William A. Jennaro
William A. Jennaro (“Bill”), principal of WA Jennaro Law and a former Milwaukee Circuit Court Judge, is “Of Counsel” to Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP.
He began his legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in Milwaukee County. After two years, he left the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office to establish the Public Defender program in the Children’s Court of Milwaukee County, which he headed for over two years. Bill then won a contested election with a sitting judge and served twelve years on the bench in Milwaukee County, first as a County Court Judge and then as a Circuit Court Judge. He left the bench for private practice in 1984.
Bill is a general practitioner with experience in Estate Planning and Probate, Family Law, White Collar Criminal Law in Federal and State Courts, Personal Injury/Wrongful Death, Admiralty, Real Estate, Gaming and Dealership Law and Administrative Proceedings.
Bill also is a highly-regarded mediator and arbitrator, having mediated over 1,000 matters during the past ten years. His status as a former judge provides instant credibility for litigants engaged in the alternative dispute resolution process and his unique ability to guide both attorneys and litigants to an understanding of their opponents’ position often leads to successful resolutions of those disputes.
He has received several awards and recognitions for his mediation and arbitration practice, including being named first amongst former judges as a mediator in the greater Milwaukee area and one of the “Top 75 Lawyers” as a mediator in separate polls of lawyers conducted by Milwaukee Magazine. He has been named as the “Cream of the Crop” among mediators by the Wisconsin Law Journal, been voted Best Mediator in the State of Wisconsin in a poll conducted by the Wisconsin Law Journal in both 2009 and 2010. Bill is included in The Best Lawyers in America within the specialty of alternative dispute resolution.
Bill also is actively involved in the legal community and the Milwaukee community. He is a former President of the Milwaukee Bar Association, current Treasurer of the Wisconsin Trial Judges Association, a founding member of the State Bar of Wisconsin Committee on Alternate Dispute Resolution and a long time member of the Milwaukee Bar Association Golf Committee and of the Board of Milwaukee Bar Foundation. In 2011, Bill was recognized as a “Leader in the Law,” and was named one of Wisconsin’s Best Lawyers in the Guide to Wisconsin’s Top Attorneys. He was also a 2011 recipient of the “Da Vinci Award” from the Grand Lodge of Illinois and Wisconsin, Sons of Italy.
Bill received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and his Juris Doctor law degree from Marquette University.
Areas of Practice
- Dealership issues
- Real Estate
- Personal Injury/Wrongful Death
- White Collar Federal and State Defense
- Estate Planning
- Administrative Proceedings
- Wisconsin, 1968
- U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 1991
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of Wisconsin, 1968
- U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois, 1995
- Marquette University Law School, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- J.D. - 1968
- University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- B.S. - 1965
- Major: History
- Major: Poli Sci
- Alternative Dispute Resolution Section Newsletter, State Bar, 1995
- Mediation, Marquette Law School, 1997 - 1998
Honors and Awards
- Named the “Cream of the Crop” and one of the Top Ten mediators in Wisconsin by the Wisconsin Law Journal in 2002
- Named first choice for a mediator among former judges and among the “Top 75 Lawyers” of 2003 in separate polls of lawyers conducted by Milwaukee Magazine
- Listed in The Best Lawyers in America for Alternate Dispute Resolution since 2005
- Named “Best Mediator” in Wisconsin by the Wisconsin State Journal in 2009 and 2010
- Named one of Wisconsin’s Best Lawyers in the 2011 Guide to Wisconsin’s Top Attorneys
- Recognized as one of the “Leaders in the Law” by the Wisconsin Law Journal in 2011
- Received the Da Vinci Award from the Grand Lodge of Illinois-Wisconsin, Sons of Italy of America in 2011
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Wisconsin Trial Judges Assoc., Member & Treasurer
- Milwaukee Bar Association, Member
- Milwaukee Bar Association, President, 1997 - 1998
- Eastern District of Wisconsin Bar Association, Member
- American Bar Association, Member
Pro Bono Activities
- Member, Italian Community Center (1974 to present); Board member (1986-1994); President (1994-1995)
- Past Board member: Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin; Shalom Alternative High School; Historic Third Ward Association; Child Abuse Prevention Fund Board; Milwaukee World Festivals, Inc. (Summerfest)
- Board member (1980-1998) and President (1993-1995) National Italian Golf Tournament for Charities
- President, United Ethnic Festivals of Milwaukee (2004, 2005)
- Chairperson, Executive Committee, Festa Italiana (2004-2006)
- Current President, Order of the Sons of Italy, Fillippo Mazzei Lodge
- Member, Pompeii Men’s Club
- Phi Delta Phi