2019 Year In Review & 2020 Commitment

By Attorney Isaiah Richie, Schloemer Law Firm, S.C.

At the end of the month, Schloemer Law Firm will mark the end of its 86th year and is looking forward to starting its 87th year advising our many clients in a wide range of legal areas.  As we close 2019, I can look back on what amounted to my first full year with this long-standing firm with a renewed sense of respect for the legal tradition and community presence I have now come to expect from Schloemer.

I arrived at Schloemer in August of 2018 having worked at two appellate courts and an insurance subrogation firm.  At the time I had little knowledge of what Schloemer represented, but I was excited to begin.  As I reflect on my first year with the firm and the end of 2019, I can see now why Schloemer has the reputation that it does.

What follows are some of the many things I noticed throughout the year:

  • Practice Areas and Notable Projects. Although I had a good understanding of what I wanted practice, I did not know precisely how broad Schloemer’s practice areas were.  I soon realized that — with only a few exceptions — there was an attorney at Schloemer who practiced in just about every area of law imaginable.  If a client asked me a question that I didn’t know the answer to, I could be assured that one of my colleagues would know.

Throughout the year I saw attorneys in our office assisting countless businesses and families through all stages of their life, from putting in place an estate plan with the birth of their first child, to selling a successful business. The clients and projects I saw ranged from modest families seeking basic business or estate planning to complex corporate transactions and everything in between. In one instance, Attorneys Jim Spella, Andrew Niebler, and Amanda Follett assisted a long-time client in the sale of a multi-million dollar business. Contrasted with countless individuals the firm worked with to avoid probate for estates worth anywhere from $50,000 to $20,000,000.

Our litigation attorneys, including Laura O’Gorman, James Danaher, and Andrew Neibler continued to assist our clients navigate litigation proceedings and successfully resolve business and contract disputes, employee conflicts, landlord/tenant matters, collections cases, personal injury claims, and family law matters.

  • Speaking Engagements.  Throughout the year, Schloemer Attorneys participated in a number of speaking engagements.  For example, in one presentation I, along with Attorneys Andrew Niebler and Amanda Follett, partnered with Myrhum Patten Funeral Home as well as a funeral planning management company to talk to the community about planning ahead for estate and funeral services.  We also presented with Horicon Bank and MOWA to provide information on estate planning and trust administration.  We continue participating in and looking for opportunities to share our collective knowledge with the community and our clients.
  • New Faces. This year, we were happy to welcome our newest paralegal, Stacy!  Stacy brings 16 years of experience focusing on Real Estate and Litigation, and she also has experience in Probate and various Civil matters.
  • Community Involvement. One of the first things I learned when I came to Schloemer Law Firm was that we put a big emphasis on service to our community.  In 2019 I participated in the West Bend Chamber of Commerce Leadership program and spent a number of days learning about the vast history and community of West Bend.  During the Leadership Program, I had the honor to assist the Kettle Moraine Symphony Board of Directors.  Other attorneys in the office also continued to get involved in the community.  Schloemer Law Firm Partner James Danaher continued our strong history of supporting youth sports and served as the head coach for the West Bend West Varsity Soccer Team.  Attorney Amanda Follett continued her role as a coach for the Kewaskum Mock Trial team.  We also sponsored many local teams and community programs and offered our services free of charge for others.

I am excited to see what the new year brings as we continue serving our community.

  • Civic Nominations & Awards. Something else I quickly learned was that there is a myriad of civic organizations in the West Bend community in which our Attorneys participate.  In my first year with Schloemer I have already joined the Board of Directors of the Economic Development Corporation of Washington County and continue looking for opportunities to advance the future of the community.

We were honored to be nominated as Small Business of the year by the West Bend Area Chamber of Commerce. While the award ultimately went to a very deserving Educators Credit Union, we were honored to be considered among such an amazing group of West Bend businesses.

Attorney Amanda Follett was honored as one of Wisconsin Law Journal’s 2019 Up and Coming Lawyers. The Wisconsin Law Journal honors the rising stars of Wisconsin’s legal community. Honorees are attorneys who have demonstrated leadership, contributed to their community, successfully achieved legal outcomes early in their career, and are on the fast track to making a significant impact on the legal profession.

Attorney Amanda N. Follett is also busier than ever as President of the Rotary Club of West Bend – Noon and continues to lead the Club in exciting directions.  She also received the award of Rotarian of the Year from the Club for her innovative leadership and dedication to the community.  Attorney Jim Spella is a former President of the Rotary Club.

Attorney Andy Niebler continues to serve on the Board of Directors of the West Bend Chamber of Commerce and on the Advisory Committee for Human Resources and Leadership Development for Moraine Park Technical College.

  • Continued Excellence from Staff.  It doesn’t need to be said, but we could not have accomplished everything that we did this year without the glue that holds our office together: our excellent and professional staff.  From the front desk, to filing and retrieving documents, to drafting and assisting in complex matters, our staff continues to serve an invaluable role in the work that we do.  The culture of friendship and comradery in the office runs deep, and our staff is quick to offer their assistance in any matter that comes up.  For that, we are grateful, and we know that sentiment is shared by our clients.
  • Kewaskum Office. In our fourth year of having a Kewaskum Office, we have continued to expand our services and reach to the north. We had another successful “Cookie Hunt” with the Chamber of Commerce and have continued to develop relationships with area businesses, farms, and manufacturers. We are most proud of our continued support of the Wisconsin 9/11 Memorial, with highlight of the year being groundbreaking on the project and dedication of the Wisconsin 9/11 Memorial Highway.

It is easy for a firm with such deep roots in a community to rely on its name and history to bring in business.  But from the very beginning, I saw that Schloemer Law Firm relies instead on substance and true dedication to West Bend and the surrounding areas to hold itself out as a premier law firm in Washington County and southeastern Wisconsin.  I have had the honor to work with and learn from some of the great minds and leaders (past and future) in West Bend, and I look forward to continuing learning and serving the community in the coming new year.

As 2019 comes to an end, we would like to thank all our clients for their continued trust and support, and we look forward to working with each of you as well as serving new individuals and businesses throughout 2020.

James A. Spella * James R. Danaher * Charles H. Williams * Laura E. O’Gorman * Andrew J. Niebler * Amanda N. Follett * Isaiah M. Richie

Originally published: December 26, 2019.

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Disclaimer: The information contained in this post is for general informational purposes only and is not legal advice. Due to the rapidly changing nature of law, Schloemer Law Firm makes no warranty or guarantee concerning the accuracy or completeness of this content. You should consult with an attorney to review the current status of the law and how it applies to your unique circumstances before deciding to take—or refrain from taking—any action.  If you need legal guidance, please contact us at 262-334-3471 or [email protected]