Advice to Myself

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John Kircher teaches a law school class, 1986

Law school is a wonderful experience. It’s terrifying, I have to admit, but it’s an opportunity that few people get and it’s something that shouldn’t be taken for granted. Coming into law school, I heard many a rumor including things like: you won’t have much, if any, free time; the workload is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before; and on-calls are really, really scary. If I could send a message to incoming 1L’s and my pre-1L self from right now, there are a couple of things that I would tell myself. The main thing that I would say is that all of those things are true, with some caveats.

In the beginning of 1L year, I found myself with little to no free time. Days were spent in class and nights were spent doing the reading assignments for said classes. (Side note: don’t use the word “said” to refer to something. It’s old “legalese” and it’s out of fashion. While I’m at it, forget how you thought attorneys spoke and wrote. You were wrong.) At first, I had no idea what I was doing. I read the cases, briefed the cases, and hoped to god that I got the right things out of those cases. Those three things consumed most of my time every day during the week and weekend. This is exactly what I feared law school would be: a never-ending stream of work that I didn’t know what to do with. However, as time went on, I started to understand what I needed to look for in cases and how to be more efficient with my time. It wasn’t an overnight process, but the saying that “practice makes perfect” applies directly to law school. If there was one thing that I could tell myself prior to the first day of class on this topic, it would be to remain patient. Learning “how to law school” takes time and the assignments will be hard to get through for a while. Continue reading “Advice to Myself”

A Big Bang in Germany

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Field Trip to Brussels.

This summer marked the 11th year that the Summer Session in International and Comparative Law was held in the town of Giessen, Germany.  The program brings together law students from the United States, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America to learn and live together for four weeks.  This one of a kind program is a partnership between the Marquette University Law School, the University of Wisconsin Law School, and the Justus Liebig University.

I was proud to address our 37 participants at this year’s Closing Ceremony on August 15, 2019.  Here is the text of my remarks.

Herr Doctor Professor Marauhn, Vice President Kampfer, Honored Guests, Faculty and Graduates:

It all started with a Big Bang.

No, I am not referring to the American television show about young scientists that is apparently popular in every country on the planet.  I am talking about the original Big Bang, that sudden burst of light and energy that began our universe.

Imagine if you had been there when the Big Bang occurred.  At first, there was chaos, disorder, and confusion.  But slowly, the gases cooled and became planets, and the planets formed orbits around suns, and the universe took shape.  And it was beautiful.

Four weeks ago, you arrived in Giessen, Germany with your very own Big Bang.  And yes, there was chaos. Continue reading “A Big Bang in Germany”

Marquette Law School: 1989 v. 2019

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The Year 1989: The Berlin wall came down, the world wide web was invented, Seinfeld first aired, and, not quite as significant for the planet, my dad, Michael Haggenjos, graduated from Marquette Law School. (He also felt the need to remind me that it was the year certain celebrities, such as Taylor Swift and Danielle Radcliffe, were born.)

My dad devoted a large portion of his earlier blog post talking about some of the events in my life leading up to my decision to go to law school, and the subsequent direction my law school career has taken towards litigation. While it’s true that it took me longer to realize what I wanted to be when I grew up, I did eventually have that moment where I knew I wanted to go to law school. It happened around my junior year of college, when I was studying at UW-Madison.

I found myself at a crossroads: Do I go to grad school and get my doctorate in English Literature so that I can teach at the university level? Or, do I follow in my dad’s footsteps and go to law school? In order to find an answer, I decided to take the philosophy of logic at the suggestion of my advisor. It may sound cheesy, but after a single class I was hooked, and I knew from that moment on that I was going to attend law school.

Although my dad and I have now both attended Marquette Law School, our law school experiences are quite different in several very important ways. Continue reading “Marquette Law School: 1989 v. 2019”

New Marquette Lawyer Magazine Discusses the Search for Better Outcomes in the World of Law Enforcement (Post 3 of 3)

Posted on Categories Criminal Law & Process, Environmental Law, Lubar Center, Marquette Law School, Marquette Law School History, Milwaukee Public Schools, Prisoner Rights, Race & Law, Speakers at MarquetteLeave a comment» on New Marquette Lawyer Magazine Discusses the Search for Better Outcomes in the World of Law Enforcement (Post 3 of 3)

A drawing of a policeman sitting on a badge. This third and final post reflecting the “In Search of Better Outcomes” theme of the new Marquette Lawyer magazine begins with a third pair of articles, the one that actually provides the quoted phrase (see here and here for the previous posts and previous pairs). These last two articles, with a brief introduction, look at the impact of law enforcement on people on different sides of the badge—and at possibilities for better outcomes both for those in law enforcement who are affected negatively by the cumulative trauma with which they deal and for offenders upon release, after they have served time in incarceration.

