Candidate for President-elect
Christopher E. Rogers
Habush Habush & Rottier, S.C., Madison
I am honored to be nominated as a candidate for State Bar President-elect. I would like to share with you my background and my vision for the State Bar of Wisconsin.
I was born and raised here, having had the pleasure of living in both northern and southern Wisconsin, and graduating from the U.W. I’ve been a trial lawyer for my entire career, working on behalf of plaintiffs and defendants, first in Milwaukee and later with the firm of Habush Habush & Rottier in their Lake Geneva office. I practiced in multiple counties, and was a member of the Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha, and Walworth County Bars. In 2004, I relocated to the Habush Madison office, where I continue to practice today. I have the privilege of helping clients throughout the entire state.
My volunteer work with the State Bar began in 2012, with my involvement as a member of the Continuing Legal Education Committee, and my commitment has grown since then. In 2012, I ran for the Board of Governors and continue to be a Board member. I was elected to the Board’s Executive Committee in 2013. I’ve served as the Board liaison for sections and committees, including the Bench Bar Committee.
Change is coming to our profession and to the State Bar. While fewer lawyers are entering our profession, more of our senior lawyers are retiring. Indeed, for the first time in the State Bar’s history, 2016 was a year of decreased membership. With even more members retiring, northern counties in particular may not have sufficient lawyers to serve the public. At the same time, our younger lawyers are struggling to find gainful employment and repay their sizable student loan debts. The State Bar must partner with law schools, local bars, and law firms to help young lawyers find employment and mentoring, where lawyers are needed most.
Change is also coming with the evolving face of competition, as national corporate entities like LegalZoom and other internet sites invade areas of our practice. They do so with very little regulation. The State Bar, as a legislative advocate, must be a lobbying voice, encouraging safeguards and opportunities to drive competitive advantage for our lawyers. By doing so, it also serves its mission of protecting the public.
The bottom line is this: the State Bar must be a value-added resource for our members. This includes not only those of us in private practice here in the state, but also government lawyers and non-resident lawyers, who have specialized needs from the State Bar. We must be strategic and specifically target services and programming to reach our members.
These are only a few of the issues facing our profession and the association. As we work to address them, there are certain priorities that we must safeguard.
The State Bar’s current Executive Director is retiring June 30. As chair of the committee in charge of finding his replacement, I have spoken with lawyers and individuals throughout the country regarding the practice of law in Wisconsin and our State Bar. These conversations have confirmed that our bar association is one of the preeminent state bars in the country. While that is true, the fact is meaningless if our members don’t believe that the State Bar provides value and support to their practice. It has to do a better job of communicating with our members. It needs to be efficient and responsive. The State Bar needs to come to you in the form of services and programs you can access from your desktop and your smartphone. We need to come to you in the form of member service coordinators meeting with law firm personnel to discuss practice challenges. We must address these challenges with dedicated support and innovative problem-solving.
The State Bar of Wisconsin has an important mission. We must make every dollar count. We must be efficient in the creation of non-dues revenue. We have a fiduciary responsibility to our members, and I will take that responsibility seriously.
If elected, I will work with the energy, passion, and commitment that the position requires. I will never lose sight of the fact that the State Bar needs to drive competitive advantage for you, our members, and that we are here to serve you. I welcome your dialogue and your ideas and I ask for your vote.
Christopher Rogers graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1995 where he was a Note & Comment editor for the Wisconsin Environmental Law Journal. After graduation, he worked for firms in Milwaukee and Madison, practicing insurance defense and defense litigation. In 1999, he began his work with Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® and is a shareholder with the firm. While initially practicing predominately in the firm’s Lake Geneva office, he worked and tried cases in Walworth, Kenosha and Racine counties. In 2004, he moved to the firm’s Madison office working on cases involving injuries from product defects, automobile accidents, and general negligence. He has clients throughout the state of Wisconsin.
J.D., University of Wisconsin Law School, 1995
B.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1989
Court Commissioner, Branch 9 Dane County District Court, 2013-Present
Chair, Wisconsin State Bar Executive Director Search Committee, 2016-2017
- Coordinated and undertook national search to identify, vet, and interview candidates for the June 1, 2017 position of Executive Director of the State Bar of Wisconsin; to be presented to the full Board of Governors for approval.
Member, Board of Governors Executive Committee, 2013-Present
Member, Board of Governors, 2012-Present
Vice Chair, Continuing Legal Education Committee, 2015-Present
Member, Continuing Legal Education Committee, 2012-Present
Liaison, Board of Governors, Bench Bar Committee, 2013-Present
Member, Board of Governors, Business Plan Committee, 2015-Present
Vice Chair, Board of Governors, Strategic Planning Committee, 2014-2015
Member, Board of Governors, Strategic Planning Committee, 2012-2014
Liaison, Board of Governors, Litigation Section, 2013-2014
Board of Directors, Wisconsin Association for Justice, 2012-Present
Member, Wisconsin Association for Justice, 1999-Present
Member, Dane County Bar Association, American Association for Justice, American Bar Association
Past member, Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha and Walworth County Bar Associations
Admitted, United States District Court, Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin
Wisconsin State Bar President’s Award for outstanding service to the Bar and the profession, 2016
Fellow of the Wisconsin Law Foundation, 2016
Top 25 Madison Super Lawyer, 2012, 2015-2016
Wisconsin Super Lawyer, 2010-2016
Chris has worked extensively with individuals with disabilities, specifically in the areas of community integration, employment and job training. He has coached girls’ basketball and worked as a High School mentor and has participated as a mock trial judge. He also volunteers for the Waunakee Football Club and chaired last year’s fundraiser. Chris lives in Waunakee with his wife Corina and their three children, Nicholas (17), Abigail (15), and Danielle (13), and their dog, Charley.