2011 Howard B. Eisenberg Distinguished Service Award

Jeff Myer

Attorney/WEJF Client Advocacy Chair, Legal Action of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

Attorney Jeffery R. Myer joined Milwaukee Legal Services, Inc., the predecessor of Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc., in 1976. From 1976 through 1983 he served as Staff Attorney, Managing Attorney, Employment Law Priority Committee Coordinator and the Consumer Law Priority Committee Coordinator. After a 6-year detour in private practice litigating fair employment practices cases, he returned to Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc. in 1989. Since then he has served as Associate Director, Litigation Director and Director of Advocacy. He is currently the Wisconsin Equal Justice Fund Client Advocacy Chair and directs the advocacy activity of the largest public interest law firm in the state.

Attorney Myer has successfully pursued systemic reform litigation challenging employment discrimination by the City of Milwaukee, the Milwaukee School Board and Milwaukee County. Other notable cases have established that rent-to-own consumers are protected by the Wisconsin Consumer Act, created a state-wide system for timely distribution of child support, required written standards of need for benefit recipients and halted intrusive home visits of benefit recipients. He has also worked to establish voting rights under the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and expand community-based mental health services for the chronically mentally ill.

Currently, Myer is working to create new remedies against the Wisconsin Attorney General for the dissemination of false information on criminal background checks and against housing authorities and care giver licensing agencies for violations of the Due Process Clause.

Myer authored the chapters on unemployment compensation law in Wisconsin Employment Law, published by the State Bar of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Practice Series, Methods of Practice, published by Thomson-West. Since 2001, he has directed the Unemployment Compensation Clinic at Marquette

University Law School, teaching trial skills through the direct representation of clients by law students in contested unemployment compensation hearings. Wife and fellow attorney Pat Cavey writes, “Many, many lawyers throughout this country thank you for mentoring us. Clients and peers thank you for your tireless work on behalf of the poor, frail and disenfranchised. We thank you for your humor and perspective in fighting the good fight within a legal system that often is not just.”

A graduate of Carleton College and the University of Kansas Law School, Jeff smiles when his students call him Professor and is used to hearing that he is not in Kansas anymore.

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