“Behind the Badge: A Growing Sense of the Need in Law Enforcement to C ope with Trauma” is an edited transcript of a panel discussion involving four people who have served in law enforcement. They offer insights on the need for better avenues for getting help for those who see so much violence and extreme behavior as part of their jobs protecting the public. The discussion was part of Law School’s Restorative Justice Initiative conference on November 9, 2018, titled “The Power of Restorative Justice in Healing Trauma in Our Community.”

“Putting a Period at the End of the Sentence,” an article by Alan Borsuk, draws on a conference, on October 4, 2018, of the Law School’s Lubar Center for Public Policy Research and Civic Education. Titled “Racial Inequality, Poverty, and the Criminal Justice System,” the gathering focused on issues facing people who are returning to the general community after incarceration. The story features some of the keynote remarks by Bruce Western, a sociology professor at Columbia University and author of Homeward: Life in the Year After Prison (2018). It also reports on observations by leaders of programs in the Milwaukee area that aim to help people leaving incarceration establish stable lives in the community.

Continue reading “New Marquette Lawyer Magazine Discusses the Search for Better Outcomes in the World of Law Enforcement (Post 3 of 3)”

Introducing our August Bloggers

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We welcome our alumni and student bloggers for August.

head shot of Rebeca Lopez
Rebeca Lopez

Our alumni contributor is Rebeca López (L’12). Rebeca is an attorney on Godfrey & Kahn, S.C.’s Labor, Employment & Immigration Law Practice Group, where she counsels and assists clients in navigating complex legal issues arising in the employment relationship, including addressing disability and leave accommodation requests, wage and hour complaints, and employment discrimination allegations. Rebeca represents employers in matters before federal and state courts and equal rights agencies, and conducts internal investigations into employee complaints and allegations.

Rebeca also serves on various boards of directors in the legal and non-profit community; she was appointed by Mayor Tom Barrett to the Wisconsin Center District Board of Directors from 2016 to 2018 and was appointed by Governor Tony Evers to the Governor’s Judicial Selection Advisory Committee in 2019. In 2015, Rebeca was named to Milwaukee Business Journal’s “40 under 40,” and in 2016, she was recognized as one of Wisconsin’s 48 most powerful Latinos by Madison 365.

Rebeca López worked as an immigration caseworker and a regional coordinator for seven years before attending Marquette Law School and graduating magna cum laude in 2012. While in law school, Rebeca served as Business Editor of the Marquette Law Review and interned at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin for Judge Lynn S. Adelman. Her student-written law review article was quoted by CNN in April.

head shot of Randal Finger
Randal Finger

Our student contributor is 2L Randal Finger. Randal was born and raised in Germantown, Wisconsin, and lives there now. He attended Ripon College and where he received a Politics & Government degree. While at Ripon College, Randal had a practicing attorney as an adjunct professor, which, he said, solidified his decision to attend law school. Over the summer, he worked downtown at Northwestern Mutual as a summer clerk, working on a variety of projects throughout the company. He noted that he has grown fond of real estate law throughout his short time in law school and his time at Northwestern and is the treasurer of the Real Estate Law Society at Marquette. As of now, Randal said he hopes to practice “somewhere in the real estate realm,” but is open to other areas. “I understand that my limited exposure to law in the real world could mean that there is something out there that I enjoy much more.”

Welcome to Rebeca and to Randal. We look forward to your contributions.

 

MULS Legal Education: Following Footsteps and Forging Your Own Path

Posted on Categories Alumni Contributor, Legal Education, Legal Practice, Legal Profession, Legal Writing, Marquette Law School, Public, Student ContributorLeave a comment» on MULS Legal Education: Following Footsteps and Forging Your Own Path

Sensenbrenner Hall

zilber forum
From Sensenbrenner Hall (left) to the Zilber Forum at Eckstein Hall.

