2009 Wisconsin Trial Lawyer of the Year
Milwaukee Attorney M. Angela Dentice Receives the Honor
The Robert L. Habush Trial Lawyer of the Year Award is more than an award for individual accomplishment in our profession. It is bestowed on the individual who, like the awards namesake, has “through higher work demonstrates a compassion and commitment to advocacy on behalf of injured consumers.” This year’s winner has spent her entire life focused on helping those in need. She has been called a "trailblazer" by the Waukesha Freeman and Oconomowoc Enterprise and is devoted to representing seriously injured adults and children. She has tried numerous cases dealing with all types of personal injuries including traumatic brain injury and medical malpractice. She is indeed proud to be called a “trial lawyer.” WAJ is pleased to announce that M. Angela Dentice is this year’s recipient of the Robert L. Habush Trial Lawyer of the Year Award.
Angela grew up in the Italian neighborhood of the Third Ward in Milwaukee. She attended Holy Angels High School. She graduated from Marquette University in 1970 and received a Masters Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1974. Angela’s first vocation was in education, first teaching handicapped children and later as an administrator of programs for handicapped children in the Milwaukee Public School System. She also taught courses relating to the education of handicapped children at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Desiring to continue advocating for those in need, Angela entered law school and graduated cum laude from Marquette University Law School in 1985. She practiced personal injury and medical malpractice law at two (2) successful Milwaukee area law firms, before establishing her own law firm in 2000. She currently practices law at the firm if Pitman, Kalkhoff, Sicula & Dentice.
In 2001, Angela became the first woman president of the Wisconsin Association for Justice. She is currently a member of the Wisconsin Association for Justice where she is on the Board of Directors and has co-chaired the Legislative Committee. She is a member of the American Association for Justice, serving a term on the AAJ Board of Governors, representing WAJ, the State Bar of Wisconsin and the Association for Women Lawyers. She was selected by the Wisconsin Law Journal as one of the 10 Outstanding Women in the law in 2002 and has been selected as a “Super Lawyer” from 2005-2015. She served on the Leadership and Political Task Force of the statewide economic initiative, Wisconsin Women=Prosperity, which was started by Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Barbara Lawton. Angela is a founding member of the Association of Plaintiff Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America.
Angela is a frequent lecturer to lawyer groups in Wisconsin and in various states and has authored numerous articles on various aspects of personal injury, traumatic brain injury and medical malpractice law.
During her tenure as WAJ President, she spearheaded the formation of the Wisconsin Civil Justice Education Foundation. The Foundation was organized as a result of a “challenge” given by the organization from Past President, Robert Habush. Bob promised to match dollar for dollar, up to $250,000 all pledges to the Foundation. Angela went out and helped get pledges in excess of $250,000. The establishment of this Foundation insures that work on behalf of the Civil Justice system will continue to flourish in perpetuity. She is most proud to have been a part of the establishment of this Foundation.
Because of Angela’s work as a teacher of handicapped children and vocational programs for the handicapped, she has unique experience advocating on behalf of adults and children who have suffered brain injury, including traumatic brain injury. She was a member of the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Brain Injury Society of Wisconsin (BIAW). This organization and WAJ cosponsored a seminar, “Traumatic Brain Injuries: Presenting and Proving Damages.” Angela served as co-chair of the event and sixty attorneys attended this seminar. The reason for the seminar was because injuries to the brain are complicated and can be difficult to understand and explain. National experts presented at this seminar on this important issue. The registration fees for the program were donated to BIAW and over $8,700.00 was raised.
Angela has a strong commitment to helping women become personal injury attorneys. Serving as the first women president of WAJ was a milestone. She worked hard to bring women into the organization, recruiting them to join committees, to become board of directors and to become officers. As part of WAJ Women’s Caucus, Angela is continuing this role by serving as a mentor to young female attorneys and law students.
Angela is married to Benn DiPasquale, a retired partner of Foley & Lardner. Benn was on the Board of Directors of the Counsel for the Spanish Speaking. Ms. Dentice has a son, daughter-in-law, and new grandson, who reside in Madison, Wisconsin, four step daughters and five other grandchildren, all of whom reside in various parts of the country.