Press Release: Attorney Donald Leo Bach of Madison recognized for lifetime of public service:

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  • Press Release

    Attorney Donald Leo Bach of Madison recognized for lifetime of public service

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    Thomas Solberg
    State Bar of Wisconsin
    (608) 250-6025
    (608) 630-0432 (cell)
    (800) 444-9404 ext. 6025


    Attorney Donald Leo Bach of Madison recognized for lifetime of public service

    Donald Leo Bach

    Sept. 23, 2011 — A Madison lawyer will be recognized this month for his lifetime of service to both the legal profession and to the public. Attorney Donald Leo Bach will receive the Charles L. Goldberg Distinguished Service Award, presented by the Wisconsin Law Foundation at its Annual Recognition Dinner in Madison on September 27.

    Bach has an extensive record of public service to the state, the country, the community and the legal profession. After graduating the UW-Madison, Bach served in the U.S. Naval Reserve for 26 years, including a tour in the Vietnam combat zone aboard the guided missile destroyer, USS Benjamin Stoddert.

    He earned his law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School in December 1974. After over a decade in private sector practice with the Madison firm with DeWitt Ross & Stevens, Governor Tommy Thompson appointed Bach as his legal counsel and advisor in 1987. Bach also acted as Thompson’s acting chief of staff and as chair of the Governor’s Pardon Advisory Board.

    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 was also a negotiator 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 state 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 the Interim Board on Information Technology.

    In 1992 Bach returned to the private sector as a partner with DeWitt Ross & Stevens.

    In 2004, the Wisconsin Supreme Court appointed him to the Wisconsin Judicial Commission; he was re-appointed 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 in 1998.

    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 non-profit, low-income elderly housing organization and is affiliated with the Knights of Columbus.

    In his nomination letter, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen noted that "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."

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

    The State Bar of Wisconsin is the mandatory professional association, created by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, for attorneys who hold a Wisconsin law license. With more than 24,000 members, the State Bar aids the courts in improving the administration of justice, provides continuing legal education for its members to help them maintain their expertise, and assists Wisconsin lawyers in carrying out community service initiatives to educate the public about the legal system and the value of lawyers. For more information, visit

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