Wisconsin Association for Justice Elects New Leaders

Milwaukee Resident, Attorney Mark Thomsen New President
MADISON — The Wisconsin Association for Justice announced today its new slate of officers, elected by the organization’s membership in a vote last Friday, December 5, 2008 at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee. Milwaukee resident, attorney Mark Thomsen was installed as President.
 
“I am honored to be elected president of the Wisconsin Association for Justice, the state’s leading organization dedicated to ensure that the civil justice system remains independent and strong for the protection of my fellow Wisconsin residents,” said Thomsen. “On behalf of our members, I look forward to working closely with our Governor Jim Doyle and state legislators to help shape policies that protect consumers and working families.”
 
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.
 
“Our mission is to strengthen our system of justice and to help maintain a strong independent, fair and impartial judiciary,” said Thomsen. “I will work hard to serve Wisconsinites in the implementation of these important goals.”
 
The newly elected officers include:
 
President: Brookfield attorney, Mark L. Thomsen
President-Elect: Salem attorney, Paul Gagliardi
Vice President: Milwaukee attorney, J. Michael End
Secretary: Green Bay attorney, Edward Vopal
Treasurer: Milwaukee attorney, Jeffrey A. Pitman
 
For more information on each of the officers see below.
 
MARK L. THOMSEN, PRESIDENT
Mark Thomsen of Cannon & Dunphy, S.C., Brookfield, received his J.D. with honors from Marquette University Law School in 1987. Mark specializes in representing people seriously injured, whether at work, on the road, or involving professional malpractice (medical and legal), violations of civil rights, or as a result of environmental contamination. Prior to attending law school, Mark was a steelworker from 1976-1984, a member of USW Local 1010 in East Chicago, Indiana, and an elected Union representative. After his plant was shut down, he moved to Milwaukee in 1984 to attend Marquette University Law School. Mark then served as a law clerk to the Hon. John L. Coffey, Circuit Judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (1987-1988). Mark is admitted to practice in all state and federal courts in the state of Wisconsin, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth and Seventh Circuits and the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a member of the American Association for Justice (AAJ), the Milwaukee County Bar Association, Waukesha County Bar Association, State Bar of Wisconsin and the American Bar Association. 
 
Mark served as President of the Marquette University Law School Alumni Association (2003-04) and is presently an appointed member of Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District Board of Directors.  Mark serves as Co-Chair of WAJ’s Amicus Curiae Brief Committee and previously served as committee chair for 9 years, 1992-2001. In 2007 he co-authored, "Advancing the Rebirth of Environmental Common Law" in the Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review. Mark is listed in the Best Lawyers of America, named in Super Lawyers in the State of Wisconsin and AV rated by Martindale Hubbell reflecting that he is recognized for the highest level of skill and integrity. Mark lives in Milwaukee with his wife Grace and has two adult children. 
 
As president, Thomsen will be the highest ranking elected officer and the major spokesperson for WAJ.
 
PAUL GAGLIARDI, PRESIDENT-ELECT
Paul Gagliardi is the founder and managing partner of Gagliardi Law in Salem, Wisconsin. After graduating from Boston College, Paul worked for the big eight firm of Ernst & Ernst and obtained his CPA. He later 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. Paul is a Board Certified Trial Specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and has over 20 years of legal experience. He is licensed to practice in both Illinois and Wisconsin He presently serves as a member for the Board of Attorneys’ Professional Responsibility. He is also a Court Commissioner for Kenosha County. His son Frank recently joined the firm and they will concentrate on personal injury litigation.
 
As president-elect, Gagliardi will be the second highest ranking elected officer.
 
J. MICHAEL END, VICE PRESIDENT
Michael End is a partner in the Milwaukee law firm of End, Hierseman & Crain, LLC. He is an attorney with 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. degree 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). He is a frequent lecturer in the areas of trial practice and medical negligence law. 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 vice president, End will be the third highest ranking elected officer.
 
EDWARD VOPAL, SECRETARY
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, AAJ, and has served on the Association’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 secretary, Vopal will be the fourth ranking elected officer.
 
JEFFREY A. PITMAN, TREASURER
Jeffrey A. Pitman is a named partner of Pitman, Kyle & Sicula, in Milwaukee 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. Jeff has been an active member on the Board of Directors for 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 TM 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.
 
As treasurer, Pitman will be the fifth ranking elected officer.
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