The Winter 2012 edition of the Wisconsin Civil Trial Journal, published by the Wisconsin Defense Counsel, features an article written by attorney Daniel J. Kennedy that details the history and evolution of Wisconsin’s Pollution Exclusion Jurisprudence. The article provides wide-ranging and valuable insight into the ramifications of the gradually expanding scope of substances and situations to which standard pollution exclusions apply. Kennedy’s analysis examines both historical and contemporary court decisions in order to provide clues to the likely future direction of the courts.
Dan Kennedy is a 2004 graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law. His practice encompasses a wide variety of civil litigation matters, including products liability, professional negligence, insurance coverage and personal injury defense.
This month’s issue of Wisconsin Lawyer features two articles written by attorneys from Gass Weber Mullins. Beth Hanan, who specializes in appellate work, provides insight into some of the most significant decisions handed down by the Wisconsin Supreme Court during the 2011-2012 term. Read the article here. Michael Brennan’s cover story offers detailed insight and analysis into nine significant 2011 and 2012 Wisconsin federal court decisions interpreting Wisconsin law.
Gass Weber Mullins is featured in the September 2012 issue of Corporate Counsel, American Lawyer Media’s national in-house counsel magazine. The article recaps the firm’s multiple nationwide trial victories, including a one-year stretch starting in August, ’11 when Gass Weber Mullins “put together a 7-0 streak of trial wins from Maui to Oklahoma to Maine on a diverse mix of insurance defense matters and assorted other commercial cases.”
Corporate Counsel traces the firm’s roots back to a predecessor firm where several founding partners worked in the early 1990s, and who reunited in 2004 to create a boutique firm of trial lawyers which strives to be the best not the biggest; which embraces technology; makes extensive use of jury research; tries high-stakes, complex, leading-edge cases; and consistently delivers outstanding results for national clients on both sides of the caption.
A Marathon County Wisconsin jury recently awarded $50 million dollars in damages to a Wausau-based consumer finance company represented by the attorneys of Gass Weber Mullins. The claims arose after the defendant, a large regional accounting firm, failed to disclose a series of accounting errors for over a year related to the accounting for the client’s loan-loss reserves and then the accounting firm improperly withdrew from the accounting engagement altogether. The delay in disclosure and improper withdrawal left the client without audited financial statements it needed to access financing, the life blood of the client’s business, at the worst possible time – shortly before the fall of 2008 when banking giant Lehman Brothers failed. Without access to financing, the client was unable to fully access its $250 million line of credit or obtain other financing to support its business. As a result, after six consecutive years of multi-million dollar profits, the client suffered several devastating years of multi-million dollar losses.
The contentious and hard fought trial, argued by attorneys Ralph Weber, Amelia McCarthy and Paul Heaton of Heaton Trial Law LLC, lasted four weeks and demanded the attorneys make complex accounting issues accessible to individuals without any background in the field of consumer finance. The Gass Weber Mullins trial team augmented their legal expertise and wealth of trial experience with the use of state of the art evidence presentation software. The combination of talent and technology gave the jury unparalleled access to a tremendous volume of evidence, and allowed them the ability to process the labyrinthine complexities of the case in a very short timeframe. Following the close of arguments and two days of careful deliberations, the jury returned to the courtroom and awarded the plaintiff a $50 million dollar verdict. The verdict is one of the largest in Wisconsin history and comes on the heels of several other high profile trials won by the trial attorneys of Gass Weber Mullins.
Post trial, the trial judge issued a 16-page single-spaced written decision unequivocally upholding the jury’s verdict and rejecting all of the defendant’s post-verdict motions.
On October 6, 2012 in Colorado Springs, CO, Beth Ermatinger Hanan was inducted as a fellow in the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. The Academy was founded in 1990 to advance the highest standards and practices of appellate advocacy and to recognize outstanding appellate lawyers. Membership is by invitation only, and only after a rigorous background investigation including contact with the nominee’s opposing counsel in multiple appeals and with judges before whom the nominee has appeared. Ms. Hanan is one of three AAAL fellows in Wisconsin.
Attorneys from Gass Weber Mullins were recently granted the opportunity to present an in-depth case-study before the Litigation Counsel of America’s annual meeting in Laguna Nigel, California. The three-hour presentation, delivered by attorneys Ric Gass, Brian Cahill, Mike Brennan, and Dave Turek, alongside trial consultant Jon Smith of Courtroom Intelligence of Odessa, Texas, provided comprehensive analysis of a complex, high-stakes case (defending a Fortune 100 company) which the team litigated a year earlier.
The LCA is a prestigious national trial lawyer organization of elected Fellows who engage in all areas of litigation and who represent both plaintiffs and defendants. The organization prides itself on bringing together the nation’s preeminent trial attorneys in promotion of superior advocacy, scholarship, judicial ethics and the art of effective litigation.
The presentation was met with rave reviews from trial lawyers (who represent clients and corporations on both sides of litigation), and garnered the following praise:
“Your firm’s approach is a template for how persuasion should be accomplished.”
- Louisiana LCA Fellow
“Your team is the “A-Team” of trials. My firm could only hope to coordinate a trial with the cohesiveness you guys have.”
-New Jersey LCA Fellow
“The best presentation we have ever seen at any CLE conference”.
-West Virginia LCA Fellows
“These guys rock.”
-New Jersey LCA Fellow
Chambers & Partners, an international research and ranking firm, has once again identified Gass Weber Mullins as one of Wisconsin’s leading litigation firms in the Chambers 2012 law firm guide.
Gass Weber Mullins is pleased to announce that firm co-founder Brian G. Cahill has been named a fellow for the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel. Cahill was inducted at the organization’s 2012 Annual Meeting in Banff, British Columbia.
Induction to fellowship in the FDCC is by invitation only and follows an extensive vetting process. Nominees must be in high professional standing, exhibit good moral character and have distinguished themselves in their field.
Cahill has recently received a series of notable accolades including a fellowship in the Prestigious Litigation Counsel of America. He is also prominently featured in this month’s edition of Corporate Counsel Magazine.
Gass Weber Mullins proudly recognizes attorneys Brian G. Cahill, Michael B. Brennan, and David J. Turek for their induction to fellowship in the Litigation Counsel of America.
The Litigation Counsel of America is a trial lawyer honorary society composed of less than one-half of one percent of American Lawyers. Fellowship in the LCA is highly selective and by invitation only. Fellows are selected based upon effectiveness and accomplishments in litigation, both at the trial and appellate levels, and superior ethical reputation.
Congratulations to Amelia McCarthy on her 2011 ProBono Award from Super Lawyers
She was recognized for her tremendous efforts in Africa where she worked with Namibia’s Legal Assistance Center to draft a child protection bill that will overhaul laws that were put in place prior to Namibia’s Independence from South Africa, during apartheid.
Leap of Faith: Amelia McCarthy’s Peace Corps Journey Became a Pro Bono Mission