President’s Message: A Bright Future Ahead

WDC Journal Edition: Winter 2020
By: Andrew B. Hebl, President, Wisconsin Defense Counsel

As President of WDC for 2020-21, I want to start off by thanking our outgoing President, Christine Rice, who did an outstanding job guiding us through the significant challenges presented by COVID-19. It is hard to imagine where we would be without her brilliant leadership.

As President of WDC for 2020-21, I want to start off by thanking our outgoing President, Christine Rice, who did an outstanding job guiding us through the significant challenges presented by COVID-19. It is hard to imagine where we would be without her brilliant leadership.

As I start my term, I want to begin by introducing myself. I am a partner at Boardman & Clark in Madison. I started my career there 10 years ago, after clerking for the Wisconsin Supreme Court. My practice focuses on insurance defense work, with a substantial amount of coverage work as well, along with the occasional bad faith or malpractice case. I also do a fair amount of civil rights defense work for municipalities.

One of the first things my mentoring attorneys had me do when I started out as a lawyer was join WDC and get involved, and it was the best thing I have ever done for my career. I spent seven years as the editor of our publication, the Wisconsin Civil Trial Journal, and have also written articles for the journal and presented at our seminars. Through these experiences, I have gotten the opportunity to make connections with some of the best lawyers in the state – our members. I have also learned more reading articles in our journal and attending our conferences than any other CLE out there. Finally, the connections this organization facilitates with our sponsors has been so helpful in learning about resources available to assist our practices.

My goal as President over the next year is to ensure that the value inherent in what this organization offers, counting the incredibly high-quality defense attorneys among our membership, continues. To that end, our Board of Directors intends to focus intensely on retaining and growing our membership by offering incentives to existing members to reach out to those around them, as well as to ramp up our engagement with the law schools to get on new lawyers’ radar as soon as possible. Our Board will be meeting soon to prepare a strategic plan to achieve these objectives. Despite the difficulties we face with the ongoing pandemic, we expect to keep this organization strong and vibrant, and to deliver real value to our members.

As a member of the Board, I want to ensure you that we are going to do our part. But we need your help too. The strength of this organization comes from the active participation of the high- quality people that are our members. There are numerous opportunities to get involved, whether by contributing an article to the Wisconsin Civil Trial Journal (contact our outstanding Journal Editor, Vince Scipior) or presenting at a seminar (contact our excellent Program Chair, Monte Weiss). We also have numerous additional opportunities to get involved through our various committees. Please reach out to our board members and committee chairs, myself included, if you are ready to take an active role in WDC. These opportunities can lay out a path to membership on our Board.

WDC is as valuable an organization for our members as it has ever been right now, and despite the challenging times we find ourselves in right now, the future remains very bright. I look forward to working with all of you to ensure that we achieve our full potential as defense lawyers and as an organization. Thank you for your support.

Author Biography:

Attorney Andrew Hebl is a partner in Boardman & Clark’s Litigation Practice Group. He also chairs the firm’s Technology Committee. Andrew’s trial and appellate practice focuses on the representation of insurance companies and their insureds. The cases primarily involve personal injury, property damage, and professional malpractice. Andrew also frequently represents insurance companies in insurance coverage disputes and extra-contractual litigation (bad faith). Finally, Andrew regularly defends municipalities in a wide variety of matters, including major civil rights lawsuits. Andrew is admitted to practice before all Wisconsin state and federal trial and appellate courts and listed in the Best Lawyers in America. He is rated AV- Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell.