Trial Attorneys Endorse Organizational Name Change

Groups Also Announces New Officers Following Annual Meeting

MADISON - The Wisconsin Academy of Trial Lawyers (the Academy) today announced its members voted unanimously to change the name of the organization to the Wisconsin Association for Justice (WAJ) at the annual meeting on Friday, November 30, 2007 in Milwaukee. 

"The new name, the Wisconsin Association for Justice carries the strong message that we will fight to protect the right of everyone to seek justice - even when taking on the most powerful interests," said President Christine Bremer Muggli.  "Our work is not only as trial attorneys in the courtrooms of Wisconsin, but also as advocates for a system that ensures justice for any person who suffers injury due to misconduct, or negligence."

Although the name change was passed on Friday evening, for logistical purposes the new name will not go into effect until after the New Year. 

"Our mission is to preserve our system of justice and to help maintain a fair and impartial judiciary," said Bremer Muggli.  "It is time that the name of our organization reflects this important mission."

The Academy also held new officer elections and installed 33 members of the Board of Director at Friday's annual meeting.  The newly elected officers include:

President: Wausau attorney, Christine Bremer Muggli
President-Elect: Brookfield attorney, Mark L. Thomsen
Vice President: Salem attorney, Paul Gagliardi
Secretary: Milwaukee attorney, J. Michael End
Treasurer: Green Bay attorney, Edward Vopal

Officers and members of the Board serve one-year terms.  For more information on each of the officers see below.

Christine Bremer Muggli is the Chief shareholder of Bremer & Trollop Law Offices, S.C., Wausau, Wisconsin.  She received her undergraduate degree, magna cum laude from Loyola University, Chicago, Illinois, in 1975.  In 1978 she received her J.D. from Loyola University School of Law, Chicago, Illinois.  She currently practices law in Wausau, Wisconsin and has branch offices in Minocqua, Stevens Point and Marshfield and Antigo.  She is admitted to practice before all state and federal courts in Wisconsin and is a member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Wisconsin, Marathon County Bar Association and the American Association for Justice (AAJ).  Christine is a member of the Wisconsin Association for Justice, serving on the Board of Directors since December 1992 and as Co-Editor of its journal, The Verdict, for the past three years.  She is currently serving as President of the Wisconsin Association for Justice.  In addition to her work for the Association, Christine also has served as an elected member of the Wausau School District Board of Education from 1998 - 2005.  She was President of the Wausau School Board from 2000 - 2002. She has also been very active in the arts, serving as the President of the Performing Arts Foundation and Co-Chair of Arts Block.  Christine resides with her husband Paul in Wausau and has two daughters in college. As president, Bremer Muggli will be the highest ranking elected officer and the major spokesperson for WAJ. 

Mark Thomsen of Cannon & Dunphy, S.C., Brookfield, received his J.D. with honors from Marquette University Law School in 1987. His law practice involves professional malpractice (medical and legal), civil rights (§1983), environmental law, negligence and product liability and insurance law.  Prior to joining Cannon & Dunphy, Mark 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. He is a member of the 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 and is presently an appointed member of Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District Board of Directors.  Mark served as Chair of the Association's Amicus Curiae Brief Committee for 9 years.

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

Paul Gagliardi is the founder and managing partner of Gagliardi & Capelli and resides 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 vice president, Gagliardi, will be the third highest ranking elected officer.

Michael End is a partner in the Milwaukee law firm of End, Hierseman & Crain, LLC.  He is an attorney with 33 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).  Mike was the first recipient of the Robert L. Habush Trial Lawyer of the Year Award by the Wisconsin Academy of Trial Lawyers in 2000.

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

Ed 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 (Lawyer Regulation Study Committee), 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 treasurer, Vopal will be the fifth ranking elected officer.

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