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Lifetime Achievement
Award - Habush Habush &
Rottier - Terry Tadysak


Jocelyn Henning
Wisconsin Department of


Lucy Listinsky
Milwaukee County Cicuit
Court Branch 41


Sheila Reiff
Walworth County
Clerks Office

Lifetime Achievement
Award - Department of
Justice - Linda Wells


Mary Hermann
Milwaukee County Cicuit
Court Branch 41


Mary Lyles
Milwaukee City
Attorneys Office


Melinda Schroeder
Marquette Volunteer
Legal Clinic

Kathy Carufel
Corneille Law Group

Mackenize Erickson
Hansen Reynolds
Dickinson Crueger



Maribeth Karpinski
Linder & Marsack

Lorrie Kimball
Quarles & Brady



Janet Medlock
U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the
Eastern District of Wisconsin

Lynda Moser
Michael Best & Friedrich



Diane Schuck
Boardman & Clark

Holly Szablewski
First Judicial Distirct,
Milwaukee County

Lynn Gehrke
Milwaukee County
Law Library



Sheri Kotas
Quarles & Brady

Laura La Rose
Reinhart Boerner Van


Louie Phillips
Boardman & Clark


Amy Thornton
Wisconsin Department of

Dan Shaw,

Alison Henderson, MaryBeth Matzek,

Jessica Stephen and Erika Strebel.

Kevin Harnack,


Bill Cummings,

Advertising Director

Michael Duntz

Michael Rifanburg,

Lisa Oertel,


New Media Specialist

Joe Yovino,

Rick Benedict,



Laurie Wagner
Quarles & Brady


Interim Publishers

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Axley Brynelson

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Wiscosin Law Journal



habush habush & rottier

Legacy in safety
Terry Tadysak didnt know what awaited him
when he stepped into Bob Habushs office.
I walked into that interview as just an
ordinary guy. And I got the unique privilege,
as an ordinary guy, to do some very extraordinary things, said Tadysak, chief investigator at
Habush Habush & Rottier in Milwaukee.
Nearly 40 years later, Tadysak has investigated
some of the biggest and most influential cases of
our time, from the infamous Miller Park crane
accident to countless product-liability cases. In
all of them, he has kept his eye on not only what
went wrong, but how to keep the worst from
happening again.
Im a fact-finder, Tadysak explained. Its my
responsibility to figure out whodunit. Were an
injury law firm, so were investigating accidents
where people are either injured or killed. And
the question is: How did that happen? What
caused their injuries?
Once he finds the answers, Tadysak certainly
could leave it at that.

Wiscosin Law Journal

But, he said, hes never been content to move

on a case at that point.
Theres that old expression, I think the old
crimes shows coined it: Save a person, save the
world. If we can save people the pain and injury
that other clients have gone through, at the end
of the day, its a really good feeling.
So, since he began at Habush in 1977 a
third act for Tadysak, who worked as a police officer and a Milwaukee County District Attorneys
witness-victim specialist before becoming an
investigator Tadysak has made it his mission to
help build a better mouse trap.
For him that means not only collecting evidence, examining accident scenes and interviewing witnesses he spoke to about 400 people in
the Miller Park case. He also works with engineers to improve products that had failed.
Thanks to Tadysak, camp stoves are safer (his
investigation into exploding fuel tanks led to
improvements that prevent such accidents), 2-liter soda bottles are less likely to shoot caps into

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peoples faces (Tadysak and his team suggested

adding threads inside the caps to release pressure
slowly, rather than all at once, resulting in fewer
accidents), and children are safer in their high
chairs (Tadysaks inquiry into high-chair-related
deaths led to design improvements that prevent
little ones from slipping under their trays).
It wasnt in his job description. But, Tadysak
said, it was absolutely his responsibility to help
improve the products he investigated.
Lots of folks dont realize the benefit to the
mass of mankind that results from forcing the
manufacturers to look more closely at safety,
Tadysak said. But, when youre involved in providing suggestions or design or product changes,
you know will significantly reduce the likelihood
of injury or death. Knowing that you played
some role in preventing other people from
being catastrophically injured it gives you a
much deeper sense of gratification. Its been very
Jessica Stephen






wisconsin department of justice

Wells does a little bit of it all

for DOJs Legal Services department
As Linda Wells made her daily hour-long
drive into work at the Wisconsin Department of Justice in Madison, she would think
ahead to her work day.
I never knew what the day would be
like, said Wells, who recently retired from
her role as executive staff assistant to the
administrator of the DOJs Legal Services
Department after working there for 24 years,
including the last 21 in her current position.
I would try to plan ahead and yes, some
things I could, but other things just popped
up. The drive home gave me a way to decompress before getting back to my family.
At the DOJ, Wells handled a variety of
duties including typing and drafting correspondence, scheduling meetings, processing
reports and supervising the departments
27 secretaries. She also handled recruiting

for the legal-services department, served as

the departments public records assistant,
processed all requests, monitored cases and
handled all follow-ups.
I compare my job to managing a large
law firm. I assigned cases as they came in,
coordinated with the legal secretaries and I
also got to do some recruiting, which was a
lot of fun, she said. I enjoyed talking with
prospective employees and then, if they
joined us, helping them get started.
David Meany, administrator of the legal
services department, said Wells was the
departments go-to person when questions
arose. He said she was always willing to lend
a hand.
If something needs to be done, Linda
does it, including many of the day-to-day
administrative issues that would otherwise
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consume my time, he said. Its easy to take

much of what she does for granted because it
is done without fanfare. It just gets done.
Wells thinks the secret to her success was
the ability to constantly shift gears. You
never knew what would happen when you
picked up the phone, she said. There are
a lot of people who dont know or understand what the attorney general does, so you
sometimes get calls that you cant help with,
but you try to get them to the right person
or place where they can get help.
In her position, Wells has handled a lot of
investigative information. Meany said shes
trusted completely.
Sharing information with Linda is like
going to Las Vegas what she sees and hears
stays with her, he said.
MaryBeth Matzek
Wiscosin Law Journal

corneille law group

Carufel still enjoys complex legal work

after 45 years
Kathy Carufel first became interested in
the legal field while working for her brother
while he was a lobbyist in North Dakota.
I saw a lot of bills going in and out and
it and caught my interest in the law and,
from there, I started working at law firms
in Bismarck and continued that work once
I moved to Madison. Its just something I
really enjoy, she said.
For the past 10 years of her 45-year career
as a legal secretary, Carufel has worked at
Corneille Law Group LLC assisting the partners Barrett Corneille and David Pliner.
I really like working on medical malpractice cases. I find them fascinating and

