2018 WAJ Women's Caucus Retreat & Seminar



Offering 4.5 Credit Hours

  • Wisconsin:  4.5 CLE Credits, Including 1 Ethics Credit


Thursday, September 13th

5:00 PM    Registration / Check-in

5:30 PM    WAJ Women's Caucus Business Meeting

6:30 PM    Group Activity (Board Painting with Johnson's and Company), Networking and Reception

7:30 PM    Dinner and Networking

Dinner Special Guest Speaker: 

Women as Changemakers and Peacemakers 

Sara Elizabeth Dill, Anethum Global

Sara Elizabeth Dill is a partner at Anethum Global in Washington, D.C. Her work includes legal representation, consulting, advocacy, political strategy, and lobbying services for individuals, corporations, and domestic and foreign governments. She also provides services to non-profits and non-governmental associations, political candidates, and the media. Her primary areas of focus include international law, human rights, foreign affairs, cross-border finance, national security, white collar crime, and immigration. Link to full bio.



8:30 PM    Late Night Networking


Friday, September 14th

7:30 AM    Registration is Open

7:30 AM to 8:30 AM    Student Breakfast and Roundtable Discussions.

Law Student Breakfast Panel Includes:  Jackie Nuckels, Kristen Scheuerman, Laura Lyons and Angela Dentice

7:30 AM to 8:30 AM    General Attendee Breakfast and Networking

8:30 AM   Welcome and Seminar Opening

 Jackie Nuckels, Women's Caucus Chair

Jackie Nuckels, an attorney with Jacobs Injury Law, S.C. in Milwaukee, devotes her practice exclusively to the representation of injured clients.  She has represented hundreds of individuals who have been seriously injured in automobile collisions, truck accidents, premises accidents, and workplace incidents.  She has also represented individuals who are injured by unsafe products and as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect.





8:30 AM to 9:30 am:  Special Guest Speaker

Women in Negotiation 

Professor Andrea Kupfer Schneider
Director, Dispute Resolution Program
Marquette University Law School

Synopsis: Much research has been done to show the gender differences in negotiation.  Advice up to this point has primarily focused on women—how to be more assertive or how to be more like men.  On the other hand, more recent research shows that, in fact, men are punished even more severely for aggressive or bullying behavior in negotiation.  In addition, we overlook the perceived advantage that women have in terms of empathy, building rapport and trustworthiness, and how these skills can be utilized in negotiation.  Finally, we will examine how both individual and structural changes can be made in order to improve women’s prospects in negotiation.

Andrea Schneider is a Professor of Law at Marquette University Law School where she has taught Dispute Resolution, Negotiation, Ethics, and International Conflict Resolution for over 20 years.  She is the Director of Marquette’s nationally-ranked dispute resolution program.  She frequently publishes law review articles and book chapters on negotiation, gender, international conflict and dispute systems design and has co-authored several leading legal textbooks on ADR, Negotiation and Mediation.   She is a founding editor of Indisputably, the blog for ADR law faculty and started the Dispute Resolution Works-in-Progress Annual Conference in 2007.  She was named 2009 Woman of the Year by the Wisconsin Law Journal and, in 2016, gave her first Tedx talk entitled Women Don’t Negotiate and Other Similar Nonsense.   She was named the 2017 recipient of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Award for Outstanding Scholarly Work.  Her most recent book is Smart & Savvy: Negotiation Strategies in Academia.  Andrea regularly gives negotiation trainings for businesses and universities around the world.  She received her A.B. cum laude from Princeton University and her J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School.


9:30 to 10:15 AM:  Finding Your Voice In Your Opening Statement

Synopsis: The opening statement is a vital piece of a lawyer’s trial presentation; it provides the lawyer an opportunity to connect with the jury, set out the road map of the case, and suggest a lens through which to view the evidence that will be presented throughout trial.

In this presentation, three experienced female trial attorneys will break down the elements of an opening statement, including: what evidence to highlight, which order facts should be presented, how to deal with “land mines” and case weaknesses from the outset, and which methods or formats are effective.  They will also provide perspective on the role gender plays in the courtroom and how, as a female litigator,  finding your personal style and genuine voice should shape your case presentation, starting with your opening statement. 


Beverly Wickstrom is a partner in Gingras, Cates & Wachs, practicing out of the Eau Claire, Wisconsin office. She represents injured and disabled people in personal injury, products liability, workers’ compensation and social security disability cases. Beverly also serves as a mediator in personal injury, real estate, nursing home negligence, products liability, contract dispute and municipal liability cases. Beverly received her bachelor’s degree, with honors, from Lawrence University in 1980, and graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1983. She is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin, the American Bar Association, the Eau Claire County Bar Association, the Wisconsin Association for Justice (serving on the Executive Board since 2014) and the American Association for Justice.  In addition to her law practice, Beverly volunteers with several local organizations that help the homeless and the disabled, served as a mock trial coach for many years, is an advocate for the arts in the Chippewa Valley, and is the Chair for the Eau Claire County Democratic Party.