When I was asked if I would—together with my daughter Micaela—write a blog for the Marquette University Law School Faculty Blog, I wanted to make sure it was known I haven’t practiced law full-time in fifteen years.  So, fair warning, this is not going to be a technical legal discussion.

Let’s start with a short background: I graduated from MULS in 1989.  In fact, I just celebrated my thirty-year reunion (quick shout out to my classmates:  You guys rock!  We had the highest turnout of any reunion class!).  It was wonderful catching up with old friends, some I have kept in touch with; regrettably, some I have not.

As I stood in the Zilber Forum (as I have done several times previously, more on that later), I reflected on my law school experience at Sensenbrenner Hall, and, despite feeling envious of the students who are privileged to study law in such a marvelous facility, was transported in back thirty years to the year I graduated from MULS.  I remember the hope, the promise, coupled with the uncertainty and anxiety I was feeling at the time. Not to mention the excitement of my impending marriage one month later to my beautiful wife of thirty years, Ellen, whom I met while we were both studying at Marquette (she was earning her Masters in Analytical Chemistry at the time).

Flash forward thirty years and imagine my pride when Micaela announced to us that she would be attending MULS. In fact, Micaela is officially a 3L and is on track to graduate in May 2020. While it may not be shocking for a child to follow in a parent’s footsteps, it didn’t look like that would be happening with Micaela. Continue reading “MULS Legal Education: Following Footsteps and Forging Your Own Path”

Guest Blogging is a Family Affair!

Posted on Categories Alumni Contributor, Marquette Law School, Public, Student Contributor, UncategorizedLeave a comment» on Guest Blogging is a Family Affair!
Photo of father and adult daughter standing in front of a brick wall, smiling.
Mike and Micaela Haggenjos

For the month of July, we welcome father-daughter pair Mike and Micaela Haggenjos as our alumnus and student bloggers.

Mike grew up in Prophetstown, Illiniois, attended the University of Iowa and received a B.S. degree in Political Science and Economics.  He graduated from Marquette Law in 1989.  He was in private practice until 2004 at the Port Washington, Wisconsin law firm of Ansay & Haggenjos (now O’Neill, Cannon, Hollman, DeJong & Laing, S.C.).  Mike left the practice of law to become an owner and officer of Voeller Mixers, Inc., in Port Washington, a manufacturer of equipment used to make concrete products.  Mike has been married to Ellen for 30 years and has two children, Micaela and Matthew.  Mike enjoys golf, boating and performing as the lead singer in a rock band that plays in Ozaukee and Washington County.

Micaela grew up in Port Washington, Wisconsin and received her B.A. in English Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. During her time at MULS, Micaela interned with the Honorable Rebecca Bradley of the Wisconsin Supreme Court and is currently working for the firm Alan C. Olson & Associates in New Berlin. Micaela is a member of the Association of Women in Law and the Business Law Society at MULS and has volunteered for the MJC Family Law Forms Clinic and the Eviction Defense Project. Micaela and her competition partner, Brooke Erickson, were the champions of Marquette’s 2019 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition and won the Franz C. Eschweiler Prize for Best Brief. She looks forward to representing MULS at the National Moot Court Competition this fall and serving on the 2019-2020 Moot Court Executive Board as Associate Justice of Intramural Competitions. Micaela hopes to work in litigation and appellate practice after graduation.

We hope that this is the first of many family pairings on the Faculty Blog.

The June Bloggers Have Arrived!

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Let’s welcome our Guest Bloggers for the month of June.

Nicholas Wanic

Our Student Blogger of the Month is Nicholas Wanic.

Nick is from Crystal Lake, Illinois, a town which has recently become somewhat infamous in the legal community. Nick received his bachelors from Illinois State in Business Administration, but knew he wanted to go to law school long before he graduated high school. While here at Marquette Law, Nick has worked for the Honorable Joan Kessler of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals and has worked with the Milwaukee City Attorney’s Office prosecuting ordinance violations and working on civil litigation including the recently resolved and much publicized Bird Scooters case. He was a finalist in the Jenkins Competition this past April and looks forward to representing Marquette at the Chicago Bar Association Competition this Fall.

He is currently working toward his litigation certificate and hopes to work in litigation and appellate practice after graduation. In his free time Nick enjoys painting, cooking, and golfing.