Wiscosin Law Journal

complex, Carufel said. I handle all of the

federal and court of appeal filings and working on briefs, too.
Before joining Corneille, Carufel worked
for both a lead trial attorney with a heavy
caseload in a busy commercial litigation
practice and for a motion and appellate
attorney who filed many briefs in federal and
state appellate court. Those two experiences
prepared her for her work at Corneille.
Pliner praised Carufels knowledge of the law,
especially of the unusual filing requirements set
by federal and Wisconsin appellate courts.
Kathy is and has always been an indispensable member of the team, he said. She

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routinely stays after hours to finish work,

and she assists in training other staff members on the myriad of details required to
keep files in an up-to-date manner.
Corneille has staff members of various
ages and Carufel feels like she bridges the
gap between the different generations
helping veteran staff members understand
the latest technology while providing guidance to younger staff members on how the
practice runs.
I really enjoy my co-workers and its been
a great place to work, Carufel said. I really
like what I do.
MaryBeth Matzek


hansen reynolds dickinson crueger

Erickson demonstrates
dedication in the workplace
In an environment that has a reputation
for being chaotic, Mackenzie Erickson not
only accepts but also embraces the fastpaced nature of the job.
The 26-year-old is the benefits manager
and paralegal at Hansen Reynolds Dickinson
Crueger LLC in Milwaukee. At a small firm,
the often erratic schedules of the lawyers can
add pressure to the job. Erickson, though,
enjoys the uncertainty.
Everyday is a completely different day,
she said. You never know what youre going
to come into.
Erickson dedicates her time to helping
others, even canceling plans to put in extra


I cannot count the number of times she

has dropped everything to assist with a filing
or stayed late to ensure that a set of trial
exhibits is correctly marked, said Attorney
James Barton. While Mackenzies name will
not appear on a brief to the Supreme Court
of Wisconsin, she is the person double- and
triple-checking citations and formatting requirements to ensure that our firm presents
to the court the best possible work product.
Erickson graduated form the University of
Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2012 with a degree
in human resources and marketing and said
she frequently calls on her experience in
business administration.
The thing that helps most is all the Excel

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background, she said. Its such a simple

thing, but all the accounting classes really
helped with that.
Erickson said she truly enjoys working
with her peers in what she describes as a fun,
caring environment.
They care about the employees. Its not
hard to go to one of the four owners and just
tell them youre frustrated with something
thats going on, she said, they take care of it.
Although the award came as a shock to
Erickson, she welcomes it as a change of
pace as the firm continues to grow, switch
benefits plans and introduce new staff members to the team.
Alison Henderson

Wiscosin Law Journal

milwaukee county law library

Gehrke makes library

an indispensable resource
Since Lynne Gehrke became the reference
librarian at the Milwaukee County Law
Library, it has gone from serving about 400
people a week in 2010 to more than 1,000
people a week.
I like that we help people, and we do it
every day, she said.
But Gerhke said she could not have
achieved what she has at the library by herself. She credits her staff members, mostly
part-time employees, for helping her and
former Chief Judge Jeffrey Kremers, for his
continued interest in the library.
This place would not exist without him,
she said.

Wiscosin Law Journal

Gehrke was hired in 2010, when the library was set to close because of state budget
cuts. But, she said, Kremers efforts kept it
And that library continues to serve people
from all walks of life, from pro se litigants
to attorneys who practice solo or with small
firms. Judges also use the librarys services,
often attending classes in a program Gehrke
She and her staff are also resources for
clerks, who are often new lawyers. For one
particularly unusual question, a clerk spent
weeks looking for answers and finally came
to Gehrke and her staff, who found the

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answer within 24 hours.

In many cases, Gehrke and her staff help
pro se litigants find the forms and information they need.
Shes just patient with them, calms them
down, said Donna Anderson, secretary to
Chief Judge Maxine White. She is courteous
to whoever comes in.
And if someone needs the extra boost,
Gehrke even walks some pro se filers to the
chief judges office to file a fee waiver.
We just cant talk highly enough about
her, Anderson said. We appreciate her a
lot. She is a real asset to the courthouse.
Erika Strebel


tracey wood & associates

Gudel helps in hard times

When clients of Tracey Wood & Associates are facing a puzzle that seems unsolvable, Joleen Gudel tries to look at the situation from a different perspective.
Gudel, who has worked as a paralegal at
the Madison traffic and criminal defense
firm since 2010, likes to believe anything is
possible. She uses ingenuity, finding solutions for difficult problems.
A lot of these clients feel like theyre
at the worst possible time in their life,
she said. I like when I can work with the
clients and make sure that theyre staying
as positive as they possibly can during the
situation. I think they all deserve a chance
to tell their side.
Gudel first met Wood while working as
a legal secretary at the Legal Assistance to


Institutionalized Persons project at the University of Wisconsin Law School. The two
crossed paths in various positions, and when
Woods landed her first job in legal defense,
she invited Gudel to join her. They have been
working together on and off for more than
10 years.
Wood said in addition to handling the
calendar of one of the busiest criminal law
attorneys in the area, Gudel is in charge of
the entire office managing a number of
support staff, as well as three attorneys. She
also works with clients, researches briefs and
generates ideas for motions and defenses.
Wood added that she is always available for
both legal and emotional support in what is
often a stressful job to employees.
Whether she is managing several pressing

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tasks at the same time or trying not to be

mired in the troubling situations she encounters, Gudels optimistic attitude comes
through in her work and might, in part, help
her ease the pressures of a job that can be
hectic. These difficulties may also be offset
by the cooperation of a supportive staff.
Its unique to have such a great group of
people that are willing to bend over backward to help someone else out in any position, she said.
As the firm expands, Gudel foresees being
able to share her knowledge with newer staff
members. She also recently became a member of the paralegal association in Madison
and looks forward to sharing the fruit of her
experiences with that organization.
Alison Henderson

