Attorney John D. Gatzke specializes in Personal Injury and Worker’s Compensation Law and Litigation. In 2016, Gatzke was selected to the Wisconsin Super Lawyers Rising Stars list. Only 2.5% of attorneys in Wisconsin receive this distinction. With more than 100 trials and Administrative Hearings under his belt, Gatzke has litigated personal injury and work comp cases in nearly every County in the State of Wisconsin, and has handled Federal Tort claim matters in both the Eastern and Western District of Wisconsin and the Northern District of Illinois. He has won cases against every large insurance company in matters ranging from simple motor vehicle accidents and worker injuries to complex business litigation. He is currently handling a case which could result in international product liability claims against a Japanese manufacturer.
Attorney Gatzke, whose immediate family includes physicians and physician’s assistants, has an intimate understanding of medical issues and terminology, which serves him well in dealing with accident and work-related injuries and treatment. In jury trials Gatzke has shown a unique ability to reduce technical medical data to a level which is understandable to a juror, and his history of significant awards in jury trials is a testament to his courtroom presence.
Attorney Gatzke also has an extensive background in municipal litigation and in real estate, zoning and development matters. He rounds out his practice defending individuals in social security claims and in probate work. With regard to his probate practice, John was the principal attorney involved in one of Wisconsin’s most notorious probate cases in the last 50 years when he represented the estate of Gene Sehrt, who passed away in 2015 while embroiled in a 40 year long dispute with Milwaukee County over nearly $1 million in assets. As a result of John’s work on the case, Sehrt’s designated beneficiary, an inner city church, received a majority of the proceeds of the estate over the initial objections of Milwaukee County and a private out of state claimant.
Gatzke has also acted as corporate counsel for several firm clients and has prepared and reviewed lease agreements, merger and acquisition agreements, corporate buyout agreements and employee non-compete and non-disclosure agreements. Gatzke has acted as lead general counsel for a large Waukesha manufacturer in negotiations with Disney Corporation, PepsiCo and US Foods. John has also managed collections for a number of Gatzke Law corporate clients.
Gatzke was born in Watertown, Wisconsin in 1984. He has resided in the New Berlin area for the past nine years and currently lives in Brookfield with his wife and their three children. He has undergraduate degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and received his law degree from Marquette University (cum laude), where he finished near the top of his graduating class. Gatzke received the Dean’s Honor Rating during his undergraduate years at UW and was an Honor student at Marquette Law. He received the CALI Excellence Award as the top ranked student in Negotiable Instruments and also in Law and PC. He has been a member of the Waukesha County Bar Association, the State Bar of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Academy of Trial Lawyers and the American Trial Lawyers Association. He continues to be active in several Brookfield and New Berlin organizations and regularly volunteers his time on behalf of children and youth sports.