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2018 WAJ Presidents' Dinner & Reception (only reception and dinner)  


Elections Always Have Consequences
Heath P. Straka, WAJ President, Axley Brynelson, LLP 

By the time you’re reading this, the August 14 primaries will have just wrapped up and we’ll be barreling towards the general election on November 6. The election this fall features all of Wisconsin’s statewide constitutional officers (Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, and State Treasurer), a U.S. Senate seat, all members of the U.S. House of Representatives, one half of the state senate (odd-numbered districts), and the entire Assembly.  Keep Reading

Representing and Promoting Diversity in Our Communities

Heath P. Straka, WAJ President, Axley Brynelson, LLP 

With the election of Rebecca Dallet to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, six of the seven Justices will be women.  In the 115th United States Congress, there is a record number of women – 23 Senators and 83 Representatives.  WAJ has been committed to ensuring that our female members flourish, and under the guidance of Christine Bremer Muggli and Ann Jacobs, WAJ formed the Women’s Caucus in 2009. Since that time, our female members have stepped into leadership of the Women’s Caucus, and the chair now sits on the WAJ Executive Committee. Keep Reading


Incoming President's Message

Heath Straka, WAJ President

To say I’m lucky would be an understatement.  My legal career started when I was fortunate enough to land a job as a clerk under Mike Riley, Lee Atterbury and Mike Luebke by way of a conversation with a high school teacher.  Still a clerk, I followed Luebke who had joined Bob Gingras and John Cates. Fast forward 18 years, and I’ve had the opportunity to work with and now join several other stalwarts of our profession.  I’ve been lucky to be basically with one firm the entire time. I'm a partner at Gingras, Cates & Wachs (formerly Gingras, Cates & Luebke), and have been with a version of the firm since law school. Keep Reading


Collaborate for Justice
Benjamin S. Wagner, WAJ President, Habush Habush & Rottier

Mentor (Noun) [men-tawr]
1. a wise and trusted counselor or teacher.
2. an influential senior sponsor or supporter.

Collaborate (Verb)[kuh-lab-uh-reyt]
1. to work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor

Community (Noun)[ kə-ˈmyü-nə-tē]
1. a unified body of individuals

--All derived from Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2017.

As Trial Lawyers, we embrace the power of advocacy and seek a greater mastery of courtroom skill and presentation. We must, however, always aspire to be more than that. Obtaining justice for our clients requires that we seek to understand not only their legal claims, but how to seek justice as they define it. Keep Reading


The Power of Advocacy
Benjamin S. Wagner, WAJ President, Habush Habush & Rottier

1.   Advocacy (Noun) \ˈad-və-kə-sē\

Advocacy is an activity by an individual or group which aims to influence decisions within political, economic, and social systems and institutions. Advocacy can include many activities that a person or organization undertakes including media campaigns, public speaking, commissioning and publishing research or conducting exit poll or the filing of an amicus brief.  Advocacy – Wikipedia

We are trial lawyers. We are the protectors and guardians of our civil justice system.  We are the ultimate advocates for our individual clients in the courtroom. Keep Reading


The 7th Amendment: A Gift From our Nation's Founders

 Benjamin S. Wagner, WAJ President, Habush Habush & Rottier

Last December marked the 225th anniversary of the Bill of Rights. The first ten amendments, added to our Constitution to protect individual rights and liberties, were ratified on December 15, 1791.

Among the provisions included in the Bill of Rights is the right to a civil jury trial afforded by the 7th Amendment. The key promise of the 7th Amendment is that “the right of trial by jury shall be preserved.”  We must heed these wise words today. Keep Reading