Tomislav "Tom" Z. Kuzmanovic is a trial lawyer with more than 25 years of trial experience both domestically and internationally. He has tried cases to verdict in state and federal courts in Wisconsin and handled appellate matters in the 7th, 9th and 11th Circuit Courts of Appeal.
Tom handles a wide variety of business and commercial litigation, and has extensive experience in class action and appellate matters. Cases he has handled have involved complex business litigation, transportation, toxic torts, construction, hospitality, security, product and premises liability, employment/noncompete litigation, international and human rights law and foreign/domestic investigations.
Tom joined Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP in June 1988, and is a former member of the firm's Executive Committee.
He is an appointed Judicial Court Commissioner for Milwaukee County. Appointment requires the approval of the Chief Judge, and two thirds of the Circuit Court Judges.
- American Bar Association, Fellow
- State Bar of Wisconsin, International Practice Section, Board of Directors (2013 –2016)
- Milwaukee Bar Association, Bench/Bar Civil Committee (2005 – Present)
- Civil Trial Counsel of Wisconsin
- Defense Research Institute
- Conference of Freight Counsel
- Association of Defense Trial Attorneys
- Litigation Counsel of America
- International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ADC-ICTY)
- Association of Defence Counsel
- Executive Board Vice President (2009 – 2010)
- Disciplinary Board ( 2014 – 2015)
- Croatian American Bar Association
Honors & Awards
- Holds the AV® Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, its highest rating for ethics and legal ability
- Croatian American Bar Association's (CABA's) 2012 Vinodol Code Award (2013)
- Profiled in "A Small Part to Play," an article in Super Lawyers magazine describing his litigation practice and his human rights work on behalf of independent Croatia (2006)
- Recognized as a "Super Lawyer" by Wisconsin Super Lawyers magazine (2005–Present)
- Awarded the Order of the Croatian "Pleter" by Croatian President Franjo Tudjman (1996)
- Recognized by the City Council of the Croatian City of Slavonski Brod for his contributions to its defense (1992)
- Milwaukee Young Lawyers Association Service Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Community (1991)
In May 2012, Tom argued the appeal of General Mladen Markač before the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, Netherlands. Gen. Markač was the Assistant Minister of Interior and Commander of Special Police (equivalent to Special Forces) in Croatia in 1995 who was sentenced to 18 years of imprisonment by the ICTY's Trial Chamber for allegedly committing crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war from August to September 1995. Tom began his representation of Gen. Markač in 2007. The trial began in March 2008 and was completed in August 2010. Gen. Markač was acquitted on all charges when the Appeals verdict was rendered in November 2012. Other representative examples of Tom's trial experience include:
- Harvey v. Western Diversified, Milwaukee County, Judge Michael Skwierawski. Insurance bad faith and toxic tort.
- Pettit v. Vassos, Kenosha County, Judge Michael Fisher. Professional liability/architect.
- Pilkington-Theesfeld v. Bornstein, Walworth County, Judge John Race. Premises liability/equine.
- Prosecutor v. Delalic, International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Command responsibility.
- Weimer v. Dynaweld, Jefferson County, Judge William Hue. Product liability/trailer.
- Zahran v. Cleary, Federal District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, Judge Robert Warren, Judge Charles Clevert. Breach of contract and fraud case.
- H. K. Mallak, Inc. v. Fairfield FMC Corp., Federal District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, Judge Lynn Adelman. Premises liability/security.
- Heritage v. Intermatic, Inc., Federal District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, Judge William Griesbach. Product liability/timer.
- Schulz v. Grunau Project Development, Inc., Milwaukee County, Judge Daniel Noonan. Construction defect.
- Jenkins v. American United Taxicab, Milwaukee County, Judge David Hansher. Commercial vehicle.
- Wells-Valentine v. Active Foam Products, Inc., Milwaukee County, Judge Jeffrey Kremers. Commercial vehicle.
Tom's appellate experience includes:
- Briggs v. Farmers Ins. Exchange, 2000 WI, 234 Wis. 2d 178.
- H. K. Mallak, Inc. v. Fairfield FMC Corp., 209 F.3d 960 (7th Cir. 2000).
- Malinowski v. DeLuca, 177 F.3d 623 (7th Cir. 1999).
- Carney v. White, 843 F. Supp. 462 (E.D. Wis. 1994), aff'd 60 F.3d 1273 (7th Cir. 1995).
Tom has appeared on "International Focus," a weekly television broadcast sponsored by the Institute of World Affairs at the University Wisconsin – Milwaukee. He an active speaker to professional and community groups around the country. Among his representative presentations are:
- "War Stories from a War Crimes Trial," Society of Trial Lawyers, Chicago, Illinois, September 2014
- "Foreign Corrupt Practices Act—What You Need to Know," presenter and co-panelist, 2013 Wisconsin Real Estate and Business Law Institute, Madison, Wisconsin, June 2013
- "The Role of International Criminal Courts and Tribunals; How Do We Measure Success?," Panelist, ABA Section of International Law, Paris, November 2010
- "Present and Future Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina," 39th National American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies (AAASS) Convention, New Orleans, Louisiana, November 2007
- "National Leadership Conference of Bosnian and Croatian Americans," moderator, Chicago, Illinois, March 2006
- "Contract Law for Contractors," Project Manager / Project Executive Peer Group Meeting, Gilbane Inc., Milwaukee, Wisconsin, December 2005
- Village of Greendale, Fire and Police Commission (2012–2015)
- Croatian American Association, Board Member and Vice President (1994–2002)
- University of Wisconsin-Madison, National W Club
J.D., University of Wisconsin Law School, 1988
- Senior Managing Editor, Wisconsin International Law Journal
B.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1985
- The Daily Cardinal, Reporter
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY)
- U.S. District Court for the Districts of Eastern and Western Wisconsin