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Firm News

Five Ruder Ware Attorneys Selected for Wisconsin Super Lawyers
Posted on Nov 30, 2010

Attorneys Mark Bradley, Dean Dietrich, Doug Klingberg, Randi Osberg, and Chris Seelen have been selected as Wisconsin Super Lawyers. Only five percent of the lawyers in the state are named by Super Lawyers.

Selections for this esteemed list are made by the research team at Super Lawyers, which is a service of the Thomson Reuters, Legal division based in Eagan, Minn. Each year, the research team at Super Lawyers undertakes a rigorous multi-phase selection process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, independent evaluation of candidates by the attorney-led research staff, a peer review of candidates by practice area, and a good-standing and disciplinary check.

Attorneys selected for inclusion in 2010 Wisconsin Super Lawyers are:
Mark Bradley, Wausau: Estate Planning & Probate; Closely Held Business.
Dean Dietrich, Wausau: Government/Cities/Municipalities; Schools & Education; and Employment & Labor.
Doug Klingberg, Wausau: General Litigation.
Randi Osberg, Eau Claire: Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights; Business/Corporate; and Banking.

Attorneys named for inclusion in 2010 Wisconsin Rising Star are:

Christopher Seelen, Eau Claire: Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights; Business/Corporate.


Attorney Christopher M. Seelen Appointed as Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee for the Western District of Wisconsin
Posted on Nov 16, 2010

Ruder Ware is pleased to announce Christopher Seelen has been appointed to the panel of Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustees for the Western District of Wisconsin. Mr. Seelen practices at the firms Eau Claire office.

As a Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee, Mr. Seelen is designated to be the presiding officer at first meetings of creditors with authority to examine debtors under oath. Mr. Seelen is the second attorney with Ruder Ware to be honored with this appointment, Attorney Randi L. Osberg has served as a Chapter 7 trustee for the Western District for nearly 20 years.

In addition to his duties as a Chapter 7 trustee, Mr. Seelen will continue to concentrate his practice on representing creditors in bankruptcy court and state court. He has represented secured creditors in bankruptcy court cases under Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 12 and Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code in addition to representing Chapter 7 Trustees in avoidance actions including fraudulent conveyances and preferential transfers. Mr. Seelen represents banks, credit unions, lenders, and other creditors in state court collection actions involving commercial and residential foreclosures, replevins, and money judgments.

Mr. Seelen is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute, the Commercial Law League of America, and the National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees.


Attorney G. Lane Ware Receives American Bar Foundation's Wisconsin Outstanding Service Award
Posted on Oct 28, 2010

Ruder Ware is pleased to announce G. Lane Ware was selected as the recipient of the Wisconsin Outstanding Service Award by The Fellows of Firm News/102810/GLW-with-Robert-Nelson-ABF.gif the American Bar Foundation.

This award is in recognition of professional service, adhering to the highest principles and traditions of the legal profession and to the service of the public. Over the course of Mr. Ware's more than forty-year career he's served a number of professional and civic organizations. Currently, Mr. Ware is actively involved with the Marathon County Economic Development Corporation. In addition, he serves on the Aspirus Health Foundation, Inc. as Vice Chairman and on the board of directors for the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum. Professionally, Mr. Ware is a Fellow with the Wisconsin Law Foundation, where he recently completed his term as president and as a Fellow with the American Bar Foundation.


Attorney Dean Dietrich Receives John L. Cook Memorial Award
Posted on Oct 26, 2010

Ruder Ware is pleased to announce the selection of Dean Dietrich as the recipient of the prestigious John L. Cook Memorial Award, awarded by the Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce.

The John L. Cook Memorial Award was established to honor the memory of John Cook, a member of the first class of Leadership Wausau/Marathon County, who was murdered while on vacation. John Cook was an active community volunteer committed to helping people expand their potential as individuals in the workforce and community.

Mr. Dietrich was recognized for his years of service to bettering the quality of life for Wausau area residents. Actively involved both professionally and civically, Mr. Dietrich recently completed his board chairman position for Aspirus, Inc. In addition, he serves on the board of directors for the Wisconsin Public Radio Association and is a member of the Wausau Early Bird Rotary Club. Professionally Mr. Dietrich chairs the State Bar of Wisconsins Committee on Professional Ethics and serves as president for the Wisconsin Law Foundation where he is a Fellow.


Ruder Ware Hosts Higher Education Leaders
Posted on Sep 08, 2010

In an ongoing effort to bring higher education leaders together and work toward a Firm News/090810/Higher-Ed-Leaders.gifcommon goal, Mark Bradley hosted a luncheon meeting on September 8, 2010 to introduce Bernie Patterson, the new Chancellor of UW-Stevens Point, to the leaders of other central and northern Wisconsin higher education institutions. Mr. Bradley has served on the Board of Regents since 2003 and recently completed a two-year term as its president.

(Left to right) Mark Bradley, president of Ruder Ware and member of the UW System Board of Regents; Elizabeth Burmaster, president of Nicolet College in Rhinelander; Sandra Smith, dean of UW-Marathon County; Lori Weyers, president of North Central Technical College in Wausau; Bernie Patterson, chancellor of UW-Stevens Point


Attorney Mark Munson Receives Certification in Elder Law
Posted on Aug 10, 2010

The National Elder Law Foundation recently certified Mark Munson as a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) - one of ten in the state of Wisconsin. The certification program, the only one approved by the American Bar Association for elder law, has been developed to identify lawyers who have the enhanced knowledge, skills, and experience to be properly identified as certified elder law attorneys to the public.

Licensed to practice law in Wisconsin, Illinois and South Dakota, Mr. Munson principally advises clients in the areas of elder law, public benefits (including special needs trusts), estate and trust planning, and taxation. Mr. Munson regularly advises clients in the areas of asset protection and medical assistance eligibility. He also assists clients with probate and estate administration, trust administration and guardianship. Mr. Munson is very active within the professional elder law community. He is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), including its Wisconsin chapter. He has presented on trusts and taxes at the organization's last two annual meetings, which draws elder law attorneys from across the country.

Elder law is one of the fastest growing fields in the legal profession. As loved ones age, the task of planning for their future care can be overwhelming. Elder law focuses on the financial, legal, and health care needs of individuals age 65 and older. As elder law advocates, Ruder Ware's attorneys are committed to providing solutions to the needs and concerns of our clients and their families.

Services provided by Ruder Ware include:
- Nursing home and medical assistance planning
- Asset protection
- Gifting and divestment planning
- Medicare and Medicaid benefits
- Social Security benefits
- Insurance analysis (including long-term care insurance)
- Residential housing and other living options
- Planning for individuals with special needs
- Tax planning
- Durable powers of attorney for property and finances
- Health care powers of attorney
- Wills
- Trusts
- Marital property agreements
- Real estate
- Guardianship
- Conservatorship
- Veterans' benefits


Attorney Mark J. Bradley Elected President of Ruder Ware
Posted on Jul 07, 2010

Ruder Ware is pleased to announce the election of Mark Bradley as its president. Bradley becomes the fourth president in the firm's 90-year history succeeding Lon E. Roberts who served as president for eleven years. Roberts will remain active in his law practice and the firm's ownership.

In making the announcement, Roberts said the firm's board of directors has planned and guided this management transition for the past 18 months. "Our clients will not experience any change in the professional services they receive because Mark has been actively involved as a board member since 1999 and played an important role in establishing the firm's strategic vision," states Roberts. "We will continue to be committed to providing quality legal service in a timely and efficient manner while working hard, under Mark's leadership, to build our base and improve on all aspects of the service experience clients expect from Ruder Ware."

Bradley concentrates his practice on business succession planning, tax and estate planning, and estate and trust administration. He also serves as trustee of numerous client trusts through Ruder Ware's Fiduciary Services Department. Since 1991, Bradley has been recognized by "Best Lawyer in America" in the areas of Tax Law and Trusts & Estates. In addition, he has been an elected Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel since 1989.

