Mike is a native of Waupaca, Wisconsin. He attended the University of Wisconsin - Madison, where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts - triple-majoring in political science, history, and international relations.
Mike attended Marquette University Law School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, obtaining a Juris Doctor in 1994. While at Marquette, he served as a member of the Marquette Law Review, first as an associate and then as an executive editor. He also worked as a law clerk with a Milwaukee criminal defense firm and then served in a year-long clinical program with the Milwaukee County District Attorney's office.
After law school, Mike served as a law clerk with the Wisconsin Court of Appeals - District I, located in Milwaukee, working first for the Honorable Michael T. Sullivan and then later the Honorable Patricia S. Curley. As a law clerk, he gained significant experience in appellate procedure and practice, and he obtained valuable knowledge in effective legal argument and appellate advocacy.
Mike returned to central Wisconsin to join the newly formed Wausau law firm of Sandfort, Zalewski & Klinner, LLP, as a civil litigation attorney. That firm continues today as Klinner Kramer Shull LLP, where Mike primarily defends municipalities, municipal insurers, and other liability insurers and their policyholders in a variety of civil litigation matters in Wisconsin state courts, administrative agencies, and the federal courts in Wisconsin. He has successfully defended and advised municipalities, law enforcement agencies, individual policyholders, and their insurers in a variety of cases and lawsuits, including:
- Civil rights claims
- Employment termination and discrimination claims
- Wrongful arrest and excessive use of force claims
- Religious zoning claims
- Federal Driver's Privacy Protection Act and Telecommunications Act claims
- First Amendment/Adult Business ordinance claims
- State open meetings and public records claims
- Insurance coverage issues
- General property damage and personal injury claims
Mike has also developed a significant appellate practice, writing briefs and appearing in nearly 40 appeals in both the state and federal appellate courts, and he has successfully argued before the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the Wisconsin Court of Appeals.
Areas of Practice
- Employee Rights -- Employer
- Employment Discrimination -- Employer
- Municipal Employment -- Employer
- Sexual Harassment -- Employer
- Whistleblower -- Employer
- Wrongful Termination -- Employer
- Law Enforcement Agencies
- Insurance Defense
- Federal Appellate Practice
- Federal Trial Practice
- State Appellate Practice
- State Trial Practice
- Municipal Liability
- Wisconsin, 1994
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of Wisconsin, 1994
- U.S. District Court Western District of Wisconsin, 1999
- U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 2005
- Marquette University Law School, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- J.D. - 1994
- University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin
- B.A. - 1989
- Major: Political Science
- Major: History
- Major: International Relations
- Avoiding the Pitfalls of "Four Corners" Duty-to-Defend Test in Coverage Litigation Involving Defective Buildings, WIS. CIV. TRIAL J., Summer, Fall, Vol. 4 No. 2, 2006
- "Once More Unto The Breach, Dear Friends, Once More": A Call to Re-Evaluate the Felony-Murder Doctrine in Wisconsin in the Wake of State v. Oimen and State v. Rivera, 77 Marq. L. Rev. 785,, 1994
- In re Paternity of C.A.V.M., 2007 WI 29, 299 Wis. 2d 601, 728 N.W.2d 636, 2007
- Welin v. American Family Mut. Ins. Co., 2006 WI 81, 292 Wis. 2d 73, 717 N.W.2d 690, 2006
- In re Paternity of C.A.V.M., 2006 WI App 104, 294 Wis. 2d 531, 718 N.W.2d 729, 2006, Ct. App.
- Mueller v. McMillan Warner Ins. Co., 2005 WI App 210, 287 Wis. 2d 154, 704 N.W.2d 613, 2005, Ct. App.
- Parus v. Kroeplin, 402 F. Supp. 2d 999, 2005, W.D. Wis.
- Kraimer v. City of Schofield, 342 F. Supp. 2d 807, 2004, W.D. Wis.
- Fandrey ex rel. Connell v. American Family Mut. Ins. Co., 2004 WI 62, 272 Wis. 2d 46, 680 N.W.2d 345, 2004
- Bellile v. American Family Mut. Ins. Co., 2004 WI App 72, 272 Wis. 2d 324, 679 N.W.2d 827, 2004, Ct. App.
- Sukala v. Heritage Mut. Ins. Co., 2004 WI App 128, 275 Wis.2d 469, 685 N.W.2d 809, 2004, Ct. App.
- Mullen v. Walczak, 2003 WI 75, 262 Wis. 2d 708, 664 N.W.2d 76, 2003
- Mullen v. Walczak, 2002 WI App 254, 257 Wis.2d 928, 653 N.W.2d 529, 2002, Ct. App.
- Sukala v. Heritage Mut. Ins. Co., 2000 WI App 266, 240 Wis.2d 65, 622 N.W.2d 457, 2000, Ct. App.
- Shelley v. Dickman, No. 08-cv-107-bbc, 2009 WL 668829, 2009, W.D. Wis.
- Shelley v. Dickman, No. 08-cv-107-bbc, 2009 WL 62149, 2009, W.D. Wis.
- Krans v. Town of Aurora, No. 07-C-803, 2008 WL 2048277, 2008, E.D. Wis.
- Calvary Temple Assembly of God v. City of Marinette, No. 06-C-1148, 2008 WL 2837774, 2008, E.D. Wis.
- Foley v. Village of Weston, No. 06-C-350-C, 2007 WL 5658986, 2007, W.D. Wis.
- Pomeroy v. Pomeroy, No. 2006AP312, 2006 WL 2434223, 2006, Wisconsin Court of Appeals - Unpublished
- Lang v. Lang, No. 03-2283, 2004 WL 1277839, 2004, Wisconsin Court of Appeals - Unpublished
- Schofield v. Smith, Nos. 02-2062, 02-2984, 2003 WL 21756071, 2003, Wisconsin Court of Appeals - Unpublished
- Triolo v. Employee Trust Funds Bd., No. 02-1317, 2002 WL 31664570, 2002, Wisconsin Court of Appeals - Unpublished
- Welle v. Welle, No. 00-3297-FT, 2001 WL 507037, 2001, Wisconsin Court of Appeals - Unpublished
- Deacy v. Grinnell Mut. Reinsurance Co., No. 99-2143, 2000 WL 365853, 2000, Wisconsin Court of Appeals - Unpublished
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Wisconsin Defense Counsel, 1999
- Seventh Circuit Bar Association, 2007
- Wis. Civ. Trial J. The Counsel, Editorial Board, 2006
Past Employment Positions
- Wisconsin Court of Appeals-District I, Law Clerk, 1994 to 1997