State Trial lawyers group has new leader
The Wisconsin Academy of Trial Lawyers has elected its first woman president, a personal injury attorney from Wauwatosa who specializes in medical negligence lawsuits.
M. Angela Dentice, now president-elect of the 1,000-member organization, will take over as president Friday. A graduate of Marquette University Law School, she replaces Kevin Lonergan of Appleton.
The academy consists of lawyers who specialize in representing consumers who are injured, either personally or because they are denied their civil rights. Dentice won a major personal injury trial in 1995 when a Milwaukee County jury awarded $4.28 million to a family that alleged that the failure to perform a timely Caesarean section resulted in their sons being born with cerebral palsy and brain damage.
Dentice, 52, who is in private practice, is a very good trial lawyer who also will be able to build consensus in the trial lawyers academy, which lobbies on state government issues, said Milwaukee attorney Randall Reinhardt, a past president of the academy.
She has the unbridled energy and enthusiasm for a person half of her age for how justice will triumph. Shes conscientious, deliberate, and still has a strong belief that the jury system works, he said.
Reinhardt said lawyers in the academy like to think of ourselves as a political force in Madison, but that their opinions often clash, so Dentice will need to be a consensus builder.
Dentice said she believes there is a popular perception that there are too many injury lawsuits and high-dollar verdicts, but that is a myth. She said she will work to preserve the rights of the injured to sue.
As for being the first woman to head the trial lawyers academy, Dentice said it is an honor and that she hopes more female attorneys will become trial lawyers. I think that juries are very receptive to women trial lawyers, she said.
Dentice, a former teacher, is married to corporate lawyer Benn DiPasquale, a partner with Foley & Lardner of Milwaukee, Wisconsins largest law firm.
By Tom Kertscher
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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