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Wisconsin Lawyer

Charles Dunn Author Award

Each year the Communications Committee, which serves as the Wisconsin Lawyer Editorial Board, recognizes writing excellence in the publication.


The Wisconsin Lawyer author award was named in honor of Wisconsin’s first supreme court chief justice. On April 30, 1836, President Andrew Jackson commissioned Charles Dunn as chief justice of the Wisconsin Territory. Dunn continued in this office until the territorial courts were superceded by the state courts in 1848. He was a member of the 1848 Wisconsin Constitutional Convention, where he chaired the judiciary committee.

Dunn Award Recipients


Thomas J. Walsh for “In the Crosshairs: Heroin’s Impact on Wisconsin’s Criminal Justice System.” Published Jan. 2016.

Certificates of Commendation:

  • Sharon D. Nelson and John W. Simek for “What’s Behind Your Firewall? Know Your Cyber Risks,” Oct. 2016
  • Laura Lavey and Chad Baruch for “E-filing: How to Craft Effective Motions and Briefs in the Digital Era,” Nov. 2016
  • Elizabeth T Russell for “Representing Creatives – In Life and After,” May 2016
  • Amy E. Casey for “Speaking Up: The First Amendment and Wisconsin’s Public Educators,” April 2016


Christa Westerberg for “Groundwater: Diminishing Resource, Increasing Conflict.” Published July 2015.

Certificates of Commendation:

  • Michael M. O’Hear for “Let the Good Time Roll: Early Release for Good Behavior in Prison,” March 2015
  • Justin M. Mertz, Kail J. Decker, and Benjamin P. Payne for “Foreclosures in Limbo: Zombie Properties,” Oct. 2015
  • Hon. Michael J. Aprahamian and Jesse L. Beringer for “Out of Sight, Not Out of Mind: Deposition Ethics and Best Practices,” May 2015


Richard K. Wagner for “From the Central Sands to the Central Kingdom: Navigating Civil Litigation in China.” Published May 2014.

Certificates of Commendation:

  • Douglas J. Hoffer for “Keep Your Case Afloat: Wisconsin’s Court Competency Doctrine,” June 2014.
  • Timothy D. Edwards for “Getting Through the Door: The Admissibility of Electronically Stored Information,” January 2014.
  • Thomas J. Walsh for “Surrogacy Law Still Uncertain,” March 2014.
  • Michael B. Wittenwyler and Jodi E. Jensen for “Decoding the Maze: Wisconsin’s Campaign Finance Laws,” October 2014.


Mark R. Hinkston for “Home Safe Home: Wisconsin’s Castle Doctrine and Trespasser Liability Laws.” Published June 2013.

Certificates of Commendation:

  • Laurence J. Dupuis for “DNA Extraction on Arrest: Maryland v. King and Wisconsin’s New Extraction Law,” Sept. 2013.
  • Daniel S. Davis, Mark J. Goldstein, and Coral Pleas for “Swimming Upstream: 20 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting Your Practice,” May 2013.
  • Meghan O’Connor and Diane M. Welsh for “Casting a Wider Net: Health Information Privacy Is Not Just for Health Lawyers,” Sept. 2013.
  • Paul G. Kent and Jordan K. Lamb for “Wisconsin’s Wetland Reform Act,” Feb. 2013.


Erik R. Guenther for “Juries Unaware of Traditional Power.” Published February 2012.

Certificates of Commendation:

  • James J. Casey, Jr. for “Viewpoint: Jury Service – Through an Attorny’s Eyes,” September 2012
  • Scott Dennison for “Valuing Retirement Benefits in Divorce,” June 2012
  • Christopher S. Krimmer for “The Gay Divorceé: When Same-Sex Marriages Dissolve in Wisconsin,” July 2012
  • James W. McNeilly, Jr. for “‘Happy Lawyer’: Not an Oxymoron,” August 2012


Todd M. Cleary and Michael E. Skindrud for “Health-care Reform: What You Should Know.” Published December 2011.

Certificates of Commendation:

  • Ronald L. Sklansky for “Changing the Rules on Rulemaking,” August 2011
  • Russell M. Ware for “Negotiating in the ‘Red Zone’,” Febreuary 2011
  • Wendy Alison Nora for “Beyond Robo-Signing: Mortgage Foreclosure Defense Basics,” April 2011


Joseph W. Boucher and Nathan J. Dosch for “E-Legacy: Estate Planning for Digital Assets.” Published December 2010.

Certificates of Commendation:

  • Erich C. Straub and Davorin J. Odrcic for “Duty to Advise Non-Citizens,” August 2010


Howard A. Sweet for “Understanding Domestic Partnerships in Wisconsin.” Published November 2009.

Certificates of Commendation:

  • Jay Ranney for “Abraham Lincoln’s Legacy to Wisconsin Law,” three-part series, December 2008, February 2009, and April 2009
  • Renee M. Mehl for “When Nonlawyers ‘Represent’ LLCs,” March 2009
  • Lucas N. Roe for “Homebuying After Below: Navigating the Economic Loss Maze,” April 2009


Roy E. Wagner and Terry F. Peppard for “Mediating Complex Construction Claims Cases.” Published June 2008.