Our Alumni Blogger this month is April K. Toy.

April Toy

April is an attorney in Meissner Tierney’s commercial litigation practice group. April represents businesses, insurance companies and individuals in a wide range of civil matters including liability and insurance coverage. She also defends businesses against professional liability claims and advises insurers on extra-contractual claims handling issues, including bad faith and duty to defend issues.  April graduated from Marquette University Law School in 2010.

April is a member of the Hispanic National Bar Association and Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee.  In addition, she volunteers at the Milwaukee Justice Center.

Welcome May Bloggers!

Posted on Categories Alumni Contributor, Marquette Law School, Public, Student Contributor1 Comment on Welcome May Bloggers!

Please join me in welcoming our guest bloggers for the month of May.

Tyler Wickman

Our Alumni Blogger of the Month is Tyler Wickman.   Tyler was born in Ashland, Wisconsin.  He is a member of the Wisconsin Bar and received his education at St. Norbert College (B.A., 2005 summa cum laude, majored in political science and education) and Marquette University (J.D., 2008, magna cum laude). While in law school, Tyler published in the Marquette Law Review and served as an academic support program leader. Also during law school, he was an extern for the Hon. William Griesbach of the Western District of Wisconsin, a law clerk for Hupy & Abraham, and a summer associate at Von Briesen & Roper.

Following law school, Tyler returned to his hometown of Ashland and has been with Dallenbach, Anich, & Wickman, S.C. for his entire career. His practice areas include criminal defense, family law, personal injury, municipal law, estate planning, business formation, and civil litigation, among others. He has handled jury trials and has argued before the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Tyler lives in the Ashland area with his wife, Michaela, and their five children. He is living the dream with a beautiful family, in a beautiful area, with a satisfying career.

Karen Heineman

Our Student Blogger of the Month is Karen Heineman. Karen grew up in a small college town in western New York. She prefers to say that because no one understands what upstate New York refers to.

She graduated from Williams College with a degree in chemistry. Although her goal was to attend veterinary school, at the time there were only 27 schools (only 31 now, I think) with class sizes around 80, so there were/are few opportunities open to those pursuing that profession. She looked for back-up plans and took the LSAT with some thoughts of law school. Fortunately, she was able to pursue her primary goal, so the possibility of law school was dropped for the time being. She received her doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Minnesota. Continue reading “Welcome May Bloggers!”

The Costs of Janus v. AFSCME

Posted on Categories Business Regulation, Constitutional Interpretation, Constitutional Law, First Amendment, Labor & Employment Law, Legal Profession, Marquette Law School, Public, Speakers at Marquette, U.S. Supreme Court1 Comment on The Costs of Janus v. AFSCME

Photo of statue depicting a bust of Janus, the two-headed Roman God.On April 10 I participated in a panel discussion sponsored by the Law School Chapter of the Federalist Society.  The presentation was entitled “Lawyers, Plaintiffs, and Professors, Oh My!: Janus v. AFSCME.”  The other panelists were Adjunct Professor and Director of the Law Library Elana Olson, Alumnus Daniel Suhr from the Liberty Justice Center , and Mark Janus, the name plaintiff in the case of Janus v. AFSCME.  What follows are my prepared remarks.

In June of 2018 the United States Supreme Court held, in the case of Janus v. AFSCME, that it is a violation of the First Amendment for State and public sector unions to assess mandatory agency fees to non-consenting employees.  The majority of the Court held that forcing non-union workers to contribute money to support non-political activities which benefit all workers violates the Free Speech rights of non-consenting employees.

In so holding, the Court overruled a precedent of over 40 years, Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, a 1977 case that had upheld the practice against a First Amendment challenge.

Opposition to labor unions and collective bargaining rights is a policy choice held by many political conservatives today, but it was not always the position of the Republican Party.  One of the early icons of the conservative political movement in the United States, Whittaker Chambers, was himself a union member at times in his career, he was supportive of the labor movement, and his wife and many of his relatives were union members.

