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RISING YOUNG LAWYER – Alexander Kostal – Wisconsin State Public Defender


RISING YOUNG LAWYER – Alexander Kostal – Wisconsin State Public Defender


Alexander Kostal - Wisconsin State Public Defender

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As soon as Alexander Kostal decided to become a lawyer, he knew that he wanted to practice in a courtroom, making arguments and fighting for justice.

After graduating from Marquette University Law School in 2017, he was hired by the Wisconsin State Public Defender’s office, where he serves as an assistant state public defender.

His favorite part of the job is litigation.

“Waiting for the verdict and hearing the judge announce the jury’s decision is the most extreme adrenaline-inducing activity I’ve ever participated in, and I hike, play competitive tennis and train MMA.

“Trial litigation demands the absolute highest level of mental effort, attention to detail and strategic application of knowledge. Winning an acquittal for a client who has professed their innocence from the beginning is truly gratifying,” he added.

Kostal has won six of his last seven jury trials, and he has achieved acquittals for his clients on several high-profile cases, including first-degree intentional homicide and second-degree sexual assault. He has won three preliminary hearings, and a revocation appeal.

Additionally, Kostal has been recognized for his victories with the Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Hanson Memorial Advocate Award and the WACDL’s Sensitive Crimes Award.

“Alexander is truly a rising star in the Wisconsin Criminal Justice System,” said Cary Mertens, regional office administrator for the public defender’s office.

One of the biggest challenges for public defenders is that they often begin a case without their client’s trust. Some feel that the entire justice system is stacked against them.

“Folks know public defenders are often overworked and underpaid, and clients often doubt our ability to work effectively on their behalf,” Kostal said. “Additionally, a criminal defense attorney often lacks the resources the state has in a prosecution, and clients are often incarcerated, making the choice to litigate more difficult.”


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