Michael S. Siddall
Michael S. Siddall
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Mike joined the firm in 1974. He served as the firm’s President for six years. Mike's trial experience includes a wide range of claims, from winning a jury verdict against Ford Motor Company for manufacturing a defective automobile to obtaining a punitive damages award against a national insurance company for libel and slander. He has tried accident cases involving farm machinery, ATVs, motorcycles, automobiles, dog bites and other animal claims, as well as claims against manufacturers of defective products. He has argued numerous cases before the Wisconsin Court of Appeals and the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Mike’s practice is dedicated to personal injury. Mike has been certified both as a Civil Trial Advocacy Specialist and a Civil Pre-trial Advocacy Specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy since 1982. He has been named the top personal injury and products liability lawyer in the Fox Cities, and named one of the top trial lawyers nationally. He has also been named a “Super Lawyer” each and every year possible by a prominent state wide magazine, placing him in the top 5% of all attorneys in Wisconsin for each year. Mike was also named one of the top 50 “Super Lawyers” in the state of Wisconsin by his peers. Mike has also received the highest possible national rating for legal ability and ethics by an international service. He has been a regular guest as a personal injury specialist on the WHBY radio program. He also serves as a part-time Court Commissioner for Outagamie County.
Mike serves as regional director and member of the Executive Committee of Wisconsin Association for Justice (formerly known as the Wisconsin Association of Trial Lawyers), the most prominent organization of personal injury trial lawyers in the state. He was elected to the Board in 1995 and remains on the board today. He served two terms on the Board of Governors for the State Bar of Wisconsin and is a long-standing member of the Bench Bar Committee.
Mike is active in community related activities, which included six years as a director and member of the Executive Committee and Vice-President of Legal of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin. He was also a member of the Make-A-Wish Field Advisory Council, where he served as a volunteer and acted as a wish grantor. Mike served as Director and Vice-President of Legal of the Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity. He provides free legal work for non-profits, individuals and families in need. He is also a member of ABATE, the Motorcycle Safety Rights Group.
Areas of Practice:
- Personal Injury – Auto and Truck Accidents
- Personal Injury – Motorcycle/Boat Accidents
- Personal Injury – Products Liability
- Personal Injury as a result of dog bites/dog attacks
100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
Civil Trial Advocate, National Board of Trial Advocacy
Civil Pre-trial Advocacy Specialist, National Board of Trial Advocacy
U.S. Supreme Court, 1991
U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, 1987
U.S. Federal Courts
U.S. District Court Eastern District of Wisconsin, 1980
U.S. District Court Western District of Wisconsin, 1987
Menominee Tribal Court, 2007
Drake University Law School, Des Moines, Iowa, 1974, J.D., Doctor of Jurisprudence
University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, 1972, B.A., Sociology,With Honors
During the course of his career Mike has had the opportunity to argue many cases before the Wisconsin Court of Appeals and the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Mike’s efforts in those cases often clarified the law in Wisconsin and some of the cases he handled were responsible for changing the law entirely. Early on in Mike’s career, he represented a young man who was seriously injured while riding a motorcycle when a motorist turned in front of him. The motorist at-fault for the accident was uninsured. Mike’s client had no insurance on the motorcycle he was riding but he did have uninsured motorist insurance on a different vehicle he owned. On behalf of his client, Mike started an action against the insurance carrier and the insurance company argued that there was no coverage because of an exclusion in its insurance policy, which stated that there was no coverage if the injury occurred by an insured who was occupying his own vehicle that was not insured under the policy. Mike argued that this exclusion was contrary to the uninsured motorist statute and that it also violated public policy. He argued to the Wisconsin Supreme Court that that uninsured motorist coverage should follow the person and not just the vehicle. This case changed the law in the State of Wisconsin so that uninsured motorist coverage now follows the person rather than the vehicle, allowing for much broader coverage. Bauer v. Securities Mutual Ins. Co., 99 Wis. 2d 332, 298 N.W. 2d 58 (1980).
