2012 Wisconsin Trial Lawyer of the Year
Menomonie Attorney Phillip Steans Receives The Honor
Menomonie attorney Phillip M. Steans received the Robert L. Habush Trial Lawyer of the Year Award Friday evening from the Wisconsin Association for Justice (WAJ) at its annual dinner in Milwaukee.
Steans – a former Dunn County District Attorney and City of Menomonie Assistant City Attorney – received his law degree on a scholarship from the University of Chicago in 1968. He has been named a Wisconsin Super Lawyer every year since 2006.
“It’s a honor to be chosen by my fellow trial attorneys for this award,” Steans said. “It’s an equal honor to have the trust of our clients, who depend on us to seek justice on their behalf.”
Licensed in Wisconsin and Illinois, Steans has maintained a private practice for 40 years. He is a founding sponsor of the Wisconsin Civil Justice Education Foundation and a former director of the Wisconsin Association for Justice (WAJ), an organization dedicated to the protection of, and preservation of the rights of, injured victims. Steans is a member of Wisconsin State Bar Association, WAJ, the American Association for Justice, and the St. Croix Valley Bar Association.
Steans has argued nine cases before the Wisconsin Supreme Court, and one Wisconsin Court of Appeals case. He has obtained numerous verdicts in favor of injured clients in civil cases, particularly in the area of medical malpractice.
WAJ established the Robert L. Habush Trial Lawyer of the Year Award in 2000 to recognize a trial lawyer who has made contributions to the trial bar by handling a case involving a significant change in the law or a precedent-setting suit, or by donating time on a committee or project that benefited injured consumers. The award is named in honor of Robert L. Habush for his years of dedication and commitment to the fight for the rights of accident victims nationwide and for the tremendous time and energy he has devoted to WAJ.
The Wisconsin Association for Justice stands with consumers to promote a fair and effective justice system for every citizen, not just the privileged and wealthy
Phil Steans Bio:
Phil Steans is a 1965 Summa Cum Laude graduate of Ripon College, Ripon, Wisconsin, where he achieved the distinction of being elected to Phi Beta Kappa, the National Scholastic Honorary Fraternity. Phil attended the University of Chicago Law School on scholarship and received a J.D. degree there in 1968.
He has practiced law in Menomonie, Wisconsin since 1968, having been admitted to practice in the States of Illinois and Wisconsin in the Summer of 1968. He also held a license in the State of Minnesota from 1986 until 1995.
Phil served as District Attorney for Dunn County, Wisconsin from November 1969 to January 1975. He also served as Assistant City Attorney for the City of Menomonie, Wisconsin, from 1969 until 1991.
Phil’s practice has centered on civil and criminal litigation for over 40 years, with a heavy emphasis on professional negligence – both medical and legal malpractice – for the past 30 years.
Phil has been a speaker at the Wisconsin Association of Justice, the University of Wisconsin-Stout, the University of Wisconsin Law School, the Chippewa Valley Technical College, and the Wisconsin League of Municipal Attorneys.
In 1982 Phil was certified as a Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy in both Criminal Trial Advocacy and Civil Trial Advocacy. Phil maintained both certifications until 2007; the only attorney in Wisconsin to do so! He continues to hold the Civil Trial Advocacy distinction.
Phil was named a Wisconsin Super Lawyer in Medical Malpractice law in 2006, and in each year since then.
Phil was chosen as Trial Lawyer of the Year (2012) by the Wisconsin Association for Justice. The award, named after noted Wisconsin trial lawyer Robert L. Habush, was presented at the Association’s annual meeting at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee on November 30, 2012.
Phil is a founding sponsor of the Civil Justice Foundation; an organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of the rights of victims and to prevention of future injuries and the improvement of care and treatment through research and education.
Phil is a member of the American Association for Justice, the Wisconsin Association for Justice, the State Bar of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the St. Croix Valley Bar Association.
Phil has previously held office with the St. Croix Valley Bar Association and was a former director of the Wisconsin Association for Justice. He has also served on the Bench-Bar and Professionalism Committee of the Wisconsin State Bar. Phil is a member of the District 8 Committee for the Office of Lawyer Regulation.
Although Phil’s practice is centered in northwest Wisconsin, he has successfully tried cases throughout the State including southeastern Wisconsin, Milwaukee County, Dane County and in the Fox River Valley. He has also tried cases in Minnesota and Illinois.