NOT YOUR AVERAGE ATTORNEY…
MY LEGAL QUALIFICATIONS
My legal qualifications are something I normally do not talk about unless asked. Recently, however, I have run into situations where people who do not know me assume that because I am a solo practitioner working out of Lodi, Wisconsin that I must be on the lower end of the legal scale. Such a presumption is likely not unique to the legal field, and at one point, I thought that this assumption made by the other attorney(s) could work to my clients’ favor. I am now of the opinion that keeping my qualifications an unknown is not in my or in my clients’ best interest. Not only potential clients, but lawyers, mediators, and judges also look at websites and all make conclusions about how to treat a lawyer based upon certain assumptions made by them.
I did not decide to go to law school right after college. I first worked for the Boy Scouts of America, then for an independent insurance adjusting company and then as a social worker (See “How I got to be who I am today?” below). When I went to law school I was what they called a “non-tradition (a.k.a. older) student.”
The following lists my legal qualifications and experience:
• Law School Admissions Test (LSAT): The LSAT’s goal is to test a person’s critical reasoning, logic and reading comprehension. The test aims at testing one’s ability to think critically and creatively and to solve problems, skills that are believed to be needed to be a lawyer. My score placed me in the 96th percentile.
• Law School Ranking: My LSAT score permitted me to attend the University of Minnesota Law School. I was married, and the UM Law School would permit my wife to be close to friends and family while I dealt with the rigors of law school. Plus, although I may have been able to get into a higher ranked the school, the UM Law School ranked a very respectable 18th in the nation.
• Law School Performance: By definition, graduating cum laude from the UM Law School places the graduate in the top 40% of the class. I graduated cum laude, and based upon my grades, my best guess is that I graduated in the top 20% of my class.
• Work History/Experience: While attending law school, I worked 15-20 hours per week at an auto insurance company. Working while in law school was not recommended; however, like I said, I was married and needed to work for us be able to live in “non-student” housing. After law school, I took a job in the litigation department of a law firm in St. Cloud, Minnesota, and after 4-5 years, I then took a position with an insurance company, the company I worked for during law school. We then moved to Lodi, Wisconsin, where my wife was offered a teaching position. The insurance company transferred me to their Madison office, and after getting established in Lodi, I left the insurance company and opened the Mayer Law Office in Lodi, a general practice law firm practicing in civil (a.k.a. non-criminal) law matters.
In all, my work experience in the legal profession spans over a period of 28 years. Many of those years were spent evaluating, negotiating and settling bodily injury claims for an insurance company; specifically, injury claims arising out of automobile accidents. The remainder of the time was spent handling personal injury claims on behalf of the injured, dealing with real estate issues, drafting estate planning documents and working with personal representatives (a.k.a. executors) on probate files.
So, if you are looking for a qualified and experienced attorney to handle a civil law matter on your behalf, please give me a call at (608) 592-3603.
JUDGES HAVE NOTED JEFF’S EXCEPTIONAL
WRITING SKILLS, GETTING HIS CLIENTS EXCEPTION RESULTS:
- “Jeff – I must say this is excellent – as Mr. Rosenmeier would say, “first rate.”…Your use of Appendix B is ingenious.” Comments written by Justice John Simmonette of the Minnesota Supreme Court on Jeff’s brief for his 3rd year Legal Writing course. Justice Simmonette was the course instructor and used Jeff’s brief as an exhibit for class.
- “Thank you very much for your excellent highly explanatory April 4, 2016 letter which aptly describes in great detail the saga that [client’s name] has undergone since [date of injury]. In all candor, your letter reads like a law school exam question. I have been reviewing fee request letters for 29 years. If ever an attorney is eligible for a fee, it is you, sir.” Letter from Administrative Law Judge Joseph P.Schaeve, an ALJ with the Department of Workforce Development, commenting on a letter written regarding an automobile accident liability claim that turned into an uninsured motorist’s claim that contractually involved a worker’s compensation claim.
