Gary L. Wickert is an insurance trial lawyer and partner with the law firm of Matthiesen, Wickert & Lehrer, S.C. Gary has 30 years of litigation experience and is regarded as one of the world’s leading experts on insurance subrogation. He is also the author of several subrogation books and legal treatises and is a national and international speaker and lecturer on subrogation and motivational topics. Gary is also a published commercial fiction author and a politician in Wisconsin, recently elected to and serving his sixth term as Supervisor in the Township of Cedarburg. After 15 years as the youngest managing partner in the history of the 30-lawyer Houston law firm of Hughes, Watters & Askanase, L.L.P., Gary returned to his native Wisconsin in 1998 and co-founded the subrogation firm of Matthiesen, Wickert & Lehrer, S.C. He oversees a National Subrogation Recovery Program which includes a network of nearly 285 contracted subrogation law firms in all 50 states, Mexico, Canada and the United Kingdom and boasts over $500 million in recoveries and credits for more than 250 insurance companies.
Licensed in both Texas and Wisconsin, Gary is double board-certified in both personal injury law and civil trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is also dual board-certified as a Civil Trial Advocate and Civil Pretrial Practice Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA), for whom he has both written and graded the product liability questions contained on the NBTA national certification exam taken by trial lawyers around the country. For nearly 30 years, Gary has served as an expert witness and insurance consultant on subrogation and insurance related issues and has been consulted by insurance carriers, lawyers, and legislative bodies from several states. He is a licensed arbitrator and has attended more than 750 mediations in more than 30 different states. In 2011, he was consulted by the National Defense University (the premier center for Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) under the direction of the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff) regarding the impact subrogation has on insurance rates and premiums, particularly involving Federal Employees Health Benefit Plans (FEHBP). He is a member of Claims Litigation Management (CLM). He is one of only a few lawyers to have ever represented a client before the U.S. Supreme Court on a subrogation issue, and was named as one of Law & Politics magazine’s Super Lawyers from 2005–2012, as well as one of Wisconsin’s Super Lawyers, Super Lawyers Magazine from 2005-2012. Gary also writes a monthly column for the Claims Journal Magazine entitled “The Road To Recovery.” Gary has held an AVVO rating of 10, the highest rating, since 2011.
Fortis Benefits v. Ford Motor Co., 234 S.W.3d 642 (Tex. 2007) (Amicus Brief for NASP). This case established for the first time in Texas that the Made Whole Doctrine must yield to an insurance company’s right to contractual subrogation under the terms of the insurance policy.
Petta v. ABC Insurance Co., 692 N.W.2d 639 (Wis. 2005). This case established for the first time in Wisconsin that equitable considerations control in subrogation situations, necessitating that wrongful death plaintiffs be made whole before the subrogated insurance carrier of the deceased could subrogate – even though the plaintiffs were not “insureds” of the subrogated carrier.
Falcon Ridge Apartments Joint Venture v. General Electric Co., 795 S.W.2d 21 (Tex. App. – Houston [1st Dist.] 1999). An appellate case that establishes where the record did not show that notice of intent to dismiss case for want of prosecution or notice of dismissal was given, and plaintiff asserted, without contradiction, that notice was not given, a defect was apparent from face of record, for purpose of obtaining writ of error relief.
Hartford Acc. & Indem. Co. v. Buckland, 882 S.W.2d 440 (Tex. App. – Dallas, 1994). Gary Wickert joined in oral argument in this appeal, which established that a carrier’s workers’ compensation subrogation interest – for purposes of a valid waiver of subrogation – includes both the right to reimbursement of a past lien as well as its right to a future credit, because future benefits are part of carrier’s subrogation interest.
Jacques v. Kalmar Industries, AB, 8 F.3d 272 (5th Cir. 1993). Established for the first time in a LHWCA setting that regardless of whether damages recovered in a settlement were characterized as punitive rather than compensatory damages under Alabama law, a LHWCA carrier is entitled to reimbursement from a settlement for death benefits paid to a widow under the LHWCA.
Twin City Fire Ins. Co. v. Jones, 834 S.W.2d 114 (Tex. App. – Houston [1st Dist.] 1992). Announced that an abuse of discretion standard, rather than a sufficiency of the evidence standard, applies in reviewing a court’s apportionment of attorney fees for recovery of a workers’ compensation subrogation lien and helped to define “active participation” under Texas law.