Wiscosin Law Journal

wisconsin department of justice

Henning helps solve technology puzzles

Jocelyn Henning makes technology make
Not really behind-the-scenes stuff,
explained Henning, a support specialist
in litigation technology at the Wisconsin
Department of Justice. People ask me about
their phones and their tablets, and I say, Im
not techy in that way. My whole life doesnt
revolve around tech. Theres still the IT
department for that.
But the use and how to best use it for
their day-to-day work Ive always been
somebody people go to when theyre having user issues with software. It just comes
naturally to me. If I see a program can do
something, I start poking around and find
the neat tools that might be hiding and then
teach that.
Its an interest she first explored through

Wiscosin Law Journal

her husband, a server-and-network type of

IT guy, who helped Henning understand
that not everyone has her inherent understanding of software.
It took years for Henning to pursue her
talent professionally.
In fact, even though she got an associates
technical degree as a legal assistant, she
worked as a receptionist, a paralegal and
office manager at small firms before leaving
the profession to take care of her son. When
she went back to school, Henning joined a
non-profit group, working with an agency
that handled special-needs adoptions.
But, by 2008, she was ready for a change.
So, she applied for a legal secretary position
in the civil litigation unit at the Department
of Justice.
It took a few years for Henning to go for

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anything related to technology. And, even

then, it took three applications to get the job.
But, she said, it was well worth the wait.
I enjoy going to somebodys office, fixing
their problem and helping them move forward
with the work theyre doing, said Henning.
Since joining the legal-services division,
she has worked on everything from e-discovery to bringing case-management software into the litigation unit.
Thats my favorite part of the job the
problem-solving. And I like to be able to
show them different tricks with the software.
Somebody is frustrated, and I can come in,
and Ill say you know theres an easier way to
do this or hey theres this awesome tool you
can use to do that and theyll say, I didnt
even know that existed.
Jessica Stephen


milwaukee county circuit court branch 41

Hermann finds calling in court reporting

When the late court reporter Coley Griffin
found out that his best friends daughter
wanted to go into the same line of work, he
looked her in the eye and said, Dont do it.
But that didnt stop Mary Hermann from
enrolling in school to be just that a court
Being a court reporter, you have to be
very precise about things, very focused. I
enjoy those two things, she said. You feel
rewarded when you print that transcript and
see what youve done, she said.
Hermann has been Judge John DiMottos


court reporter for 25 years, keeping up with

the judge although he speaks quickly letting loose about 300 words a minute.
Weve worked every division, so Ive seen
everything and seen every branch of law and
every type of law, she said. No day is the
same. Everyone is different.
Her favorite court was criminal court because she found it interesting and fun to be
a part of. Her least favorite court was family
court, where she remembers one couple
fighting over a plastic monkey bank. At first,
Hermann didnt expect to enjoy her time in

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childrens court, but she has since found her

work helped improve the lives of children.
You feel like youre doing something
good, she said
Many years after Griffin advised her not to
become a court reporter, Hermann went back
and asked him why he gave her that advice.
She now understands why.
Court reporting could be a dying profession, but I know I can make a better record
than any sound file out there, she said, It
just takes the right person.
Erika Strebel

Wiscosin Law Journal

linder & marsack

Karpinski provides well-rounded support

Maribeth Karpinski enjoys having variety in the workplace, an affinity that serves
her well as she manages 18 attorneys in her
position as firm administrator at Linder &
Marsack in Milwaukee.
From preparing budgets, administering
payroll and coordinating benefits to looking
over vendor contracts and troubleshooting
computer troubles, Karpinski handles all the
administrative functions the firm needs to
survive, ccording to John Murray, a company shareholder. Murray added that Karpinski gives mundane tasks the same amount
of attention she would more difficult and
interesting undertakings.
I get to be involved in all aspects of the
firm and I really like that, Karpinski said.

Wiscosin Law Journal

Karpinski is also a certified public accountant. With an education in accounting

and 23 years of experience in various financial positions, she brought an extensive
background in financial matters with her to
Linder & Marsack five years ago.
Although she was new to fields such as
human resources when she stepped into the
administrative role, she was able to rely on
her resourceful, inquisitive nature to embrace all sides of her position. If a difficulty
arose concerning a 401k, for example, she
could call on the knowledge of the investment advisor to find a new solution.
I really like the ability to solve problems
for people and help them be as productive
as they can be with their tasks, she said.

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Whether it be the law staff or the support

staff, it brings me a lot of satisfaction when
I can help them with the nuances that are
preventing them from doing what theyre
there to do.
This can include a range of administrative
difficulties, such as dealing with computer
troubles, investing in new technological
solutions to streamline work, or assisting employees with questions about their
health-insurance plans.
Karpinski is thankful for the camaraderie
of her colleagues.
On a daily basis I just try to help people
be as productive as they can be, so I just feel
grateful to be recognized for it, she said.
Alison Henderson


quarles & brady

Kimball puts focus on others

Lorrie Kimball views herself as an expert
organizer a trait that comes in handy as
she serves as a legal secretary to four attorneys at Quarles & Brady in Milwaukee.
I do the typing, filing and basically keep
the attorneys organized so they can do their
job, she said.
When she first started as a legal secretary
at Quarles & Brady 30 years ago, she had one
typewriter and worked for a single attorney.
Computers and cell phones have made it
easier to work with more than one attorney
at a time, Kimball said.
The cellphone and technology now available makes it so much easier to stay connected to the attorneys, she said. I can see their
calendars, emails and their contacts so Im
able to be a lot more effective. The trick now
is to balance the different attorneys and their
various workloads.


