I graduated from Bay View High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and then attended Ripon College for 4 years graduating with majors in Economics and Political Science. I received my J.D. from Marquette University Law School in 1976 and have been a lawyer in my own Wisconsin firm since then. The majority of my practice the first half of my legal career involved personal injury representation and litigation, although from the beginning to the present I have represented clients in contested and uncontested probate matters. In the early 1990s I transitioned out of personal injury representation into the field of Elder Law assisting clients in planning for their later years and representing clients in need of long term care services.
Early on there was no field of law practice labeled “elder law” and I was on the organizing committee for what is now the Elder law Section of the State Bar of Wisconsin. I have been chairperson of Elder Law Section twice, chairperson of its legislative committee, and an advisor to the Section since 2007. I was a member of the Section’s committee that was primarily responsible for drafting what currently is Wisconsin’s guardianship and protective service system statutes (law), and have been actively involved in the Section's efforts to further improve Wisconsin's guardianship and protective services laws. The lawyers in the elder law section work to protect the rights of the elderly and individuals with disabilities, and provide advice, information and advocacy in areas relating to the legal issues that affect their lives. This includes preparing advance directives, counseling clients on long term care options, assisting clients in applying for and retaining their rights to public benefits that assist in their care, counseling clients on special needs and pooled trusts, representing elders and individuals with disabilities who are victims of abuse and exploitation, and working with veterans to obtain needs-based benefits and health care. Their mission is to develop and improve laws that affect the elderly and individuals with disabilities and to promote high standards of performance and expertise for those who practice in this area.
Over the years I been a speaker on elder law topics in programs sponsored by the State Bar of Wisconsin, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, local bar associations, Marquette University, and other professional providers and community groups. I am a member of the Wisconsin Association for Justice, the American Bar Association, the Milwaukee Bar Association, and the State Bar of Wisconsin.