Attorney Joshua J. Kindkeppel is a shareholder in the firm and concentrates his practice in the areas of business law, civil litigation, real estate, employment, and administrative agency matters.

A Good Year for the Dane County Bar Association

June 1 is here and Lis Shea is the new president of the Dane County Bar Association! While I am sad to see my term end, I can assure you that the Bar is in great hands with Lis at the helm. She is organized, smart, creative, a good listener, and, most of all, she is dedicated to making the DCBA the best it can be.

This year (the DCBA fiscal year is from June 1 through May 31), the DCBA, by the hard work of its committee and section chairs and members made numerous advancements to the Association for the benefit of its members, the legal community, and the community at large. Here are some of the most notable accomplishments:

• Joseph A. Melli Mentorship Program launches its 6th year with 70 mentee/mentor participants (September 2012)
• Law for the Public Committee launches a Jury Outreach Program in conjunction with the Chief Justice’s Courts Connecting with Communities initiative (September 2012)
• Bob and Le Jordan’s 20th Anniversary of being the Bar’s executive coordinators (October 2012)
• Judicial Selection Committee rewrites poll and has largest response turnout in years (Spring 2013)
• Newly designed and user friendly DCBA website (May 1, 2013)
• Law Day celebration includes keynote address by Judge Colás, three free CLEs for DCBA members, mock trials with juries made up of middle school and Madison College paralegal students, and a well attended pro-bono fair (May 1, 2013)
• The Program Committee hosts an outstanding Electronic Discovery Summit (May 10, 2013)
• First time Largest voter turnout for officer positions in at least 20 years (May 2013)
• Long Range Planning and Membership Committees begin comprehensive review of the Bar’s governance structure and plans for the future
• Relationship between DCBA and the UW-Madison Law School continues to grow and become stronger
• Case Mediation Program continues to be a “best buy” and a wonderful resource to resolve disputes
• History and Memorial Committee generates revenue for Bar through the sale of its Lawyers Who Shaped Dane County book published in May 2012
• ‘Fridays at 4’ socials help build camaraderie amongst members of the Bar and gives old and new friends a great opportunity to meet. Thank you for all those firms that hosted!

Congratulations to Sarah Zylstra, David Friedman, and Janice Wexler on their election as president-elect, treasurer, and director-at-large, respectively.

As president, I was able to work alongside many of you to make Dane County a better place to practice law and to live. My belief that Dane County has the best judges, attorneys, and court personnel has only been strengthened during this past year.

I strongly encourage each of you to get involved in DCBA section/committee work. Numerous opportunities exist to make a difference. My involvement in the DCBA has enriched my experience as an attorney and has introduced me to so many wonderful attorneys, commissioners, judges, justices, and court personnel. Serving as president of the DCBA is a great honor, and it is an experience I will take with me wherever I go in life.

Thank you for allowing me to be your president.

All the Best,

Josh Kindkeppel



Early during my first year of law school, I remember listening to a speaker who shared with my classmates and me the “harder”, not so glamorous sides of the legal profession.  The speaker was a practicing attorney, who had owned a tavern in Milwaukee prior to attending law school.  He explained that lawyers and judges suffered increased levels of stress, depression, anxiety, suicide, alcoholism, drug abuse, and divorce[1] when compared to the population at large. In several of those categories, the rates were two to three times that of the non-lawyer population in the United States.  The speaker encouraged us to be mindful of our mental health and to seek assistance before things got out of control.

As first year law students, we were hopeful and optimistic that we would be exempt from those ills and the corresponding statistics.  We were convinced that the attorneys and judges in New York and California were skewing the numbers and that being in the Midwest things would be different.  Since that time, I have learned that none of us, including me, are exempt from the hardships of the profession.

It is my belief that if caught early enough, the symptoms of these ills and the ills themselves could be decreased substantially or eliminated altogether.

First, we as a profession need to acknowledge that such ills do and will continue to impact the individuals that make the law their calling.  I do not begin to pretend to know why our profession experiences increased levels of the aforementioned ills, but we do know that legal professionals have endless deadlines to meet, pressures to bill and increase business, offices to run, successes and failures to contend with at every turn, pressures from family and friends to spend more time with them, and feelings of guilt for not being able to “do it all”.

