Attorney Profiles

Meet Our Legal Team

Thomas J. Janssen

Thomas J. Janssen

Phone: 920-328-5761
Email: tjj@sigmanlegal.com
Fax: 920-731-8737
Read Attorney Bio

James P. Pitz

James P. Pitz

Phone: 920-328-5761
Email: jpp@sigmanlegal.com
Fax: 920-731-8737
Read Attorney Bio

Christopher H. Evenson

Christopher H. Evenson

Phone: 920-328-5761
Email: che@sigmanlegal.com
Fax: 920-731-8737
Read Attorney Bio

Yadira J. Rein

Yadira J. Rein

Phone: 920-328-5761
Email: yrein@sigmanlegal.com
Fax: 920-731-8737
Read Attorney Bio

Bridget M. Erwin

Bridget M. Erwin

Phone: 920-328-5761
Email: bme@sigmanlegal.com
Fax: 920-731-8737
Read Attorney Bio

Mark V. Sewall

Mark V. Sewall

Phone: 920-328-5761
Email: mvs@sigmanlegal.com
Fax: 920-731-8737
Read Attorney Bio

Brian P. Hodgkiss

Brian P. Hodgkiss

Phone: 920-328-5761
Email: bph@sigmanlegal.com
Fax: 920-731-8737
Read Attorney Bio

Ana Burkham Rattray

Ana Burkham

Phone: 920-328-5761
Email: ABR@sigmanlegal.com
Fax: 920-731-8737
Read Attorney Bio

Katherine M. Canadeo

Katherine M. Canadeo

Phone: 920-328-5761
Fax: 920-731-8737
Read Attorney Bio

 

 


 

Thomas J. Janssen

Thomas J. Janssen

Contact Information

Phone: 920-328-5761
Email: tjj@sigmanlegal.com
Fax: 920-731-8737

Tom has been practicing with Sigman Janssen since September 1967.

During the first 10 years of his practice, Tom engaged in a wide variety of matters, including personal injury litigation, criminal defense, tax, real estate, probate, business litigation and family law. In the last 15 years, his practice has evolved to focus on litigation, including both commercial, personal injury and family law. Tom’s time is presently allocated approximately 60 to family law and 40 to other litigation matters. During the course of Tom’s career, he has appeared in all levels of court in Wisconsin and has been lead counsel in six reported appellate cases, four in the Wisconsin Supreme Court and two in the Wisconsin Court of Appeals.

Martindale-Hubbell publishers have awarded Tom an AV rating, the highest rating for professional competence and high ethical qualities. The State Bar of Wisconsin awarded Tom its annual Pro-Bono Award in 1990, recognizing his work in reorganizing the local legal aid program. Tom has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Family Law Section of the State of Wisconsin Bar Association and as president of the Outagamie County Bar Association in 1988-1989. Tom has also served on various Boards of Directors for charities and civic groups.

Tom received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1964 and graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1967. His professional education has continued since that time by attendance at numerous professional seminars and programs, both within and without the state. He has also lectured at seminars sponsored by the State of Wisconsin Bar Association and the Wisconsin Academy of Trial Lawyers on subjects including non-competition agreements in employment contracts, discovery, and revisions to Wisconsin’s Family Law Statutes. Tom also served as an expert witness in matters involving lawyer conduct.

At the Sigman Janssen Law Firm, we strive to provide the best legal representation possible for our clients.

Bar Admissions:

  • Wisconsin, 1967
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Wisconsin, 1967

Education:

  • Juris Doctor, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis., 1967
  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis., 1964

Professional Associations and Memberships:

  • Wisconsin Bar Association, Family Law Section — Board of Directors
  • Outagamie County Bar Association, 1988 - 1989 — President
 

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James P. Pitz

James P. Pitz

Contact Information

Phone: 920-328-5761
Email: jpp@sigmanlegal.com
Fax: 920-731-8737

I am Attorney James P. Pitz. I was born, raised and reside in Northeastern Wisconsin: The Fox Valley! I am proud to be from this area of our great state of Wisconsin. I understand, appreciate and live the values of our community. When I attended law school at the University of Wisconsin (—Go Badgers!), my goal was to locate my law practice and my life right back here in my home. I have accomplished that goal at the Sigman Janssen law firm since 1993 and continue with my strong love for this community and its people.

