Get Involved by Joining a WDC Committee (or Two!) - Help Us Help You!
Heather L. Nelson, Everson, Whitney, Everson & Brehm, S.C.

There is no doubt that WDC membership has many benefits – great CLE and excellent networking are at the top. But you can ramp up your WDC experience and make our organization even more robust by participating in one or more of our committees.

“But I don’t have time.” “I’m already overcommitted.” Trust me, I hear you.

Our committees are not about needless meetings and “make work.” Each of them advances our organization and brings value to its members. WDC is at the heart of who we are and who we want to be as civil defense attorneys. Every effort by each one of us to improve our CLE programming, the content of our Journal, and to advance our mission makes a huge difference!

Committee involvement gives you the chance to keep your finger on the pulse of a particular practice area or issue. It can lead to wonderful growth opportunities, including connecting with fellow WDC members who have similar interests, chairing a committee, authoring Journal articles, and presenting CLE topics at our conferences.

Check out our list of committees below. Email [email protected] with any questions or to sign up! Also, be sure to follow WDC on its social media platforms to stay connected and informed!

Amicus Curiae Committee

Chair: Brian Anderson, Everson, Whitney, Everson & Brehm, S.C., Green Bay

The Amicus Curiae Committee works to assist members with supporting appeals in the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court of Wisconsin. In cases that have significance to our members and those whom they represent, the Amicus Committee will file a non-party brief to advance those efforts to improve Wisconsin case law in furtherance of the mission and goals of the WDC. Members are encouraged to contact the Amicus Committee before an appeal is filed to ensure enough time is available to recruit volunteer members to draft an amicus brief and learn about the case from members.

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Chair: Morgan Stippel, Bell, Moore & Richter, S.C., Madison

The WDC Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee is dedicated to promoting a culture that welcomes differences, promotes equality, and engenders respect. We continue to recruit, mentor, and promote talented lawyers and businesspeople with diverse backgrounds and experiences because we recognize that a diverse team makes us stronger and more effective in providing Wisconsin with proper representation and an equitable civil justice system. Our members do not discriminate based on race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or disability, and are instead dedicated to helping and educating all who inhabit the communities we have the privilege of serving. The Committee meets on a bi-monthly basis to discuss and educate one another on the diversity, equity, & inclusion issues affecting the legal profession and the steps we can take to promote diversity, equity, & inclusion efforts in our respective workplaces.

Employment Law Committee

Chair: Storm Larson, Boardman & Clark, LLP, Madison

The Employment Law Committee seeks to engage members with employment law topics and issues relevant to their practice. Employment law principles can arise unexpectedly in insurance coverage and merits defenses, and so a good working knowledge of these issues creates a more rounded defense mindset. The Committee is dedicated to educating and fostering community among WDC members to show how exciting, interesting, but more importantly—relevant—employment law is to defense practice.

Insurance Law Committee

Co-Chair: Mollie Kugler, von Briesen & Roper, S.C., Milwaukee
Co-Chair: Joshua Cronin, von Briesen & Roper, S.C., Milwaukee

The Insurance Law Committee brings together practitioners doing insurance coverage work in Wisconsin and strives to educate judges and other attorneys on standard and emerging topics. We hold brief Zoom meetings on a monthly basis, put together the yearly “We’ve Got You Covered” seminar with the State Bar, contribute articles to the WDC Journal, and try to get together socially at least once a year.

Law School Committee

Co-Chair: John Pinzl, von Briesen & Roper, S.C., Madison
Co-Chair: Monte Weiss, Weiss Law Office, S.C., Mequon

The Law School Committee’s goal is instituting programming at Marquette Law School and University of Wisconsin Law School to allow students exposure to litigation, specifically insurance defense work. The Committee’s activities include developing relationships and coordinating with faculty from each law school to develop presentation opportunities on various topics of interest to students. The ultimate goal of the Committee is to increase law students’ exposure to the practice through educational programming and networking with members of the Wisconsin insurance defense bar.

Litigation Skills Committee

Chair: Andrew Hebl, Boardman & Clark, LLP, Madison

The Litigation Skills Committee focuses on providing opportunities to WDC members to improve their litigation skills and trial practice abilities. The Committee offers multiple sessions per year, both at WDC conferences and through stand-alone events, to teach various aspects of the litigation process and discuss trial practice techniques. The Committee fully understands that a key benefit of WDC membership is getting to learn from some of the best litigators and trial attorneys in Wisconsin, and is dedicated to providing that value to our members through its activities and offerings.

Membership Committee

Chair: John Shull, Klinner, Kramer, Shull, LLP, Wausau
Vice-Chair: Megan McKenzie, American Family Insurance, Madison

The Membership Committee is dedicated to growing our membership and to ensuring that our existing members’ interests are properly considered. Its most recent undertaking was an amendment to our bylaws to set forth differing classes of members and delineate the rights afforded to those classes, which is dependent upon the amount of time dedicated to the practice of civil defense.

Women in the Law Committee

Chair: Grace Kulkoski, Wisconsin Mutual Insurance, Madison
Vice-Chair: Megan McKenzie, American Family Insurance, Madison

The Women in the Law Committee provides an opportunity for members to form and strengthen professional connections and raise awareness about issues that are specific to women lawyers. The Committee is very active, and works on philanthropic activities, social events, and is often a source of presentations for WDC’s conferences. There is room for all in this Committee, and we welcome any level of participation.

Young Lawyers Committee

Chair: Charles Polk, III, Amundsen Davis, LLC, Milwaukee

The Young Lawyers Committee has been very active both with its spirited and well-attended social gatherings and in developing CLE – most recently presenting well-received panel presentations at conferences highlighting practice issues facing younger attorneys (and specifically how our experienced attorneys and younger attorneys can benefit from each other and seeing issues from different perspectives).

Awards Committee

Chair: Chris Bandt, Nash, Spindler, Grimstad & McCracken, LLP, Manitowoc

The goal of the Awards Committee is to encourage committee involvement with the introduction of our committee awards and to recognize WDC members who have had a positive impact on the legal community and the defense bar/WDC. We have periodic meetings (phone/zoom/email) throughout the year to discuss and approve award recipients.

Wisconsin Civil Jury Instructions Committee

Representative: Amy Freiman, Hills Legal Group, Ltd., Waukesha

The Civil Jury Instructions Committee receives periodic updates from the Wisconsin Civil Jury Instructions Committee of the Wisconsin Judicial Conference on potential amendments to existing jury instructions or the creation of new jury instructions. If there are specific case opinions, topics, or concerns the Wisconsin Defense Counsel wants the Wisconsin Civil Jury Instructions Committee of the Wisconsin Judicial Conference to consider, we work with them to review those matters.

Website and Social Media Committee

Chair: William Brookely, Cross, Jenks, Mercer & Maffei, LLP, Baraboo

The Website and Social Media Committee regularly updates WDC members on the latest developments of relevant case law. The Committee also strives to expand the organization’s social media footprint by highlighting the organization’s services on a variety of social media platforms. We hope to continue to highlight the great work our members are doing within their local communities, so please tag us in your law firm’s social media posts.

Author Biography:

Heather Nelson is a Shareholder at The Everson Law Firm in Green Bay. She is an experienced trial attorney, having successfully tried cases before juries in state and federal courts throughout Wisconsin and Illinois. She obtained her J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in Chicago and launched her legal career in the Chicago area. Heather became licensed to practice law in Wisconsin in 2000, defending cases in both Illinois and Wisconsin. Joining The Everson Law Firm in 2016 brought Heather back to her Green Bay roots. Her practice areas include motor vehicle accidents, premises liability, wrongful death, and products liability.