May 23, 2024

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm, Central Time

ACS Madison: Qualified Immunity: How to Steer Your Case Around It (or Through It)

HYBRID: Madison Public Library, Madison, WI

Please join the ACS Madison and Milwaukee Lawyer Chapters, and the ACS UW Madison Law School Student Chapter for a hybrid discussion on qualified immunity with Jeff Scott Olsen. Jeff Scott Olson has litigated civil rights damages cases for over forty years. He is the author of Qualified Immunity: A Dubious Doctrine and a 21st Century Wisconsin Solution, the cover story in the November, 2023, edition of the Wisconsin Lawyer. Jeff will talk about how to frame cases so that qualified immunity does not apply, by, for example, aiming for municipal rather than individual liability, and how to frame arguments so that defense qualified immunity motions are denied.

Jeff Scott Olson graduated with honors in 1972, from the University of Wisconsin and obtained his law degree there in 1976. In over forty years of private practice, he has consistently represented individuals and small businesses against government agencies, corporations and insurance companies. He has won a number of landmark cases, including Watkins v. LIRC, 117 Wis. 2d 753, 345 N.W. 2d 482 (1984), which established the right of an employment discrimination victim to recover a separate award of attorneys' fees under the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act, and Gilbert v. State of Wisconsin Medical Examining Board, 119 Wis. 2d 168, 349 N.W. 2d 68 (1984), which established due process safeguards applicable to professional license revocation cases.

He has won two jury verdicts for damages in the millions of dollars, one for a young man wrongfully convicted of sexual assault and later exonerated by DNA evidence and one for the family of a police shooting victim. A nationally recognized expert on civil rights law, he has been asked on over seventy occasions to present educational programs for the training of other lawyers, and has authored nearly two dozen articles on civil rights topics in national publications. He was the winner of the American Civil Liberties Union's "Volunteer Attorney of the Year" award in 1986 and the Dane County Fair Housing Council's "Fair Housing Advocate Award" in 1988. He was first voted "Best Civil Rights Lawyer in Madison" in a poll of the Dane County Bar published in Madison Magazine's January, 1994, edition, and has been similarly recognized several times since then. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America and Superlawyers, and is a past chair of the State Bar of Wisconsin Individual Rights Section.