Discovery with Dennis M. Melowski

Ironman Dennis Melowski on throwing fastballs, Jay Z name drops and being unapologetic

Published in 2016 Wisconsin Super Lawyers Magazine — December 2016

My nickname is … The Polish Prince. Just kidding, I don’t have a nickname.

If you were in my office, you’d ... probably have recently been arrested for drunk driving. And have a lot at stake.

My colleagues would be surprised to know that … I have qualified for the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii six times, with a personal best time of 9:46:00.

The lawyer I most admire is … New York criminal defense attorney Benjamin Brafman, mostly because he gets a shout-out from Jay Z in the song “Welcome to New York City.” Is there a greater professional achievement than that?!

The quality I like most in a lawyer is … tenacity. I see too many doormats in my field.

My pretrial routine is ... to get into a zone just like I would before a race. And listen to “What’s My Name?” by DMX. Repeatedly.

I can’t go a day without ... working out. I do it, but I’m rarely happy about it. 

The SCOTUS decision I would overturn is ... without question, Bush v. Gore. Imagine how different our world would be right now.

If I weren’t a lawyer I’d be … screwed! Not sure my particular skill set would translate well to another field.

When I was a newbie lawyer … I could be a bit of a hothead in court. I’ve gotten better. Marginally.

A different practice area that intrigues me is ... personal injury. The opportunity for compelling closing arguments is very appealing. That, and eight-figure jury awards.

The talent I wish I had is ... about an extra 5 mph on my fastball 25 years ago. I would’ve been in the MLB! According to me, at least.

My career high point (so far) was ... winning former state Sen. Randy Hopper’s jury trial. No one thought we had a chance. No one.

My favorite song lyric is ... NSFW! But give a listen to “Picture Me Rollin’” by Tupac, or “56 Bars” by T.I., or “0 to 100” by Drake and you’ll get an idea.

I get angry when ... judges bend over backward to make results-oriented decisions. Happens far too often.

Nothing cheers me up like ... being with my family. 

The movie line I quote most often is  ... “I apologize for nothing.” – Coach Norman Dale, Hoosiers. Drives my wife nuts!

My favorite word is ... “acquittal.”

My least favorite word is ... “guilty,” of course.

The most annoying thing about my job is … a four-hour drive to court in Eau Claire—in the middle of January.

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