President’s Message: Great Things Happening with WDC

WDC Journal Edition: Spring 2022
By: Christopher R. Bandt, President, Wisconsin Defense Counsel

I would like to thank all of the members and sponsors who attended our Winter Conference. It was a huge success! We had great speakers and attendance was near pre-pandemic numbers. Hopefully, despite the current state of COVID in our lives, we will continue to be able to provide in-person conferences to our members. Our next conference is the Spring Conference, April 7-8, 2022, at the American Club in Kohler. We will continue to monitor the status of COVID numbers leading up to the Spring Conference and keep all our members and sponsors advised as the event approaches.

I would like to thank all of the members and sponsors who attended our Winter Conference. It was a huge success! We had great speakers and attendance was near pre-pandemic numbers. Hopefully, despite the current state of COVID in our lives, we will continue to be able to provide in-person conferences to our members. Our next conference is the Spring Conference, April 7-8, 2022, at the American Club in Kohler. We will continue to monitor the status of COVID numbers leading up to the Spring Conference and keep all our members and sponsors advised as the event approaches.

My last message started with, “Why WDC?” What I would like to focus on in this message is the great opportunities our members have to be actively involved in WDC. We have many committees to make membership in WDC more meaningful for all members across a broad range of practice skills and demographics. We encourage our members to join one or more of the committees as they provide an excellent opportunity to share ideas and discuss matters important to WDC and to further your own development as a skilled defense attorney.

At our last board meeting, we approved changing the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee from an ad hoc committee to a formal committee. Charles Polk is the chair of this committee and has done tremendous work developing the committee. Please look for more information on the work this committee is undertaking and consider joining.

The Law School Committee, chaired by Grace Kulkoski and Monte Weiss, has been working with the Marquette and UW law schools to make WDC a recognizable organization for law students. We received great reviews from the presentation conducted at UW Law this fall. The future of WDC is with our young lawyers and those law students who have an interest in civil litigation. We hope to continue to build on this committee’s work.

Similarly, the Young Lawyers Committee, chaired by Nicole Radler, has been very active in developing programming and content for our Young Lawyers. Nicole is working with Crystal Uebelher to provide a day-long training sometime during 2022. Please watch for further details. Thanks to Sean Bukowski and Beau Krueger for presenting on behalf of the Young Lawyers Committee at the Winter Conference. It is not easy being a young lawyer and learning to be a skilled defense attorney. It takes a lot of time and training and having this committee to allow the young lawyers to discuss topics, issues, and development is vital to the overall success of WDC.

We have also seen great articles and presentations from our Insurance Law Committee chaired by Brad Markvart. The Amicus Curiae Committee, chaired by Brian Anderson, has been actively involved in several appellate matters on behalf of WDC members and organizations.

Our Women in the Law Committee, chaired by Andrea Goode, continues to do phenomenal work not only with scheduling events, but also with the community support they provide as part of their annual Spring Professional Clothing Drive. Please watch for more events by the Women in Law Committee.

I have only touched on a few of the committees, and I encourage our membership to review the list of committees at http://www.wdc-online.org/about-wdc/committees and contact the chairs and co-chairs to get involved. WDC is here to make our membership stronger and develop the most skilled defense attorneys in the state.

In the past year we developed an Awards Committee, that is chaired by myself, Grace Kulkoski, and Christine Burck. This will be the first year that the revamped awards process will take place. This committee came out of a strategic planning session to encourage and reward WDC members who demonstrate active and effective representation of the standards of excellence that is WDC.

You may have already seen emails regarding the nomination process and there will be more to come. Please review these and consider nominating individuals who are deserving of the respective awards. We look forward to presenting the first set of committee awards at the Spring Conference.

Our sponsorship has remained strong throughout the pandemic, and I want to personally thank all of our sponsors for sticking with us through the various obstacles that have arisen during the last couple of years. Please continue to visit our sponsor booths at the conferences and look for various sponsor webinars during the year.

Lastly, please consider submitting content for our WDC Journal. Our Journal Editor, Vince Scipior, is always looking for new and fresh articles, trials/verdicts, settlements, and significant motion hearing results. You can contact Vince directly at vscipior@cnsbb.com. This is another great way to be active in WDC.

I look forward to a great Spring Conference and see you at Kohler, April 7-8, 2022!

Author Biography:

Christopher R. Bandt is a partner in the Manitowoc office of Nash, Spindler, Grimstad & McCracken, LLP. He has been with the firm since 1996 and his practice focuses on all aspects of civil litigation with a concentration on insurance defense. He also provides mediation/ADR services. He has represented clients and tried cases throughout the State of Wisconsin and has argued before the Wisconsin Supreme Court. He is admitted to practice in the State of Wisconsin and before the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin. He has served on the faculty for the University of Wisconsin Law School Lawyering Skills course. He is the current President of WDC and is also the chair of the Civil Jury Instruction Committee and co-chair of the Awards Committee. He is also a member of the Defense Research Institute. He has previously presented before WDC and the State Bar, and routinely provides presentations to clients and peer groups.