Governor Jim Doyle reappointed Bradley to the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents where he's served since 2003, most recently completing a term as its president. A nationally recognized leader in the trusts and estates legal field, Bradley also is a member of the estate planning faculty of the State Bar of Wisconsin, and teaches at state and national continuing education programs for attorneys, accountants, and financial planners. Bradley spends much of his free time giving back to his community through various foundations and nonprofit organizations including the Good News Project, the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy & Service, and the Marshfield Clinic National Advisory Council.


Attorney Mark Munson Presents at Annual Meeting of National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
Posted on Jun 29, 2010

Mark Munson, Senior Associate at Ruder Ware, recently presented at the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) 2010 annual meeting. Mr. Munson was invited to co-present with Virginia-based attorney Yahne Miorini of Miorini Law PLLC. Their presentation, titled, "Tax Planning for Non-Citizens," explored the special estate planning techniques that apply when donors, recipients, or trustees are non-citizens. This is the second invitation to present extended to Mr. Munson by NAELA.

NAELA's annual meeting, held in Orlando, FL, draws attorneys practicing elder law from across the United States. The nonprofit organization's mission is to establish its members as the premier providers of legal advocacy, guidance, and services to enhance the lives of people with disabilities and people as they age. In addition to Mr. Munson's presentation, other topics covered at the four day annual meeting included "Blended Families and Medicaid Planning," "Elder Justice Issues Update," and "Achieving Family Harmony in Estate Plans/Practice Tools and Trust Provisions."

"I'm honored to be invited back to present at NAELA's annual meeting. This organization truly represents the gold standard in the practice of elder law and all facets related to it and I'm pleased to be a part of this information-packed event," comments Mr. Munson.

Munson concentrates his practice in the areas of elder law, including medical assistance eligibility planning and divestment, estate planning, special needs planning, taxation, and asset protection planning. In addition, Mr. Munson regularly practices in the areas of probate and estate administration, trust administration, and guardianship.

In addition to practicing elder law, Ruder Ware's Trusts & Estates group advises business owners and individuals in all aspects of business and personal planning, including the formation, operation, and growth of closely held businesses and the adoption and implementation of sophisticated succession and estate planning techniques.


Local Organization Honors Attorney Mark Bradley With the Badger of the Year Award
Posted on May 14, 2010

Ruder Ware, L.L.S.C. congratulates Mark Bradley on receiving the Badger of the Year Award from the UW-Alumni, Wausau Chapter. This award started in 2004 and is given to an individual that has made a positive impact on their community, both locally and statewide.

At Ruder Ware, Mr. Bradley is both a shareholder and board member. Throughout his career he has held a number of high profile leadership positions. In 2003, Governor Jim Doyle appointed Mr. Bradley to the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents where he's held committee chair positions and most recently served as president of the Board. At the end of February 2010, Governor Doyle re-appointed Mr. Bradley to another seven year term on the Board of Regents.

Mr. Bradley is a member of the estate planning faculty of the State Bar of Wisconsin, and teaches at state and national continuing education programs for attorneys, accountants, and financial planners. He is also an elected fellow of the American College of Trust & Estate Counsel. Mr. Bradley spends much of his free time giving back through various foundations and nonprofit organizations including the Good News Project, the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy & Service, and the Marshfield Clinic National Advisory Council.


Attorney Melissa Kampmann Receives CFP License
Posted on May 03, 2010

Ruder Ware, L.L.S.C. congratulates Attorney Melissa Kampmann on receiving her Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification.

The CFP(R) certification is a recognized standard of excellence for personal financial planning. According to the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. "attaining CFP(R) certification is a highly respected professional achievement for those who work within the financial services industry and an achievement with meaningful benefits for a CFP(R) certificant's practice and clients."