Arthur (Tony) Vogel, a partner at Quarles

& Brady, called Kimball his right hand and
praised her efforts to keep him organized.
He recalled how health concerns twice kept
him out of the office for long stretches of
time. Kimball readily helped other attorneys
with picking up his workload and responding to clients.
She has had my back professionally more
times than I can count, Vogel said. Before
the age of at-your-tips technology, Lorrie
would read me my emails over the phone
when I traveled and send out replies consistent with my direction. Her dedication to me
and the firm is truly remarkable.
Kimball said she enjoys her work, especially the interaction with her co-workers.
I really love the atmosphere of a law office, said Kimball, who took her first job in a
law office after high school. She later attended

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Milwaukee Area Technical College and took

classes to help her become a legal secretary. I
love the comradery among the secretaries, as
well as working with the attorneys.
Sue Jahn, Quarles secretarial support services supervisor, said Kimball is well-known
in the office for her clean desk and the priority
she sets on being accurate and efficient in her
work. Jahn said some may think Kimballs not
busy because her desk is clean, but thats not
the case. Her organizational skills are extraordinary. Shes unselfish in helping wherever its
needed and lets me know when she can take
on more, and nothing is beneath her.
Ever humble, Kimball said shes just doing
her job.
Im here to help others out so we can
meet clients needs, she said. I just really
enjoy my work and what I do.
MaryBeth Matzek

Wiscosin Law Journal

quarles & brady

Kotas keeps Quarles events running smoothly

At large events such as Quarles & Bradys
labor symposium or smaller client-focused
training events, Sheri Kotas is there in the
background ensuring everything runs as
smoothly as possible.
Kotas, an event planner at Quarles,
concentrates on creating the ideal client
experience for anyone attending a function
sponsored by the firm.
Nothing is better than hearing after an
event that the client both internal and external felt everything was taken care of and
they didnt have to worry about anything,
she said. Its fun to think about an event and
think about it from the guests perspective
and anticipate what is needed.
For Quarles events, Kotas handles everything from booking a venue and ordering
food to making nametags and signs. Theres
a lot involved, she said, adding she works on

Wiscosin Law Journal

more than one event at the same time.

Patti Hutter, chair of Quarles Mergers and
Acquisitions Team, said Kotas does a great
job of understanding the reasons behind
why an event is being held and then working
to ensure the experience is memorable.
Sheri is the woman behind the curtain who
makes our client entertainment events elegant
and a huge hit, she said. She is a master of
making us look good, and making sure our clients see how much we value their relationships.
Of course, everything doesnt always go as
planned. Thats a challenge with the job. There
may be IT issues or someone doesnt show up,
Kotas said. I try to think everything through
and plan for the unexpected as much as possible.
Hutter said Kotas directs her efforts
toward making sure events run smoother.
To that end, an automated online form was
created this year to improve firm-sponsored

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events. The form covers everything from

brainstorming and creating an idea for an
event to the post-event evaluation. The process created by Kotas has led to an increase
in attendance at Quarles events, including
training sessions in business law, she said.
Kotas joined the workforce right out of
high school, working as a receptionist at a law
firm. She then held administrative roles at a
hotel and accounting firm. It was there she
became interested in planning events after
being asked to help plan the holiday party. I
just loved it and it grew from there, she said.
When she joined Quarles eight years ago,
taking on an administrative role in the firms
marketing department, part of her duties
included helping with event planning.
My duties evolved and now its all
event-focused, Kotas said.
MaryBeth Matzek


reinhart boerner van deuren

La Roses research skills play key role

in attorneys success
Most clients at Reinhart Boerner Van
Deuren dont deal directly with Laura La
Rose, but that doesnt mean she isnt playing
an important role in their cases.
La Rose, a senior research specialist in the
firms Milwaukee information resource center, helps attorneys find the information they
need to help their clients. She searches for
cases that may help or hinder a current one
being worked on by an attorney, conducts
research on individuals or businesses, develops topical points for attorneys preparing to
make a speech or write an article and finds
and shares articles of interest with attorneys.
La Rose primarily works with attorneys in
the firms health-care practice, but also deals
with the firms practices concerning corporate and tax-exemption law.
I really enjoy the intellectual challenge of
my work, she said. I usually have an idea of

what Im going to do that day, but sometimes

someone will come in and say, Drop everything and do this. I really enjoy when someone tells me that something is obscure and I
probably wont find it, but I find it. Theres a
lot of gratification in doing that.
Heather Fields, a shareholder in Reinharts
health care practice, praised La Roses ability
to find information at a moments notice.
She said La Roses knowledge of printed and
electronic sources of information is unsurpassed.
Laura is so integrally involved with our
work that we have her attend our monthly
practice meetings, Fields said. Shes an
essential member of our team and I often tell
her shes our competitive advantage.
La Rose initially pursued a career as a
management consultant after college, but later met a career counselor who recommend|1 5 |

ed a career in law or library sciences. She

combined the two and received a masters
degree in library and information science
from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. While there, she served as an intern in
a law firms library and discovered then a
fondness for that sort of work.
I enjoy helping the attorneys stay current on news or articles that are of interest
to their practice, said La Rose, who joined
Reinhart in 2006.
La Rose also enjoys sharing her knowledge with others. She teaches a seminar on
research strategies to summer associates and
works with new associates to make sure they
know where to find the information needed
for their cases. She also writes articles for the
firms newsletter and for the Law Librarians
Association of Wisconsin.
MaryBeth Matzek
Wiscosin Law Journal

milwaukee county deputy court clerk branch 41

Listinsky keeps court on track

Lucy Listinsky figures shes doing a good
job if you dont notice her.
Since 1990, Listinsky has served as deputy
court clerk for Milwaukee County Judge
John DiMotto. Her duties include handling
all of the courts paperwork, including setting the calendar.
When people ask what I do, I say Im
like Mac from Night Court, but that show
is pretty old so not many people remember,
she said of the work she does for Branch 41.
But I figure Im doing the right thing if you
dont notice me and what Im doing.
Listinsky, who worked as legal secretary for several years before joining Judge
DiMotto, said shes always been interested in
the legal system and how it works. During
her work at the county, Listinsky had to be
a quick learner. If she wasnt, she could not

Wiscosin Law Journal

have kept up with DiMotto, who worked in

every court division, including criminal misdemeanor, criminal felony, criminal felony
drug, criminal homicide and sexual assault,
family court, civil court, juvenile court and
probate court.
Every division is different and I need
to quickly learn the new system, she said.
In civil court, there seems to be a lot more
paper and a lot more processing work.
DiMotto praised Listinskys flexibility to
learn the new systems.
She has had to learn each and every different system and do so quickly in order to
properly process each and every case. Shes a
perfectionist who takes great pride in every
court entry she makes in every file and in
the management of every file in Branch 41s
calendar, he said.

