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    Wisconsin Lawyer
    May 01, 2015

    Members Only

    Author to Receive Wisconsin Lawyer Award for Demystifying the Chinese Legal System

    Richard K. WagnerRichard K. Wagner, George Washington Univ. 2002, is the 2014 recipient of the Hon. Charles Dunn Author Award, presented annually by the State Bar Communications Committee.

    Wagner is being honored for his article “From the Central Sands to the Central Kingdom: Navigating Civil Litigation in China” (May 2014). In selecting the article, the committee said, “China has always been a mysterious country to Westerners. This fascinating, useful, and easy-to-read article demystifies the Chinese legal system for Wisconsin lawyers. As trade between China and Wisconsin has mushroomed and continues to grow, disputes and lawsuits will certainly follow. This article is an excellent resource for anyone thinking of engaging in civil litigation with a Chinese company, either in China or the United States. The author clearly explains how China’s legal system is quite different from ours. With government control of the courts, limits on discovery and evidence, and whether a lawsuit is even accepted for filing, sky-high filing fees, and a great reliance on insiders and mediation to resolve disputes, litigation in China is something few Wisconsin lawyers are familiar with. This excellent article will enhance every Wisconsin lawyer’s understanding of China’s legal system.”

    Wagner is an attorney with Baker & McKenzie LLP in Chicago. Formerly based with the firm’s Beijing and Hong Kong offices, he represents clients in disputes and investigations related to business dealings in Asia, and counsels lawyers with special issues concerning China-related litigation. The Dunn Award, named after Wisconsin’s first chief justice, recognizes writing excellence in Wisconsin Lawyer articles.

    The Communications Committee also awarded certificates of commendation to the following authors:

    Douglas J. HofferAttorney Douglas J. Hoffer for his article “Keep Your Case Afloat: Wisconsin’s Court Competency Doctrine” (June 2014), which presents a timely and well-written explanation of the pitfalls in failing to comply with statutory requirements that can stop a lawsuit dead in its tracks. It provides an easy-to-read and cogent analysis of recent Wisconsin Supreme Court cases on court competency, and how Wisconsin lawyers can use the doctrine to their advantage.

    Timothy D. EdwardsAttorney Timothy D. Edwards for his article “Getting Through the Door: The Admissibility of Electronically Stored Information” (Jan. 2014). There are many articles on how to obtain electronic evidence but very few on how to use it as evidence in court. Digital information is prevalent in almost every lawsuit. Winning or losing in court often turns on the admissibility of evidence. This clear, timely, and well-written article provides useful advice on how Wisconsin lawyers can successfully use digital information as evidence in court. It is a must-read article for any lawyer who litigates.

    Thomas J. WalshBrown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas J. Walsh for his article “Surrogacy Law Still Uncertain” (March 2014). Surrogacy law in Wisconsin involves sensitive social issues. It also involves complex and unsettled legal principles. In its analysis of Rosecky v. Schissel (In re Paternity of F.T.R.), this article provides a clear and useful analysis of the court’s decision. The author breaks down which issues the Wisconsin Supreme Court has decided, which issues remain unsettled, and how Wisconsin lawyers can use this decision in drafting better surrogacy agreements.

    Michael B. WittenwylerJodi E. JensenAttorney Michael B. Wittenwyler and Attorney Jodi E. Jensen for their article “Decoding the Maze: Wisconsin’s Campaign Finance Laws” (Oct. 2014). Wisconsin’s campaign finance laws are extremely confusing and complex. They involve the interplay of many statutes, regulations, and the Constitution. This interesting article clearly and concisely demystifies those laws, using graphics to clarify for Wisconsin lawyers a set of laws even the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found “labyrinthian and difficult to decipher.”

    New Hires, Promotions, Partners

    James Casey, Dayton 1988, has become director of the Office of Sponsored Programs at American University, Washington, D.C. He is currently teaching a course in international research administration at Rush University, Chicago, and recently completed two commissioned essays for the Encyclopedia of Milwaukee project.

    Adam R. Finkel, Marquette 2010, has joined Weiss Berzowski Brady LLP, Milwaukee, as an associate, focusing on representing clients in business and commercial litigation.

    Codi C. Gratz, Marquette 2014, has joined Bass & Moglowsky S.C., Milwaukee, as an associate and focuses her practice on real estate and foreclosure law.

    Lisa Aldinger Hamblin, Hamline 2001, has become Monroe County assistant corporation counsel, in Sparta.