Next, we need to remember that as humans we are not only susceptible to the common cold, but also mental illness.  Abraham Lincoln and Fighting Bob La Follette[2] are two of the most famous attorneys to ever practice law in the United States (certainly the Midwest).  Both of them were excellent attorneys, leaders, and elected officials.  Amongst their commonalities, both Lincoln and La Follette suffered from severe bouts of depression during their lifetimes.  Unfortunately and unfairly, our society places a negative stigma on mental illness.  Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of and will likely impact most of us at one time or another during our lifetimes.  In order to address the issues related to mental health within our profession, we need to rid ourselves of that stigma and realize that mental illness is similar to the common cold in that it is not something we hope to get, but when it arrives we need the tools to deal with it.

Finally, we need to support each other and not look the other way when we see a colleague in need. Because we are required to be strong in so many aspects of our lives, it is extremely difficult for most of us to reach out for help.  We believe that such an act would show weakness.  Mental health professionals will be quick to tell you that seeking help for depression and anxiety is essential.  One reason is that untreated depression is the leading cause of suicide in our nation.  When faced with that reality, untreated mental illness can be a life and death matter.  Do not be afraid to ask for help.


Several resources exist for lawyers and judges licensed in Wisconsin.  Linda Albert heads up the Wisconsin Bar Association’s WisLAP (Wisconsin Lawyer Assistance Program), which is based on the premise of “Lawyers helping Lawyers” and “Judges helping Judges”. For a confidential consultation call (800) 543-2625 or email Linda directly at lalbert@wisbar.org.

The National Alliance of Mental Illness (“NAMI”) of Dane County is another local resource that is willing to assist in helping you find competent mental health professionals to assist you.  www.namidanecounty.org/resources/ or (608) 249-7188.

If any of you ever wish to have a confidential conversation with someone who cares, please feel free to contact me on my direct work line at (608) 318-4952.  I am not a mental health professional, but I would be happy to talk with you and point you in the right direction.


All the Best,

Josh Kindkeppel, President
Dane County Bar Association


[1] This list is not meant to be exhaustive of all ills that plague the legal profession.

[2] Robert M. La Follette, Sr. (1855-1925) passed the Bar in 1880 and went on to one of the greatest careers in public service in Wisconsin history.  He served as District Attorney of Dane County from 1881-1895, served three terms in the U.S. Congress, Governor of Wisconsin, and as U.S. Senator for Wisconsin.  He is considered the founder of the firm that has become Boardman & Clark, L.L.P.  Source: Lawyers Who Shaped Dane County: A History of the Practice of Law in the Madison Area.

Sun Prairie Business Attorney Makes Public Service Part of His Practice

Click on Link to read article.

Kindkeppel_WI Law Journal_04 05 2013


Views on the Spring Judicial Elections 2013

Last year by this time, Mother Nature bestowed upon us several warm, summer-like days.  This year, she decided not to repeat herself, which has lead to a splendid winter full of skiing, snow-shoeing, ice skating, and curling up by the fire.  With that being said, most of us are ready to move into spring and put away our shovels. 

Spring is a busy and exciting time for the Dane County Bar Association.  Elections for new officers are coming up in May, committee and section budgets are due soon, excitement is in the air for the Bench Bar Brawl, the Law Day Celebration and Pro Bono Breakfast are just around the corner, and the excellent Program luncheons continue to be held on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month. 


On April 2, 2013, Dane County voters will decide the most hotly contested Dane County circuit court race in recent years.  Over the past few months, I have had the pleasure of speaking with and getting to know both candidates.  As with all contested elections, only one candidate will win the race. 

In this particular election, I believe that is an unfortunate outcome.  If I could create an alternative ending to this election, I would have both of these candidates win the race.  As winners, their first task would be figure out how to co-exist as the judges of Branch 16.  Maybe the “morning person” could take the bench for the first half of the day, and the night owl could take the latter half. 

