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)


  • 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


  • 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).


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

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