Mike Gill joined the firm in 1982 and became a partner on January 1, 1986. His practice is limited to civil trial work in the State and Federal Courts of Wisconsin and Minnesota. During the 39 years that he has practiced, Mike has tried a variety of civil matters in the State and Federal Courts of Wisconsin and Minnesota, and on occasion has handled trials in other jurisdictions.
Mike has a broad-based civil litigation practice, which includes the representation of both plaintiffs and defendants in personal injury cases, products liability cases, professional liability cases, insurance coverage litigation, and business litigation. Mike has successfully litigated cases in the State and Federal Courts of both Wisconsin and Minnesota and has handled well in excess of 100 trials in the State and Federal Courts, most of which were jury trials.
Mike prides himself on being a strong trial advocate for all of his clients and finds trial work to be the most enjoyable and satisfying part of his practice.
In addition to his trial practice, Mike has been asked to serve as an arbitrator and mediator in a variety of civil cases.
- A man in his mid-40s bled to death at his home after being discharged from a rural hospital after an appendectomy. Claims were made against the surgeon and hospital staff. After a two-week trial, damages were awarded to the deceased man’s family for his wrongful death caused by the negligence of the defendants.
- A gear shop was sued for allegedly making defective gears used in the marine industry. The plaintiff in the suit contended that it had incurred substantial expense, lost business profits and suffered harm to its business reputation as a result of the allegedly defective gears. After a two week trial, the jury returned a verdict that awarded a limited amount of damages and found the plaintiff to be 50% contributorily negligent. The verdict was a small fraction of the amount claimed by the plaintiff against the gear shop client.
- A law enforcement officer was involved in a high speed collision while responding to a fire call in a rural area. The officer was sued by the driver of the other vehicle, who contended that the officer was inappropriately responding to the fire call as an emergency. The officer sustained serious injuries of his own in the accident, including a neck fracture that limited his employment capabilities after the accident. After a jury trial of almost two weeks, the jury determined that the officer’s negligence in causing the accident was minimal, and he was allowed to recover damages for his injuries.
- The parents of a deceased teenage son were sued as a result of the auto accident that took his life. The other driver, who was uninsured, claimed that the accident was caused by the negligence of the deceased teen. The 17-year-old boy who was killed in the accident was never available to testify about how the accident occurred, and there were no other witnesses to the accident, except for the other driver who sued. The issue in dispute was which driver crossed the center line before the collision. After a four-day trial, the jury determined that the deceased teenage boy was not the primary cause of the accident and the party that sued his family was denied a recovery. The parties were entitled to recover uninsured motorist benefits because their deceased son was not primarily at fault for the accident.
- Successfully defended a small town electrical contractor and his insurance company in an industrial accident that resulted in the amputation of the plaintiff’s arm. The plaintiff contended that there were electrical code violations related to the client’s work. The jury rejected this theory and found no negligence on the part of the defendant.
Honors & Awards
- Super Lawyer 2006-2022
- Best Lawyers 2013-2019; Lawyer of Year 2019 and 2022
- Fellow of Wisconsin Law Foundation
- Wisconsin Defense Counsel Advocate of the Year 2017
- Associate American Board of Trial Advocates 2016-present
Wisconsin Litigation Section blog articles:
- October 29, 2018, Product Liability Claims in Wisconsin: Tactics for Sellers or Distributors, co-authored with Craig Steger
- September 15, 2017, Filers Beware: Dangers Lurk in Commencing Civil Actions
- October 28, 2016, UIM Practitioners Beware – “Duplicate Payments” May Reduce the Claimant’s Benefit
- State Bar of Wisconsin Pinnacle CLE Webinar, 2018 Tort Reform Legislation Wisconsin Style, Shared Presentation with Attorney Amy M. Risseeuw, August 29, 2018
- ABOTA 29th Annual Institute of Trial Practice Mock Trial, November 8, 2018 – Attorney Participant
- WDC 2017 Summer Conference, Deposition Strategies, Tactics and Uses Before and at Trial, August 3, 2017
- Moderator for Panel Discussion – The Disappearing Witness in Personal Injury Cases – Treating Physicians Who Refuse to Testify Based Upon Burnett v. Alt and other Grounds – State Bar of Wisconsin Annual Meeting and Conference, June of 2017
- Featured Speaker, Closing Arguments (with demonstration), Iowa Defense Counsel Annual Convention, 2004
- Featured Speaker, Insurance Coverage, Duty to Defend and The American Rule After Reid v. Benz, CTCW Winter Conference, 2001
- Featured Speaker, Employee Non-Competition Agreements, Wisconsin Bar Association Regional Convention, 1989
Professional & Community Affiliations
- American Board of Trial Advocates–Associate
- Board of Directors Litigation Section Wisconsin State Bar Association, 2014-2019
- Association of Defense Trial Attorneys, 2012-Present
- DRI, 2011-Present
- Wisconsin Defense Counsel Board of Directors, 2004-2013, President, 2011-2012
- La Crosse County Bar Association, 1982-Present; President, 2002-2003
- Minnesota Bar Association, 1989-Present
- Minnesota Third Judicial District Bar Association
- Wisconsin Bar Association, 1982-Present
- Member OLR Study Committee, 6 years
- Past member International Association of Defense Counsel
- J.D., University of Minnesota Law School, Minneapolis, Minnesota, (1982)
- B.S. , University of Wisconsin, La Crosse
U.S. District Court Western District of Wisconsin, 1987
U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit
U.S. District Court District of Minnesota, 1994