Press Release: Dane County legal community recognized for public service:

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  • Press Release
    April
    13
    2005

    Dane County legal community recognized for public service


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    For Immediate Release

    CONTACT: Teresa Weidemann-Smith
    State Bar of Wisconsin
    (800) 444-9404, ext. 6025
    org twsmith wisbar wisbar twsmith org

    Dane County legal community recognized for public service

    MADISON, April 13, 2005 – The State Bar of Wisconsin annually recognizes lawyers, law students and law firms who have helped make the legal system more accessible by providing pro bono legal services, community service and law-related education to the public. The Public Service/Pro Bono Volunteer Lawyers Recognition Celebration will be held at the State Bar's annual convention on Wednesday, May 4 from 6-8 p.m. at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center.

    The Hotline Attorney of the Year Award will be presented to Kathleen Meter Lounsbury of Madison. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Iowa State University in 1995 and her J.D. from the University of Iowa College of Law in 2001. In law school, she chaired the Client Counseling Board and served as a member of the Organization of Women Law Students and Staff. She represented employees and labor unions before Wisconsin circuit courts, the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

    She is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin, Dane County Bar Association, and Legal Association of Women. She volunteers for the State Bar's Lawyer Hotline Program, a public service component of the State Bar's Lawyer Referral and Information Service which has been in operation for over 20 years. Volunteers answer legal questions free of charge, allowing callers to better assess whether they wish to hire an attorney or use the resource information provided to them over the phone.

    The Pro Bono Award for a Private, Government, or Corporate Practitioner will be given to Roy Froemming of Madison. As a solo practitioner he focuses on supplemental needs trusts, guardianship and other planning issues for people with disabilities. His past work includes 18 years at the Wisconsin Coalition for Advocacy, including ten years as managing attorney for developmental disabilities advocacy. An honors graduate of Yale College and the University of Wisconsin Law School, he co-developed the first program in Wisconsin to provide benefit specialist services for elderly people (Access for Senior Citizens at the Center for Public Representation).

    From 1996 to 2001 Froemming was president of the board for Movin' Out, a community housing development agency that promotes homeownership for people with disabilities. Most recently, he suggested an idea that led to a new ordinance in the City of Madison abolishing discriminatory zoning ordinances that had applied to small community living arrangements for people with disabilities.

    The Pro Bono Award for a Legal Service Attorney AND The Dan Tuchscherer Outstanding Public Interest Law Attorney Award goes to Carol W. Medaris of Madison. She will receive The Pro Bono Award for a Legal Services Attorney for her career of outstanding service on behalf of the poor and the disadvantaged. She is also the recipient of The Dan Tuchscherer Outstanding Public Interest Law Attorney Award for demonstrating a selfless, lifetime commitment to working in the public interest, both inside and outside the field of law.

    She recently retired after a career of service to low income and disadvantaged residents through individual representation, class action litigation, legislative advocacy, community education and training of other lawyers. Following graduation from the University of Wisconsin Law School, she served as staff attorney and then chief staff counsel at Corrections Legal Services Program. She also spent 19 years at Legal Action of Wisconsin, handling public benefits and family law matters. At the time she retired, she had worked for nine years with the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families, where she was a legislative and community advocate on welfare reform and family law issues.

    The Outstanding Public Interest Law Student Award will be presented to Stacia Conneely of Madison. A native of Grand Island, Nebraska she moved to Chicago to attend DePaul University, where she received her B.A. in Communication and French. She worked in the Development Department of the Mary Crane Center, a day-care center in a public housing unit, and worked for three years as the Development Assistant at The Cradle, a non-profit, non-sectarian adoption agency. Both of these positions influenced her to pursue a law degree and focus on poverty and families.

    She and her husband, Thomas, moved to Madison so she could attend the University of Wisconsin Law School. Since then she has worked with the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Center for Family Policy and Practice. She participated in the Neighborhood Law Project clinical program and the Domestic Violence Externship. Currently, she is a law clerk with the Madison City Attorney's Office and she currently serves as president of the UW Public Interest Law Foundation.

    The Pro Bono Award for a Local Bar Association goes to the Dane County Bar Association Delivery of Legal Services Committee for its contributions in developing innovative ways to deliver volunteer legal services for the poor and the disadvantaged.

    The Delivery of Legal Services Committee of the Dane County Bar Association actively promotes access to legal representation and services by persons who are unable to access the legal system because of the lack of financial resources or other barriers beyond their control; establishes and maintains programs that encourage and aid the provision of pro bono legal services; assists members and organizations who furnish pro bono legal services to low income and disadvantaged persons or to nonprofit groups that cannot reasonably afford legal services; and recognizes members who furnish pro bono legal services.

    Since 2000, the Committee has sponsored and helped staff a Family Law Assistance Center every Wednesday at the Dane County Courthouse. Volunteer attorneys give information and assist pro se litigants with forms in all areas of family law. Spanish-speaking attorneys are available twice a month. To date, the Center has served over 2,400 people. In 2004, the Committee developed and helps staff a similar project for Small Claims Court: the Small Claims Assistance Project.

    The committee publishes a booklet in paper and electronic form for Dane County attorneys detailing groups in the county that need pro bono attorneys in a variety of capacities. The committee has also finished production of the first of four videos for pro se family law litigants for statewide distribution. In addition, the committee annually sponsors a Pro Bono Breakfast to recognize volunteer service by members of the Association and to raise money for the Dane County Pro Bono Trust Fund.

    The LRE Attorney of the Year Award goes to Steven C. Zach of Madison. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School cum laude in 1983. He was hired by Madison's Boardman, Suhr, Curry and Field law firm where he made partner in 1989. He practices in the labor and employment field and in employment related litigation.

    He teaches for the University of Wisconsin Small Business Development Center and serves as an instructor at the University of Wisconsin Law School. His community service includes a stint on the Oregon School District Board of Education as well as the Oregon Area Educational Foundation where he served as founder, Director and Vice-President. He also was the founder, Director and President of Oregon Youth Baseball. In addition to his many other Boards and Committees he serves, he has coached the Oregon High School Mock Trial Team for the past 14 years. In 2004 he was named as one of the top attorneys in Labor & Employment by Madison Magazine.

    The WisLAP Volunteer of the Year Award will be presented to Timothy D. Edwards of Madison. The manager of Edwards Law Offices, LLC, he received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin—Madison and his law degree from Wayne State University Law School. After practicing criminal and employment law in Arizona, he returned to law school to study drug addiction, drug policy and criminal sentencing in America's legal system. In 1998 he graduated from the LLM program at the University of Missouri Law School with high honors, where he studied and published his master's thesis, Constitutional Limits on an Employer's Right to Dictate the Terms of an Addict's Recovery Under the ADA: Some Sobering Concerns. In 2000 he received his Senior Juris Doctorate degree from the UW Law School, where he studied sentencing policy and drug treatment in the criminal justice system. His doctorate thesis, The Theory and Practice of Compulsory Drug Treatment in the Criminal Justice System: The Wisconsin Experiment, was published in the Wisconsin Law Review (Spring 2002). His most recent article, Representing the Impaired Client, was published in the fall edition of the American Bar Association's GP Solo Magazine. Edwards also teaches at the University of Wisconsin Law School.

    The State Bar of Wisconsin is the mandatory professional association, created by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, for attorneys who hold a law license in Wisconsin. With more than 21,000 members, the State Bar aids the courts in improving the administration of justice, provides continuing legal education for its members, and assists Wisconsin lawyers in carrying out initiatives to educate the public about the legal system.

    For more information, visit www.wisbar.org/convention/.