Lynn R. Laufenberg
Lynn R. Laufenberg founded Laufenberg, Jassak & Laufenberg, S.C. in 2000 to promote the core principles of practice he has developed during more than 30 years of representing Wisconsin individuals and families who have suffered a loss caused by the carelessness of others. The unwavering pursuit of these core principles was recognized by the Wisconsin Academy of Trial Lawyers when it named Lynn Laufenberg the 2006 Robert L. Habush Trial Lawyer of the Year.
The first core principle – personalized, professional and client-involved service – has become the cornerstone of the firm’s philosophy. Those who are struggling with the emotional and financial effects of unexpected personal injury or loss of a loved one must be treated with respect and personal attention. They are entitled to understand and be involved in the process by which their case is developed and resolved. It is their case, not the lawyer’s case. One of Lynn’s colleagues said in support of his Trial Lawyer of the Year recognition:
“In addition to a brilliant mind, Lynn is one of the kindest, fairest persons I have ever known, in or out of the law. As a consequence of his intelligence and fair-mindedness, he is one of the most ethical lawyers I have ever known. As if that were not enough, his judgment is impeccable. I would trust Lynn with any confidence or with any legal responsibility, however sensitive. I am very proud to call him my ‘friend.’”
The second core principle – a commitment to excellence – requires specialized, up-to-date knowledge of the law and attention to detail. An honors graduate of Marquette University Law School, Lynn Laufenberg has been at the forefront of developments in the law which preserve and extend the rights of all Wisconsin consumers, not just those he represents. In reporting his Trial Lawyer of the Year recognition, the Wisconsin Academy of Trial Lawyers said:
Laufenberg’s scholarship and impact on Wisconsin law has been immense. As Bill Gleisner, the 2005 recipient of the award stated, “Lynn is our organization’s ‘scholar in residence.’ He would be at home in any law school in the country.” He has been an active developer of Wisconsin tort law, appearing before state and federal appellate courts in numerous cases. His work in the area of products liability law successfully led to the formulation of the enhanced injury doctrine, which precludes consideration of fault of an injured party in causing the accident when determining liability for enhanced injuries. He also successfully argued for the rejection of ‘comparative risk’ evidence as relevant to a determination of whether a product is ‘unreasonably dangerous.’
The Academy also listed 8 of the most significant cases in which Lynn Laufenberg authored or co-authored “friend of the court” briefs and/or participated in oral argument on issues of vital concern to Wisconsin consumers who have been injured by the carelessness of others. Calling Lynn “a prolific writer,” the Academy listed a number of articles published in both state and national publications which discuss issues of trial law and practice.
The third core principle – actively preserving access to the courts – demands a broader commitment to our civil justice system. This is an age of constant attacks on trial lawyers, judges and even juries. Big business and insurance companies, using hot-button accusations of “frivolous” lawsuits, “lawsuit abuse” and “jackpot justice” are trying hard to undermine and even eliminate the right to a jury trial. Only active involvement in the battle will keep the courthouse doors open.
In bestowing the 2006 Trial Lawyer of the Year Award, the Wisconsin Academy of Trial Lawyers cited Lynn Laufenberg’s service in leadership in the Academy, including longtime service on its Board of Directors, as its President in 2003, as Co-Editor of its quarterly publication and as member, chair and co-chair of numerous committees. Another past recipient of the Trial Lawyer of the Year recognition said:
“Lynn has given countless hours to the Academy in almost every conceivable capacity. … His dedication to this organization has been consistent and unwavering. I have never known Lynn to turn down a request for help from the Academy.”
The Academy also cited Lynn’s active involvement in efforts to defeat anti-consumer legislation:
Finally, Laufenberg has been a strong advocate for the civil justice system in the halls of the legislature, appearing as a witness in the legislative process on behalf of WATL, the Litigation Section of the State Bar of Wisconsin and the State Bar of Wisconsin over 20 times to present testimony in opposition to efforts to restrict access to the courts by injured consumers, overturn common law rights of recovery and undermine the independence of the judiciary.
In addition to his work for the Academy, Lynn has been active in the State Bar of Wisconsin, serving as member and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Litigation Section of the State Bar of Wisconsin, as Chair of the Section Leaders Council and, most recently, as an elected representative to the Board of Governors. He is certified by the NBLSC as a Board Certified Trial and Pretrial Advocate, has been recognized by his peers by election to the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates and has been selected for inclusion in the Wisconsin Super Lawyers Edition from 2005 to 2012.
The fourth core principle – a commitment to professionalism – is an essential part of the battle against those who would close the courthouse doors. We are conscious of the damage being done to the image of trial lawyers by repeated, baseless attacks. The best antidote to those attacks is a constant commitment to professionalism. As another past recipient of the Trial Lawyer of the Year Award said of Lynn:
“Lynn is an extraordinary man. With all his success he remains kind, patient and willing to help anyone who asks. In these days when trial lawyers are cast in such a negative light Lynn is a great ambassador for us all. He is a thoughtful, intelligent man who has dedicated his life to helping those less powerful seek justice.”