Big City Legal Services In A Rural Setting
Mark E. Sostarich with his dog.

Mark E. Sostarich

Biography

I have argued cases before the Wisconsin Supreme Court; the Wisconsin Court of Appeals; the Illinois Court of Appeals; and the Federal Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

I was appointed by the Governor of Wisconsin five times to the Wisconsin State Elections Board and I served as its Chairman for a term. I was appointed to the City of South Milwaukee Police and Fire Commission where I served as Secretary and later President. I also was appointed to the City of South Milwaukee Housing Authority.

I was elected to five terms as the Chair of the Milwaukee County Democratic Party serving for ten years. I also was elected and severed as the First Vice Chair and later Chair of the Wisconsin Democratic Party. I served on the Democratic National Committee, as well as the National Chairs' Association. I chaired and led Wisconsin's Delegation to the Democratic National Convention in 1996.

I have often served as a consultant or attorney to local, state and national campaigns and candidates. I am pleased to call many elected officials as my friends. 

I am very active in my local church, Trinity Lutheran Church in South Milwaukee. I have served as Vice-President and President of the Church Council. I am the church's unofficial lawyer. I have taught the High School Sunday School class for over twenty-five years. I was a Deacon at the Church when we still had that role. I currently am a head usher. I have assisted in fundraising and outreach and I have often represented church members on a pro bono basis. 

I previously served on the Board of Directors for the Wisconsin Arthritis Organization. I also served on the Wisconsin Law School's Board of Visitors.

I enjoy photography. Along with my daughter Samantha, we designed and care for the flower displays and holiday decorations at the office. The office is active in the local Elkhorn Chamber of Commerce. We have entered and won for our floats in the city's annual Christmas parade. We help sponsor local teams, the recreation department, fire departments educational programs etc. We decorate our 150 year old office for Halloween and are active in the neighborhoods celebration of the event.

My wife and I have been married for over forty-five years. We have two adult children and we love pets. We usually have a large collie who is always my best friend and travels with me on weekends for errands, etc. Our current collie is "Flash." We have rescue cats as well.

Education

  • University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin
    • J.D.
    • Honors: cum laude
    • Honors: West Publishing Company Award
    • Honors: Abe Sigman Award
  • University of Wisconsin - Madison, Madison, Wisconsin
    • B.A. - 1975
    • Honors: With Distinction
    • Major: Journalism

Fraternities or Sororities

  • Phi Delta Phi

Presenter at Classes & Seminars

  • Legal Ethics, Petrie & Stocking S.C., 1997 to 1999
  • Public Record Law, Wisconsin State Bar, 2000
  • Ethics, Public Meetings, and Record Law, Continuing Legal Education Seminars

Pro-Bono Activities

  • Multiple Cases Ongoing

Representative Clients

  • Recording Industry Association of America
  • Atari Corp.
  • Wisconsin Souvenir Milk caps, Inc.
  • PyraMax Bank
  • ECTO Productions, Inc.
  • Emerald Professional Staffing, Inc.
  • Arrow Design Corp.

References

  • US Bank
  • PyraMax Bank

Past Positions

  • Petrie & Stocking S.C., Partner, 1997 to 2003
  • Godfrey & Kahn S.C., Associate and Partner, 1978 to 1997

Published Works

  • A Guide for Wisconsin Nonprofit Organizations, Wisconsin Bar, 1998

Current Employment Position

  • Sole Practitioner

Practice Areas

  • Divorce
  • Construction Law
  • Custody & Visitation
  • Family Law
  • Litigation & Appeals
  • Corporate Law
  • Real Estate

Bar Admissions

  • Wisconsin, 1978
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Wisconsin, 1978
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Wisconsin, 1978
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit

Professional Associations

  • Wisconsin Lawyers for Voters Rights, Co-Founder, 1996
  • American Civil Liberties Union
  • The Milwaukee Bar Association
  • The Walworth County Bar Association

Representative Cases

  • South Milwaukee Savings Bank v. Barrett, 234 Wis.2d 733, 611 N.W.2d 448, 2000, Wi. Supreme Ct.
  • A&M Records v. A.L.W. Ltd., 855 F.2d 368, 1988, 7th Cir. Ct. App.