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The Power of Advocacy

By: Benjamin S. Wagner, WAJ President

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

 By: Benjamin S. Wagner, WAJ President

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

Champions and Guardians of the
Seventh Amendment

By: Benjamin S. Wagner, WAJ President

It is a tremendous honor and privilege to begin serving as President of Wisconsin’s trial lawyer association.

As trial lawyers, we empathize with people who need our help.  When we see a vulnerable person in need, we instinctively commit to use our hearts, minds and the 7th amendment to achieve justice for them.  As we know, the 7thAmendment guarantees a jury trial in civil cases.  Together, with our state constitution, we declare that this right should be inviolate.

We are the champions and guardians of the Seventh Amendment. It is our most powerful tool and a pillar of our democracy. Keep Reading

Perry Mason Isn't Enough
Finding the Truth In our Most Complicated Cases

By Russ Golla, Immediate Past President

In a trial one of the last things a jury hears is an admonition from the Judge to let their verdict “speak the truth.” The phrase is intended to focus the jury on their task at hand: They must determine what the “objective” truth is regardless of whether it means a win or a loss for our clients or the defense.

The phrase also honors the adversarial system our courts embrace. The adversarial system is our preferred method of dispute resolution. The competing claims of the parties are presented by their legal representatives to a presumed impartial third party, usually the jury. The end result of the adversarial courtroom battle is usually a verdict by the neutral jury that “speaks the truth.”  Keep Reading