Christine Esser, Habush Habush & Rottier,  began her legal career as a law clerk for the Honorable Marsha Ternus of the Iowa Supreme Court. Since that time she has tried numerous jury trials in counties throughout southeastern Wisconsin. Mrs. Esser's trial experience has earned her recognition as a Civil Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy.

Mrs. Esser has been recognized as a Super Lawyer since 2006 and has been named to the Top 25 Women for Wisconsin Super Lawyers since 2011. She has also made the Top 50 Wisconsin Super Lawyers list since 2014.  She is regularly invited to speak to other lawyers, local community organizations and schools about legal issues. Mrs. Esser is an active member of the Sheboygan County Bar Association as well as several other local community organizations. When not in the office or courtroom, Christine’s interests include children’s literature, horses and gardening.



Patricia (Patti) Epstein Putney received her Bachelor of Arts from one of the "seven sister colleges," Bryn Mawr College (Bryn Mawr, PA) in 1984, and obtained her Juris Doctor degree in 1989 from Brooklyn Law School (Brooklyn, NY.) After graduating from law school, Patti was an associate at two well-known litigation defense firms in New York City, before relocating to Madison in 1995.  She joined Bell, Moore & Richter, S.C. in 2002.

Patti's practice area relates to the defense of all types of civil litigation. She defends physicians, nurses and other health care professionals in medical malpractice and nursing home cases, as well as in licensing, disciplinary and credentialing disputes. She defends personal injury and wrongful death actions, including automobile accidents, premises liability, products liability, construction, real estate, and insurance coverage disputes. She also regularly defends developers, real estate agents and brokers, and insurance agents.  Patti has had many jury trials throughout the state, has litigated in federal courts and appellate courts and has argued before the Wisconsin Supreme Court.


10:15 to 10:30 AM:   Break


10:30 to 10:55 AM:   Ethics Session: Ethical Duties and Considerations in Leaving a Firm

Synopsis: Whether you are moving to a new firm or starting your own, there are a number of ethical considerations in leaving a firm.  When do I leave? Can I take cases with me? When do I tell my clients? How do I tell my clients? Can I take materials or work product? How do I manage fee disputes?

This presentation will provide relevant ethical considerations and duties in answering these questions. 

 Jackie Nuckels, Women's Caucus Chair

Jackie Nuckels, an attorney with Jacobs Injury Law, S.C. in Milwaukee, devotes her practice exclusively to the representation of injured clients.  She has represented hundreds of individuals who have been seriously injured in automobile collisions, truck accidents, premises accidents, and workplace incidents.  She has also represented individuals who are injured by unsafe products and as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect.





10:55 to 11:20 AM:   Ethics Session: When Can I Stop Worrying? Ethics and Deadlines 

Synopsis: The recent package of tort reform litigation passed by the legislature included a provision shortening the statute of limitation of Sec. 893.53, Wis Stats, Action for injury to character or other rights, from 6 years to 3 years.  Section 893.53 is broadly considered the statute of limitations for claims for legal malpractice, but that may not be the complete answer for how long we have to worry about the nightmare file coming back to haunt us.

Amy M. Risseeuw joined Peterson, Berk & Cross, S.C., as an attorney in 2005. A graduate from the University of Wisconsin Law School, Amy practices in the personal injury section. Amy has tried many cases to verdict in multiple areas of personal injury law, including automobile accidents, dog attacks, premises liability and medical malpractice. Amy has also handled numerous appellate matters, appearing in the Court of Appeals of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Amy has been selected for inclusion as a Rising Star in the Super Lawyers publication of Milwaukee Magazine.

She is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin, the Outagamie County Bar Association and the Wisconsin Association for Justice. Amy has authored articles and given seminar presentations on developments in case law and other legal matters. In addition to professional organizations, Amy has served as a board member for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Fox Valley Region and coached the Lawrence University Mock Trial Team.


11:20-12:05 PM:      Issues Facing Women in Litigation

A Panel Discussion: Kelly Centofanti, Heather Nelson & Terese Halfmann

Synopsis: Female law graduates currently outnumber males.  Yet, litigation and jury trials seemingly continue to be largely the male lawyer’s realm.  In this presentation, three experienced female trial lawyers will discuss their careers paths and how they started, evolved, and succeed in their respective practices.  They will address a host of issues, relevant to women in litigation including: finding the right litigation and practice style, balancing the demands of litigation with other personal and family commitments, advocating for yourself with regard to wage and ascension opportunities, and dealing with gender bias in both the courtroom and conference room.



Kelly L. Centofanti is the managing partner of Centofanti Law, S.C.  She represents injured persons, and has never worked for insurance companies or other corporate entities.  She handles cases involving medical, legal and other professional negligence, nursing home neglect and abuse, insurance bad faith, motor vehicle and boating accidents, and premises liability.

She has lectured at numerous seminars and Continuing Legal Education programs for lawyers on a variety of substantive and procedural topics throughout Wisconsin and the U.S.  Kelly has taught at Marquette University Law School and the University of Wisconsin Law School, including several different Trial Skills courses.