- In favor of the appellant, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals conclude in In re Estate of Roger T. Hansen, 2011AP325, that there was no “delivery” of a gift to support the respondent’s claim that there was a gift causa mortis (a.k.a. a gift in contemplation of death). “Delivery” is needed for there to be a gift causa mortis. The cause was submitted to the court of appeals by brief – that is, the decision was based upon the written briefs submitted by the parties. On behalf of his client, the appellant, Jeff wrote the briefs and SAVED THE ESTATE OVER $275,000.
Call today at 608-592-3603 for legal advice you can count on!
How I got to be who I am today?
The most important and formative two years of my life that made me who I am today were not the years I spent growing up in Cumberland or my years at St. John’s University or the three years I spent going through law school. The most important and formative years of my life, to date, were the two years I spent as a social worker in Columbus, Ohio. Those two years put everything into perspective. My experience as a social worker made that fact that there was no way I could ever have accomplished what I had accomplished without great parents and a “wholesome” upbringing. My years as a social worker made this fact crystal clear to me.
Prior to my two years as a social worker, things were good, and I took credit for everything good that I had accomplished. I took sole credit for my doing well in school, becoming an Eagle Scout, lettering on the varsity golf and basketball teams, graduating from a respected private college, etc. Anything that wasn’t good, was my parents’ fault.
The social work that I did was in a juvenile delinquency outreach program. Juveniles were sent to the program by the juvenile court system, and my job was to recruit and train volunteers to act as role models for the juveniles. The program was kind of like the Big Brother – Big Sister program except for the fact that all of our youth were “juvenile delinquents.”
The experience was very eye-opening for a lad that grew up in a small town in northern Wisconsin. Most but not all of my clients were from “dysfunctional” families. Many times the grandparents were the ones attempting to raise the child.
Criminal activity was a way of life for the juveniles. Many times they would come to our program because they were caught shoplifting. Although most of our clients came from impoverished families, the shop lifting was done for the thrill of it, not because of the lack of money. Spending time in jail was also seen by them and their peers as a ”badge of honor.” They also were not really risking anything since they had nothing to risk.
There were many more serious situations. For example, a juvenile that I was working with had been caught with a handful of other youth robbing a music store. The situation was your “Oliver Twist” type of situation. The police were more interested in obtaining and convicting the adult that was controlling the juveniles than convicting the juveniles. The police convinced the juvenile I was working with and another juvenile to be a witness against the adult. Unfortunately, a number of other juveniles remained under the control of the adult, and on one summer day, my client and his fellow “snitch” were sitting on the steps to his grandparents’ home, when two of the other juveniles still under the control of the adult grabbed my juvenile’s friend, dragged him away, and executed him by putting a bullet into his forehead.
My career as a social worker was short-lived, and there is no doubt that I left the job because I was burnt out. I remember one day standing in the road, in a neighborhood that most people I knew would never enter. As I looked around, I said to myself: “If I had grown up in this neighborhood, I would be just like these kids.”
At this point, as I stood on that road, I had an epiphany of how lucky I had been to have had the parents that I had. Looking back, this fact should have been obvious to me, but it wasn’t.
My family was not financially well-off; however, my family was well-off in many other ways, especially when compared to the families of these juveniles. My parents never punished me by putting a cigarette out on my scalp, my parents never sexually assaulted me, my parents never told me that I was worthless, etc. Compared to the families that these juveniles came from, we were downright rich. I do not ever remember going to bed hungry, or seeing my breath because of the cold as I attempted to go to sleep, or not having a cake on my birthday. And the fact that we could be evicted from our home was not even a thought that ever entered my mind.
My parents were loving, caring and encouraging — even when times were difficult. I understand now that most of the time things must have been very emotionally and financially difficult for them. They must have been extremely stressed. It took being a social worker and being exposed to these neighborhoods and families to show me just how lucky I was to have had the parents that I had.
Thank you, mom and dad, for everything. You deserve all of the credit for my accomplishments. Thank you.