President’s Message: Taking Advantage of All WDC Has to Offer

WDC Journal Edition: Winter 2014
By: Kara M. Burgos, President, Wisconsin Defense Counsel

One of the privileges of being an Executive Member of WDC has been traveling to meet other state and local defense organization members. Each organization serves different purposes and offers different agendas, programming, and member benefits. My goal this year as President of WDC is to cull the best of those ideas and combine them with your input to make WDC one of the best state defense organizations in the country. But...I can only do that job with your help. So, to my fellow defense practitioners, I ask, what do you want in YOUR organization? How can WE serve you, so you can serve your client? These are the questions that I hope to find answers to over the next year.

Why are you a member of WDC? I can think of several answers: 1) WDC provides me a vast resource of referral attorneys to whom I can pose questions on substantive issues, procedural issues, opposing counsel, and a selection of judges, arbitrators, and mediators; 2) WDC provides an opportunity 3 times a year to obtain up-to-date substantive education on relevant topics in my practice via state-wide seminars and the Wisconsin Civil Trial Journal; 3) WDC provides me with an avenue of research via the website on topics previously addressed at both seminars and in the Journal; 4) Relying on WDC’s legislative lobbying efforts, my clients know that I am committed to providing them the best representation by keeping myself up to date with the most current substantive and procedural legislation which may affect their interests; 4) WDC provides me with an opportunity to present substantive or procedural questions to an email list of WDC attorneys who may have experiences with an issue I am tackling; 5) WDC provides me with an ability to seek out experts in the state in a certain field and obtain counsel’s opinions on how the expert fared in litigation; 6) WDC provides an opportunity to seek employment opportunities and employment prospects; and 7) WDC provides opportunities to speak at seminars, author articles for the Journal, and participate as an amicus curiae writer on issues of importance in the field of civil defense litigation.

Have you taken advantage of all of these member benefits? Did you know you have all of these member benefits? What more would you like to see WDC offer? As I stated in my remarks at the Annual Meeting in La Crosse this past summer, we are here for you. As an organization we are only as strong as our members and we want our members to succeed. WDC wants your careers to be improved by the collective efforts of the organization. That is my mission for 2014-2015. Let us hear from you!

Kara M. Burgos, a New York native, holds a Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, from Saint Bonaventure University and a Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Marquette University. She is a member of the Wisconsin State Bar and both districts of the federal system. Kara, a partner with Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd., joined the firm in 1995. She is a member of the La Crosse County Bar Association, serving as secretary 1997-1998, and is the current President of the Wisconsin Defense Counsel. She is the President of the Board of Directors for Bethany St. Joseph’s Corporation, La Crosse, Wisconsin.

In 2000, Kara was selected, by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, to serve on the Special Preliminary Review Panel for the Office of Lawyer Regulation.page4image34296

This panel investigates ethical complaints against lawyers. Kara was the Panel’s Chairperson in 2007 until her term expired. She is current Chair of District 5 of the Office of Lawyer Regulation. Kara is Court Commissioner for La Crosse County Circuit Court Judge Ramona A. Gonzalez. Judge Gonzalez appointed her November, 2006. Previously, she was appointed Court Commissioner by Judge Dennis G. Montabon.

Kara works extensively with plaintiffs and defendants in many different areas including family, civil, and business law, as well as working with the mentally ill, developmentally disabled, and elderly populations. She has authored several briefs to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals and published several articles in scholarly journals. She was voted by her peers across the State as a “Rising Star” in a national publication in 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2011.