Lon Roberts, managing partner at Ruder Ware, states, "Our profession values continuing education and our firm places special importance on exceeding our client's needs. Melissa, true to her calling as an attorney and to her leadership within the firm, sets an excellent example for pursuing a certification outside of the legal profession, one that has a positive impact for our clients."

Ms. Kampmann intends to use the CFP certification when advising clients on estate and retirement planning issues.


Governor Doyle Reappoints Attorney Mark Bradley to UW System Board
Posted on Mar 30, 2010

Ruder Ware, L.L.S.C. is pleased to announce the reappointment of Mark Bradley to the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents for a term to expire May 1, 2017.

In announcing the appointment, Governor Jim Doyle stated, "Mark Bradley has served on the Board of Regents with distinction, and I am pleased to reappoint him to continue his service to the state."

Mr. Bradley has served on the Board of Regents since 2003 and recently completed a two-year term as its president. At Ruder Ware, Bradley is president-elect and former chair of the Trusts & Estates Practice Group. "Business leaders understand that to be competitive in the knowledge economy our state must maintain a quality system of higher education that focuses on essential learning outcomes at the undergraduate and graduate levels. I am honored to be asked to continue this important work," states Mark Bradley.

Mr. Bradley concentrates his practice on business succession planning, tax and estate planning, and estate and trust administration. He also serves as trustee of numerous client trusts through Ruder Ware's Fiduciary Services Department. Since 1991, Mr. Bradley has been recognized by "Best Lawyers in America" in the areas of Tax Law and Trusts & Estates. In addition, he has been an elected Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel since 1989.


Four Ruder Ware Attorneys Selected to Join Fellows of the Wisconsin Law Foundation
Posted on Dec 04, 2009

The Wisconsin Law Foundation recently selected Ruder Ware Attorneys Lon Roberts, David Anderson, Joseph Mirr, and William Tehan to join the Fellows.

The Wisconsin State Bar describes the Fellows as, "an honorary program, which recognizes members of the profession in Wisconsin who are known by their peers for high achievements in their profession and outstanding contributions for the advancement and improvement of the administration of justice in the State of Wisconsin."

These four attorneys join Lane Ware, Mark Bradley, and Dean Dietrich also Fellows. Lon Roberts, managing partner at Ruder Ware, states, "It's an honor for Ruder Ware to have seven attorneys as members of the Fellows. We strive for excellence in our profession and this achievement is humbling to each of us."


Attorney Melissa Kampmann Receives Up and Coming Lawyer Award
Posted on Sep 09, 2009

The Wisconsin Law Journal recently selected Melissa Kampmann as one of 20 "Up and Coming" lawyers in the state of Wisconsin.

The award recognizes those attorneys who are on the fast track to making a significant impact on the legal profession. Per WLJ, "They show determination - in legal work, in community betterment, and in improving their own aw firms."

"Melissa is a shining example to all young professionals, including those who also want to raise children. She is focused on what fulfills her and that includes being a wife, mother, lawyer and dedicated community member," states Attorney Mark Bradley, Shareholder and Chair of the Trusts & Estates practice group.

Ms. Kampmann advises individuals and families on a variety of personal legal needs including sophisticated trust and estate planning, premarital agreements, guardianship, and probate and trust administration work. She also assists business owners with the creation of new businesses and business succession planning.


Attorney Dean Dietrich Honored at Legal Action Reception
Posted on Jul 07, 2009

Dean Dietrich was recently honored with a special award of appreciation at the 2009 Volunteer Lawyers Project Awards Reception hosted by Legal Action of Wisconsin. The annual reception honors distinguished pro bono achievement by Wisconsin attorneys.