As a lawyer serving this community, I have continued to grow my roots even deeper. I am married and raising our three children. I have strong responsibilities to my family. As a family man, I love spending time coaching my boys on the baseball diamond and basketball court. Competition is great. It keeps me focused. My daughter is rolling through high school, and I will grab every minute of time I still have with her as she becomes a young adult. My wife and I have a strong goal to lay the foundation for a good life for our kids. My career as a lawyer is part of that foundation. A strong work ethic is something I learned from my parents as they raised four children while running their own business. I am following that path.

My law practice is devoted exclusively to representing people that have been hurt in accidents, through no fault of their own. During over nearly 20 years representing accident victims, I have seen great tragedy and great triumph. People’s lives can be affected forever from an accident. The families of accident victims also suffer following an accident. My job is to do everything I can to help injured people and their families put the pieces back together.

At my law firm, we always talk about “making our clients whole again.” I am not a medical doctor who helps injured people physically recover from their injuries. Fortunately, I have a law degree, years of experience and a strong desire to take care of all of the legal issues that arise as a result of the accidents and injuries our clients have suffered. It is my sincere hope that as I take care of all of the legal issues, my clients are able to focus on getting better physically, mentally and emotionally.

Over nearly 20 years representing accident victims, I have personally collected over 50 million dollars through my efforts and the efforts of my great staff of assistants. This money is not a windfall to my clients. It is what they are entitled to receive. My clients have been injured or lost a loved one as a result of car accidents, trucking accidents, motorcycle accidents, dog attacks, trip/slip and fall or other premises liability accidents, uninsured motorist accidents and a great variety of other accidents that were not their fault. My clients need this money to put back together what was damaged or taken from them due to their injuries. I will always fight for the injured people. I never represent the insurance companies who want to keep their money.

I see my clients all over the community years after I have helped them through a difficult time following their accident. It is a great feeling to know I was able to help make things a little easier for them. I hope to do the same for you. I have a continuing desire to help people in Northeastern Wisconsin, from north of Green Bay to south of Oshkosh to west of Waupaca, to the Michigan Lakeshore. If you have been hurt in an accident that wasn’t your fault, contact me.

Bar Admissions:

  • Wisconsin, 1993
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Wisconsin, 1993
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Wisconsin, 1993

Education:

  • University of Wisconsin Law School, Madison, Wis., 1993
         J.D., Doctor of Jurisprudence
  • University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, Wis., 1990
         Bachelor of Science

Professional Associations and Memberships:

  • American Bar Association
  • State Bar of Wisconsin
  • Wisconsin Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • Outagamie County Bar Association
 

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Christopher H. Evenson

Christopher H. Evenson

Contact Information

Phone: 920-328-5761
Email: che@sigmanlegal.com
Fax: 920-731-8737

I am Attorney Christopher Evenson. I have had the pleasure of being part of this firm for 26 years. Over those years, I have developed expertise in several areas and am currently concentrating my practice in collections (business and consumer), termination of parental rights and adoption, guardianships (minors and incompetents), insurance law, landlord/tenant law and civil appeals. I am also qualified to serve as guardian ad litem in family law and guardianship matters.

I have lived most of my life in Northeastern Wisconsin. I grew up in beautiful Door County and attended the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay for my undergraduate studies, where I graduated with honors in 1974. I spent the next four years struggling to make my way in a recession very reminiscent of our current turmoil. While difficult, those years taught me some very valuable lessons in thrift, humility and self-reliance. Most of all, they inspired me to do more with my life and to seek a professional career in the practice of law.

I graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1981. I knew I wanted to serve the interests of individuals in a general practice. As with most young attorneys in private practice, I started out handling a wide variety of matters, all with the guidance and mentoring that a firm of our longevity is able to provide to its younger attorneys. Over time, one gravitates to the areas of law that one finds challenging and personally satisfying, and those are my current practice areas. Still, there is great value to starting off as a generalist, since any legal matter may involve several areas of law simultaneously, and it is important to be able to recognize those other aspects a case may entail.

