Biography

I'm a partner at Gingras, Cates & Wachs, and have been with the firm since graduating from law school.

My practice focuses on personal injury, medical malpractice, bad faith insurance claims and also complex litigation and class actions involving wage and hour violations. I also counsel employers on disputes with employees as well as help them be compliant with their employment handbooks. I am fluent in Spanish, and have enjoyed volunteering with the Dane County Bar for non-English speaking legal services.

In addition to successfully settling cases before trial and winning jury verdicts over the years, I have successfully argued two cases in front of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, both involving medical malpractice; Otto v. PIC and Bubb v. Brusky, et. al.

Education

J.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2000,
B.A., Spanish and International Relations, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1994

Bar Admission

Wisconsin, 2001
U.S. District Court Eastern District of Wisconsin
U.S. District Court Western District of Wisconsin
U.S. District of Colorado
U.S. Court of Federal Claims
U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit

Professional Associations and Memberships

State Bar of Wisconsin
Dane County Bar Association
American Association for Justice
Wisconsin Association for Justice
- President Elect 2017
- Vice President 2016
- Treasurer 2015
- Secretary 2014
- Past Chair Program Committee (Co-Chair)
- Membership Committee
- People’s Law School Committee
- Past Chair of New Lawyers Section
- Board of Governors
- Executive Committee, Regional Officer
- Legislative Task Force
- Employment Law/Civil Rights Committee Member
- Contributing Editor of “The Verdict”
James E. Doyle American Inn of Court
Madison Festivals, Inc., Board Member, 2009-2015
Madison Patriots Youth Hockey Association, Board Member, 2012-present
- President, 2013-2015
McClellan Park Neighborhood Association Board Member – 2003-2005

Honors and Awards

Wisconsin Super Lawyer - 2014-15
Wisconsin Super Lawyer Rising Star - 2005-2012
Best Lawyers in America 2016
- Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs
Named Nation's Top 1% by National Association of Distinguished Counsel

Foreign Languages

Spanish
Abogado Straka información en español

Proudest Accomplishment

Easy – my wife, Kim. Without her, I would not have the three awesome kids that I have; I would not be a lawyer; and I for sure would not have had several English Setters over the years.

When You are Not Working...

Outside the law, my wife and I love taking our three kids to all of their activities. They are all incredibly busy, but love what they do. School comes first, but extracurricular activities are also important in their development.

My wife runs her own business and helps out at the kids’ school. She also puts up with my passion to coach hockey and soccer – as if we weren’t busy enough.

Favorite Quote

“Skate your tails off and good things will happen.” ~Coach J.T.