Attorney Keith Pilger received the President’s Award from the Portage County Business Council at its Annual Dinner on January 31. He was selected by Board President Doug Ballweg based on his commitment and spirit of cooperation to the Portage County Business Council. In announcing his selection, Ballweg said that “When you talk about quiet, yet impactful, service to a community, the name of Keith Pilger, Anderson O’Brien, is in the center of the conversation. His engagement in moving the community forward goes well beyond his years on the Board of Directors for the Portage County Business Council, including two terms as President. Like so many of our Members, he is interested in keeping the community in the forefront of growth and innovation.”
Our firm is proud to announce that Attorneys Gerald O’Brien, Russell Golla and Ronald Skrenes have been named 2017 Wisconsin Super Lawyers. In addition, Attorney Brent Jacobson was listed as a 2017 Rising Star by Wisconsin Super Lawyers magazine. To be eligible for inclusion in Rising Stars, a candidate must be either 40 years old or younger or in practice for 10 years or less. Only 2.5% of the state’s attorneys are selected as Rising Stars.
Wisconsin Super Lawyers is an annual listing of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Only 5% of all active attorneys (both public and private) comprise this prestigious list. In addition to being named “Wisconsin Super Lawyers,” Attorneys O’Brien, Golla and Skrenes have received an AV Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell. An AV certification mark is a significant rating accomplishment – a testament to the fact that a lawyer’s peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence.
Mr. O’Brien and Mr. Golla are also Board Certified as Civil Trial Specialists by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Attorneys who are Board Certified have passed rigorous tests and have demonstrated substantial experience in the courts.
Mr. Skrenes is one of only twelve attorneys in Wisconsin who have achieved the Estate Planning Law Specialist designation. He is the only attorney in Wisconsin who simultaneously holds designations/certifications as an (1) Attorney, (2) Certified Public Accountant, (3) Accredited Estate Planner, (4) Certified Financial Planner and (5) Estate Planning Law Specialist.
Elder law attorneys, Amy Eddy and Katherine Young, recently participated in an interactive Virtual Dementia Tour where they had the opportunity to learn more about the day-to-day challenges of living with dementia. The program is designed to provide participants with a better understanding of the disease, including some of the mental and physical limitations, as well as change the perception that dementia only involves memory loss.
Participants were given a set of accessories to wear – gloves, goggles, and headphones – to mimic the conditions of living with dementia. They were then asked to perform five common daily tasks in 12 minutes or less. These tasks included setting the table, folding clothes, putting away dishes, and buttoning shirts. As they quickly discovered, the tasks were incredibly difficult to complete in the time allotted, if at all. As Amy commented, “Twelve minutes felt like an eternity. I can’t imagine existing like this day after day. I couldn’t remember the simplest of tasks, and performing them was nearly impossible.”
Ultimately, the exercise was designed to change participants’ expectations of what someone with dementia can and cannot do, and to become better advocates for them knowing their physical and cognitive limitations. The exercise had a profound affect on both Amy and Katie. “Everyone who works with someone with dementia should experience this tour – it will completely change your perception,” said Amy at the conclusion of the exercise.
We are very happy to announce that Kristi Waits has joined our Firm as our Director of Operations. This is a new position within our Firm that will focus on strategic planning, marketing and business development, client relations, financial management, and technology management. Kristi will be responsible for leading the administrative operations of the Firm. She will be working with our Office Manager, Deanna Mossak, and the rest of our extraordinary staff to help us continue to provide the best legal services we can to our clients!
Kristi has worked in the field of criminal justice administration for 20 years. She began her career in Washington, DC, then moved to Madison where she was the Executive Director at the Wisconsin Sentencing Commission then the Director of the Wisconsin Justice Information Center at the Office of Justice Assistance. She most recently lived in Vermont and worked for the Vermont Department of Public Safety. Kristi holds a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice Administration from California State University at San Bernardino and a Bachelor’s Degree from San Diego State University.
If you see Kristi at our office or one of our Firm events, please join us in welcoming her and her husband, Thomas, to the Firm and our Community!
With an eye towards the future, we also hired a summer law clerk for 2017. Jeff Raymond spent the summer helping our attorneys with a variety of legal research projects. Jeff is returning to UW-Madison this fall for his second year of law school studies, but we look forward to having him back again next summer.
Thanks Jeff for all your hard work this summer!
Attorney Brad Yanke has been elected to serve a two-year term as a District 7 representative on the State Bar Board of Governors. District 7 includes Adams, Columbia, Juneau, Marquette, Portage, Sauk, Waupaca, Waushara and Wood counties. The Board of Governors manages and directs the affairs and activities of the State Bar of Wisconsin. The Board includes: the association’s five officers, the immediate past president (all of whom are ex officio members-at-large of the Board), 35 members elected from the State Bar districts, one member selected by the Young Lawyers Division, one member selected by the Government Lawyers Division, one member selected by the Senior Lawyers Division, five members selected by the Nonresident Lawyers Division, and three non-lawyers appointed by the Wisconsin Supreme Court.