Outstanding Young Trial Lawyer Award
Each year, the New Lawyers Section presents the Outstanding Young Trial Lawyer Award to a promising new attorney. All licensed attorneys are eligible to submit a nomination. To be eligible, a nominee must be a licensed attorney under 40 years of age or in practice less than 10 years who has shown outstanding dedication to the Wisconsin Association for Justice. Consideration will also be given to the nominee’s pro bono work, community service, contributions to diversity, and professional achievement.
Nomination Deadline: Nominations are accepted through September 30th each year.
The Outstanding Young Trial Lawyer Award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated strong commitment to the goals for which the Wisconsin Association for Justice was established:
- Promotion of the administration of justice for the public good
- Upholding the honor and dignity of the profession of law
- Upholding the right of trial by jury
- Preserving and enhancing the rights of persons to have access to the Courts and our system of justice, and to afford everyone a full, fair and timely remedy for wrongs done
- Nominee cannot receive Outstanding Young Trial Lawyer Award and Robert L. Habush Trial Lawyer of the Year Award in the same year
This award recognizes a trial lawyer who has shown exceptional dedication to these goals, and has upheld them in various ways, including handling a case involving a significant change in the law or a precedent-setting suit, by their support of WAJ through work in the WAJ organization, pro-bono or other volunteerism that benefited injured consumers, or efforts designed to improve and preserve the American civil justice system.
Nominations Should Include the Following:
- Nominator contact information; nominee's current bio; contact information for current employer; a letter that describes nominee's achievements, independent letters of reference, relevant press clips and list of published work or other supporting material.
Types of Nominations Accepted: Self-nomination, attorney nominations and/or peer nomination.
Judging Committee: Past Three (3) chairs of the New Lawyer Section and Officer (Secretary).
Award Presentation Time and Location: Award will be presented as part of WAJ's Winter Seminar & Annual Meeting. Normally at 7:30 pm at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee. Award will be presented by WAJ's President.
Awarded: The Award recipient receives an engraved keepsake.
Number of Awards Each Year: WAJ will award one lawyer award each year.
Award Submission and Questions:
- Contact Bryan Roessler of WAJ at 608-210-3390
- Submit nominations to Bryan Roessler at email@example.com or by mail at 14 West Mifflin Street, Suite 207, Madison, WI 53703
Past Award Recipients:
2020 Outstanding Young Trial Lawyer Award Honoree
Christopher J. MacGillis
MacGillis & Wiemer, LLC
Christopher J. MacGillis is a founder and partner at MacGillis Wiemer, LLC. Chris focuses his practice on personal injury and representing first responders, including police and fire fighter unions. He represents those injured by the acts of others throughout the State of Wisconsin.
Chris has tried cases in both state and federal court. He prides himself on protecting his clients and working aggressively to obtain the best potential outcomes. Chris serves on the WAJ Board of Directors and currently serves as Regional Officer for District Six. Chris has authored several articles for the WAJ publication The Verdict and regularly speaks on current trends in the law and litigation.
He has been selected as a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers, a “Leading Lawyer” by M Magazine, and Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers, amongst others.
Chris is extremely passionate about his clients and works hard to understand them as human beings. In December of 2019, Chris and his team obtained a jury verdict in the amount of $175,000, which was over ten times the insurance company’s last offer. Chris and his team worked with their client to explain to the jury why the car crash impacted him beyond just the “minor” scarring to his ear, as suggested by the insurance company.
Chris is a graduate of Marquette University Law School and Lawrence University. He is a life-long resident of Wisconsin and currently resides in Hubertus, Wisconsin with his wife, Ann, daughters, Gracie and Joey, and son, Owen.
Noah D. Domnitz
Domnitz & Domnitz, S.C.
Noah Domnitz is a Shareholder at Domnitz & Domnitz in Milwaukee. His practice is dedicated to helping injured individuals and representing families in wrongful death cases. He relishes the daily fight for justice on behalf of victims and against insurance companies and other groups determined to deny his clients justice.
Noah has tried cases to verdict in numerous counties around Wisconsin. Most recently, in 2019, he obtained a $385,000 verdict in Racine County on behalf of an 80-year old military veteran who suffered an injury in car crash. The insurance company tried to leverage the client’s pre-existing degenerative spine condition and polyarthritis against him, offering $85,000 prior to trial. His client’s response to the final offer was simple and striking: it was not fair. The jury agreed.
In 2019, Noah was involved in several significant cases, including a $1,000,000 resolution in a highway crash where the client drifted over the fog line and struck a semi-truck that was stopped illegally on the shoulder. However, perhaps the most rewarding representation involved working with his partner and mentor, Ric Domnitz, on behalf of two former Michigan State gymnasts who were sexually assaulted by Larry Nassar. Their clients, along with all the sister survivors, are an unyielding inspiration.
Noah’s dedication to the cause of wrongly injured people is not limited to the courtroom. He serves on the national Board of Governors for AAJ, AAJ’s Public Affairs Committee, the WAJ Board of Directors, and the Board of Trustees for the Justice Fund, where he constantly engages in the legislative and public opinion efforts to support consumers and injured victims. Noah has authored multiple articles for The Verdict, spoken several times at WAJ seminars, and authored a 2010 Op-Ed published in Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel criticizing the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Citizen’s United v. FEC.
Additionally, he is truly humbled by the recognition he has received in the legal community. He was named an “Up and Coming Lawyer” in 2013 by the Wisconsin Law Journal, he has been recognized as either a Rising Star or Super Lawyer every year since 2011, and obtained an AV/Preeminent Peer Review Rating on Martindale-Hubbell.
Noah is a proud graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Miami School of Law. His greatest pride, however, is his family. He and his wife, Rebecca, a superb trial lawyer, live in a suburb of Milwaukee with their two sons, Hersch (5) and Levi (3).
2018: Eric M. Knobloch
Gruber Law Offices, LLC
2017: Brian Laule, River Falls
2016: Peter M. Young, Rhinelander