Heather Nelson is a Partner with Everson, Whitney, Everson & Brehm, S.C., in Green Bay, primarily practicing insurance defense law.  She joined the Everson firm in May 2016.  Her prior experience included over 18 years serving as staff counsel for The Hanover Insurance Group.  Although she was based out of Hanover’s Chicago office, Heather represented Hanover’s insureds through and including trial in state and federal courts in both Illinois and Wisconsin. 








Terese M. Halfmann is an attorney and registered nurse with Hupy And Abraham, S.C.  with over 30 years of experience representing  personal injury victims.  For the past 10 years she has focused her legal practice on nursing home neglect and abuse cases.  Although she is based in Milwaukee, WI, she also represents clients in Illinois and Iowa. Prior to becoming an attorney, she earned her Bachelor and Master of Science in Nursing degrees and had a 15 year nursing career that ranged from being a staff nurse and then head nurse of a critical care unit to being an assistant professor in the nursing division of a university.





12:05 to 1:05 PM:   Networking Lunch



Are You a Current Law Student?
Cost: FREE for current law students! WAJ will cover your seminar registration fee AND lodging at the Sundara Inn and Spa.

Students - Be sure to join us for our Student Breakfast on Friday!
All students are encouraged to join us for breakfast on Friday morning before the start of the seminar, featuring a short presentation with a few of our female attorney members. Be sure to complete the mentoring forms and WAJ will assign you a member mentor.  


Seminar Location & Lodging Information:

Thursday and Friday Events/Seminar Sessions will be held in the Glacier Canyon Conference Center: 45 Hillman Road, Wisconsin Dells, WI  53965

Room Block Deadline: August 13, 2018.  Attendees can still receive our group rate based on availability after this date.

WAJ has reserved a block of rooms at Sundara Inn and Spa and Glacier Canyon Lodge, located at the Wilderness Resort in the Wisconsin Dells. Several rooming options are available. 

Sundara Inn & Spa (a short drive to conference center), contact Nicole Loveluck at nloveluck@sundaraspa.com  or (608)253-9200 or 1-888-735-8181 to reserve your room and mention that you are attending the WI Association for Justice Women’s Caucus Seminar. To learn more about the facility and spa services, visit www.sundaraspa.com.

Sundara 9/13/2018 Lodging Rates:

  • Premier: $299 
  • Exclusive: $339
  • Plush: $399
  • Luxury: $439 ($40 per person)

Glacier Canyon Lodge is part of the Wilderness Resort and attached to the Conference Center.  Call (800) 867-9453 to make your reservations.  Our Block is under: Wisconsin Association for Justice - Women's Caucus (Leader #542668). For more information on the facility, visit www.glaciercanyonlodge.com.

Glacier Canyon Room Rates (9/13/2018):

  • Standard Room: $99.99
  • 2 Bedroom Deluxe: $139.99

Discounted Spa Services at Sundara
All seminar participants are invited to enjoy any spa service for 15% off the listed price for services booked for use on Thursday, Sept. 13th.  Guests may arrive early or stay later for scheduled spa appointments. To make arrangements, contact Alyssa Mullin at (888) 735-8181 or amullin@sundaraspa.com.


Additional Information on Lodging Options:

Sundara Inn & Spa (Short Drive to seminar location) 


  • Guests at the Spa Inn receive a 15% discount off treatments for services booked for Thursday, Sept 14 use.
  • Check in is at 4:00 pm - Check out at 11:00 am.
  • Spa Breakfast included with room
  • Parking and wireless internet access is complimentary
  • Overnight guests enjoy unlimited access to the entire facility
  • $20 nightly resort fee; $40 additional person fee; 12.25% tax
  • Sundara has a no pet policy.
  • Sundara's entire 26-acres are smoke-free.
  • One night's deposit is due at the time of reservation for each room.


Glacier Canyon Lodge (attached to the Conference Center):


  • One night's deposit is due at the time of reservation for each room.
  • Check in is at 4:00 pm - Check out at 11:00 am.
  • Credit Card Verification & Photo ID required at check-in.
  • All rooms are non-smoking.
  • The Resort has a no pet policy.
  • All guest rooms are subject to a $12.95 per night Resort Fee
  • All guest rooms are subject to a 12.25% room tax 
  • Room rates are quoted for up to 4 people in a standard room, each additional person beyond 4 will result in a charge up to $20 per person/per night
  • Reservations canceled 72-hours prior to the arrival date will be charged a $30 fee. Cancellations within 72 hours pay for the entire room rate. Condos, Cabins & Villas are subject to a 14-day cancellation policy with a $30 cancellation fee.

Sponsor / Expo Information


Preferred Capital Funding

Premier Settlement Services, Inc.


Haibeck & Associates Legal Nurse

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations, Substitutions and Refunds

Cancellations, Substitutions and Refunds
Attendee substitutions may be made at any time and are encouraged when the original registrant cannot attend. If you must cancel or reschedule, please notify us at least three (3) business days (or 72 hours) prior to the program to receive a refund less a $15 service charge. Cancellations made less than 3 business days prior to the program will incur the full registration cost.  

At the Door Registrations will incur a $20 late fee.