dw-history

DeWitt’s History

  • 1860: William R. Bagley was born. It was Bagley who formed the firm Bagley & Reed, which eventually evolved into what is today known as DeWitt LLP.
  • 1881: Bagley is admitted to practice law in Iowa.
  • 1883: Bagley is invited by the Madison based company, Fuller & Johnson, which sold farm machinery in Iowa, to join its legal department.
  • 1889: An accomplished raconteur and fine-looking gentleman of dignified bearing, Bagley was designated master of ceremonies when W.D. Hoard was inaugurated as Governor of Wisconsin.
  • 1903: Bagley opens his own practice and is joined by Frank Reed to form the firm Bagley & Reed.
  • 1927: Bagley, Spohn & Ross. Frank Reed retired, and William Spohn and Frank Ross join the firm. Myron Stevens, the son of Wisconsin State Supreme Court Justice E. Ray Stevens, also joins the firm as an associate.
  • 1930: Bagley, Spohn, Ross & Stevens. Myron Stevens becomes a partner.
  • 1944: Spohn, Ross, Stevens & Lamb. Will Spohn’s son James & Frank Ross’s son Hugh join the firm.
  • 1949: Norman C. Herro and Robert “Bud” Buehner start the firm of Herro & Buehner, which would later become the DeWitt Porter Firm that eventually merges with Ross & Stevens.
  • 1956: Immell, Herro, Buehner & DeWitt. Jack DeWitt and Adjutant General Ralph M. Immell join Herro & Buehner. All four partners had distinguished military careers. DeWitt was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star, and the Purple Heart for action in Europe during the battle of the Bulge. Herro also served three years as an Air Force Captain during WWII.
  • 1958: Spohn, Ross, Stevens, Lamb & Pick. Another of Ross’s sons, Frank Jr., joins the firm.
  • 1960: Spohn, Ross, Stevens & Pick.
  • 1961: Immell, Herro, Buehner, DeWitt & Sundby.
  • 1969: Herro, McAndrews & Porter. The Immell firm orchestrated a three-way merger with Porter & Porter and McAndrews, Pellino & Huggett.
  • 1969: DeWitt, McAndrews & Porter. Herro leaves to venture into the financial services industry.
  • 1970: Ross, Stevens, Pick & Ross.
  • 1975: Ross & Stevens.
  • 1979: DeWitt, McAndrews & Sundby.
  • 1980: DeWitt, Sundby, Huggett, & Schumacher.
  • 1983: DeWitt, Sundby, Huggett, Schumacher & Morgan.
  • 1986: DeWitt, Porter, Huggett, Schumacher, & Morgan.
  • 1990: DeWitt Porter.
  • 1994: The principals of DeWitt Porter and Ross & Stevens merge. The merger creates DeWitt Ross & Stevens. Both predecessors had solid business, real estate, and litigation practices. Ross & Stevens brought expertise in employee benefits and intellectual property law, and DeWitt Porter brought environmental law and lobbying practices.
  • 1995: DeWitt Ross & Stevens.
  • 2003: DeWitt Ross & Stevens expanded into the Greater Milwaukee market by merging with two firms, Swartzberg & Duggan, and Frazer & Schapiro.
  • 2007: DeWitt Ross & Stevens continues to build its strength with the merger of a small, local Madison firm, Hayes, Van Camp & Schwartz.
  • 2013: Mackall, Crounse, Moore PLC combines with DeWitt to form DeWitt Mackall Crounse & Moore in Minneapolis. The combinations push DeWitt’s numbers past 100 attorneys and is its first office outside the state of Wisconsin.
  • 2016: DeWitt continues to grow its Minneapolis presence with the addition of nine attorneys, formerly with the Thomsen Nybeck firm.
  • 2017: Minneapolis is a hot market for DeWitt with the addition of five attorneys from the Peterson Habicht firm. DeWitt pushes its rank to nearly 140 attorneys in 2017 and adds six attorneys from the former, “The Schroeder Group” firm in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
  • 2019: On January 1, DeWitt Ross & Stevens S.C. and DeWitt Mackall Crounse & Moore S.C., reorganized into one entity to become DeWitt LLP.
  • 2021: On April 1, DeWitt LLP teamed up with Terry Gerbers of Gerbers Law, which became DeWitt LLP and DeWitt’s first office in the Fox Valley area located in Green Bay.