Hotline Attorney of the Year
The Door County Bar began as a joint bar association, the Door-Kewaunee Bar. They met once a month in the evening, September through May with a golf outing in June. The meetings were held alternately in Door and Kewaunee Counties, and were mostly social gatherings. At that time, there were about 25 lawyers practicing in Door County, but they rarely spoke except in court, or within their own firms.
Lawyers new to the area who had practiced outside Door County thought that it would be nice if the Sturgeon Bay lawyers met from time to time to discuss issues and socialize, so they sent out a postcard once a month inviting the bar to come to lunch at a local restaurant. Initially, meetings were informal, and attended by most of the lawyers in town. Within a year, the informal group started incorporating ethics and educational presentations in meetings, and more lawyers attended. Eventually, the bar was formally organized, and it continues.
Tom Reynolds, the former Door County District Attorney, was instrumental in beginning the informal bar meetings, and continued to participate as long as he practiced.
The members of the Door County Bar Association have been active and consistent participants in the Lawyer Hotline program since the 1980’s. Door County attorney James Ebbeson of Sturgeon Bay was awarded the Hotline Attorney of the Year award in 1995, in recognition of their work.