Originally published in Wisconsin Lawyer Vol. 76, No. 6
To celebrate its 75th anniversary, throughout 2003 the Wisconsin Lawyer will include "From the Archives," a monthly column devoted to lively snippets from past issues. Material is quoted directly and attributed when the contributor is known. More in-depth coverage of the magazine's publishing history will appear in September, as part of the State Bar's 125th anniversary celebration this year.
Justice in Wisconsin: Enjoying its reputation
Oct. 1933, at 239: (From the Green Bay Press Gazette, quoting a Chicago Tribune editorial) "Wisconsin has maintained, as the nation is becoming aware, a high reputation for the administration of justice. Primarily the reason for this stout and happy condition arises from the intelligence and dependability of the people.
"We can very well imagine how residents of Illinois look northward with longing, and wonder how it is done. Their astonishment is no greater than New Yorkers who can hardly believe this state has a metropolis with 700,000 people and no organized rackets. Yet the recipe is simple.
"First, Wisconsin courts do not stand much nonsense from shysters and criminal lawyers. Second, our courts are out of politics and have been kept out of politics, and every time the politicians try to get them into politics the people smash the effort. Third, our jury system works in excellent shape. This is largely attributable to the jury commissioners, appointed by the circuit judges (and therefore out of politics), who are liberal in the names turned in for jury service but careful in excluding morons. Wisconsin juries are known for looking with cold and fishy eyes upon the alibis created by crooks, in advance of their crimes, and with which they expect to bamboozle greenhorns. Finally, Wisconsin governors ordinarily are of the sterling sort who disdain to use the pardoning power for personal or political reasons and keep desperate criminals just exactly where desperate criminals belong. ..."
Russian-born attorney now a citizen
Oct. 1933, at 233: "Attorney Blanche Lubarsky Swerdloff of Milwaukee was recently granted her citizenship by Circuit Judge August E. Braun. Mrs. Swerdloff, who had been practicing law for four years, is a native of Russia. She believed her father had been naturalized before she became of age, and only recently discovered her mistake."
Where the highways do not run
July 1933, at 176: "Chief Justice M.B. Rosenberry of the state supreme court was one of the speakers over the state radio stations, WHA and WLBL, on May 14. The subject of his talk was a plan of development of Wisconsin trails for hikers. Judge Rosenberry is an enthusiastic outdoor sportsman and has mapped old Indian and logging trails in northern Wisconsin, which led to wild and attractive country where the highways do not run."
Attorney the victim of attempted extortion
Oct. 1933, at 233: "Rodger M. Trump, Milwaukee attorney, was the victim of attempted extortion, when William H. Scharbillig, Cameron, sent him threatening letters demanding $6,000. Scharbillig was incensed at the loss of an $8,200 verdict, when Trump appeared against him in a circuit court suit, following an automobile collision between Scharbillig and Jack Dahl, Chicago."
NAACP president speaks at Beaver Dam
Jan. 1934, at 34: "James Dorsey, prominent Negro attorney of Milwaukee, was the principal speaker at the St. Peter's Holy Name breakfast, at Beaver Dam, Jan. 14. Mr. Dorsey is a graduate of Montana University, and is president of the Milwaukee branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People."
New Glarus welcomes first resident lawyer
Jan. 1934, at 35: "John D. Germann Jr., Monroe, has the distinction of being the first resident lawyer in New Glarus. He opened a law office there in December. Mr. Germann completed his office practice with the Monroe firm, Burmeister & Snodgrass, after his graduation from the U.W. Law School in 1933."
Attorney studies international law
Jan. 1934, at 35: "Mrs. Helen Hoy Greeley, attorney, is spending a few months in Madison, after an extended European tour. She was for some time an attorney in New York and Washington, and participated in many important civic and women's movements. In Madison she did graduate work at the U.W. in political science and economics. In Europe she studied at the Academy of International Law at The Hague, the Carnegie Foundation in Paris, and the University of High International Studies in Geneva. She is interested in League of Nations activities, and plans to return to Geneva for the final session of the disarmament conference, leaving early in the year."
Gosh, if that's all...
April 1934, at 116: "D.K. Allen, Oshkosh attorney, on Jan. 15, discussed the present farm situation, before the Oshkosh Rotary Club. The main ills of the farmer, he said, have been caused by low prices, overproduction, loss of foreign markets, the Depression, the high cost of what the farmer must purchase, lack of business management, and a lack of proper advertising of his leading products."
One of U.W.'s oldest alumni dies
April 1934, at 143: "Judge Patrick O'Meara, 89, prominent in legal, political and civil affairs of West Bend and Washington County for 63 years, died April 15 at his home. He was born in Emmett, Dodge County, attended Northwestern College at Watertown, and was graduated from the U.W. Law School in 1870. He was a member of the second graduating class of the law school, and at the time of his death was one of the oldest alumni of the university."
Stop and smell the roses
Oct. 1933, at 230: "Joseph V. Quarles, Milwaukee attorney, was elected vice president of the National Plant, Flower and Fruit Guild, at its fortieth annual meeting, Oct. 27, in New York. Mr. Quarles is president of the Milwaukee Flower Guild, local branch of a national philanthropic organization, which supplies flowers, plants and fruit to the unemployed and needy in tenements and hospitals throughout the country."
Please, get that piano off the baseline
July 1934, at 182: "Attorney Thomas H. Sanderson, of Portage, had the misfortune on June 5 to suffer a broken leg while playing indoor baseball in a senior church league game. The accident happened when Mr. Sanderson attempted to slide to second base."
Niche marketing at work
July 1934, at 183: "Lebbeus Woods of Sharon has been pastor of the Christ Evangelical Lutheran church for 15 years and during all of the same time has kept up his law practice."
Woman law student overcomes obstacles in 1898
July 1933, at 160: "At the first dinner meeting of the newly organized Milwaukee County Women Lawyers Association on May 13, ... Mrs. A.V. Jackowska Peterson recalled the early days when, in 1898, she was the only woman graduated from the college of law at the State University, while the number of men taking the course was 225. She said that professors did not hesitate to put obstacles in the way of a legal career for women. Mrs. Peterson was the first woman to be graduated in seven years. She recalls that the first woman lawyers in Milwaukee were the late Mrs. Kate Pier and her three daughters and that Mrs. Pier succeeded in getting a law passed by the legislature permitting women to become court commissioners, guardians, and executrices."