|1 6 |

DiMotto said Listinsky works well with the

public and handles her stressful job with ease.
She is the first person that everyone who
enters the courtroom contacts and she is
the one to deal with problems as they come
up, DiMotto said. It can be a very tiring
job, but she treats everyone with dignity and
respect, even when people are upset and take
out their frustrations on her.
Listinsky said dealing with paper and files is
the bane of her existence and shes grateful for
the presence of a computer in the courtroom.
When I started out, there wasnt a computer
and you had to send someone out to look something up if you didnt have it with you, she said.
Being able to look up stuff on your own has
made a big difference and made it more efficient
and you have to be efficient in this job.
MaryBeth Matzek


milwaukee city attorneys office

Lyles keeps goals always in view

Mary Lyles has a simple goal.
My main thing I believe in my heart is
that God put us on this Earth to be of service
to one another, and I try to do that every day
to be of service, to be able to help, to be
able to know that somebody is depending on
me and its going to be done and they wont
have any questions, says Lyles, administrative specialist senior at the Milwaukee City
Attorneys Office.
Its an aim that has carried her from legal
office assistant into the management ranks;
her title of administrative specialist the
result of a very recent promotion means
Lyles will manage about 15 people.
The new job comes at a time when Lyles is
also close to finishing her training as a parale-


gal; she expects to get her degree in December.

And shes done it all while caring for her
two children and chronically ill husband.
Its challenging, but somehow I end up on a
deans list or a presidents list every semester.
Besides, Lyles added, I feel that everything happens through God. Its just attitude
and the way you look at life. I keep smiling.
Her optimistic attitude took root in
childhood, around the time she first showed
interest in the law.
But it was an unconventional Christmas present that Lyles said really put her on her path.
I was maybe 9 years old, and I wanted
a typewriter for Christmas and my mother
gave me one. I would go in the pantry and
get the canned goods and type the ingredi-

|1 7 |

ents off it, Lyles laughed.

By her senior year of high school, Lyles
time at the typewriter had led to a part-time
job at a law firm and, eventually, work as a
legal assistant.
Thats where my legal career began, Lyles
And while shes excited about her new
opportunity as a manager, Lyles said her biggest achievement is something most people
might dismiss.
It happens every day when I walk
through these doors and I take care of my
attorneys. Things I can do that they dont
have to do, and they dont have to ask. I just
have a service mind.
Jessica Stephen

Wiscosin Law Journal

united states bankruptcy court for the eastern district of wisconsin

Medlock earns dream job, doesnt look back

Janet Medlock wasnt sure she was ready
to become clerk of the U.S. Bankruptcy
Court of the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
Its really an honor to have this job. I never
would have dreamed that I would have a job
like this, and theres not a day that I take it for
granted. But I was pretty intimidated at the
thought of taking on such an important role.
She credits the courts judges and staff for
making her a success. But Medlock deserves a
little credit; shed been preparing for the job since
she started in the law more than 20 years ago.
Ive held most positions, Medlock said.
Ive been a case administrator, courtroom
deputy, assistant to the clerk, personnel specialist, chief deputy clerk, acting clerk twice.
She began her career as a receptionist,
working her way up to legal secretary and

Wiscosin Law Journal

paralegal in Kentucky and Louisiana, including a stint at a state Department of

Justice, before following her Navy husband
to Wisconsin.
Medlock joined the bankruptcy court in
1997 after she had found a job in the file room.
Five years ago she was asked to run the
whole show, managing an office of 37 deputy
clerks in four departments and serving four
judges all while pursuing her masters
degree in administration.
For many years I thought about going to
law school, but I discovered my real passion
is in leadership and making the workplace
better. I finally found something I just cant
get enough of!
She also feels like she can give back, even
if that means being kind in some small way.

|1 8 |

My maternal grandparents were sharecroppers, and they always said: It doesnt

cost a dime to be kind to people. I really take
that to heart. I enjoy knowing were helping
people who are often at the lowest points in
their lives. Helping them get back on track,
that gives me satisfaction, Medlock said.
And, she added, I really do feel like
were a family. Weve had a lot of uncertain
budget times, and weve had to be creative
to come up with ways to do more with less.
But Ive learned a lot of lessons from good
leaders, and not-so-good leaders. My biggest
lesson has been walking the talk, leading
the way you want to be led. I really try to
set a positive tone. And I think it really does
make a difference.
Jessica Stephen


would like to congratulate

Joleen Gudel,
who is our Unsung Hero.

Over two decades of successful criminal and traffic defense

Tracey Wood & Associates / 1 S Pinckney St #950
Madison, WI 53703 / 608.661.6300

We are moving
in a neW direction
starting in january
More legal news than ever before will
be delivered to you each week in a new
newspaper format and daily online.

youre going to be getting more:

more news delivered to you fresh each week in

Wisconsins newspaper designed specifically for law

professionals. Youll gain an important advantage with
more news at your fingertips.


stories and time-sensitive reporting resulting

in content you can turn to MORE often. Youll gain
power for your cases and firm by staying informed!


on-point, smart columns and features including

the return of some of your old favorites and soon to be
new favorites. Youll be intrigued, empowered, and
entertained with our valuable subscriber-only content.

advertise: 414-225-1844
subscribe: 800-451-9998 or

|1 9 |

Wiscosin Law Journal

Putting the right people in the right places for over 25 years
For over 25 years, we have served the Milwaukee business community, recruiting
and placing the finest legal personnel available. Our commitmnet to matching the
specific needs of each of our clients is what has made us such a success.
Monnie is delightful in every respect and a true professional. She has a strong work ethic,
and an innate desire to please the client. I know she will meet our
high expectations every time. If you call Monnie, expect the best!
Roe WiersGalla,Warshafsky Law Firm


Corneille Law Group congratulates
Kathy Carufel on her well-deserved
Unsung Hero award.
Kathy is an invaluable member of
our litigation team.
Madison Office