Another case Mike worked on that got state wide attention involved the Wisconsin Dog Bite statute and the liability of a harborer of a dog as opposed to a dog owner. Mike’s client was on her daily walk in her neighborhood when a person opened a house door and two large dogs came charging at her, knocking her down and attacking her. The owner of the dogs was the one that opened the door and let them out. He was residing with a friend and had been for a couple of months. The dogs’ owner had no home owners insurance and disappeared by the time Mike got the case. Mike sued the homeowner who had allowed the dogs’ owner and the dogs to stay at her house. Mike argued that the homeowner was a “harborer” under the statute and as such, a “statutory owner,” making her own homeowner’s policy liable for the loss. The trial court disagreed with Mike and denied his claim but the Wisconsin Court of Appeals and the Wisconsin Supreme Court disagreed, holding in favor of Mike and his client.
“The purpose of the statute is to protect from harm the surrounding neighbors, passers-by and those who come in proximity to a dog. If a neighbor agrees to keep and shelter a dog in the home, it means the dog is living in that home just as much as would be the case if the homeowner was the legal owner of the dog. Unless and until the homeowner's status as keeper is intentionally terminated in time and space by the dog's removal from the home, that homeowner is strictly liable for any dog-bite injury to his or her neighbors, passers-by and others in proximity. I do not believe the legislature meant to allow the keeper of the dog to avoid strict liability to his or her neighbors, passers-by or others in proximity by pointing a finger at someone else and arguing that at that certain moment in time, even though the dog was still within the perimeter of the homeowner's property, he or she had temporarily stopped being the keeper. To allow such a result would be to drown the statute in a sea of minutiae.” (Pawlowski, 2009 WI 105 at ¶ 77).
Bauer v. Securities Mutual Ins. Co., 99 Wis. 2d 332, 298 N.W. 2d 58 (1980).
Beduhn v. Auto Owners Ins. Co., 2008AP1549
Dietsche v. Moya, 1996AP001949
Dobratz v. Thompson, 161 Wis. 2d 502, 468 N.W. 2d 654 (1991)
Grube v. Daun & Secura Insurance, 210 Wis. 2d 682, 563 N.W. 2d 523 (1997)
Jepson v. Stilen, 133 Wis. 2d 35, 393 N.W. 2d 93 (1986)
Nischke v. Aetna Health Plan & Partners Mutual Ins. Co., 2008 WI App 190
Pawlowski v. American Family/Seefeldt, WI 105 (Court of Appeals decision found at 2009 WI App 7)
Ritchie v. Allstate Ins. Co., 1994AP001941
Sievert v. American Family Ins. Co., 1993AP000272
Sprangers v. Great Way Insurance Co., 175 Wis. 2d 60, 498 N.W. 2d 858 (1993)
Young v. Greatway Ins. Co., 1992AP0001617
Who Let the Dogs Out, Wisconsin Association for Justice, 2010
How to Handle a Rimes Hearing, Wisconsin Association for Justice, 2006
Honors and Awards:
Wisconsin Super Lawyer, 2006 - 2015, rated in the top 5% of all lawyers in Wisconsin
Top 50 Super Lawyers in the State of Wisconsin - 2015
Martindale-Hubbell AV rating, 1985 - 2014
Rated by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the top 100 trial lawyers
Professional Associations and Memberships:
Wisconsin Association for Justice, Regional Director and Member of Executive Committee
American Association for Justice, Member since 1981
State Bar of Wisconsin, Board of Governors, Two-term member
State Bar of Wisconsin, Bench/Bar Committee, Eight-year member
Medical Malpractice Patients' Compensation Panels, Past Chairman
University of Wisconsin Law School, Civil Practice Course, Past instructor
Arbitrator/mediator in Personal Injury cases
Past Employment Positions:
U.S. Paratrooper, serving with the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Vietnam, 1968 - 1969
Pro Bono Activities:
Director, member of the Executive Committee and Vice President of Legal of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin
Member of the Make-A-Wish Field Advisory Counsel, Volunteer and Wish Granter
Directory and Vice President of Legal of the Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity
Provide free legal work for non-profits and lower income individuals and families
ABATE: Motorcycle safety rights group, active member
January 5, 1948, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States of America