Corporation Counsel


The Office of Corporation Counsel acts as general counsel for Milwaukee County, including its boards, commissions, committees, departments and officers, in civil matters in federal and state courts and before federal, state and county administrative bodies and agencies. The office issues legal opinions, drafts county ordinances and resolutions, drafts and reviews county contracts, handles real estate transactions and In Rem proceedings, represents the public in involuntary civil commitments, protective placement and guardianships, and wage claim matters, and generally represents the county in employment, civil rights and personal injury litigation.




Corporation Counsel
Margaret Daun: (414) 278-4300;

Deputy Corporation Counsel

Colleen Foley: (414) 278-4268;
Paul D. Kuglitsch: (414) 278-4289;

Assistant Corporation Counsel
James M. Carroll: (414) 278-4035;

Christine L. Hansen: (414) 278-4306;

Timothy R. Karaskiewicz: (414) 747-5712;
Dewey B. Martin: (414) 278-4310;

Dale R. Nikolay: (414) 278-4087;

Alan M. Polan: (414) 278-5049;

Kathryn M. West: (414) 278-4295;

Molly J. Zillig: (414) 278-4311;

Support Staff

Katelin Ali: (414) 278-4390;

Jodi Giessel: (414) 278-4288;

Catherine Grady: (414) 278-4723; 

Stephanie Mackey: (414) 278-4782;

Ashley McCune: (414) 278-5117;

Whitney Sanders (414) 278-4298;

Rhonda Smith: (414) 278-4302;

Amber Vermote: (414) 278-4317;





Mental Health Commitments: Wis. Stats. § 51.15

Wisconsin law allows for interested persons to contact law enforcement to initiate an Emergency Detention or “E.D.” Criteria for an E.D. includes:

  1. Danger to self
  2. Danger to others
  3. Impaired judgment
  4. Self-neglect

If you have an emergency situation, please contact your local law enforcement agency for assistance

3-Party Petitions: Wis. Stat. § 51.20
Wisconsin law allows for interested persons to seek a 3-Party Petition for treatment of an individual who is a) mentally ill or drug dependent; b) a proper subject for treatment; and c) dangerous to self or others based upon recent acts or omissions. 

Procedure Summary

3-Party Petitions must be signed by three adults, at least one of whom must have personal knowledge of the facts and circumstances that will support a petition for an involuntary commitment. All three petitioners must be available to testify in person at a minimum of two court hearings and to come to the Corporation Counsel’s Office to prepare their affidavits.


To inquire about initiating a 3-Party Petition for an individual in need, you may contact the Corporation Counsel’s Office at (414) 278-4300 to speak with the 3-Party Petition Coordinator. 3-Party Petitions are done by appointment only.





What is Guardianship?

A guardianship is a court-created relationship that allows the persons or person appointed as guardian to make decisions for the Ward. A “Ward” is defined by Wisconsin Statutes as “a subject for whom a guardian has been appointed.” Wis. Stat. § 54.01(37). In Wisconsin guardianships are governed by the procedural and substantive rules of Chapter 54. Once appointed, a guardian is accountable to the court for providing proper care and management of the ward's affairs and for acting in the ward's best interest.


When is a Guardianship appropriate?

A guardianship is appropriate when it has been determined that an adult is unable to manage and take care of himself or herself or manage his or her own affairs because of developmental disability, degenerative brain disorder, serious and persistent mental illness, or other like incapacities.


Guardianships - Wisconsin Stats. Chapter 54

Milwaukee County petitions for guardianships for individuals who qualify for services through Milwaukee County Department on Aging for persons over age 60, the Milwaukee County Disability Service Division for persons under age 60 or through the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division.


What are the guardian’s responsibilities?

Guardianships are broken down into two categories: Guardian of the Person and Guardian of the Estate.

  • A Guardian of the Person makes decisions regarding the person (Ward) that may include:

    • Ensuring the ward has basic necessities (food, shelter, clothing, medical care);

    • Assuring the ward's health, safety and well-being are maintained;

    • Assisting in making decisions on living arrangements;

    • Filing an annual accounting of the Ward’s assets to the court;

    • Petitioning for restoration of a Ward's rights if and when appropriate.

  • A Guardian of the Estate manages the Ward's finances and property. Duties include:

    • Taking possession of the Ward's property and possessions;

    • Protecting and preserving the property including providing an accurate accounting;

    • Filing an annual report to the court.




Wage Claims Collections: Wis. Stats. § 109. 09

The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) investigates all wage claims disputes between employers and employees. Employees have the right to file a wage claim with the department if there is a dispute with the employer about the amount of wages owed. If the employer refuses to pay wages earned on the regularly established payday, the employee should request payment. After the DWD has completed its investigation and mediated the dispute, if the claim on behalf of the employee is not resolved, Milwaukee County will take over the claim on behalf of the DWD and litigate the matter on behalf of the employee.

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