President’s Message: Update on Collateral Source Legislation & Thank Yous

WDC Journal Edition: Summer 2013
By: Rollin E. Krafft, President, Wisconsin Defense Counsel

For a number of years we have supported change to Wisconsin Collateral Source Law which currently allows the recovery of “phantom damages.” The Collateral Source Rule Legislation received a public hearing in April. Andy Cook spearheaded the effort, with WDC President-Elect Art Simpson and Attorneys Tom Goss and James Friedman testifying in support of the bill. Notwithstanding their best efforts, the bill is stuck in committee because of health insurers’ objections. Accordingly, it is not likely that the bill will be voted out of committee in time for a June vote. WDC will continue to support the legislation and attempt to get the bill voted out of committee and sent to the floor, most likely in the fall.

It has truly been an honor to serve as President of Wisconsin Defense Counsel. I have enjoyed working with an excellent Board of Directors which provides this organization experienced leadership and service. Thank you.

I would like to thank a number of others for their outstanding work this year. This year’s program chair, Jeff Leavell, deserves recognition for his hard work and great programs. I am proud of the quality of CLE programming put on by our organization over the last several years. I am sure that Jeff will put together another great program for our annual conference August 1 and 2, 2013 at the Kalahari in Wisconsin Dells. Thanks Jeff!

Andrew Hebl continues to do a great job editing and marshalling articles for the Wisconsin Civil Trial Journal. The Journal continues to be viewed as an excellent source of academic quality articles on various legal topics of interest to the membership. Thanks Andrew!

Once again, Andy Cook of Hamilton Consulting has done a great job dealing with legislative issues. The legislative process can be frustrating at times and Andy is always able to stay above the fray. I have enjoyed working with him. Thank you Andy!

I also want to thank the people at Svinicki Association Management, Inc., for their hard work during the past year. They have served as Executive Director for the WDC for many years. In particular, Jane Svinicki, Jenni Rodriguez, and Beth Riefe are the people who operate this organization on a day-to- day basis. We could not function as an organization without their strong and capable effort. Thank you!

Finally, I would like to thank all of our sponsors for their continued support:

  • Brown & Jones Reporting, Inc.
  • CED Investigative Technologies, Inc.
  • CTLGroupExponent, Inc.
  • Minnesota Lawyers Mutual Insurance Co.
  • Proulx Professional Research, Inc.
  • Safety Engineering Associates, Inc.
  • SEA, Ltd.
  • Skogen Engineering
  • Stellpflug Law, SC
  • Visual Advantage, Inc.
  • West Bend Mutual Insurance Company
  • Wisconsin Law Journal
  • Woodlake Medical Management


Please support them as they continue to support our organization. I look forward to seeing many of you at the Kalahari for our annual conference. Thank you all for the opportunity to serve.

Rollin E. Krafft is a Senior Attorney with West Bend Mutual Insurance Company, where he manages complex litigation. He was in a civil defense practice in Racine from 1981 until 1985 and has been practicing with West Bend since 1986. In addition to serving as President of the WDC, Rollin is currently a member of the DRI and Washington County Bar Association. Rollin received a BA from Valparaiso University in 1978 and JD from Valparaiso University Law School in 1981.