    Lee R. Jones, U.W. 1997, has joined the Kansas City, Kan., office of the Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons as assistant general counsel practicing primarily in the area of employment law. He previously was assistant corporation counsel for Milwaukee County.

    Warren Kraft, Marquette 1982, has become human resources director for Brown County. He remains of counsel for Murphy Desmond S.C., Madison. Previously, Kraft was Oshkosh city attorney and West Bend assistant city attorney and human resources director.

    Jeffrey D. Morrell, Marquette 2014, has joined Hetzel & Nelson LLC, West Bend, as an associate, practicing primarily in family and criminal law matters

    Tim CasperMatt FrankTim Casper, U.W. 1981, and Matt Frank, U.W. 1981, have become equity shareholders at Murphy Desmond S.C., Madison. Casper focuses on matters including product liability, personal injury, securities, commercial litigation, and medical malpractice. Frank focuses on environmental and energy law.

    Hugh J. O’Halloran, Marquette 1989 magna cum laude, has joined the Jackson Hole, Wyo., office of Holland & Hart LLP, continuing to focus on commercial real estate and representation of family-owned businesses. He previously was with Foley & Lardner LLP, Milwaukee.

    Joshua C. Rittberg, Marquette 2007, has joined Beck, Chaet, Bamberger & Polsky S.C., Milwaukee, as an associate and focuses on corporate and tax matters, including business transactions, bankruptcy, and receiverships. Josh previously worked as a tax consultant for Deloitte Tax LLP and was an attorney at a local law firm.

    Hugo P. Rojas, U.W. 2008, has joined the immigration and labor & employment team of Davis & Kuelthau s.c. in the Milwaukee office. He focuses on advising employers on immigration matters.

    Edward (Ned) B. Witte, Vermont 1989, has joined Godfrey & Kahn S.C. as a shareholder with the environment and energy strategies practice group in the Milwaukee office. He focuses on representing publicly and privately held clients in the service and manufacturing industries.

    Mergers, Relocations, New Offices

    R. James Amaro, U.W. 2002, has moved the Amaro Law Firm to 2500 E. TC Jester Blvd., Suite 525, Houston, Texas. He serves on the national advisory board of the Association of Plaintiff Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America.

    Block, Seymour, Chudacoff, Samson & Liebzeit S.C. has relocated to 2800 E. Enterprise Ave., Appleton. Bruce Chudacoff, Harvard 1969, is now of counsel with the firm.

    Hupy and Abraham S.C. has moved its Madison office to 3001 W. Beltline Highway, Suite 204.

    Timothy G. Costello Robert J. Bartel Timothy C. Kamin Kevin J. Kinney Brian M. Radloff Mark A. Johnson Dean F. Kelley Keith E. Kopplin David F. Loeffler

    Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart P.C. has opened an office in Milwaukee. Founding shareholders Timothy G. Costello, Marquette 1980; Robert J. Bartel, Marquette 1981; Timothy C. Kamin, Marquette 2001; Kevin J. Kinney, Marquette 1982; and Brian M. Radloff, Marquette 2000, along with Mark A. Johnson, Marquette 1982; Dean F. Kelley, Marquette 1998; Keith E. Kopplin, Marquette 2005; and David F. Loeffler, U.W. 1963, have more than 100 combined years of practicing labor and employment law in Wisconsin.

    Randall E. Paulson, U.W. 1987, has opened Paulson Law Office, 2266 N. Prospect Ave., Suite 310, Milwaukee, focusing on postconviction matters and criminal appeals. Previously, he worked in the trial and appellate divisions of the Wisconsin State Public Defender’s office.

    Julie A. O’Halloran, Marquette 1989, has formed Ranck, Schwartz & O’Halloran LLC, Jackson Hole, Wyo., and continues to practice family law. She previously was with Gagne & O’Halloran LLC, Milwaukee.

    Strang, Patteson, Renning, Lewis & Lacy has opened, with offices in Green Bay and Madison and service centers in Oshkosh and Milwaukee. Attorneys with the firm, which emphasizes labor and employment, school, and higher education law, are Kirk Strang, U.W. 1985; Ann L. Patteson, UC-Davis 1991; Tony J. Renning, Marquette 1997; Shana R. Lewis, U.W. 1999; Geoffrey A. Lacy, Marquette 2002; Todd W. Martin, U.W. 1995; and Chad P. Wade, Valparaiso 2008.

