While the overall governance and structure of the State Bar are established by Supreme Court Rule, members control the association's day-to-day operations, finances and strategic planning. The president is the chief elected officer of the association. The president, president-elect, immediate past president, secretary and treasurer are ex-officio members of the Board of Governors (BOG), which directs the State Bar's affairs. The treasurer also assists the Executive Committee in preparing the annual budget.
Robert Gagan of Green Bay, was elected in 2010 and 2012 as the District 14 representative of the State Bar of Wisconsin Board of Governors. He was elected and served on the Executive Committee in 2011. Bob practices law with Calewarts, Duffy & Gagan, Associated Attorneys, Green Bay. Bob graduated from Marquette University Law School, J.D. 2000, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, MBA and University of Wisconsin-Madison, BBA. Bob served on the Brown County Bar Association Board from 2002-2005 and served as President in 2005. Prior to law school, Bob worked as a bank examiner for the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and Minneapolis. Bob served as a Special Prosecutor in the Brown County District Attorney's Office in 2010 and 2011. Bob was named a Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2006-2008 and 2010-2011. He serves on the Advisory Board of The Salvation Army of Green Bay. Bob also helped found the Brown County Free Legal Clinic where he continues to volunteer his time.
Ralph Cagle has been a Clinical Professor of Law at the University of Wisconsin Law School since 1990 (Emeritus since 2011). In 21 years as Director of the Lawyering Skills Program (formerly General Practice Course) he developed that program into a nationally recognized model for engaging practicing lawyers into the enterprise of teaching students the core skills of successful law practice. He teaches Negotiation and Mediation and has taught the Legal Profession, Professional Responsibilities, Lincoln and the Law and Lawyers as Community Leaders. Prior to joining the faculty in 1990, he was a civil trial lawyer for 16 years and previously served as the assistant to the Speaker of the Wisconsin Assembly.
He is of counsel to the Madison law firm of Hurley, Burish & Stanton, S.C, and serves as a mediator in business, tort, estate, and professional disputes; represents lawyers in disciplinary matters; and consults with law firms on associate training, law practice management and risk management.
He has served as chair of the State Bar of Wisconsin's Committee on Professionalism, chair of the Bar CLE Committee, chair of the Transition to Practice Sub-committee of the Wisconsin Legal Education Commission and as member of the Supreme Court Commission to Review the Rules of Professional Conduct. He also is past president of the Dane County Bar Association and was Vice-Chair of the Wisconsin Supreme Court Board of Bar Examiners and Reporter for the Professional Ethics Committee of the State Bar of Wisconsin.
Ralph is married to Tonia Neustifter and has four children: Kristin, Nick, Ben and Elizabeth and two grandchildren, Alia and Evan.
Sherry Coley is an associate on the Litigation Practice Group at Godfrey & Kahn. Her litigation practice is dedicated to the representation of business/employer interests in a variety of employment and commercial disputes, significant work in financial services litigation, real estate foreclosures, and defending manufacturers from claims involving personal injury, wrongful death and property damage. Sherry obtained her law degree from Marquette University Law School and undergraduate at Drake University, magna cum laude. She is a member of the American Bar, Brown County Bar and Outagamie County Bar Associations, as well as, the Defense Research Institute. She is also on the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin State Bar Young Lawyers Division.
Kevin Lyons is an experienced civil, commercial, and white collar crime litigator, mediator, and arbitrator. He assists clients in environmental, construction and contract, and administrative law cases. He has appeared before local, state and federal agencies, including the EPA, the U.S. Department of Defense, OSHA, Wisconsin DNR, and the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, and maintains an active trial, appellate, and dispute resolution practice in Wisconsin and elsewhere. He supervises students in the Marquette University Law School Mediation Program and has served as a clinical instructor in trial at the University of Wisconsin Law School. Mr. Lyons is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin (Member, BOG 2007-2009, 2010-2012; Past Chair, Construction and Public Contract Law Section; Past Chair, Alternative Dispute Resolution Section; Section Leaders Council; Legislative Oversight Committee American and Seventh Circuit Bar Associations. He also is a teacher-mediator and judge of the Marquette University Law School’s Mediation Program and is a guest lecturer, UW-Madison Law School General Practice Course. Mr. Lyons is admitted to practice in the State of Wisconsin, the United States Supreme Court; Circuit Courts of Appeal for the 2nd, 7th and District of Columbia Circuits; and United States District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin.
Paul Swanson is a partner in the Oshkosh, Wisconsin law firm of Steinhilber, Swanson, Mares, Marone & McDermott. He received his undergraduate degree in accounting from the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh and his law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School. He is a board certified bankruptcy specialist by the American Bankruptcy Board of Certification in both consumer and business bankruptcy, receiving his initial certification in 1993. Mr. Swanson is the Past President of the National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees, the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Bankruptcy Section of the State Bar of Wisconsin, a member of the Board of Directors of the Eastern District of Wisconsin Federal Bar Association, a former Chairman of the State Bar of Wisconsin Continuing Education Committee and Chair of the American Bar Association General Practice Bankruptcy Committee. He has been a panel trustee for 25 years. He is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin, the ABA, the American Bankruptcy Institute, National Association of Bankruptcy Trustee and National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys. His practice is almost entirely limited to bankruptcy law focusing on representation of debtors in Chapter 7, 11, 12, and as a Chapter 7 panel trustee.
Patrick Fiedler is currently a partner at Axley Brynelson LLP, in Madison, where he specializes in litigation and alternative dispute resolution. During his career, he has worked in both private practice and in the public sector. His distinctive background in government has included serving as Dane County Circuit Court Judge (1993 - 2011), Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections (1991 - 93), U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin (1987 - 91), and as Waukesha County Assistant District Attorney (1980 - 84).
He has been a member of the State Bar Of Wisconsin since 1980. He served on the Board of Directors of the Criminal Law Section for four years and has taught at various continuing legal education seminars to help attorneys hone their skills.
Fiedler is dedicated to making sure lawyers have all the tools they need to be effective advocates for their clients, especially in tough economic times.
"Newly graduated lawyers are finding it difficult to get a job in their profession. Veteran lawyers have had to adjust and modify how they do the business end of practicing law," said Fiedler. "As president, I will listen to all points of view and lead toward reaching a decision that benefits members of the Bar and ultimately, the people we serve."
Fiedler graduated from Marquette University Law School in 1980. He also earned a B.B.A from UW Milwaukee. He has served as a board member of the Kiwanis Club of Downtown Madison and as a youth sports coach. He is married to Sandy and has three adult children and four grandchildren.