Green Bay Office

7618 Westward Way, Suite 100

Madison, WI 53717

615 S. Monroe Avenue

Green Bay, WI 54301

Phone: 608-662-1180
Fax: 608-662-1181

Phone: 920-884-2312
Fax: 920-884-2381

On behalf of all of us at Lindner & Marsack, SC,


Wiscosin Law Journal

For being recognized as a 2015

Unsung Hero by the Wisconsin Law Journal

(414) 273-3910

|2 0 |



michael best & friedrich

Moser goes the extra mile

Lynda Moser knows exactly what it takes
to be a legal secretary. Her 32-year career at
Michael Best & Friedrich in Milwaukee has
positioned her to be what colleagues describe as a true powerhouse of an employee
and an exemplary resource to the firm.
Moser joined the team at the age of 21,
shortly after working her way through
school to earn an associates degree in secretarial science at MATC.
I went to school in the morning, I
worked in the small law office in the afternoon, and I went back for night classes,
Moser said.
She now works primarily in employment
law, project support, and work-floor coordination to ensure adequate scheduling for
the attorneys in her practice group. She also


provides technical assistance to other legal

Moser is commended for her drive to
continue learning and growing as a professional, in addition to her ability to often
recall information about files or clients
from memory. Her tenure and an extensive
understanding of the firm, the clients, and
the needs of her colleagues allow Moser to
go the extra mile for others.
I just always try to stay a step ahead,
make sure everything is organized, and
make sure my bosses jobs are easier for
them, Moser said.
Colleagues said Mosers smile and sense of
humor put clients at ease and have enabled
her to developed longstanding relationships
internally and externally.

|2 1 |

These relationships are often strengthened

by her commitment to volunteer work and her
participation in several committees, including
the holiday-party committee and the Catch
the Bug Committee, which recognizes and
honors nonprofit organizations in the community. In 2014, she was awarded a volunteerof-the-year award for her achievements.
Moser said she values her colleagues
and bosses for the trust they place in her to
complete her duties in a correct and timely manner, and more so for the care and
support they offered her during tough times.
Looking forward, she plans to continue her
work with committees, be there where she
is needed, and try her best to do a great job
every day.
Alison Henderson

Wiscosin Law Journal

boardman & clark

Tax law holds Phillips interest

Louie Phillips understands.
Tax work is difficult, and theres a long
learning curve, says Phillips, a paralegal in
the trusts and estate group at Boardman &
Clark in Madison.
Hes been to more than one conference
where his contemporaries simply shook their
heads. And, for a while, Phillips shook his
head right along with them.
But once the light goes on it all starts to
make sense, Phillips laughed. You say, Its
all right. I do understand this.
Its an achievement Phillips has come to
quietly celebrate, particularly since he had
no experience when he became a paralegal
nearly 31 years ago.
I was a teacher, Phillips explained.
After earning his bachelor of science in
biology and chemistry, along with a second-

Wiscosin Law Journal

ary-education teaching certificate, Phillips

taught for eight years.
I enjoyed it, but teaching is not an easy profession; theres a lot of pressure, Phillips said.
And low pay. And the near-constant
threat of downsizing.
In fact, Phillips was out of work when a
friend, a partner at a law firm, suggested he
apply for work as a paralegal.
It wasnt where Phillips ever thought hed
land. But, he said, hes happy life led him to
the law office.
A lot of my work is dealing with probating of estates and termination of trusts, from
drafting of court documents to inventorying
assets to accountings tax work both fiduciary
income tax and federal estate tax.
But, Phillips said, Its not all drafting
documents or doing tax work. I have a lot of

|2 2 |

client contact and, on a given day, I can be

doing multiple different things.
And at a moments notice.
When youre a paralegal and youre
working with multiple attorneys at one time,
youve got to be flexible. When someone
walks in your door, you have to be able to
put things down and put the fire out.
Its a part of the job hes really come to
Someone could show up at your door at any
time. That makes it interesting to me. And if
you can be of some assistance - thats the bottom
line: If they need my help, theyre going to get it.
Its something hes really going to miss
when he retires in December.
I love the work; its fascinating, Phillips
Jessica Stephen


axley brynelson

Premo wears many hats

Although Adam Premo officially serves
as a paralegal and facilities manager at the
full-service law firm, Axley Brynelson, in
Madison, he has a sweeping catalogue of
duties within his role.
As a high-demand paralegal, his responsibilities include requesting and summarizing
records for numerous attorneys in various
fields, helping the eminent-domain team with
condemnation work and reviewing hundreds
of thousands of documents for document
production and witness depositions.
As the facilities manager, Premo handles
tasks such as ordering furniture and rekeying
suites. He was also credited not only with
spearheading a multi-million dollar remodel
of the organizations downtown office, but


also with helping the firm seamlessly maintain workflows after a flood left standing
water on all three floors of the office.
He is also a certified administrator for a
software program used by the company, the
head of records management and the go-to
planner for employee events, such as luncheons, holiday parties and blood drives.
Premo received a bachelors degree in history from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, but struggled to find stimulating
work in the tough economy, so he returned
to school to receive his paralegal certificate.
In addition to the many roles he takes on,
Premo is now enrolled in accounting classes.
Colleagues joke that soon he will come back
with his J.D.

|2 3 |

Ive been told I have strong initiative,

Premo said. Im not afraid to speak up and
make things more efficient.
In fact, he is known for his dedication to
cost savings and efficiency improvements in
the workplace. He began at Axley more than
five years ago as a file clerk but moved out of
the position when a managing partner asked
him to serve as the project manager for the
remodel. In the coming year, he will continue to help institute initiatives surrounding
the companys transition to a paperless
Although Premo attributes his success to
keeping the big picture in mind, it is his attention to small tasks that gets the job done.
Alison Henderson

Wiscosin Law Journal

walworth county clerks office

Respect is key for Reiff

With a career that spans decades, Sheila Reiff
has had a substantial, rippling influence on the
court system and the community at large.
Reiff, who was elected as Walworth County clerk of circuit court in 1995, is currently
serving her eighth term, and also holds the
titles of register in probate, probate registrar
and probate commissioner.
She said that the experiences she has had
in her job, such as helping lead the legislative
committee and having a say on new legislation, have given her some of her biggest
On a given day theres always something new that weve never had to deal with
before, Reiff said, adding that she enjoys
problem solving, constant change and working with others.
Her devotion to her role is observed by
many and her breadth of successes stretch-