Certificates of Commendation:

  • Matthew L. Mac Kelly for “Employer Liability in Employment References,” April 2008
  • Mark F. Foley for “FTC’s Website Privacy and Security Rules,” March 2008
  • John E. Murray for “ADA Amendments: Who is Disabled,” December 2008


Christopher Ware and Laura Gramling Perez for “Main Street Meets Wall Street: The Mortgage Meltdown.” Published December 2007.

Certificates of Commendation:

  • Hugh R. Braun for “Wisconsin’s Response to Condemnation for Economic Development,” September 2007
  • Elizabeth A. Neary for “In the Best Interest of Children: When Foster Parents May Keep Placement,” September 2007


Nilesh P. Patel for “When Lovebirds Split: Dividing the Retirement Nest Egg at Divorce – Properly Dividing Pension Benefits.” Published October 2006.

Certificates of Commendation:

  • Jennifer L. Peterson for “The Shifting Legal Landscape of Blogging,” March 2006
  • Sverre David Roang and Brian T. Larson for “Estate Planning for Unmarried Couples: Life Partners, Legal Strangers,” November 2006


Hon. R. Thomas Cane and Sheila Sullivan for “The Future of the Economic Loss Doctrine in Wisconsin” and “More Litigation to Come: Exceptions to the Economic Loss Doctrine.” Published May and November 2005, respectively.

Certificates of Commendation:

  • Shirley Ann Wiegand for “Corporate Chaos: Replacing Home Rule with Foreign Law,” April 2005
  • Carl J. Rasmussen and Susan L. Collins for “Wisconsin Constitution Amendment to Define Marriage: The Legal Context,” March 2005


Winn S. Collins for “Looks Can Be Deceiving: Safeguards for Eyewitness Identification.” Published May 2004.

Certificates of Commendation:

  • William E. Hanrahan for “Seeking Justice in Death’s Waiting Room: Barriers to Effectively Prosecuting Crime in Long-Term Care Facilities,” August 2004
  • Steven L. Nelson and Jane C. Schlicht for “Upholding the Sanctity of the Attorney-Client Privilege,” December 2004


William F. Eich for “Writing the Persuasive Brief.” Published February 2003.

Certificates of Commendation:

  • Mark A. Frankel and John Mitby for “Think Like a Negotiator: Effectively Mediating Client Disputes,” December 2003
  • Hon. Robert E. Kinney and Jordana Thomadsen for “Examining Wisconsin Jury Instructions,” August 2003


Keith A. Findley for “New Laws Reflect the Power and Potential of DNA.” Published May 2002.


Alison Julien and Patricia Engel for “School Expulsions: Not All Are Equal.” Published October 2001.

Certificates of Commendation:

  • Laura N. Whipple and Carlyle H. Whipple for “Wisconsin Shipwrecks: Finders Keepers,” September 2001


Jon G. Furlow for “The Price of Free Speech: Regents v. Southworth.” Published June 2000.


Michael K. McChrystal, William C. Gleisner III and Michael J. Kuborn for “Series of Legal Technology Articles.” Published March, June, September 1999.

Certificates of Commendation:

  • James J. Gettel and Bruce A. McIlnay for “A New Approach to Employment Administration,” September 1999


Craig A. Fieschko for “The Great Computer Crash of 2000.” Published May 1998.


Francisco Araiza for “Se Habla Everything: The Right to an Impartial Qualified Interpreter.” Published September 1997.

Certificates of Commendation:

  • Alexander T. Pendleton for “Enforceable Exculpatory Agreements,” November 1997


Arthur J. Harrington for “The ‘Invisible Lien:’ Public Trust Doctrine Impact on Real Estate Development in Wisconsin.” Published May 1996.


R. Timothy Muth for “Old Doctrines on a New Frontier: Defamation and Jurisdiction in Cyberspace.” Published September 1995.

Certificates of Commendation:

  • Robert L. Gordon for “How Vast is King’s Ream? Constitutional Challenge to the Church-State Clause,” August 1995
  • Heidi Vogt for “City of Edgerton v. General Casualty Company of Wisconsin: A Landmark Decision in Wisconsin Insurance Coverage Law,” May 1995
  • Gary Sherman, President’s Perspective columns


Robert A. Schnur for “Ensuring LLCs are Taxed as Partnerships.” Published May 1994.

Certificates of Commendation:

  • Hon. Mark A. Frankel for “Researching Wisconsin Law on CD-ROM: What are the Options?,” December 1994
  • Steven Biskupic and Eric J. Klumb for “Ten Things to Know About the Federal Money Laundering Law,” July 1994


Alexander T. Pendleton for “Wisconsin’s Recreational Use Statute.” Published May 1993.


Joseph A. Ranney for “The Making of the Wisconsin Constitution.” Published September 1992.


Erica M. Eisinger for “Wisconsin’s Economic Loss Doctrine.” Published June 1991.


Christopher T. Kolb for “Investment Disputes” and “Arbitrating Investment Disputes.” Published November and December 1990.


Douglas H. Starck and Patrick Brennan for “Burden of Proof.” Published October 1989.


Laurel Barnes for “Pilot Life v. Dedeauz.” Published February 1988.


James A. Schacht for “The Framers of the U.S. Constitution.” Published March – June 1987.


Prof. Howard S. Erlanger and Prof. June Weisberger for “The Education of the Marital Property Law.” Published October (Part 1) and November (Part 2) 1986


David B. Halling and Christopher T. Kolb for “Representing Clients in Structured Settlements.” Published June 1985.

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