I have handled a number of jury and bench trials over the years, most with successful outcomes. An area that I really find especially rewarding is appellate practice. Nearly all of the appeals that I have handled have been successful, including one before the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Three of my cases have been published, all of them favorable. I am very proud to have added to the tapestry of Wisconsin’s proud and progressive case law.

One of the things that our firm has always recognized is that in order to be a successful attorney, one must also have the time to devote to family and community. During my years with the firm, I co-parented two wonderful daughters who are now pursuing their own professional careers. I have also been active in the community, serving on the board of a visiting nursing organization and a juvenile diversion program through the local circuit court. Menasha is the city I call home, and I served 6 years on the Landmarks Commission and am currently on the Board of Appeals. Civic involvement is important, and I have had more time for it now that my daughters are grown.

My wife and I live on the Fox River in Menasha and many of our personal pursuits are focused right where we live. We both enjoy gardening, fishing off the dock, and lovingly tending the needs of our 105-year-old historic home. While this occupies much of our time, we have recently been blessed with two granddaughters whom we are getting to know and love. Finally, everyone needs a creative outlet, and mine is music. I sing and play bass in a local blues band, and I write a good bit of the material we perform.

Bar Admissions:

  • Wisconsin, Circuit and Appellate Courts
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit
  • U.S. District Courts Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin
  • Supreme Court of Menominee Tribe

Education:

  • University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis.
         Doctor of Jurisprudence, 1981
         Honors: Dean’s List first semester
  • University of Wisconsin, Green Bay, Wis.
         Bachelor of Science, Cum Laude, 1974
 

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Yadira J. Rein

Yadira J. Rein

Contact Information

Phone: 920-328-5761
Email: yrein@sigmanlegal.com
Fax: 920-731-8737
 

Although she was born in El Paso, Texas, Yadira Rein grew up on an apple orchard in Mexico with her grandparents—an experience that helped her become bilingual in both English and Spanish. At age 10, she moved to Neenah, Wisconsin, and has been a proud resident of the state ever since. After high school, she attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2004.

She received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 2008. While in law school, Yadira served as a bilingual student attorney in the Family Court Clinic representing low-income individuals with family law matters. She also represented victims of domestic violence while working with the organization's restraining order clinic.

At Sigman Janssen, Yadira handles cases related to divorce, child custody, child support, restraining orders, and personal injury. She also spends time educating the Hispanic community about their legal rights and assisting them with various social issues.

In her free time, Yadira enjoys spending time with her husband and three children and visiting their cottage on Lake Noquebay.

Bar Admissions:

  • Wisconsin

Education:

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison, B.A.
  • University of Wisconsin Law School, J.D.

Professional Associations and Memberships:

  • Fox Valley Young Lawyers Association
  • Outagamie County Bar Association
  • Winnebago County Bar Association
  • Wisconsin Hispanic Lawyers Association
 

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Bridget M. Erwin

Bridget M. Erwin

Contact Information

Phone: 920-328-5761
Email: bme@sigmanlegal.com
Fax: 920-731-8737

After growing up on a farm near the small town of Paynesville, Minnesota, Bridget Erwin eventually settled in De Pere, Wisconsin, where she received a Bachelor of Business Administration in economics at St. Norbert College. While interning in the campus alumni office, she developed an interest in estate planning after receiving a phone call from a law firm that was tracking down a lost heir.

It was Bridget's lifelong interest in practicing law—along with that phone call—that led her to enroll at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota. While in law school, she received a CALI Excellence for the Future Award for Estate Planning.

After practicing in the Green Bay area for nearly five years, Bridget joined Sigman Janssen in 2012, where she handles estate planning and probate matters, as well as matters involving elder law, real estate, and business transactions.

