2020 WAJ Presidents' Reception (Election & Awards)
Thu, December 3, 2020
5:00 PM - 6:30 PM CT
Online Registration for this event is Closed. Register onsite at the Pfister or call WAJ at (608) 206-0406 and ask for Bryan.
2020 Virtual Presidents' Reception
Thursday, December 3rd
Event begins at 5:00 pm
Event includes the following:
WAJ's Annual Election
Outgoing President's Message
Incoming President's Message
A Zoom link will be emailed to those registered a few days before the event.
Gingras, Thomsen & Wachs, LLP
Jay A. Urban
Urban & Taylor, s.c.
Robert L. Habush - Trial Lawyer of the Year Award Honoree
Timothy S. Trecek
Tim Trecek is a Managing Partner of his firm’s Milwaukee and West Bend offices and is the Corporate Secretary of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C., ® which has 34 attorneys in 13 offices, throughout Wisconsin. Tim handles all types of personal injury cases; including, auto accidents, nursing home abuse, electrical accidents, premises liability cases and others, but has special emphasis and expertise in complex product liability cases.
Tim has always excelled in obtaining great verdicts in the most difficult cases. Early in his career, his first three 6-figure verdicts were trip and falls/slip and falls, in which his client had drank alcohol before the accident. Another one of his early verdicts involved a car wash worker, with a six-grade education, who sustained a broken leg, while working at the car wash. The case was lost at the trial court level, on summary judgment, on a coverage issue. It went through the Court of Appeals and ultimately Tim successfully argued in front of the State Supreme Court, getting the trial court’s decision reversed, getting the case remanded back to the trial court, trying the case to a Milwaukee County jury and getting a verdict of over $1million.
Tim’s record of successfully litigating product liability cases can be plainly seen in his results. Over the past 25 years, he has product liability awards totaling approximately $150 million; nearly $50 million in 2020 alone. He has successfully litigated product liability cases against such recognizable companies as General Motors, Nissan, Harley-Davidson, Dorel and Evenflo car seats, Crown Fork Lift, New Holland, Caterpillar, Hi-Ranger, Oshkosh Truck, Morbark Chippers, Trek, Polaris and many others. Earlier this year, Tim obtained a $38.1 million verdict against Hyundai Motor Company, in an enhanced injury, defective seatback case. It was a 17-day trial, which included 27 trial witnesses, 390 trial exhibits and was tried against a $1 million pretrial offer. It is the largest, single plaintiff, compensatory verdict in the state’s history. It also included a record-setting $7.7 million award for the spouse of the injured plaintiff.
Tim has been listed in the Best Lawyers in America for more than a decade, is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and, for many years, has been the ACTL liaison to the District 8, National Moot Court Competition, is both a Fellow and on the Board of Governors, of the International Society of Barristers and is a Fellow of the Litigation Council of America. Additionally, he has been voted “Lawyer of the Year” for plaintiff’s products liability work, by Best Lawyers, four, out of the last six, years. He is on the Board of Directors of the Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee and has been an adjunct professor at Marquette University Law School for two decades, teaching Advanced Trial Practice. He is a 1990 graduate of Marquette University and a 1993 graduate of Marquette University Law School.
Tim’s greatest pride comes from his over 26 years of marriage to his wife, Karyn and the love and support of their three daughters, Gabrielle (25), Danielle (22) and Isabella (16).
Outstanding Young Trial Lawyer Award Honoree
Christopher J. MacGillis
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.
Paralegal of the Year Award Honoree
Roxanne E.Sears Kunda, Paralegal
Roxanne Kunda was born and raised in Kimberly, Wisconsin. In 1981 Roxanne moved to Milwaukee to attend the University of Wisconsin and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Therapy in 1985. She utilized her degree to become the Director of Recreation at a nursing home. While there, she was inspired to attend paralegal school and obtained her paralegal certificate from the American Institute for Paralegal Studies in 1991.
Roxanne has worked as a worker’s compensation and personal injury paralegal for the defense and plaintiff. Roxanne was a member of the Milwaukee Insurance Adjusters Association from 1992 to 1999 and was its Treasurer from 1998 to 1999. In 2002, Roxanne was offered a position to develop a paralegal program while working for in house counsel for Zurich in Brookfield in its worker’s compensation and personal injury areas. She was a member of the Paralegal Association of Wisconsin from 1999 to 2003 and was the co-director for the Milwaukee Chapter from 2000 to 2001 and its Web Administrator from 2002 to 2003. In 2010, Roxanne switched to plaintiffs’ work and in April of 2011 started working with Mark Thomsen, then a partner at Cannon & Dunphy, S.C. She continued working with Mark Thomsen in August of 2017 and has been a lead paralegal, dedicated as always to her clients, and a key source of information and support to her peers at Gingras, Thomsen & Wachs, LLP.
Roxanne is happily married to Cary Kunda, who is very understanding with her working long hours and he keeps her grounded and sane. She remains very involved with her church and serves on its Finance Committee and as its Secretary. In her spare time, Roxanne enjoys watching movies, reading, playing games and crocheting, including crochet prayer shawls for her church. Cary and Roxanne like to travel together. Roxanne is a member of the Zoological Society and she and Cary particularly enjoy visiting different zoos on their travels. Her favorite has been in San Diego. Since the pandemic, Cary and Roxanne do day and weekend getaways when they can between trips.
Virtual from your home or office.
A Zoom link will be sent to those registered a few days before the event.
WAJ would like to thank
Preferred Capital Funding,
Physician Life Care Planning
and Urban & Taylor S.C.
for underwriting the 2020 Virtual Presidents' Reception!!