Guillot v. Hix, 838 S.W.2d 230 (Tex. 1992). Held that a workers’ compensation carrier’s subrogation claim, which is derivative of employee’s rights, accrues at the same time as an employee’s action against a third party accrues, and if an employee brings a tort action against a third party within two years of date that action accrues, the running of the statute of limitations is tolled as to the carrier and the carrier may intervene in that action at any time.
Hix v. Guillot, 812 S.W.2d 400 (Tex. App. – Houston [14th Dist.] 1991). Court of Appeals decision preceding the Supreme Court ruling above.
General Elec. Co. v. Falcon Ridge Apartments, Joint Venture, 811 S.W. 2d 942 (Tex. 1991). Argued at Texas Supreme Court for client on case dismissed for want of prosecution. Court held that writ of error could not be maintained, as there was no error on face of record created by failure to indicate whether notice of intent to terminate or notice of termination had been sent to parties.
In The Matter Of Matter of Herbert W. Fields, 926 F.2d 501 (5th Cir. 1991). Held that a subrogated surety, having paid a debtor’s sales taxes to the State of Texas, became subrogated to Texas’ right to exception from discharge under the Bankruptcy Code. Certiorari granted in the U.S. Supreme Court but dismissed after briefing.
Houston Elec. Distributing Co., Inc. v. MBB Enterprises, 703 S.W.2d 206 (Tex. Civ. App. [14th Dist.] 1985). For purposes of a materialman’s lien, a business located on one lot, and offices located on different lot separated by a city street, were not “necessarily connected,” and thus, the lien of a supplier, who delivered materials only to warehouse lot, did not attach to lot on which offices were located.
South Texas College of Law, Houston, Texas, 1983, J.D.
- Honors: Dean’s List
- Honors: Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity
- Law Review: South Texas Law Review, Editor
- Law Journal: South Texas Law Journal, Assistant Editor
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1980
- Master’s Studies – Criminal Law
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1979, B.S.
Northwestern College, Watertown, Wisconsin, 1975
Lutheran Theological Studies – Pre-Seminary
Automobile Insurance Subrogation In All 50 States, National Treatise, Juris Publishing, Inc., New York, Updated Annually. ISBN: 978-1-57823-355-7, 2012.
Fundamentals of Insurance Coverage In All 50 States (Fourth Edition), National Treatise, Juris Publishing, Inc., New York, Updated Annually. ISBN: 978-1-57823-338-0, 2013.
Where’s the Beef? Subrogating Livestock/Vehicle Collisions In All 50 States, National Treatise, Matthiesen, Wickert & Lehrer, S.C., Hartford, Wisconsin, 2006
ERISA and Health Insurance Subrogation In All 50 States (Fifth Edition), National Treatise, Juris Publishing, Inc., New York, Updated Annually. ISBN: 978-1-57823-275-8, 2012.
Workers’ Compensation Subrogation In All 50 States (Fifth Edition), National Treatise, Juris Publishing, Inc., New York, Updated Annually. ISBN: 978-1-57823-363-2, 2012.
Dark Redemption, Commercial Historical Fiction Novel, Tudor Publishing – Best-Selling List in 1999, ISBN: 978-0936389707, 1999.
Professional Associations & Memberships
- American Association for Justice, 1983 – Present
- American Bar Association, 1983 – Present, Member
- Trial Lawyers Association, 1983 – Present, Member
- Houston Trial Lawyers Association, 1997 – 1998, Director
- Houston Bar Association, 1988 – 1992, Chair, Fee Dispute and Ethics Committee
- Houston Bar Association, Licensed Arbitrator
- American Arbitration Association, 1985 – 1990, Member
- National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP), 1999 – Present, Founding Member
- Property Loss Research Bureau (PLRB), 2000 – Present, Member
- National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC), Associate Member
- Better Business Bureau, Auto Line Member
- Republican Party of Ozaukee County, Sustaining Member
- Liability Insurance Research Bureau (LIRB), Member
- Claims Litigation Management (CLM), Member - 2010 - Present
- Claims Litigation Management (CLM) Workers' Comp Committee Co-Chair - 2013 - Present
- Claims Litigation Management (CLM) Subrogation Committee Co-Chair - 2013- Present
- Claims Litigation Management (CLM) Ajuster's Training Subcommittee Co-Chair - 2013 - Present