"Walker's judges" is our effort to present information about former Gov. Walker's appointees to the bench who are still serving as judges. The information is taken from the appointees' own judgeship applications. We also are posting "Evers' judges."
Outagamie Circuit Judge Gregory Gill Jr. now is running for the District III Court of Appeals bench against attorney Rick Cveykus. Election Day is April 6. We posted Cveykus' responses to WJI's judicial candidate questionnaire earlier. Gill did not provide responses.
Gill's former law firm, Gill & Gill, generally represented management in "all phases of labor and employment law," according to a firm flyer attached to his judicial application. More recently, during his current campaign, Gill received attention for campaign donations he received from conservative Republican donors Richard Uihlein, and John Menard. He is running as a textualist and judicial conservative.
Name: Gregory B. Gill Jr.
Appointed to: Outagamie County Circuit Court
Appointment date: September 2011
Law School – Marquette University Law School
Undergraduate – University of Wisconsin-Madison
High School – Xavier High School
November 2010-December 2010 – Special prosecutor, Calumet County District Attorney's Office
2005-present – attorney, Gill and Gill
American Bar Association
Wisconsin Bar Association
Legal experience as an advocate in criminal litigation, civil litigation, administrative proceedings: Worked in the Outagamie County DA's office and clerked for Federal Judge William Griesbach before going into private practice.
In my current practice, my litigation efforts have focused on civil matters. I have defended matters at levels ranging from the administrative forum up and through the Federal District Court. In addition, I have also prosecuted matters at the administrative, State and Federal level. The litigations have been primarily employment related, including issues such as contract and discrimination matters. On occasion, I have also been involved in criminal defense work. However, said work has been a very minimal portion of my practice.
Number of cases tried to verdict or judgment: 4; non-jury, 2; arbitration, 4+; administrative bodies, 40+
Cases on appeal: Aside from appeals involving Unemployment Compensation matters, there have been two cases which I played a significant role in the appellate process.
Two most significant cases:
In 2006, I served as the lead/co-counsel in Barbara Bigalke v. Neenah Foundry,... a case before the Honorable William C. Griesbach. The case involved allegations of a violation of an individual's rights under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The case was significant based upon the legal and factual issues, whereas, the argument of my client Neenah Foundry, was that the Plaintiff was an independent contractor as opposed to an employee, and therefore was not subject to the protections afforded by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The court agreed with my client.
The second case of significance was Kathleen Jawson v. Hoffmaster, Inc....This case involved an individual claiming that her rights had been denied under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). As a result of the Company's denial of her FMLA rights, the Complainant in this case, Kathleen Jawson, was terminated. The significance of this case comes in the fact that through my firm's efforts, we were able to successfully right a wrong that had occurred to an individual. While there were other cases in which I and my firm have been able to assist those who have been aggrieved, in this instance, the case had to go though multiple hearings including an appeal to the Circuit Court for Manitowoc County to reach a favorable result. I was the primary brief writer on this case.
All previous runs for office: None
Involvement in judicial, non-partisan, or partisan political campaign, committee, or organization: None
All judicial or non-partisan candidates endorsed in the last six years: Supreme Court Justice David Prosser, Outagamie Circuit Judges Mark McGinnis, Nance Krueger, Michal Gage, and Mitchell Metropulos.
Professional or civic organizations, volunteer activities, service in a church or synagogue, or any other activities or hobbies that could be relevant or helpful to consideration of the application:
Valley Kids Foundation – volunteer
Wisconsin Mock Trial Competition – volunteer
Boys & Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley – volunteer
Why I want to be a judge – For as long as I can remember, the law has been a part of my life. My father has been practicing lawyer for over 35 years and likewise my grandfather before him was an attorney.
It has been instilled in me that the law should be utilized in a fashion to help people. My father once told me that you need to take advantage of opportunities to help people when they come along because such opportunities don't come along every day. Since beginning my practice, I have tried to adhere to those values instilled in me by my father and grandfather.
In this instance through my experience in the legal profession and the ability to surround myself with quality attorneys and judges, I have seen the good that can come from being part of the judiciary. While I feel very blessed and fortunate to be able to work in a practice with my family, I have also had a desire to maximize the amount of good I can do with my law degree. I believe that as a circuit court judge, I will have the opportunity to serve my community, the State of Wisconsin and to help individuals and positively influence lives, Thus, I feel that the opportunity to be able to help serve my community on a broader basis compels me to seek this appointment.
"I believe the worst conduct of the Wisconsin State Supreme Court is to engage in judicial activism." – Outagamie Circuit Judge Gregory Gill Jr.
Best or Worst U.S. or Wisconsin Supreme Court decision in the last 30 years
To label a single case as "the worst" is a near impossibility. What is an easier task, however, is to identify what I feel is the worst action of the Wisconsin State Supreme Court: I believe the worst conduct of the Wisconsin State Supreme Court is to engage in judicial activism.
-Perhaps one case that exemplifies such conduct, as well as any other case in recent history, is that of Crystal Lake Cheese Factory v. The Labor and Industry Review Commission....
In this case, an individual was terminated based upon a Company's inability to
accommodate a disability, which consisted of, among other things, the employee being resigned to a wheelchair. Prior to the injury, amongst other things, the employee was required to gather orders, perform administrative duties, weigh, label and box cheese, as well as other various assignments....Subsequent to the injury, the Plaintiff was rendered unable to perform several duties of her job which included lifting heavy boxes of cheese, or reaching cheese stored on a high shelf.
Despite the fact that the Plaintiff was unable to perform many functions of the job, the Supreme Court nonetheless concluded that the Company was wrong in failing to accommodate the Plaintiff. The Court then went one step further and indicated that a reasonable accommodation would be to have job assignments shifted amongst other employees as a means to accommodate the employee. The Court then justified this position by manipulating previous decisions issued by LIRC.
The net effect of the decision of the Supreme Court was to expand the law and create a new means of accommodating an individual with a disability. The accommodation necessitates that employers consider significantly modify job descriptions for injured and non-injured
individuals. As noted by Justice Prosser in his dissent, "In all, LIRC' s interpretation of Sec.
111.34, as adopted by the majority, is highly questionable and imposes an unreasonable burden on Wisconsin businesses. Section 111.34 cannot be read to require that an applicant or an
employee only be able to perform "some" or "most" of the necessary responsibilities of the job."
It is decisions like this that usurp the function of the Legislature and reform acceptable statutory law.
While this is certainly not the only example of judicial activism, this is clearly a case
which exemplifies the types of judicial decisions which I believe represent the worst decisions issued by the Wisconsin State Supreme Court.
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