    Dirk Vanover, Marquette 2008, has opened Vanover Legal LLC, S76 W24960 Highland Ct., Waukesha. The practice serves clients in Wisconsin and Illinois and focuses on business transactions, intellectual property, entertainment, and sports. Vanover previously was an associate general counsel at an online retailer.

    Appointments, Elections

    Christopher B. HughesDenasha A.ScottChristopher B. Hughes, Indiana Univ. 1993 cum laude, has been reelected chair of the board and managing partner at Stafford Rosenbaum LLP. Denasha A.Scott, U.W. 1997 magna cum laude, has been elected to the board. Hughes focuses on real estate, business, land use, municipal, and contract matters in the Madison office. Scott focuses on estate planning in the Milwaukee office.

    Awards, Degrees, Honors

    Scott Butler, Marquette 2010, with Fitzpatrick, Skemp & Associates LLC, La Crosse, received the State Bar of Wisconsin Young Lawyers Division’s (YLD) Outstanding Young Lawyer Award. It was presented during the Sixth Annual YLD Leadership Conference in March.

    Michael F. Dubis, Marquette 1972 cum laude, has become a Fellow in the Trial Lawyers Honorary Society of the Litigation Counsel of America. Membership is by invitation only and is limited to approximately one-half percent of all North American lawyers, judges, and scholars. Dubis’s practice, Michael F. Dubis Law Office S.C., Waterford, concentrates on bankruptcy, creditor-debtor rights, banking, and municipal law.

    Timothy Schelwat, Drake 1997, has received board certification as a civil trial advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He is with the Milwaukee office of Hupy and Abraham S.C.

    Billie Jean Smith, U.W. 1992, received the Opus College of Engineering Service Award at the Marquette University Alumni National Awards Weekend in April. She is a partner in the intellectual property practice group in the Milwaukee office of Michael Best & Friedrich LLP.

    Pro Bono, Public Service

    Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.has teamed up for the entire 2015 Milwaukee Brewers season to support Make-A-Wish Wisconsin, with its promise to make a monetary gift to Make-A-Wish Wisconsin for each extra base hit by a Milwaukee Brewers player at Miller Park during the 2015 regular season.


    The following Wisconsin judges recently announced their retirements: Hon. John C. Albert, U.W. 1974, Dane County Circuit Court; Hon. Howard W. Cameron Jr., U.W. 1987, St. Croix County Circuit Court; Hon. J. Mac Davis, Michigan 1976, Waukesha County Circuit Court; Hon. Bonnie L. Gordon, Samford 1974, Milwaukee County Circuit Court; Hon. Michael W. Hoover, U.W. 1978, Wisconsin Court of Appeals; and Hon. Patrick J. Taggart, Marquette 1972, Sauk County Circuit Court.

    In Memoriam

    John E. Bliss, Marquette 1957, Schofield, Aug. 30, 1924 – Jan. 28, 2015.

    Timothy J. Dolata, Gonzaga Univ. 1979, Green Bay, Feb. 26, 1953 – March 7, 2015.

    John A. Hamell Jr., Marquette 1967, Ringle, Feb. 19, 1935 – March 17, 2015.

    John A. Hansen, Marquette 1957, Fitchburg, May 7, 1933 – Aug. 15, 2014.

    John K. Higley, Univ. of Tulsa 1980, Menomonie, Nov. 3, 1954 – March 9, 2015.

    Robert W. Kastenmeier, U.W. 1952, Arlington, Va., Jan. 24, 1924 – March 20, 2015.

    Jerome F. Kelly, Marquette 1964, Muskego, Aug. 18, 1932 – Nov. 18, 2014.

    James W. Moll, U.W. 1953, Brookfield, March 27, 1928 – Nov. 21, 2014.

    Michael W. Steinhafel, Marquette 1989, Greendale, March 25, 1963 – March 1, 2015.

    How to Place your Announcement

    If you have moved, become a partner or an associate, or received a promotion or an award, let us know. Talks, speeches (unless they are of national stature), honors from other publications, and political announcements are not accepted. Notices about State Bar members in good standing are printed as space is available, and at no cost, must be submitted in writing, and may be edited. Questions: (608) 250-6139.

    Photo placement: Submit a professional-quality photo. If the photo is used, the State Bar will issue an invoice ($30 each). Group photos are not accepted. High-resolution electronic photos are preferred.

    Deadline: The first of the month preceding publication. For example, to place an announcement in the May issue, it must be received before April 1. Email to: Include your State Bar membership number.

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