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  • WisBar News
    April 17, 2013

    Justice Bradley Challenges New Lawyers to be Truth Tellers and People of Courage

    April 17, 2013 – Surrounded by family and friends, 49 lawyers who passed the bar exam and three by diploma privilege were admitted to practice in Wisconsin yesterday. In February, 99 people took the bar exam representing 49 law schools and 23 jurisdictions; 85 percent passed.

    The lawyers were welcomed by Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson and justices Ann Walsh Bradley, N. Patrick Crooks, David T. Prosser Jr., Patience D. Roggensack, Annette Ziegler, and Michael J. Gableman; Board of Bar Examiners director Jacquelynn Rothstein; and State Bar Chair of the Board of Governors Kelli Thompson.

    Justices Crooks and Ziegler administered the oath in two ceremonies in the Supreme Court Hearing Room.

    Following the swearing-in ceremonies, Justice Bradley spoke to the new lawyers.

    New lawyers are sworn in

    Surrounded by family and friends, 49 lawyers who passed the bar exam and three by diploma privilege were admitted to the State Bar of Wisconsin yesterday.

    Joanna Gibelev with Grant Langley

    Joanna Gibelev with Grant Langley who moved Gibelev’s admission to the Bar. Gibelev joins the Milwaukee City Attorneys Office in Milwaukee.

    “Last week the court met with the Office of Lawyer Regulation and after listening to some of those reports, I came away with the thinking that you can sum up the Professional Code of Conduct for Attorneys this way: Don’t neglect your clients’ cases. Don’t fail to communicate with your client. And don’t forget all the things you learned by the fourth grade … don’t lie, steal, or cheat,” said Bradley.

    So What Does It Take to be a Great Lawyer?

    “Being a good lawyer requires more than avoiding those things you shouldn’t do and it takes more than just intelligence,” said Bradley remembering the late Marquette University Law School Dean Howard Eisenberg’s question: What does it take to be a great member of this profession?

    Dean Eisenberg ventured to answer this question in an article in the Wisconsin Lawyer magazine. He wrote: It takes character. I’ve concluded I have we have done a much better job of ensuring that lawyers have the intellectual capacity to practice law than we have ensuring that they have the character to be members of the bar.

    “What did he mean by character?,” asked Bradley. For many years Dean Eisenberg served on the Board of Bar Examiners, which administers the character and fitness assessment that all of you had to pass to be admitted to the Bar of this state. “For Dean Eisenberg the enduring qualities that you need to truly fulfill the character and fitness test are honesty and courage,” said Bradley.

    Ili J. Subhan

    Ili J. Subhan, Wauwatosa signs the Supreme Court roll. Every attorney admitted to the State Bar of Wisconsin since the state was a territory has signed the roll.

    Emma Smith Shakeshaft and Sherri Ann Charleston

    Emma Smith Shakeshaft, Madison, via UW Diploma (second from left) and Sherri Ann Charleston, Detroit, Mich., via UW Diploma. Shakeshaft is working toward her Ph.D. in sociology. Charleston joins the Government Accountability Board.

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

    Eisenberg wrote: By honesty, I mean the ability to tell the truth even when it’s embarrassing, unpleasant, or is a declaration against interest. It means being honest to clients about the merits of their case and the validity of their position.

    “He went on to say many lawyers seem to have gotten the impression that shading truth is appropriate if it can be rationalized – that is, if the ends justify the means,” said Bradley. “There is no justification for misrepresentation or for shading the truth in order to advance a cause. Truth is not to be determined by a sliding scale of situational ethics.”

    Of the second enduring quality to be a great lawyer – courage, Bradley noted Dean Eisenberg words: A lawyer must be courageous. A lawyer must have the guts to tell people things they don’t want to hear, make decisions that will upset people, take positions that are unpopular, and assert claims and positions before hostile tribunals. A lawyer’s ethical obligations sometimes to say to a client a senior partner or a supervisor – this I will not do.

    In closing, Bradley joined with Dean Eisenberg’s message to: “Have the courage to call it like you see it, to tell the truth and the courage to stand for the truth regardless of the consequences. I ask you to embrace those enduring qualities and the words of Dean Eisenberg – be truth tellers and people of courage as you begin and continue your journey in this profession.”

    The State Bar welcomes the following new attorneys:

    Tim Ager II, Racine

    Amber J. Bailey, Madison, via UW Diploma

    Megan Barbara, Appleton

    Sarjo Barrow, Sun Prairie

    Daniel Trust Beasley, Milwaukee

    Daniel D. Biesterveld, Appleton, via foreign license

    Aaron C. Black, Milwaukee

    Hannah Marie Borden, Milwaukee

    Sherri Ann Charleston, Detroit, Mich., via UW Diploma

    Elizabeth J. Cho, West Allis

    Sarah Ann Clark, De Pere

    Matthew Paul Colella, Watertown

    Caleb R. Cooper, Beaver Dam

    Angela Denise Cunningham, Kenosha

    Blake J. Duren, Reedsburg

    Eric R. Erdman, Green Bay

    Rachel N. Farrington, Milwaukee

    Paul M. Gagliardi, Kenosha

    Joanna Gibelev, Milwaukee

    Paul Daniel Hanley, Sheboygan

    John Justin Hansen, Milwaukee, via foreign license

    Randee Leigh Hatcher, Madison

    Brandon F. Jones, Beaver Dam

    Natalia A. Kushnir, Shorewood

    Chad M. Lawler, Madison

    Amanda Leipold, Madison

    Carrie Mae Lindenberg, Loves Park, Ill.

    Kelly A. Martyka, Milwaukee

    David Glenn Mayer Jr., Oshkosh

    Zeke Robert McCartney, Dubuque, Iowa

    Christopher J. McElgunn, Middleton

    Kevin Wayne Montney, Watertown

    John P. Mueller, Madison

    Heather L. Nelson, Franksville

    Joshua A. Newville, Minneapolis

    Elizabeth Rae Olszewski, Racine

    Devin Malane Pauli, Racine

    David R. Pekarek Krohn, Madison

    Samantha Pepprock, Richfield

    Tyler Powell, Janesville

    Jordan Primakow, Milwaukee

    Kristi Jo Rodda, Wausau

    Ronald Rosenfeld, Lombard, Ill., via foreign license

    Elizabeth Samb, Chippewa Falls

    Ryan T. Sanson, Greenfield

    Alexander Jon Sieminski, Menominee, Mich.

    Emma Smith Shakeshaft, Madison, via UW Diploma

    Maximilian Smith, Palos Park, Ill.

    Phillip Thomas Stamman, Lonsdale, Minn.

    Ili J. Subhan, Wauwatosa

    Adam Sticht, Maiden Rock

    Changxia Sun, Milwaukee


    Deb Heneghan is the publications reporter for the State Bar of Wisconsin. She can be reached by email at or by phone at (608) 250-6135.

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