Mr. Dietrich spent countless pro bono hours negotiating with the Wisconsin Bankers Association and appearing before the Wisconsin Supreme Court in a successful effort to obtain a court rule that will result in banks paying interest on lawyers' trust accounts that matches the interest paid on comparable bank products. Leveraging his board of director role with the Wisconsin Trust Account Foundation (WisTAF), Mr. Dietrich was able to roughly double the foundation's revenue which in turn increases WisTAF's grants to legal services firms. The primary goal of WisTAF is ensuring access to civil legal services for low-income individuals and families. WisTAF provides funds to legal service agencies to assist people with legal needs, such as family, housing, employment, disability and consumer issues.

John F. Ebbott, executive director at Legal Action, states, "The time and effort involved in this, and the dogged persistence it required, were tremendous. The entire Wisconsin legal services community is profoundly grateful to Dean Dietrich for his tireless dedication to equal justice."


Attorney Jeremy Welch Promoted to Shareholder Status
Posted on Jun 26, 2009

Ruder Ware recently promoted Jeremy Welch to shareholder. Mr. Welch concentrates his practice in business and commercial law, including commercial financing, mergers and acquisitions, creditors' rights, and general business law.

Matthew Rowe, chair of Ruder Ware's Business Transactions practice group states, "Jeremy's commitment to the firm and dedication to our clients is deserving of his promotion to shareholder. Over the course of his eight-year tenure with the firm, Jeremy's contributions have been significant, and we look forward to the leadership he will bring as shareholder."

Mr. Welch is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School. In addition to his legal practice, he is involved in a number of civic organizations, including service as a board member for both the United Way of Marathon County and the Woodson YMCA.

Ruder Ware's Business Transactions practice group advises businesses of all sizes in a wide range of areas. Among other services, Ruder Ware attorneys assist with the sale and acquisition of businesses, provide tax counseling to businesses and individuals, and advise clients with regard to all aspects of business transactions. The firm has extensive experience in the negotiation and preparation of commercial loan documentation and the representation of lenders and other creditors in workouts and bankruptcy proceedings. Additionally, Ruder Ware is one of the few Wisconsin law firms with attorneys who practice in the areas of securities and employee benefits.


Attorney Mark Munson Presents at the Annual Meeting of National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
Posted on Apr 22, 2009

Mark D. Munson, Senior Associate at Ruder Ware, recently presented at the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) 2009 annual meeting. Munson, who concentrates his practice in the areas of elder law, asset preservation and protection, trust and will drafting, and medical assistance planning, was invited to co-present with Chicago-based attorney Theresa Varnet of Spain, Spain & Varnet. Their presentation, titled, The Administration and Taxation of Special Needs Trusts: What Every NAELA Attorney Needs to Know, examined the public benefits eligibility and tax issues that need to be considered when drafting and administering special needs trusts.

NAELAs annual meeting, held in Washington, D.C., draws attorneys practicing elder law from across the United States. The nonprofit organizations mission is to establish its members as the premier providers of legal advocacy, guidance, and services to enhance the lives of people with disabilities and people as they age.

Im honored to be selected amongst my peers to present at the annual meeting of an organization that represents the gold standard in the practice of elder law and all facets related to it, comments Munson.

In addition to practicing in the areas of elder law and special needs planning, Ruder Ware's Trusts & Estates group of attorneys advise business owners and individuals in all aspects of business and personal planning, including the formation, operation, and growth of closely held businesses and the adoption and implementation of sophisticated succession and estate planning techniques.


John Laehn Elected President of the Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce
Posted on Sep 04, 2008

The Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce recently elected John Laehn president of the 1200-member organization effective September 4, 2008. Laehn, chief operating officer for Ruder Ware, assumes the chamber presidency from Hugh Jones, former president of M&I Bank.

In reflecting on the task ahead, Laehn said, "The chamber's volunteer leadership team rotates on an annual basis while the chamber's mission to foster business growth and success remains constant. I feel privileged to join the ranks of past chamber presidents; I'm inspired by their leadership and achievements and I hope to continue their progress."

