: Don Leo Bach receives Goldberg Award:

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  • Don Leo Bach receives Goldberg Award

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    Don Bach receives Goldberg Award

    Don Bach (right) receives Goldberg Award from Wisconsin Law Foundation President Dean Dietrich.

    Jon Axelrod and Don Bach

    Jon Axelrod (left) and Don Bach following the Goldberg Award presentation. Bach acknowledged Axelrod for supporting and encouraging him throughout his career.

    Visit the State Bar of Wisconsin on Facebook for more photos of this event, or click here.

    Sept. 29, 2011 – Earlier this week, Madison attorney Donald Leo Bach received the Charles L. Goldberg Distinguished Service Award for his lifetime record of service both to the legal profession and to the public, and 14 lawyers were inducted into the 2011 Class of Fellows of the Wisconsin Law Foundation. More than 70 guests attended the annual 2011 Fellows of the Wisconsin Law Foundation (WLF) Annual Recognition Dinner in Madison on Sept. 27.

    “Our profession is built around service to the public, to our fellow professionals, and to the judiciary, and it is important that we recognize those contributions,” said WLF President Dean Dietrich, who presented the award. Noting Bach’s many years of service to the state, the public, the judiciary, and the State Bar, Dietrich said, “Don Bach is very much an example of all of those services. His involvement is a true example of what the Goldberg Award is all about.”

    Bach thanked the foundation for considering him for the award. He also thanked his firm for giving him the flexibility and support that allowed him to undertake outside activities for so many years. Bach recognized Jon Axelrod, “for starting me on my way.” It was Axelrod’s encouragement and support to give back that jump-started Bach’s service. Bach thanked Gov. Thompson, “for giving me my first real taste of public service.”

    Recognizing his audience, Bach said, “My contributions are small compared to the contributions you make every day to the public, the practice, and the profession. It is because of the efforts of people like you who serve the public daily in our firms, our courts, and professional organizations such as the State Bar and the Wisconsin Law Foundation that we and the public are fortunate to enjoy the system of justice that we have in this state. I am proud to say I am a Wisconsin lawyer, and I am honored to serve on your side as we continue to do the very important work that the public entrusts us to do.”

    About Don Bach

    Bach’s history includes an extensive record of public service to the state, the country, the community, and the legal profession.

    After graduating the U.W.-Madison, Bach received his commission in the U.S. Naval Reserve and spent three years on active duty, including a tour in the Vietnam combat zone aboard the guided missile destroyer, USS Benjamin Stoddert. He earned his J.D. from the U.W. Law School, and, in 1975, joined DeWitt, Porter, Huggett, Schumacher & Morgan (now DeWitt Ross & Stevens). He retired from the U.S. Naval Reserve with the rank of captain after 26 years.

    2011 Class of Fellows

    The Fellows of the Wisconsin Law Foundation welcomes the following new members:

    Linda E. Benfield, Milwaukee
    Gilbert J. Berthelsen, Racine
    Peter W. Bruce, Milwaukee
    Russell D. Feingold, Milwaukee
    Frederic G. Friedman, Milwaukee
    Michael E. Grubb, Janesville
    James H. Hall Jr., Milwaukee
    Patrick J. Knight, Milwaukee
    Kenneth A. Knudson, Superior
    Catherine A. La Fleur, Milwaukee
    Alan Marcuvitz, Milwaukee
    James T. Quinn, Wisconsin Rapids
    Tommy G. Thompson, Washington, D.C.
    Harvey L. Wendel, Madison

    The Fellows is an honorary program that recognizes members of the profession in Wisconsin who are known by their peers for high achievements in their profession and outstanding contributions for the advancement and improvement of the administration of justice.

    The Board of Trustees elects a class annually, based on a list of nominees presented by the Membership Committee from recommendations of members of the Fellows.

    Fellows must be lawyers, judges, or teachers of law who are members of the State Bar of Wisconsin in good standing, and are recognized in the legal profession for outstanding attainment in professional, public, or private careers for devotion to the welfare of their community, state, and nation and the advancement of the legal profession.

    In 1987 Gov. Tommy Thompson appointed him legal counsel and advisor. He also acted as Thompson’s chief of staff and as the Governor’s Pardon Advisory Board chair.

    Bach drafted the executive order for, and was appointed as the governor’s liaison to the Governor’s Commission on the USS Wisconsin, the official state body formed to celebrate the return of the battleship to active service with the Navy. He was a member of the Governor’s Commission on the Bicentennial, and the governor’s liaison to the State Capitol Rededication and Judicial Selection Advisory committees. He also was appointed one of the negotiators for the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Host Site Committee.

    Subsequently, Bach became chair of the Wisconsin Parole Board (1987-1988), and held executive positions in the Wisconsin departments of Administration and Revenue, including the position of Deputy Secretary of Revenue (1988-1991). Additionally, he served as either a liaison to or a member of the State Council on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse, the state’s Information Technology Strategic Planning Advisory Board, the Computer Utility Implementation Steering Committee, and Interim Board on Information Technology.

    In 1992, when his five-year commitment to the state ended, he returned to DeWitt Ross & Stevens as a partner.

    In 2004, the Wisconsin Supreme Court appointed him to the Wisconsin Judicial Commission; he was reappointed in 2007 and served as chair. Bach was named by the Governor’s Advisory Council on Judicial Selection as “one of the three best qualified candidates” for appointment to the Supreme Court of Wisconsin.

    His contributions to the State Bar include writing articles for Wisconsin Lawyer™ magazine, presenting at PINNACLE seminars, and serving on the Bench-Bar Committee, including a term as chair.

    Bach has served on the board for the DeForest Elderly Housing and Owner and Management Corporation, a nonprofit, low-income elderly housing organization and is affiliated with the Knights of Columbus.

    In his nomination letter, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said, “Wisconsin has benefitted from Don’s career of service. The legal profession has not only benefitted from his work, but it is honored by his membership.”

    About the Wisconsin Law Foundation

    The Wisconsin Law Foundation (WLF), founded in 1951, is dedicated to enhancing, promoting, funding, and developing charitable and educational programs to promote public understanding of the law. The Wisconsin Law Foundation presents the Charles L. Goldberg Distinguished Service Award to a State Bar member who has a long-standing record of service both to the legal profession and to the public.

    For more information about or to join the Wisconsin Law Foundation.

    Visit the State Bar of Wisconsin on Facebook for more photos of this event, or click here.