Wiscosin Law Journal

es far beyond the maintenance of accurate

records. Her notable achievements include the
putting into use of an audio-recording system
for family court commissioners, working with
judges to establish contracts for county-appointed attorneys and her involvement in
state and national groups, such as the National Association of Court Management.
State Public Defender, Kelli Thompson,
noted that local citizens have benefited
greatly from Reiff s commitment to the bottom line and have recognized her effectiveness through repeated public elections.
In seeking to simplify court processes,
control costs and strengthen collaboration,
Reiff demonstrates a thorough consideration for both the direct and indirect
influence of her choices. For example, she
led a video-conferencing project for jails,
mental-health centers and juvenile centers.

|2 4 |

While her work made court processes more

efficient, it also cut costs and staffing time
for law enforcement, who no longer had to
transport mental-health patients and inmates to and from the courthouse.
She understands that a system that works
together works best, said Judge Phillip Koss
in a statement, adding that he has known
Reiff throughout his career. I see firsthand
that she takes the role of a public servant
She strives for fairness and fosters a
respect that is reciprocated by her staff, her
peers and even the policymakers she deals
with during legislative hearings.
Sheilas track record over two full decades is extremely impressive and perhaps is
unmatched in the state, Thompson said in a
Alison Henderson


marquette volunteer legal clinic

Eye-opening lessons come from legal clinic

The biggest lesson Mindy Schroeder has
learned since starting at the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic is one she didnt expect.
You just think everyone has equal access to
justice, but thats not really the case, said Schroeder, program assistant at the clinic, which offers
free legal advice and referrals to people who
might not otherwise have access to legal counsel.
A lot of things cost money, and a lot
of things require the ability to get out and
about and get to the courthouse by a certain
time and have transportation. Thats been
eye-opening. It can be paralyzing to not have
transportation. It can be life-changing.
Schroeder can understand.
Her life has certainly changed since she
started at the clinic in 2013. The position
let her combine her undergraduate studies
in Spanish and communication with her
masters degree in educational administration with a focus on educational policy and

leadership. Its a professional triumph she

achieved while working part-time so she
could be home with her sons.
And its been a welcome surprise, since,
Schroeder explained, I dont really have a
legal background at all.
But after having her second child, she
knew she didnt want to continue working
A job working with international students
in Marquettes study abroad program got her
closer to the kind of schedule she wanted.
But, Schroeder said, I wanted to make more
of a local impact.
So, she applied for the legal clinic.
I thought, They wont be interested in
But, as it turns out, managing volunteers,
working with students and helping with the
often-Spanish speaking clients at the clinics
office at the United Community Center has
|2 5 |

actually been a pretty perfect re-packaging

of her talents.
Its also given Schroeder a chance to make
a difference.
We can fill a need in the Milwaukee area.
Unfortunately, there arent a lot of financial
resources for lower-income folks in Wisconsin, in general; were one of the lowest
funded states. We have a little more funding
this year, but its a drop in the bucket compared to most states. And free legal advice
doesnt solve everything. But we can make a
real difference for people in half an hour.
Thats true even if they cant clear up a
clients legal question.
We tell our law students, A little bit of
kindness goes a long way. And, sometimes,
thats all that people need. They walk away
from the clinic feeling fulfilled because someone was kind, someone listened to their story.
Jessica Stephen
Wiscosin Law Journal

boardman & clark

Schuck takes the right turns

in her travels to law
Diane Schuck was devastated when she
decided to shutter her travel agency.
I didnt have a clue where I was going
to turn, recalled Schuck, who worked as a
travel agent for 25 years and owned her own
agency, Renaissance Travel, for more than
10 years.
She loved her work.
But it was 2002. The warm-up to the Great
Recession was underway. The Internet was
changing the way the travel world worked.
And the rent on her office in downtown
Madison was about to double.
She had to close.
So when an acquaintance at a local law
firm a firm Schuck had worked with as
a travel agent suggested she apply for a

Wiscosin Law Journal

receptionist job, Schuck wasnt sure what

would happen.
I was coming into a position that I knew
absolutely nothing about. I knew absolutely
nothing about the files and the behind the
scenes and what was needed to actually make it
all work and not lose my mind, said Schuck, a
file technician with Boardman & Clark.
And it was difficult at first, because it is
hard once youve owned your own business
having to pull back. But the other part is you
dont have to worry as much; when you own
your own business you have employees, and
you worry about them constantly, said Schuck,
who employed four people at her travel agency.
But she survived, and learned first at
the front desk and, later, in the law library.

|2 6 |

In 2012, when Boardman, Suhr, Curry,

& Field joined Lathrop & Clark to create
Boardman & Clark, Schuck applied for a
new position as file technician. Since then,
shes helped change over systems for the
merger and, more recently, shes been working on a file-destruction plan.
Its been engaging work, partly because
she found a family she never expected.
I cant imagine having a job where you
just go there, put your time in and leave;
thats not living, Schuck said. Im part of
the team. I feel like Im part of a family. Not
many people can say that, and I feel very,
very lucky. When I retire next year, Im really, really going to miss this place.
Jessica Stephen


first judicial distirct, milwaukee county

Unlikely road leads to niche for Szablewski

Holly Szablewski had no idea she would
end up working in the court system.
She started as a student in medical technology at the University of Wisconsin in
Milwaukee, then after deciding that it wasnt
the route for her, switched her priority to
criminal justice and later applied to be a law
enforcement officer in Arizona.
This is completely not the path I originally thought I was going to take, Szablewski
Things didnt start to fall into place for her
until she started volunteering at the Milwaukee County jail, which led to more than 21


years working in various capacities in the

trial court system, including the countys
pretrial services programs.
In August 2014, she was appointed as the
top administrator of Milwaukee County, the
states largest judicial district. Her primary
duties have been in helping Chief Judge
Maxine White run the states 47 courts.
Szablewski said the work she is most proud
of led to the adoption of innovative, systemic
changes that improve outcomes for litigants.
In previous positions, she had struggled
with budgets and programming and some of
those difficulties remain in her current job.

|2 7 |

In a sense, theyve driven me to work

harder, try harder, Szablewski said.
They have driven me to really work on those
issues and improvement.
It took some time for her to find her
niche, but now she cant imagine doing
anything else.
I love the challenge of working in a
complex system, she said. I like that no two
days are ever the same in this work world.
I really have a passion for our system of
justice and making sure its operating at the
best that it can.
Erika Strebel