Back to reality…I know the system does not allow for this sort of outcome.  At the end of the day on April 2, I will be genuinely happy for the winner and truly sad for the loser.  I believe both candidates embody the essential qualities of a sitting judge, i.e., a keen intellect, tireless in the search for justice, empathetic, firm, decisive, and honest. Even though you may disagree with my above-stated assessment of the candidates, I think we can all agree that running for judge takes a lot of courage, time, energy, and resources.  Both candidates deserve a round of applause for giving this race their all and for promising to uphold the standard of excellence we have come to expect from judges in Dane County.       

On April 2, Wisconsin residents will also decide whether to re-elect Justice Patience Roggensack or to elect Attorney Edward Fallone to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.  Judicial elections are an excellent opportunity for us, as attorneys, to explain the importance of the judicial system to our family, friends, and neighbors.  See you at the polls.       


The Bench Bar Brawl (“BBB”) is the premier social event of the year.  Attorneys, judges and justices show up in droves for the good food, great conversations, and excellent entertainment.  The beautiful view of Lake Monona adds to the charm of the evening.  The BBB will be held on Thursday, April 25, 2013 at the Elks Club. 

The emcee for the evening is trivia extraordinaire Barry Levenson.  Levenson is the Mayor of the National Mustard Museum in Middleton, author of several books, and former assistant attorney general at the Wisconsin Department of Justice.  Please mark your calendar and encourage your colleagues to attend!            

In closing, if Mother Nature is reading this month’s column, please be reminded that spring officially started on March 20, 2013, and, therefore, I respectfully request that you provide us with reasonably prudent spring-like weather. 

– Written by Joshua J. Kindkeppel, President of the Dane County Bar Association and shareholder at Eustice, Laffey, Sebranek & Auby, S.C. This column originally appeared in the April 2013 edition of the DCBA Newsletter. .

Understanding Multiple Representation Relationships and Designated Agency

When you agree on a specific realtor, he/she will provide you with a broker agreement for services.  Within this agreement, you will be provided with the following choices regarding the relationship you establish with the real estate agent and the brokerage firm.

___ Consent to designated agency

___ Consent to multiple representation relationships, but I do not consent to designated agency.

___ Reject multiple representation relationships.

This post will decipher what each of those choices mean.  It is important to note that a real estate broker is the actual firm/company that employs real estate agents.  Although not common, it is entirely possible to have a one person real estate firm.  In the case of a one person firm, designated agency (as you will learn below) wouldn’t be an option because you need at least two agents to provide the separate and distinct representation.

If you consent to designated agency, it means that different sales agents of the same broker (First Weber, Keller Williams, Coldwell Banker, etc.) could represent the Buyer and Seller in the same transaction.   The buyer’s agent owes its loyalty to the buyer and acts solely in the buyer’s interest and the seller’s agent does the same for the seller.  Each party has their own agent working on their behalf (do not share the same agent).   In theory, designated agency is supposed to provide “full-service” negotiation on behalf of the agent’s client and create the effect that the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent are independent, as if they were from completely different real estate firms.

If you consent to multiple representation relationships, but do not consent to designated agency this means that the broker can represent both the buyer and the seller in the transaction, cannot at any time put the interests of one party over that of the other and cannot give helpful advice to one that would be detrimental to the other.  With this representation, neither the buyer nor the seller really has anyone in their “corner” looking out for their best interests and is much more limiting than a designated agency relationship.

Rejecting multiple representation relationships (MMR) means that the broker (real estate firm) cannot represent both the buyer and seller in the same transaction.  A consequence of rejecting multiple representation relationships is that you narrow your pool of prospective buyers/sellers.  This is because a buyer who rejects MMRs is essentially saying that they don’t want to look at/consider any properties being marketed by their broker.  The same limitation applies to a seller who rejects MRRs; they would be precluding any potential buyers represented by the same broker.  In reality, if the buyer’s dream house is listed with buyer’s broker (by a different agent), the buyer may switch his/her representation designation and pursue the purchase of the house.

Consent to designated agency or MRR can be withdrawn by written notice at any time, which provides for flexibility if circumstances change.     Generally, the recommended choice is designated agency, but because each situation is different, the particular facts of a representation will dictate the ultimate choice.   If you have any questions about which representation relationship is best for you, please feel free to contact the author, Attorney Josh Kindkeppel, at (608) 255-8000 or j.kindkeppel@els-law.com..