Ruder Ware has a long-standing commitment to our community, beginning with the philosophy of George Ruder, the firm's founder. "Mr. Ruder felt that if we make our living here, it's our responsibility to give back to our communities. John Laehn is the fourth chamber president since 1981 to serve from Ruder Ware. We're honored that our own leaders are elected by their peers to serve in this important role," stated G. Lane Ware, chairman of the board at Ruder Ware.


Attorney Mark Munson Joins Ruder Ware
Posted on Aug 04, 2008

Ruder Ware, L.L.S.C. is pleased to announce the addition of Mark Munson to the firm's Trusts & Estates practice group.

"With the addition of Mark, our department is fully diversified in all areas of planning for an individual's and a family's legacy. Mark's nine-year legal career has focused solely on all aspects of estate planning; our team welcomes his experience and perspective," states Attorney Mark Bradley, Shareholder and Co-Chair of the Trusts & Estates practice group.

A graduate of the University of South Dakota School of Law, Mark holds a bachelor of science from the Carlson School of Management (University of Minnesota - Twin Cities) in general management. Licensed to practice in both Wisconsin and Illinois, Mark will continue to concentrate in the areas of asset preservation and protection, taxation, estate planning, and estate and trust administration at Ruder Ware.

Attorneys within the Trusts & Estates department of Ruder Ware advise and counsel business owners and individuals in all aspects of business and personal planning, including the formation, operation, and growth of closely held businesses, and the adoption and implementation of sophisticated succession and estate planning techniques. In addition, our attorneys often represent corporate and individual trustees and personal representatives. In certain situations attorneys in our group serve as trustees through Ruder Ware's Fiduciary Services Department. With our experience in all aspects of business planning, income and estate tax planning, and trust and estate administration, our attorneys are able to advise and implement creative and flexible strategies that fulfill a client's business needs while at the same time achieving the client's personal goals and objectives.


Attorney Steve Lipowski Promoted to Shareholder
Posted on Jul 01, 2008

Ruder Ware recently promoted Steve Lipowski to shareholder. Steve advises businesses large and small in a number of complex business transactions involving real estate, intellectual property and trademark issues, mergers and acquisitions, and commercial and corporate law.

Business Transactions practice group chair, Matt Rowe, states, "Through Steve's eight-year tenure as an associate with our firm, I have been able to witness his development into an attorney with a sophisticated law practice. I look forward to the leadership that Steve will bring to the firm as a shareholder."

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School, Steve divides his professional and civic involvement amongst a number of state and community-based organizations.


Attorney G. Lane Ware Selected as Leader in Law"
Posted on May 16, 2008

Firm News/051608/GLW_Leader_in_the_Law_Award.jpgG. Lane Ware was recently honored amongst fellow legal professionals on May 16, 2008 at the Italian Community Center by the Wisconsin Law Journal for the "Leaders in the Law" award. This recognition is awarded to those legal professionals with outstanding contributions to both their community and their profession.

Ware currently serves as Chairman of the Board forFirm News/GLW photo tag.JPG
Ruder Ware law firm, headquartered in Wausau, WI with
an additional location in Eau Claire, Wis. "Lane's passion for the legal profession continues to be an inspiration for everyone here in our firm. Savvy in marketing, customer service, and strategic direction, we continue to be shaped by Lane's vision for what he wanted the firm to aspire to become," comments Lon Roberts, managing partner.

True to George Ruder's enduring philosophy, "We make our living here, we have a responsibility to give back to our communities," Ware's deep commitment to the community is best illustrated through the breadth of organizations advanced by his leadership. To highlight a few organizations, Ware presently serves on the board for the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum and the Aspirus Health Foundation. He previously served as a council member for the Wisconsin Humanities Council and as President of the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin. An accomplishment to credit Ware's leadership skills includes the formation of The Performing Arts Foundation (PAF). Created to encourage entrepreneurial efforts at the local level, the PAF undertook the purchase and renovation of the existing Grand Theatre in 1972.

On May 16, 2008 at the Italian Community Center in Milwaukee, Wis., Ware will be honored among twenty other legal professionals, from practicing attorneys, to judges and educators.