Members

The Commission was created by an order of the Wisconsin Supreme Court in response to a petition filed by the State Bar of Wisconsin. We are a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) Wisconsin corporation governed by a 17-member board. Board members serve three year terms. Our stakeholders make the following number of appointments to our board: Wisconsin Supreme Court (5), Governor (3), State Bar of Wisconsin (4), Wisconsin Senate (1), Wisconsin Assembly (1), Marquette University Law School (1), University of Wisconsin Law School (1) and Wisconsin Trust Account Foundation (1).

Hon. Timothy Boyle is a judge on the Racine County Circuit Court. He was appointed to the Commission by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos. Boyle was elected to the bench in 2012. During over 20 years in private practice, he served as a supplemental Racine County court commissioner, President of the Racine County Bar Association and on the District Ethics Committee for the Office of Lawyer Regulation. An avid outdoorsman, Boyle sits on the committee of the local chapter of Wings Over Wisconsin. Boyle is a graduate of UW Madison and Hamline Law School.
Howard Bichler is the Indian Law Office Manager for Wisconsin Judicare in Wausau. Wisconsin Judicare, provides legal services at no cost to low income residents across northern Wisconsin. Bichler was appointed to the Commission by the State Bar of Wisconsin and serves as our Treasurer. Hi is a current member and former Chair of the Board of Governors for the State Bar of Wisconsin. For over 20 years, he has practiced in the area of Indian Law on behalf of various tribes in Wisconsin. Bichler has also served on the board of Wisconsin Judicare and on the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission. He is a past Chair of the Indian Law Section of the State Bar of Wisconsin and a former a member of the Legislative Council Committee on State Tribal Relations. He is a 1976 graduate of Marquette University Law School.
Sarah Diedrick-Kasdorf is the Deputy Director of Government Affairs for the Wisconsin Counties Association and was appointed to the Commission by the Wisconsin Supreme Court. In over 20 years working with the Counties Association, Sarah has worked on issues related to taxation and finance, personnel and labor relations, and judicial and public safety. Her current focus is on issues relating to health and human services. She received her undergraduate degree in political science and history from St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin.
Diane Diel is an attorney in private practice in Milwaukee who was appointed to the Commission by the State Bar of Wisconsin. Diel has dedicated her entire practice to helping families in Milwaukee and the surrounding areas find positive solutions to a wide variety of family law concerns. Clients turn to her for skilled mediation and collaborative law representation. Diel is a past President of the State Bar of Wisconsin. She also served on the State Bar's Board of Governors and the Committee on Professional Ethics. Diel is a former board member and President of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. She has also held leadership roles with the Collaborative Family Law Council, the Association of Women Lawyers. Currently, Diel also serves as a Port of Milwaukee Harbor Commissioner. She is a 1976 graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School in Madison.
James Gramling is a retired City of Milwaukee municipal court judge and was elected as the President of the Commission in 2014. He was appointed to the Commission by the chair of the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Legal Assistance Committee. Gramling received his law degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1971, and began his legal career as a public interest lawyer. He first joined the Legal Aid Society in Kansas City Missouri and then Milwaukee Legal Services (which later became Legal Action of Wisconsin). His work focused on landlord-tenant law at both organizations. Gramling was elected to the City of Milwaukee Municipal Court in 1986, and retired from that position in 2007. In retirement, he has volunteered extensively with the Center for Driver’s License Recovery and Employability, a public-private partnership that includes Wisconsin Community Services, Legal Action of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Area Technical College, and the City of Milwaukee Municipal Court.
Appleton attorneyDan Hoff is an attorney in private practice with Hoff Law Offices LLC in Appleton. He was first appointed to the Commission by former Sen. Mike Ellis and was reappointed by Sen. Mary Lazich. Hoff’s firm won the State Bar of Wisconsin’s award for Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year in 1999 in recognition of their service to the community. He has been appointed by the Outagamie County Circuit judges to act as interim court commissioner during vacancies and family leave. Hoff served as president of the Outagamie County Bar Association from 2002-2003, and was the vice president in 2002. He was also an Assistant Corporation Counsel for Outagamie County. Hoff has played significant roles supporting St. Pius X Church and St. Thomas More.
Mitch is an Assistant Clinical Professor and Director of the Neighborhood Law Clinic at the University of Wisconsin Law School. The Neighborhood Law Clinic has a twofold mission of service and education. After graduating from UW Law School, Mitch co-founded Community Justice Inc., a non-profit charitable law firm in Madison that provides direct legal services to low-income individuals on a sliding fee scale. His practice focused primarily in the areas of housing law, employment law, government benefits, and guardian ad litem work. Mitch is a member and former Chair of the State Bar Wisconsin’s Public Interest Law Section.
Ben ObregonBen Obregon was appointed by the Wisconsin Supreme Court. He chairs the board of directors at Legal Action of Wisconsin and UMOS, Inc. He also serves on the Advisory Council of the Downtown Madison Senior Center. Obregon is a Founding Member of Centro Hispano of Dane County. He is also a member of the National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA), its Civil & Client Policy groups and Chair of The Latino Section in NLADA. Obregon is a veteran of the Korean War who has worked as a resident manager/property manager for more than 20 years. His work experiences include recruiting and training migrant workers in the food processing industry; developing community resources; developing and implementing programs coordinating service delivery to minority populations from local, state, federal, public, and private agencies; teaching English as a second language; and implementing training sessions in health education, safety, job seeking skills, fundraising, and awareness of positive self. He received his associate’s degree in Human Services from Madison Area Technical College in Wisconsin.
Maurice G. Rice, Jr. is Of Counsel with the law firm of Anderson, O’Brien, Bertz, Skrenes & Golla in Stevens Point. He was appointed to the Commission by the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Rice was one of the founders and is the current President of the Portage County Legal Aid Society, which organizes and provides volunteer legal assistance to low income clients in the county. He is a 1966 graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School.
Hon. C.A. Richards was appointed to the Commission by the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Richards served as a judge on the St. Croix County Circuit Court from 1989 until his retirement in 2003. As one of the founders of Wisconsin Judicare, Inc., Richards has served on that organization’s board of directors since 1966 and as board chair since 2003. His special interests have been assistance to pro se litigants and assurance that low income domestic violence victims obtain equal access to justice. Notably, he became one of the founding members of the 10th Judicial District Self Help Committee, which led the state in providing assistance to pro se family law litigants by creating the first uniform divorce forms available online for a State Judicial District. In recognition of his dedication to Richards was awarded the 2009 Howard B. Eisenberg Lifetime Achievement Award by the Wisconsin Equal Justice Fund.
Hon. Richard Sankovitz has served as a Circuit Court Judge in Milwaukee County since 1996. He was appointed to the Commission by the State Bar of Wisconsin. As chair of the State Bar's Access to Justice Study Committee he was a co-author of its 2007 report "Bridging the Justice Gap: Wisconsin's Unmet Legal Needs." Pro bono service has always been a significant part of Sankovitz' career. Following his clerkship with then U.S. District Judge Terence Evans in the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Sankovitz made pro bono a part of his practice at Jenner & Block in Chicago and at Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C. in Milwaukee. He currently serves as chair of the Wisconsin Court System's Criminal Benchbook Committee. Sankovitz is a graduate of Marquette University and Harvard Law School.
Angela SchultzAngela Schultz is the Assistant Dean for Public Service at Marquette University Law School. She was appointed to the Commission by the law school. In her law school role, Schultz’s charge is to advance pro bono in the legal profession, particularly within the student body. She serves as a liaison between law students and pro bono projects such as the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic, and the Milwaukee Justice Center. Prior joining the law school, Schultz practiced elder and disability law and was the assistant director of a domestic violence intervention program in Portland, Oregon. She earned her J.D. at Lewis & Clark Law School and her B.A. at Knox College.
Susan E. Sorenson was appointed to the Commission by Governor Scott Walker. She previously served two terms as a member of the board at the Wisconsin Trust Account Foundation (WisTAF) where she gained a tremendous awareness for the dramatic need for legal services to serve the low-income Wisconsin residents. She is a Ripon College graduate.
Robyn ThibadoRobyn Thibado is the Associate Director for West Central Wisconsin Community Action Agency, Inc. serving Barron, Chippewa, Dunn, Pepin, Pierce, Polk and St. Croix counties. She was appointed to the Commission by Governor Scott Walker and serves as our Secretary. In her position at West CAP, she is responsible for directing programs for homeless prevention, food security, and adult education as well as sharing responsibility for overall agency operations. Thibado graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire with a degree in Social Work and is a certified social worker. Thibado currently serves on the board of the Free Clinic of the Greater Menomonie Area as well as the President of the Wisconsin Balance of State Continuum of Care Board of Directors which provides coordination and training for homeless service providers in 69 Wisconsin counties.
Jeff Timm was appointed to the Commission by the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Timm is semi-retired but still serves the plastic, bioplastic and adhesive industry as an independent market development consultant in Franksville, Wisconsin. Jeff has a forty year old son-Kevin with Down syndrome. When Kevin was born Jeff began his engagement as an advocate for people with disabilities and has served on several boards of agencies dealing with children and adults with developmental disabilities including the Arc of Delaware, and as Board Presidents of Arc of Racine and Disability Rights Wisconsin. During the baseball season, he is an usher for the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.
Jeff UngerJeffrey Unger serves as the Transition Assistance Advisor for the Wisconsin National Guard in Madison. Unger was appointed to the Commission by Governor Scott Walker. In his role as Transition Assistance Advisor, Unger supports the 17,000 members of the Air and Army Guard members, Wisconsin reservists and their families. In 2012, the Adjutant General decorated Unger with the Meritorious Service Medal from the Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs in recognition of his unwavering commitment and success serving Wisconsin’s veteran community. Unger served as a Master Sergeant in the United States Air Force and retired in 2001 after 21.5 years of service.
Nick ZalesNicholas Zales is an attorney in private practice in Milwaukee. He was appointed to the Commission by the Wisconsin Trust Account Foundation. Zales practices in the area of complex commercial civil litigation and appeals in both state and federal court representing individuals, small businesses and other professionals. Zales is a current member of the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors and a former member of the board of the Wisconsin Trust Account Foundation. He has served on the Wisconsin’s Judicial Council and presently serves on the State Bar’s Communications Committee, the editorial board for the Wisconsin Lawyer, the State Bar’s official monthly magazine.Zales received his undergraduate degree from UW Oshkosh and his law degree from Marquette University Law School.

Organizational Documents

Articles of Incorporation
Bylaws

 

Board Minutes