Whether she's meeting with clients about an estate plan or a buy-sell agreement, Bridget loves having the opportunity to help others be proactive and plan ahead in order to avoid conflicts. A "people person," she enjoys assisting people who are in need of legal representation and helping them resolve their affairs in any way she can.

When she's not at the office, Bridget enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, going for walks, attending sporting events, and traveling.

Education:

  • St. Norbert College, B.B.A
  • William Mitchell College of Law, J.D.
  • CALI Excellence for the Future Award for Estate Planning

Bar Admissions:

  • Wisconsin, 2007
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, 2010

Professional Associations and Memberships:

  • Brown County Bar Association
  • ITT Technical Institute Criminal Justice Advisory Committee
  • Outagamie County Bar Association
  • Resurrection Parish Development Team
  • Service League of Green Bay
  • State Bar of Wisconsin

Speaking Opportunities:

  • Drafting Effective Wills and Trusts, National Business Institute, 2011
  • Probate Process from A to Z, National Business Institute, 2012
 

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Mark V. Sewall

Mark V. Sewall

Contact Information

Phone: 920-328-5761
Email: mvs@sigmanlegal.com
Fax: 920-731-8737

I am Mark Sewall. I was born in Neenah, Wisconsin in 1958. I graduated from Neenah High School in 1976. Following graduation, I obtained real life experience working at a Menasha paper mill, followed by 4 years at the Kohler Company in Kohler, Wis., where I worked on an assembly line. My work experience contributed significantly to my interest and satisfaction in my current workers’ compensation practice. I only represent injured workers and have never represented an insurance company.

After being laid off at the Kohler Company, I started my undergraduate study and graduated summa cum laude from UW Oshkosh with a degree in Philosophy. I then applied and was accepted to study law at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. I obtained my law degree in 1990.

I began working at the Sigman Janssen Law Firm in 1990 and have practiced exclusively in the areas of personal injury and worker’s compensation. In 1996, I became a partner in the Sigman Janssen Law Firm and have now practiced here for 21 years. During that time, I have had the privilege to assist thousands of workers’ compensation claimants and victims of personal injury.

Presently, I have three adult children and reside with my wife in Green Bay, Wisconsin. I enjoy working in Appleton as well as living in Green Bay. Both communities have much to offer. I look forward to continuing to serve injury clients in the Fox River Valley.

Bar Admissions:

  • Wisconsin, 1990
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Wisconsin, 1990

Education:

  • University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh
    Bachelor of Science – Philosophy
    Graduated Summa Cum Laude – 1987
  • University of Wisconsin Law School – 1990
 

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Brian P. Hodgkiss

Brian P. Hodgkiss

Contact Information

Phone: 920-328-5761
Email: bph@sigmanlegal.com
Fax: 920-731-8737

I am attorney Brian P. Hodgkiss. Although I was born in Conneaut, Ohio, I consider Appleton and the Fox Valley to be my hometown. My family moved to the Fox Valley when I was 13 years old. I graduated from Xavier High School and attended college at St. Norbert in De Pere. I attended Law School at Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul, Minn., and returned to Wisconsin in 1998 following graduation. I joined Sigman Janssen in August of 2004 and became a partner in 2009.

Since I began my practice, I have represented Wisconsinites in a myriad of legal issues. Since 2004, I have focused on representing injury victims. I have helped people who have been victims of car crashes, slip and fall accidents, dog attacks, and many other types of personal injuries. I take pleasure in serving my clients and making them feel comfortable and confident with the legal process. It is my hope that at the conclusion of any case, in addition to achieving success, my client feels my staff or I have been accessible and responsive to their needs. It is my goal to educate each client so that at the end of their case they feel they have been a well-informed participant.

I look forward to many more years serving the Fox Valley.

