President’s Message: Thank You and Farewell

WDC Journal Edition: Summer 2018
By: Fred Strampe, President, Wisconsin Defense Counsel

As my term as President of the Wisconsin Defense Counsel (“WDC”) ends, I thought I would share my final thoughts regarding the WDC and the Defense Bar in Wisconsin. I am truly honored to have had the chance to lead this great organization and I am confident that the future leadership of WDC will continue to provide the great programming and services that we have all come to expect. I would like to thank everyone who works hard to make our organization run smoothly. I would also like to take this opportunity to share my thoughts regarding several important topics that affect our organization and the Bar in general.

As my term as President of the Wisconsin Defense Counsel (“WDC”) ends, I thought I would share my final thoughts regarding the WDC and the Defense Bar in Wisconsin. I am truly honored to have had the chance to lead this great organization and I am confident that the future leadership of WDC will continue to provide the great programming and services that we have all come to expect. I would like to thank everyone who works hard to make our organization run smoothly. I would also like to take this opportunity to share my thoughts regarding several important topics that affect our organization and the Bar in general.

First, I would like to thank all of the volunteers and staff members who make our organization operate. Andrew Hebl has done a great job as Program Chair organizing interesting and educational programs that appeal to a wide variety of members. I particularly would like to thank everyone who has generously volunteered their time to present at the WDC conferences and the seminars sponsored by WDC’s committees. Without these individuals generously sharing their time and their talent our organization could not operate. I would also like to thank Svinicki Association Management, Inc. for their hard work and dedication to WDC. Jane Svinicki, Jenni Kilpatrick, and Kelli Dyszelski keep our organization running. They coordinate with our venues, organize speakers, and manage our budget. Their services are often unnoticed because they do their job so well. As President of WDC I would like to publicly thank them for their hard work and excellent performance.

There are of course so many individuals who contribute greatly to our organization that I cannot identify them all in this article. However, during my time as an officer of the WDC there are several individuals whose contributions deserve special recognition. First, Chris Bandt from Manitowoc has been the driving force in redesigning and revitalizing the WDC website. This hard work is under recognized, but greatly appreciated by all of us who use the WDC website.

Second, all of the WDC Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs deserve recognition for their outstanding efforts. The Insurance Law Committee developed a CLE program in conjunction with the State Bar and is attempting to coordinate an educational event for Wisconsin judges. The Young Lawyer Committee organized an excellent program on insurance coverage that took place this Spring. Additionally, they hosted several interactive educational events throughout the State to help our young attorneys grow. Similarly, the employment law committee has organized several educational events throughout the State to help our members develop their expertise in employment law matters and grow their practices. Finally, the Women in Law Committee continues to expand its role and host numerous events throughout the State, both independently and in conjunction with other legal groups. All of the Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs deserve recognition for their outstanding efforts with these and other events.

As President of WDC, I have had the opportunity to observe the legislative process and examine the practice of law from a new perspective. I am thankful for this opportunity and it has provided an interesting insight into many topics. The most eye-opening for me has been the glimpse into the legislative process. I have been shocked to learn how much of the legislative process is driven by special interest groups from outside of Wisconsin with little or no appreciation for how the system operates in our state. This information has reinforced my belief that WDC needs to monitor ongoing legislative efforts to change the system in order to help mitigate radical changes and insert common sense into the process. However, we should be aware that the WDC and the Defense Bar, in general, have limited influence on the legislative process. WDC and its members should continue to advocate for a system that is fair and efficient while recognizing that other powerful interests have different agendas.

In conclusion, I would like to thank the WDC members for allowing me to serve as your President. It has been an educational and enriching experience that I will always remember. I would like to thank our Executive Committee, Board Members, and entire membership for their continued involvement and support of WDC. I believe the benefits from our organization are tremendous and I am grateful for having an opportunity to contribute to the legacy of our organization.

Thank you.


Speaker Biography:

Frederick Strampe grew up in Wausau, Wisconsin. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1990 and served as an infantry officer in Germany. He returned to Wisconsin and received his law degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1997.

Mr. Strampe specializes in civil litigation at Borgelt, Powell, Peterson & Frauen, S.C. He is the President of the Wisconsin Defense Counsel. Mr. Strampe has been recognized as a Wisconsin “super Lawyer,” and is a member of the America Board of Trial Advocates, ABOTA. He litigates high exposure cases, including claims involving deaths, severe permanent injuries, and significant economic damages.