Appleton Personal Injury Attorney Recognized by Wisconsin Association for Justice as Trial Lawyer of the Year

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Appleton personal injury attorney Kevin Lonergan has been honored by the Wisconsin Association for Justice as the "Trial Lawyer of the Year."

Appleton Personal Injury Lawyer Kevin Lonergan

Appleton Personal Injury Lawyer Kevin Lonergan

Kevin exemplifies the personality of all attorneys at Herrling Clark and we are all very proud of him for receiving this award.

Appleton personal injury law firm Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd. is proud to announce that one of its senior partners, Kevin Lonergan, has been honored by the Wisconsin Association for Justice and recognized as the “Trial Lawyer of the Year.”

Lonergan was presented with the prestigious “Trial Lawyer of the Year” award at the Wisconsin Association for Justice’s Presidential Dinner on December 5, 2014. The Wisconsin Association for Justice’s roots date back to 1946; in the organization’s sixty-eight year history, only fourteen other attorneys have been honored with the “Trial Lawyer of the Year Award.” Lonergan was just the second attorney in Northeast Wisconsin to earn the accolade. Although the award is typically presented by the organization’s President, Lonergan was surprised when two of his daughters, Emily I. Lonergan and Kristen E. Lonergan, both practicing attorneys and members of the State Bar of Wisconsin, were invited to come forward and honor their father by bestowing upon him the award.

In describing the year’s events that led to her father’s nomination and selection as “Trial Lawyer of the Year,” Kristen Lonergan explained to the attendees at the Presidential Dinner, “As trial lawyers in today’s legal landscape, we take our victories where we can get them. One good verdict in a year, one successful argument before the Wisconsin Supreme Court, or one act of service to our profession alone would make us each feel like a champion of justice, and rightly so. But to achieve all three things in the course of one year, well that is something great.” And that is exactly what Lonergan accomplished in 2014 to earn him the accolade of Wisconsin’s “Trial Lawyer of the Year.”

Lonergan graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1979 after having obtained his B.S. degree, with honors, from the United States Air Force Academy in 1976. Lonergan’s practice began as an Assistant District Attorney in the Eau Claire County. He then practiced for a short while in La Crosse before ultimately joining the Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd., in 1982. Lonergan’s entire practice is devoted to personal injury litigation and he is recognized by the National Board of Trial Advocacy as a Board Certified trial attorney. Since the State of Wisconsin began honoring outstanding attorneys as “Super Lawyers,” Lonergan has been a recipient of the award.

In the past, Kevin Lonergan has served as the Chair of the Board of Directors of the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Litigation Section, and he has also acted as a past-President of the Wisconsin Association for Justice. Locally, Lonergan has served as a past-President of the Outagamie County Bar Association and is a part-time court commissioner, a position he has held since 1994. Lonergan takes great pride in his service to the Appleton Xavier High School Mock Trial team, as he dedicated thirteen years of mentoring and guidance to the team as an attorney coach. Under Lonergan’s direction, three Xavier teams won the Wisconsin State Championship and in 2011, the Xavier team placed seventh at the National Championship in Phoenix, Arizona. In continued service to high school youth, Lonergan chaired the Executive Committee as part of his tenure with the State Bar’s Public Education Committee, which gave him the opportunity to bring the National Mock Trial Championship to the State of Wisconsin in May 2014.

As Lonergan’s daughters detailed, a number of outstanding achievements culminated throughout the year to propel Lonergan into the spotlight as the recipient of the prestigious “Trial Lawyer of the Year” award. In January, Lonergan earned a victory in Winnebago County Court (12CV526) in a bifurcated wrongful death insurance coverage trial. Lonergan represented the divorce father of a young man who was killed in a tragic automobile accident while his daughter, Emily Lonergan, tried the case by his side, representing the young man’s mother. Lonergan’s next victory came in February, when the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued its decision in Belding (2014 WI 8), a case that Lonergan had argued one behalf of the Wisconsin Association for Justice’s amicus committee before the high court at the end of 2013. The decision was the culmination of several years’ worth of hard work, research, briefing, and numerous court appearances. Lonergan was a key player in a unified team that fought to enforce the benefits intended by the short-lived Truth in Automobile insurance law. The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s Belding decision was a unanimous one, allowing insureds to access and stack their paid-for uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage benefits.

For Lonergan, though, perhaps his most memorable victory and arguably one of the most meaningful verdicts of his career came in March after an Outagamie County civil jury trial (13CV11). The verdict itself was undeniably impressive--exceeding one million dollars--but Lonergan was most proud of the justice that was achieved rather than the amount of the jury’s award. Lonergan’s client was admittedly rough-around-the-edges, with a colorful past, and a number of obstacles that seemingly stood in his way to finding justice. Lonergan’s thorough, thoughtful, and methodical handling of his client’s case, along with his passion and belief that everyone is entitled to a fair trial made it possible for the seemingly impossible to happen. Lonergan embraced and ultimately overcame the defense’s own theories to help his client recover an outstanding verdict.

Senior Partner and Herrling Clark Law Firm President, Charles D. Koehler, attended the celebration to honor Lonergan and reflected on how fitting Lonergan’s award was. “Rarely do you find an attorney with such great passion to protect his clients’ rights than in Kevin Lonergan. Any injured person represented by Kevin Lonergan is truly very fortunate. Kevin exemplifies the personality of all attorneys at Herrling Clark and we are all very proud of him for receiving this award.”

About Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd.:

Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd. has offices located in Appleton, Green Bay, Oshkosh and New London, Wisconsin. The Appleton personal injury attorneys at Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd. are dedicated to securing and protecting the rights of individuals, families and businesses facing critical legal matters. The experienced Outagamie personal injury lawyers are trained to handle complex legal matters and are equipped to execute appropriate legal strategies to obtain the best possible results for their clients. Call 920-739-7366 to schedule an initial consultation today or fill out the online contact form.

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Kristen Knutson
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