Bruce O’Neill (1942-2016)
Bruce O’Neill was a giant of a litigator.
As tenacious as he was knowledgeable, Bruce’s litigation talents were recognized throughout and beyond Wisconsin. Bruce specialized in high-stakes civil commercial litigation, including “save-the-company” lawsuits, and complex, high net worth family law disputes, many involving business and stock valuation issues.
Bruce obtained several high-profile, multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements during his career. He also played a major role in an initial judicial interpretation of Wisconsin’s Fair Dealership Law, establishing the law as a useful vehicle for aggrieved Wisconsin dealers. In the area of family law, Bruce successfully litigated a case which resulted in a Wisconsin Supreme Court decision clarifying the law regarding changed circumstances and shared placement evaluations.
A Notre Dame and Marquette University Law School graduate, Bruce was Lead Article Editor for Marquette University Law School Review, and a member of Alpha Sigma Nu. Upon graduating from Marquette University Law School in 1967, Bruce served as law clerk to Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice George Currie and Justice Robert Hansen. Bruce served as an assistant district attorney for Milwaukee County, and joined Fox, O’Neill & Shannon, S.C. in 1969.
Bruce received many awards from the legal community and beyond. For example, Bruce was selected to the Wisconsin Super Lawyers list as published in the Milwaukee Magazine each year from 2005 until his death.
Bruce was also recognized as a 2014 Leader in the Law by The Wisconsin Law Journal. Bruce’s video and profile presented at the award dinner are below:
A lifelong Milwaukee resident, Bruce remained active in the Milwaukee community throughout his life. He was a member of the Marquette Law School Advisory Board, counsel for the St. Vincent de Paul Society and president of the Adoption Resources of Wisconsin.
Aside from the law, Bruce was devoted to his family, baseball, poetry, helping the community, and hoping for spring, in that order.
Bruce died in 2016 of complications of ALS (“Lou Gehrig’s” disease). In Bruce’s honor, and to find a cure to ALS, Fox, O’Neill & Shannon, S.C. holds periodic fundraisers to benefit the ALS Association of Wisconsin. These efforts are spearheaded by Fox, O’Neill & Shannon, S.C. shareholder and ALS Leadership Team member Matt O’Neill, Bruce’s son. As one example, for what would have been Bruce’s 75th birthday, the firm hosted a sold-out screening of one of Bruce’s favorite movies, “Field of Dreams,” at the Times Cinema.
For more on Bruce:
To contribute to ALS research in Bruce’s memory: