The Wisconsin Access to Justice Commission is pleased to welcome its two newest members, James Gramling and Angela Schultz.
James Gramling, was appointed by the Chair of the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Legal Assistance Committee to replace Ness Flores, who is retiring. Gramling will chair the Delivery of Legal Services committee.
Gramling received his law degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1971, and immediately began his legal career as a public interest lawyer. He first joined the Legal Aid Society in Kansas City Missouri and then, in 1977, Milwaukee Legal Services (which later became Legal Action of Wisconsin). His work focused on landlord-tenant law at both organizations. One of Gramling’s most notable accomplishments at Legal Action was his work on the case that led to the Wisconsin Supreme Court decision upholding the right of tenants represented by legal services organizations to collect attorneys’ fees for suits to recover security deposits that were wrongfully withheld.
Gramling was elected to the City of Milwaukee Municipal Court in 1986, and retired from that position in 2007. His concern with protecting the rights of low-income people continued in his judicial role, and he was always cognizant of the need to ensure fair access to the courts by all people, including low-income and pro se defendants. Early in his judicial career Gramling began appointing guardians ad litem in Municipal Court for incompetent defendants, a practice which was challenged but ultimately upheld by the circuit court. He also worked with municipal court staff to develop procedures to improve court access, including work on an effort later in his career to encourage and help drivers with suspended driver’s licenses due to unpaid fines to reinstate their licenses. This effort included numerous advice projects at community based organizations, such as the Urban League, and support for a city and court sponsored effort to get drivers licensed by forgiving a portion of their fines upon proof of licensure. Finally, Gramling spearheaded a major statutory revision to Wisconsin’s driver’s license statute in 1997. The revision represented a major improvement in rules affecting low-income drivers, and formed the foundation for the reform efforts that continue to this day.
Angela Schultz, has been appointed by Marquette University Law School Dean Joseph Kearney to replace Rebecca Blemberg. Schultz will serve on the Delivery of Legal Services committee and the Public Awareness committee.
Schultz is the Pro Bono Director at the law school. In that role, her charge is to advance pro bono in the legal profession, and particularly within the student body. 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.
Schultz’s work with a range of people, all in need of access to justice, lead naturally to her work as a liaison between Marquette law students and pro bono projects such as the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic, the Milwaukee Justice Center, Legal and Medical Partnerships, and the Guardianship Clinic.