Wiscosin Law Journal

wisconsin department of justice

Research and development go hand

in hand for Thornton
Looking back it was obvious. Amy Thornton was going to be a law librarian.
But, in college, the political science major
wasnt so sure.
I figured Id go to law school or library
school, said Thornton, a senior librarian at
the Wisconsin Department of Justice. I love
doing research. In fact, as an undergrad, I
liked to do research until the last minute,
and I wouldnt give myself much time to
write the paper.
She got a glimpse of life in the law by
working a few years in contracts and compliance at insurance companies. But her heart
was in the library, so off to librarian school
she went.
It was like the best of two worlds collided
when she got work with a large law firm

Wiscosin Law Journal

an opportunity that, in 2001, led her to the

state Department of Justice, where she works
with about 90 assistant attorneys general in
the division of legal services.
Her work is varied, which she loves.
When an attorney walks through the door
you never know what theyll ask. And I enjoy
learning about all those different things.
It helps that Thornton knows her work is
going toward a good cause.
I enjoy working in public service. I might
be asked to find information about an expert
witness, and then Ill find out the person
was found guilty. It makes me feel good to
support the people who might be able to put
a murderer away.
Even when the work is challenging,
Thornton said, she still finds it rewarding.

|2 8 |

Change is constant, she said. And there

are real pressures on balancing the physical
space of the library with things being more
available electronically. Its just trying to see
the constant changes as an opportunity, and
not just cling to the books.
So, when the law library was downsized last
year, she tried to embrace the opportunity.
That was obviously stressful, but it gave
us some opportunity to create some spaces
where people could meet and have collaborative space. It was a way to think of the library space differently, Thornton said. Just
because books used to be there and now its
something different, thats not necessarily
bad. As long as people know library services
have value.
Jessica Stephen


quarles & brady

Wagners efforts extend beyond payday

Laurie Wagners title may be payroll analyst at Quarles & Brady LLP, but that doesnt
nearly capture her long list of duties at the
Milwaukee-based law firm.
Wagner enjoys the variety that her job
brings her its not just handling the company payroll and putting reports together.
She volunteers with the companys wellness
committee and leads Quarles involvement
in Aurora Family Services Family to Family
Thanksgiving, which helps provide food to
families in need at the holidays. She helps
raise money from her fellow employees for
the campaign and then Quarles matches that
donation. In 2014, Quarles raised enough
money to feed 396 families for Thanksgiving.
Its something I really enjoy. Last year we
got employees together, even some attorneys,


to help us pack up the bags of food for some

of the families, she said of the Quarles program she started in 1997. Its very rewarding to be involved in something like this.
Wagner also coordinates the firms ticketing processes, allowing her to work closely
with attorneys who are hosting clients at
sporting or entertainment events. Shell not
only make sure everyone has the tickets
they need, but also handles the extras, such
as having guests names put on the scoreboard or putting together gift bags, said Tom
Schoewe, Quarles chief financial officer.
Laurie always goes the extra mile to make
sure the needs of the firm, attorneys and
employees are met, Schoewe said.
With Wagners help in the past year, the
payroll system went paperless, the firm tran-

|2 9 |

sitioned its 401(k) processes to its vendor

and upgraded to a new software platform.
She is the consummate team player and
effectively works well with other departments to solve their problems and processes, Schoewe said, adding that Wagner
assisted the human resources and finance
departments as they collaborated on all three
major projects.
Wagner, who has been at Quarles for 21
years, appreciated the firms values when she
was looking for a new job after staying home
for several years with her then-young children.
The people who work here do the best for
their clients and the attorneys really live the
integrity that the firm has come to represent, she said.
MaryBeth Matzek

Wiscosin Law Journal

The Greater Milwaukee Association of Legal Professionals (GMALP) is proud to be a co-sponsor with the Wisconsin Law
Journal for the Unsung Heroes of Wisconsins Legal Community 2015.
GMALP is affiliated with NALSthe association for legal professionals and the Wisconsin Association for Legal
Professionals (WALP). GMALP has been providing support and legal education for legal professionals since 1958.
Go to for more information about the benefits of joining this local legal professional organization.
GMALP is proud of the following current and former members who have previously been nominated for an Unsung
Heroes Award:

Mary Burns, PP, PLS (2006)

Major League Baseball

Regina Carlisle-Williams (2006)

Loeb & Herman, S.C.

Susan Duval (2007)

ONeil, Cannon, Hollman, DeJong, S.C.

Sheri Hare (2009)

Foley & Lardner LLP

Joni Jakubowski Peters (2009)

The Schroeder Group, S.C., Attorneys at Law

Pamela Panich (2007)

ONeil, Cannon, Hollman, DeJong, S.C.

Leaders in the Law 2016

Nominations due: Dec. 10
In February, Wisconsin Law
Journal will honor the top
members of the states
legal community with our
14th annual Leaders in the
Law awards. But we need
your help to decide who
deserves recognition.

Honorees will be chosen based on a wide variety of achievement criteria, including

outstanding leadership, vision and legal expertise. Well also recognize those who
have contributed important pro bono work and improved their community at large.
Nominations are due by Dec. 10 and a form is available online at
Each Leader in the Law will be recognized at the February 18, 2016 event
at the Pfister Hotel and also be profiled in a special publication of the
Wisconsin Law Journal.
If you have questions on the event or
the nomination process, please contact
Jenny Byington at 414-225-1803 or
Jenny. Byington@

Wiscosin Law Journal

|3 0 |


What dIStINguISheS

The Vander Bloemen Group?

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Terry Tadysak

On being selected as one of the Wisconsin Law Journals

Unsung Heroes and Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
Terrys exceptional investigative skills and determination to discover the truth have
been a vital part of our success and justice for our clients for over 38 years.

Your Habush friends and colleagues

thank you for your instrumental work and congratulate you on this honor!
Terry is a very unselfish member of the Habush team and the community. He generously
gives his best for our clients, our firm and the community. He truly fits the definition of an
unsung hero and fits that definition more than anyone I can think of.
- Robert Habush, Chairman of the Board of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.

Over 75 Years of Helping Wisconsins Injured