Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Who is Mike Brennan?

Michael B. Brennan is President Trump’s  latest nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Age:  53 (approximate)

Current Position:  Partner, Gass Weber Mullins LLC (Milwaukee, WI)

Education:

  • B.A., University of Notre Dame (1986), cum laude

  • J.D., Northeastern University (1989); Coordinating Note and Comment Editor, Northwestern Law Review; Moot Court Champion; Dean’s List

Clerkships: 

  • Chief Judge Robert Warren of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin (1989-91)

  • Judge Daniel Manion of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (1995-97).

Experience:

  • 1991-1995:  Associate, Foley & Lardner LLP (Milwaukee, WI)

  • 1997-200:  Assistant District Attorney, Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office (Milwaukee, WI)

  • 2000-2008:  Judge, Milwaukee County Circuit Court (Civil Division)

  • 2008-Present:  Partner, Gass Weber Mullins LLC (Milwaukee, WI)

Notable Matters:  

  • As an attorney in private practice, Mr. Brennan is a trial lawyer and also handles appeals in federal and state courts, primarily in the area of commercial litigation.  He is also a mediator and an AAA certified arbitrator. 

  • In 1999, Governor Tommy Thompson appointed Mr. Brennan to be a Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge.  During his state judicial service, Mr. Brennan presided over nearly 300 trials and thousands of motions. 

  • Over his career, he has published more than 50 articles on federal practice and procedure, criminal sentencing, and other topics in various law reviews and newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, National Review, New Republic, Wisconsin Lawyer, and the Illinois Bar Journal.

  • Mr. Brennan has served as a public member of the Wisconsin Legislative Council’s Special Committee on Crimes against Children and as a member of the U.S Department of Justice’s National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women. 

  • Mr. Brennan is the founder of the Milwaukee Lawyer’s Chapter of The Federalist Society.

Awards:  Recognized by “Best Lawyers of America” (2012-2017); named by the Milwaukee Business Journal to its “40 Under 40” list (2002).

Carrie Severino is chief counsel and policy director to the Judicial Crisis Network.

Most Popular

Energy & Environment

The Climate Trap for Democrats

The more the climate debate changes, the more it stays the same. Polls show that the public is worried about climate change, but that doesn’t mean that it is any more ready to bear any burden or pay any price to combat it. If President Donald Trump claws his way to victory again in Pennsylvania and the ... Read More
Elections

Kamala Harris Runs for Queen

I’m going to let you in on a secret about the 2020 presidential contest: Unless unforeseen circumstances lead to a true wave election, the legislative stakes will be extremely low. The odds are heavily stacked against Democrats’ retaking the Senate, and that means that even if a Democrat wins the White House, ... Read More
Culture

What We’ve Learned about Jussie Smollett

It’s been a few weeks since March 26, when all charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped and the actor declared that his version of events had been proven correct. How’s that going? Smollett’s celebrity defenders have gone quiet. His publicists and lawyers are dodging reporters. The @StandwithJussie ... Read More
Politics & Policy

But Why Is Guatemala Hungry?

I really, really don’t want to be on the “Nicolas Kristof Wrote Something Dumb” beat, but, Jiminy Cricket! Kristof has taken a trip to Guatemala, with a young woman from Arizona State University in tow. “My annual win-a-trip journey,” he writes. Reporting from Guatemala, he discovers that many ... Read More