This icon of political conservatism in the 1950s and 1960s supported collective bargaining rights so much, that when the parent of the conservative National Review Magazine gave an award named after Whittaker Chambers to our guest Mark Janus, in recognition of his participation in the Janus v. AFSCME litigation, the family of Whittaker Chambers objected to their father’s name being associated with the case. Continue reading “The Costs of Janus v. AFSCME”

Israel Reflections 2019—Shared Society

Posted on Categories Marquette Law School, Political Processes & Rhetoric, Public, Religion & LawLeave a comment» on Israel Reflections 2019—Shared Society

One key focus of our trip was all of the organizations working on shared society across groups in Israel. Our day of shared society started at Sindyanna of Galilee with a Za’atar workshop. Sindyanna of Galilee is a non-profit organization that employs Arab and Jewish women who aim to create a peaceful coexistence between the two cultures. The students were able to create their own Za’atar after hearing from employees on how they strive to create peace. (This was delicious! And all available on Amazon too…)

We then headed towards Nazareth to have lunch and see The Basilica of Annunciation. When we arrived there was a service in progress in front of the Grotto of the Annunciation. For student Margaret Spring it was one of the most breathtaking experiences she has ever had in a church. “Being at one of the most sacred Christian sites in the world while a congregation was singing is something that I will never forget.”

Our next stop was Givat Haviva. Givat Haviva is dedicated to promoting mutual responsibility, civic equality and cooperation between divided groups in Israel as the foundation for building a shared future and shared society—critical elements of a sustainable and thriving Israeli democracy. While there, we visited the divided city of Barta’a.

Student Mercy De La Rosa wrote a thoughtful self-reflection that is shared in full about her experience at Givat Haviva and how that compared to her childhood in El Paso near the Mexican at the Texas border.

 

 

Walking through the rolling green lawns of Givat Haviva, it was hard not to draw comparisons to college campuses across America with laughing students stretched out on beautiful trimmed lawns. This, however, is no idyllic American campus. Instead here Muslims and Jews strive to work together bridging differences and embracing commonalities. Clearly underneath the beautiful surface there has been a lot of hard work in community building and deep difficult conversations. Armed with cookies, coffee, and a razor-sharp witted Welsh guide we trekked to the Barta’a….Driving up to the town, I never imagined what was in wait for me. Driving up Lydia shared a heartbreaking story of how she often felt like a person divided, split between friendships on what at first glance seems like diametrically opposed sides. In hindsight, that story should have prepared me for the painfully wonderful parallels that would be presented between my home city of El Paso Texas and Barta’a. As we walked through the city, I was vaguely reminded of downtown El Paso until we hit the market area where all I could see was memories of Juarez. Granted it has been at this point almost 12 years since I have been to Juarez, but to me it felt like someone had just put up Arabic signs instead of ones in Spanish. As we ascended into the mountains to better see the divide, it was like looking out from Scenic Drive where you can see the connection of the two downtowns. From that viewpoint almost seamlessly merging into one another. On closer examination you can see the border but looking at it from a distance it is more a feeling than articulable distinguishing characteristics….This small town shook me to my core, serving as a stark reminder that though we may travel far from home sometimes it is the familiar that frightens and motivates us the most.

[Cross-posted at Indisputably.]

Congratulations to the 2019 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Finalists

Posted on Categories Legal Education, Legal Practice, Lubar Center, Marquette Law School, Public1 Comment on Congratulations to the 2019 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Finalists

Picture of courtroom with judges on the bench and student advocates seated at tablesCongratulations to the winners of the 2019 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition, Brooke Erickson and Micaela Haggenjos. Congratulations also go to finalists Luis Gutierrez and Nicholas Wanic. Erickson and Haggenjos additionally won the Franz C. Eschweiler Prize for Best Brief, and Erickson won the Ramon A. Klitzke Prize for Best Oralist.

The competitors argued before a packed house in the Lubar Center. Presiding over the final round were Hon. Charles R. Wilson (11th Circuit Court of Appeals), Hon. Daniel Kelly (Wisconsin Supreme Court), and Hon. Lisa K. Stark (Wisconsin Court of Appeals).

Many thanks to the judges and competitors for their hard work, enthusiasm, and sportsmanship in all the rounds of competition. Thank you, too, to the Law School administration and staff for their work in putting on the event. Special thanks to Dean Kearney for his support of the competition.

Thank you as well to the Moot Court Association for its work in putting this event together, and especially to 3L Sadie Olson, who so adeptly handled the details of the competition.

Students are selected to participate in the competition based on their success in the fall Appellate Writing and Advocacy class at the Law School.

Here is a link to the video of the final round.