for their work on the Madison Seed Accelerator Inc., which is also known as Madworks, a pro bono program that helps entrepreneurs starting companies carefully plan around corporate governance.
  • Court reporter Karen Renee, owner of Milwaukee Court Reporters, who created eCourtReporters.com to provide a platform where attorneys and paralegals can find court reporters and videographers based on criteria such as qualifications, certifications and years of experience. The database now has nearly 7,000 entries in almost all 50 states.

Murphy Desmond adds attorney to Janesville office

Robb Evans

Robb Evans

Murphy Desmond recently announced that attorney Robb Evans has joined its Janesville office as an associate in the firm’s business law, business start-ups and estate planning practice groups.

Evans helps businesses in all stages of operation, from entity formation to business succession planning and also works with estate-planning clients on wills, trusts and powers of attorney. He previously worked for a law firm in Eau Claire.

School attorney group gives two attorney props

James Korom

James Korom

Attorneys Mary Gerbig and James Korom recently received the 2018 George Tipler Award from the Wisconsin School Attorneys Association.

The award, named after the association’s founder, recognizes individuals for their excellence and dedication school law in Wisconsin.

Gerbig, who has more than 20 years of experience, leads the firm’s School and Higher Education team and is a member of Davis & Kuelthau’s Labor & Employment Team. She counsels school districts throughout Wisconsin on general school law issues and matters involving students and employees.

Korom is a shareholder in von Briesen & Roper’s Government Law Group. He advises public sector clients on all aspects of labor and employment law.

SPD announces award winners

The State Public Defender Board and the State Public Defender’s office recently honored its award winners at a ceremony Nov. 1 during the kickoff of its annual conference.

The SPD presented its 2018 Eisenberg Award to state Rep. Joan Ballweg and Milwaukee’s Running Rebels for their positive impact on the criminal justice system.

Ballweg authored legislation that created a pilot program and funding for the SPD to provide representation for parents who are subject to a Children in Need of Protection and Services petition.

Running Rebels has a 40-year track record of providing positive choices for youth through services including after-school and summer programs, mentorships, workshops, athletics and tutoring.

The SPD also presented its first Private Bar Award to Matthew Kirkpatrick of Menomonie for his dedication to representing SPD clients.

The SPD also recognized Eau Claire Regional Office Administrator Leslie Patrow with the Chiarkas Award and its Black River Falls, La Crosse, Lancaster and Sparta offices with the Rubin Award.

Shareholders to lead DeWitt’s intellectual property practice

DeWitt Ross & Stevens recently announced that two of its shareholders have been appointed to lead the firm’s Intellectual Property Practice Group.

Joseph Leone and Christopher Scherer replace Charles Sara, who has led the group since 1991.

Leone works on matters such as securing patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets, as well as asserting and defending these rights in the state and federal courts.

Scherer focuses his work on domestic and international patent prosecution for electrical and electronic circuits and systems, computer software, medical devices, medical patient monitoring and treatment technology, device fabrication, optical devices and systems and mechanical devices.

Lindner & Marsack adds associate

Management-side labor and employment firm Lindner & Marsack recently added an associate.

Lauren Matthiesen will focus on defending workers’ compensation claims in a variety of industries. Before joining the firm, Matthiesen, who earned her law degree from Marquette University Law School in 2012, was a worker’s compensation defense attorney at Husch Blackwell and an associate at Matthiesen, Wickert & Lehrer, where she focused on insurance defense and subrogation.

Milwaukee attorneys join professional association, advisory committee

von Briesen & Roper recently announced that two of its attorneys had been selected to either to join a professional association or an advisory committee.

Attorney Thomas Phillips was elected a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel.

ACTC is a professional association of tax attorneys in private practice as well as those teaching tax law in law schools and working in federal or state revenue agencies.

Members of the College, known as fellows, are elected to membership after receiving a peer nomination and successfully passing an evaluation of their candidacy.

Phillips works in the firm’s Tax Section.

Daniel Welytok

Daniel Welytok

von Briesen & Roper also announced that shareholder Daniel Welytok was appointed by the U.S. Department of Treasury to serve on the Internal Revenue Service Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities.

ACT members serve three-year terms and are selected by the commissioner of the IRS and then appointed by the Department of the Treasury.

Welytok works in von Briesen’s Business Practice Group.

Super Lawyers recognizes Davis & Kuelthau

Davis & Kuelthau recently announced that 16 of its attorneys were recognized by Wisconsin Super Lawyers magazine, with 14 of its attorneys across 10 practice areas and three offices named top attorneys in Wisconsin for 2018. Also, two attorneys were recognized as Wisconsin Rising Stars.

Davis & Kuelthau attorneys selected for inclusion in the 2018 Wisconsin Super Lawyers magazine are:

  • Charlie Maris, Estate and Probate, Brookfield;
  • Robert Burns, Labor & Employment, Green Bay;
  • Ted Warpinski, Environmental Litigation, Green Bay;
  • Dillon Ambrose, Business Litigation, Milwaukee;
  • James Braza, Construction Litigation, Milwaukee;
  • Todd Farris, Civil Litigation: Plaintiff, Milwaukee;
  • Scott Fiducci, Mergers & Acquisitions, Milwaukee;
  • Christopher Jaekels, Environmental, Milwaukee;
  • Kevin Lyons, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Milwaukee;
  • Matthew McClean, Business Litigation, Milwaukee;
  • Kathy Nusslock, Business Litigation, Milwaukee;
  • Brian Randall, Land Use/Zoning, Milwaukee;
  • Susan Schellinger, Business Litigation, Milwaukee; and
  • Joseph Tierney IV, Real Estate, Milwaukee.

Milwaukee Lawyers Robert Habich, who practices real estate law, and Ryan Wiesner, who practices civil litigation, were selected as 2018 Super Lawyers Rising Stars. They both work in Davis & Kuelthau’s Milwaukee office.

Best Lawyers recognizes 3 Wisconsin firms, lawyers

The 2019 edition of the U.S. News & World Report – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” list has recognized three Wisconsin law firms as well as Wisconsin lawyers. The rankings are based on peer reviews of colleagues within the same legal practice category and geographical location.

Davis & Kuelthau was recognized as a “Best Law Firm” for the ninth year. The firm was ranked in the national top tier across 15 practices.

Ogletree Deakins also announced that it has been named a “Law Firm of the Year” for the eighth year in the Employment Law-Management category.

Additionally, Ogletree Deakins’ Milwaukee office earned “First Tier” practice area rankings in three categories: Employment Law-Management, Labor Law-Management, and Litigation-Labor & Employment.

Best Lawyers also recognized Gingras, Cates & Wachs as “Best Law Firm” for employment law, medical malpractice and personal injury, and selected eight GCW attorneys for Best Lawyers in America for 2019.

Attorney Paul Kinne was named “Lawyer of the Year” in Madison for employment law.

The following lawyers were listed as “Best Lawyers”:

  • Beverly Wickstrom;
  • John Cates;
  • Robert Gingras;
  • Paul Kinne;
  • Lynn Laufenberg;
  • Michael Luebke;
  • Mark Thomsen; and
  • Dana Wachs.

A previous version of this article misspelled Milwaukee lawyer Eric Knobloch’s last name. The Wisconsin Law Journal regrets the error.


About Erika Strebel, [email protected]

Erika Strebel is the law beat reporter for the Wisconsin Law Journal and a law school student at UW-Madison. She can be reached at 414-225-1825.

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