Bar Admissions:

  • Wisconsin, 1998
  • Minnesota, 2000
  • U.S. District Court Western District, 2000
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District, 2004

Education:

  • Hamline University School of Law, St. Paul, Minn., 1998
    J.D., doctor of Jurisprudence
  • Saint Norbert College, De Pere, Wis., 1995
    B.A., Communication

Professional Associations and Memberships:

  • Outagamie County Bar Association — Current Member
  • State Bar of Wisconsin — Current Member
 

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Ana Burkham Rattray

Ana Burkham Rattray

Contact Information

Phone: 920-328-5761
Email: ABR@sigmanlegal.com
Fax: 920-731-8737

I am attorney Ana Burkham Rattray, and I practice in the areas of Family Law, Estate Planning and Probate and Social Security Disability. I grew up in the Fox Valley and am happy to call this area my home. I received my B.A. from Lawrence University and then went on to get my law degree from Washington University in St. Louis, I then practiced in St. Louis in the areas of family law and personal injury for several years before returning to Appleton in 2005 to begin my practice in my hometown. My husband (also an Appleton native) and I could not be happier being here in the Fox Valley and raising our family here.

I have worked hard to successfully resolved many complex legal disputes, both in trial in Circuit Court, before Administrative Law Judges in Social Security Disability cases, but also in structuring settlements through negotiations and mediation, so that clients feel they are part of the decision making process. The greatest compliments are when my previous clients refer their friends and family to me, I then know that I am doing my job right.

My mission, along with the rest of us here at Sigman Janssen, is to get winning results for our clients; but getting great results is only part of the service we perform. We also strive to make each client’s needs a priority. You call us, and one of our team will be answer your questions quickly and help you navigate your legal matter and feel secure in each and every step.

Bar Admissions:

  • Missouri, 2000
  • Wisconsin, 2005

Education:

  • J.D. Washington University School of Law, 2000
  • B.A. Lawrence University, 1997

Professional Associations and Memberships:

  • Outagamie County Bar Association
  • Wisconsin Bar Association
 

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Katherine M. Canadeo

Katherine M. Canadeo

Contact Information

Phone: 920-328-5761
Fax: 920-731-8737

I am attorney Katherine M. Canadeo. Originally from Green Bay, I graduated from Notre Dame Academy high school and attended college at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay. Immediately after college I decided it was time to test my wings in a bigger city. I attended law school at Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota. During my first year at Hamline, I was a Dean’s List honoree and was recognized with a CALI award my second year for earning the highest grade in my family law class. I also met my husband, a Wisconsin native, while studying at Hamline. Even though I enjoyed my time in the Twin Cities, it was always my goal to establish my practice and raise my family in my hometown.

My law practice is devoted exclusively to representing clients whose family lives are in turmoil. No matter what family law concern you may be facing, I can effectively assist you. I handle any and all family law matters including divorce, legal separation, child custody, visitation and placement, child support, marital property division, spousal maintenance, domestic abuse, temporary restraining orders, paternity, guardian ad litem, and premarital or pre-nuptial agreements.

I value strong communication with clients and I take great pride in making sure my clients feel comfortable during all aspects of their case. I will work hard to resolve your case both in trial in Circuit Court, and in negotiation with opposing counsel. If you need a divorce lawyer in the Fox Valley, contact me.

In my free time I enjoy doing anything and everything with my husband and our 1-year old daughter, traveling, reading, cooking and spending time outdoors.

Education:

  • J.D. Hamline University School of Law, 2006
  • B.S. University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, Cum Laude, 2003

Professional Memberships And Civic Activities:

  • State Bar of Wisconsin
  • Outagamie County Bar Association
  • Fox Valley Young Lawyers
  • Brown County Bar Association
  • Brown County Women Lawyers
  • Harbor House Domestic Abuse Shelter, Fundraising Committee Member
 

Contact us online for a case evaluation or Call our office (920-328-5761) for a free consultation.

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Sigman Janssen
303 S. Memorial Drive, Appleton, WI 54911
9203285761

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Contact Information

SIGMAN JANSSEN
303 S. Memorial Drive
Appleton, WI 54911
Phone: 920-328-5761
Fax: 920-731-8737
Email: lawyers@sigmanlegal.com

Serving the Northeast
Wisconsin Area

Appleton, De Pere, Green Bay, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Menasha, Neenah, Oconto, Omro, Oshkosh, Ripon, Sturgeon Bay/Door County, Shawano and Waupaca.