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    Wisconsin Lawyer
    June 01, 2015

    President's Message
    As a Season Begins, a Term Ends

    A State Bar leader cannot succeed without the help and support of family members, friends, attorney volunteers, and staff.

    Robert Richard Gagan

    “Think where man’s glory most begins and ends, and say my glory was I had such friends.” – W.B. Yeats

    This is my last column. Someone wiser than me once said that all good things must come to an end. My term as your State Bar president comes to an end later this month. Both gratitude and reflection will occupy my thoughts throughout these last few weeks.

    Robert R. GaganRobert R. Gagan, Marquette 2000, is a partner at Calewarts, Duffy, Gagan & Erdman, Green Bay, where he practices primarily in civil litigation and municipal law.

    I am most grateful for all the hard work undertaken by our State Bar staff on a continuous basis. I am especially grateful for the wise counsel and advice afforded me by George Brown. When he finally decides to begin a well-deserved retirement, he will be sorely missed.

    I would like to thank all the volunteer attorneys who agreed to facilitate my presidency by serving on various boards and committees. These boards and committees perform the necessary management, governance, and investigative work that enable the State Bar president to undertake the policy-making and ceremonial functions attendant to the president’s position. Your assistance was most appreciated.

    Thanks to my patient and understanding assistant, Cheryl Jansen. With equanimity she scheduled appointments, made travel arrangements, and arranged interviews while patiently placating clients who wondered why their lawyer was suddenly so difficult to reach. I am fortunate to have her.

    I stated in my first column that no one has ever had a better predecessor than I did: Patrick Fiedler. Nothing in the last 12 months has dissuaded me from this opinion. He brought a seasoned and broad perspective whenever I sought his counsel. His wry wit diffused my anger on more than one occasion. Pat, thanks again for everything.

    I have truly been honored to end my first half-century as your State Bar president.

    A tip of the hat to my five siblings and their spouses. On occasions too many to recall, they helped Jenny with our kids while I was away on State Bar business. They have teased me about how proud our parents would be to see their “baby” as State Bar president. Although we would enjoy a good laugh, I knew they were as happy for me as I was grateful to them. Thanks to all of you for always being there for me.

    No married person could ever undertake the State Bar presidency without having a very understanding spouse and fairly understanding children. I was fortunate to have both. Their patience and support are appreciated more than they can ever know. I hope they will be as happy for me to be home more as I will be.

    The State Bar is fortunate to have Ralph Cagle as its next president. I’ve gotten to know Ralph quite well over the past year, and I look forward to a smooth transition. Ralph, I hope I can help you as much as my predecessor helped me.

    I turn 50 later this year. I have truly been honored to end my first half-century as your State Bar president. May the next 50 years be good to all of us.

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