Thomas J. Janssen
Thomas Janssen practiced law at Sigman, Janssen, Sewall, Pitz & Burkham for nearly fifty years. During that time, he saw the law firm almost double in size and helped countless clients with a wide range of legal matters.
Born and raised in Appleton, Tom graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1964, and he went on to receive his Juris Doctorate from the University of Wisconsin Law School. A lifelong student of the law, he attended and presented at numerous law-related seminars, programs, and lectures in Wisconsin and throughout the country.
Tom is the recipient of an AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell—the highest honor awarded by the organization. He also received a Pro-Bono Award from the State Bar of Wisconsin for his work with its local legal aid program. In addition, he tried cases in all levels of Wisconsin courts, including the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the Wisconsin Court of Appeals.
While practicing law, Tom stood up for the rights of people who were economically, culturally, physically, or mentally disadvantaged. He dedicated himself to helping his clients with personal injury, family law, real estate, and estate planning cases, and he always made it a priority to help them understand the legal process and the details of their cases.
Tom is an avid trout fisherman and pilot, and he hopes to one day complete the restoration of an original 1947 Stinson aircraft.
Professional Associations and Memberships:
- Appleton Area School District, Board Member
- COTS, Inc., Former President
- Leaven, Inc., Board of Directors
- Outagamie County Bar Association, Former President
- State Bar of Wisconsin Family Law Section, Board of Directors
Significant Cases and Settlements:
- Gary Van Zeeland Talent Inc. v. Sandas, 84 Wis.2d 202, 267 N.W.2d 242; established that certain information in the public domain is not subject to restrictive covenants.
- In Re. Guardianship of Schmidt, 71 Wis.2d 317, 237 N.W.2d 919; established right of relative to obtain guardianship of children of murdered parent.
- Ondrasek v. Ondrasek, 126 Wis.2d 469, 377 N.W2d 190; established right of contribution to attorney’s fees for “over trial” in divorce cases.
- Popp v. Popp, 146 Wis.2d 778, 432 N.W.2d 600; addressed exclusion of inherited or gifted property from property division in divorce.
- State v. Kay Distributing Company, Inc., addressed constitutionality of criminal law of sale of intoxicants.
- Voight v. Riesterer, 181 Wis.2d 459, 523 N.W.2d 133; involved establishing client able to recover in accident for “two occurrences”.
- Wisconsin Supreme Court: Meyers v. Wang, 192 Wis.2d 115, 531 N.W.2d 54; established right of adverse possession against railroads.