Salem Attorney Paul Gagliardi Elected New President

The Wisconsin Association for Justice (WAJ) announced its new roster of officers elected by the organizations members on December 4, 2009. Salem attorney Paul Gagliardi was chosen to lead the organization in 2010.

“It is truly an honor to be elected president of the Wisconsin Association for Justice, an organization that fights for consumer rights and to preserve our civil justice system here in Wisconsin”, said new President Paul Gagliardi.

WAJ is Wisconsin’s largest statewide voluntary bar association. The organization is dedicated to promoting and protecting a fair and effective justice system – one that ensures justice for all, not just a privileged few. Officers serve one-year terms.

“I am very confident that Paul will be a great leader and continue to fight tirelessly to achieve the goals of our organization,” said Immediate Past President Mark L. Thomsen. “I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish in the last year, and I look forward to supporting Paul in the year ahead.”

The newly elected officers include:

President: Salem attorney, Paul Gagliardi
President-Elect: Milwaukee attorney, J. Michael End
Vice President: Green Bay attorney, Edward J. Vopal
Secretary: Milwaukee attorney, Jeffrey A. Pitman
Treasurer: Platteville attorney, Christopher D. Stombaugh

For more information on each of the officers see below.


Paul Gagliardi grew up in Kenosha and graduated from Boston College.  Paul worked for the big eight accounting firm of Ernst & Ernst and became CPA. He returned to Wisconsin and graduated from Marquette University Law School in 1979. It was this background that motivated him to bring qualified specialized legal services back to his hometown community. He is the founder and managing partner of Gagliardi Law in Salem, Wisconsin where he practices with his son Frank.  They concentrate on personal injury litigation. Paul is a Board Certified Trial Specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and has 30 years of legal experience. He is licensed to practice in both Illinois and Wisconsin. He served as a member for the Board of Attorneys’ Professional Responsibility. He is also a Court Commissioner for Kenosha County. Paul has been named a Wisconsin Super Lawyer for 2006-2008.   Paul has been very active in his community serving as president of the Brighton School Board for 18 years.  Paul also served as a coach for Mock Trial teams at the school.  Paul spent many years as a manager, fundraiser and director of a very successful youth baseball organization, the Kenosha Indians.  Paul has been on the board of the Kenosha Visiting Nurses for over 25 years.  He is also the past president of Neighborhood Housing Association.  In addition to his son Frank, Paul also has two other adult children.

As president, Gagliardi will be the highest ranking elected officer and the major spokesperson for WAJ.


Michael End is a partner in the Milwaukee law firm of End, Hierseman & Crain, LLC. He is an attorney with over 35 years experience representing plaintiffs in tort actions, with an emphasis in medical malpractice and personal injury law. Mike received his B.A. degree from Marquette University and his J.D. from Marquette University Law School, where he was a Thomas More Scholar. He is a member of the American Bar Association (Litigation Section), State Bar of Wisconsin (Litigation Section), Milwaukee Bar Association (Litigation Section), AAJ (Professional Negligence Section) and the Wisconsin chapter of ABOTA (secretary/treasurer, 1999; vice-president, 2000; president 2001). Mike was the first recipient of the Robert L. Habush Trial Lawyer of the Year Award by the Wisconsin Association for Justice in 2000.

As president-elect, End will be the second highest ranking elected officer.


Edward Vopal graduated (cum laude) from Northern Michigan University in 1991 and received his law degree (Senior Honors) from Valparaiso University School of Law in 1994. He is a shareholder at Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. and practices in their Green Bay office. Ed is licensed to practice law in Michigan and Wisconsin and in the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin. He is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin, the Brown County Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the Hon. Robert J. Parins Inns of Court, American Association for Justice, and has served on WAJ’s Program Committee since 2003. He is a past Board Member for the Northern Michigan University Alumni Association. Ed is certified as a Civil Trial Specialist with the National Board of Trial Advocacy and has taught trial advocacy at the University of Wisconsin Law School in Madison.

As vice president, Vopal will be the third highest ranking elected officer.


Jeffrey Pitman is a named partner of Pitman, Kyle & Sicula, specializing in representing victims of serious injury and nursing home abuse and neglect. Jeff has been certified as a Civil Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy since 2000. He has been an active member on the Board of Directors for the Wisconsin Association for Justice, the Elder Law section of the Wisconsin State Bar, the Nursing Home Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association. He lectures extensively on nursing home abuse and neglect and has authored numerous articles in the area of personal injury litigation. Jeff was selected by Law & Politics Magazine as a Wisconsin Super Lawyer in each of the last three years (2006-08) and has been granted the coveted AV Peer Review Rating by a panel of his peers. The AV rating shows that a lawyer has reached the height of professional excellence and is recognized for the highest levels of skill and integrity.

Jeffrey Pitman's profile

As secretary, Pitman will be the fourth ranking elected officer.


Christopher Stombaugh concentrates his practice in the areas of personal injury, wrongful death, product liability, and stray voltage damage to dairy cattle.  He received his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and his J.D., with honors, from Drake University Law School.  He is a member of the Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota bar associations.  He joined Kopp, McKichan, Geyer, Skemp & Stombaugh, LLP in Platteville, Wisconsin in 1995 and became a partner in the firm in 1998.  He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Association for Justice since 1997, and he is also a member of the Iowa Association for Justice and the American Association for Justice.  He graduated from Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College in 2007.

As treasurer, Stombaugh will be the fifth ranking elected officer.

The Wisconsin Association for Justice stands with consumers to promote a fair and effective justice system for every citizen, not just the privileged and wealthy.



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