Gary L. Wickert is an insurance trial lawyer and partner with the law firm of Matthiesen, Wickert & Lehrer, S.C. Gary has 35 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 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 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 a Super Lawyer in Law & Politics magazine’s Super Lawyers and in Wisconsin’s Super Lawyers, Super Lawyers Magazine numerous times. Gary also writes a monthly column for the Claims Journal magazine entitled “The Road To Recovery” and a bi-monthly column for Claims Litigation Management’s magazine Litigation Management. Gary holds an AVVO rating of 10, the highest rating.

Reported Decisions

Ins. Co. of the State of Pennsylvania v. Roberts, 506 S.W.3d 498 (Tex. App. 2016), review denied (Jan. 26, 2018). Gary Wickert filed an amicus brief on behalf of the National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP) in this case. On January 26, 2018, the Texas Supreme Court refused to review the July 14, 2016 decision by the Texas Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals decision is now precedent for requiring a close look at all documents surrounding a construction project to determine if there is a valid waiver of subrogation.

In Re Estate of Evertson, 295 Neb. 301 (Neb. 2016). The case was appealed to the Nebraska Supreme Court and Matthiesen, Wickert & Lehrer, S.C. drafted and filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of a large Omaha employer, Werner Enterprises, urging the Supreme Court to grant the appeal. On June 7, 2016, the Supreme Court granted the Petition for Further Review and on December 16, 2016, reversed the Court of Appeals and vacated its decision because the county court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the subrogation matter.

Trott v. Brinks, Inc., 972 So. 2d 81, 83 (Ala. 2007). Gary Wickert drafted the briefs for this landmark workers’ compensation subrogation decision by the Alabama Supreme Court that dealt for the first time with the confusing portion of Alabama Statute § 25-5-11, ultimately holding that an employer has a right to “reimbursement” of compensation and benefits.

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.

Education

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

Published Works

Automobile Insurance Subrogation In All 50 States (3rd Edition), National Treatise, Juris Publishing, Inc., New York, Updated Annually. ISBN: 978-1-57823-518-6, 2018.

Fundamentals of Insurance Coverage In All 50 States (Fifth Edition), National Treatise, Juris Publishing, Inc., New York, Updated Annually. ISBN: 978-1-57823-498-1, 2016.

Where’s the Beef? Subrogating Livestock/Vehicle Collisions In All 50 States (2nd Edition), National Treatise, Matthiesen, Wickert & Lehrer, S.C., Hartford, Wisconsin, 2014.

ERISA and Health Insurance Subrogation In All 50 States (Sixth Edition), National Treatise, Juris Publishing, Inc., New York, Updated Annually. ISBN: 978-1-57823-499-8, 2017.

Workers’ Compensation Subrogation In All 50 States (Sixth Edition), National Treatise, Juris Publishing, Inc., New York, Updated Annually. ISBN: 978-1-57823-444-8, 2015.

Dark Redemption, Commercial Historical Fiction Novel, Tudor Publishing – Best-Selling List in 1999, ISBN: 978-0936389707, 1999.

Speaking Engagements

Longshore & Harbor Workers’ Compensation, March 11, 2018 MWL webinar presented to public.

The Top Ten Subrogation Mistakes Carriers Keep Making – 8/24/17 – Webinar presented to public.

Arizona Automobile Subrogation: The Nuts and Bolts – 6/15/17 – Webinar presented by MWL to the public.

The Top Ten Subrogation Mistakes Carriers Keep Making – 5/24/17 – seminar presented to the 2017 CLM and Business Insurance Workers’ Compensation Conference in Chicago, Illinois.

The Top Ten Subrogation Mistakes Workers’ Compensation Carriers Keep Making, February 1, 2017, Seminar presented to 14th Annual National Workers’ Compensation Insurance ExecuSummit in Uncasville, Connecticut.

New Jersey Automobile Subrogation: The Nuts and Bolts, June 14, 2016, MWL webinar presented to the public.

Introduction to Property & Casualty Subrogation, February 25, 2016, MWL webinar presented to public.

Challenges and Trends in Workers’ Compensation Subrogation, January 14, 2016, webinar presented to American Insurance Association (AIA) Workers’ Compensation Committee.

New Jersey Automobile Subrogation: The Nuts and Bolts, June 14, 2016, MWL webinar presented to the public.

Introduction to Property & Casualty Subrogation, February 25, 2016, webinar presented to public.

Subrogating Against God: Turning Natural Disasters Into Recoveries, November 6, 2015, seminar presented at 2015 SCLA Claims Education Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Colorado Automobile Subrogation: The Nuts and Bolts, July 14, 2015, MWL webinar presented to the public.

Recognizing Subrogation and Third-Party Liability, November 6, 2014, seminar presented to SCLA Claims Education Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

Illinois Automobile Subrogation: The Nuts and Bolts, July 15, 2014, MWL webinar presented to the public.

New York Automobile Subrogation: The Nuts and Bolts, October 15, 2013, MWL webinar presented to the public.

Subrogating Workers’ Compensation Across State Lines, May 23, 2013, MWL webinar presented to the public.

Workers’ Comp: 100 Years In The Rear View Mirror, March 22, 2013, seminar presented for the AMCOMP Program at the Wynn Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada.

California Automobile Subrogation: The Nuts and Bolts, January 16, 2013, MWL webinar presented to the public.

Texas Automobile Subrogation: The Nuts and Bolts, April 3, 2012, MWL webinar presented to the public.

Automobile Subrogation In All 50 States, February 8, 2012, MWL webinar presented to the public.

Subrogation Investigation in Workers’ Compensation Claims, January 25, 2011, MWL webinar presented to the public.

Medicare Set-Asides and The Subrogation Professional, December 16, 2010, MWL webinar presented to the public.

Subrogating Against God: Circumventing the Act of God Defense, November 30, 2010, MWL webinar presented to the public.

Insurance Subrogation Challenges for the Insured and Policyholder, November 16, 2010, webinar presented for Strafford Publishing.

Medicare Set-Asides and The Subrogation Professional, September 23, 2010, webinar presented to Michigan National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP) Chapter.

Subrogating Against God, August 31, 2010, seminar presented at the Wisconsin National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP) Chapter Meeting in West Bend, Wisconsin.

Advanced Concepts of Workers’ Compensation Subrogation, July 21, 2010, MWL webinar presented to the public.

Understanding and Avoiding Spoliation, May 18, 2010, MWL webinar presented to the public.

Spoliation and Preservation of Evidence, May 13, 2010, seminar presented to the Wisconsin Claims Council in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Recent Developments in Workers’ Compensation Subrogation April 30, 2010, seminar presented at the 2010 National Other Party Liability Group (NOPLG) Conference in Savannah, Georgia.

Introduction To Property and Casualty Subrogation, April 20, 2010, MWL webinar presented to the public.

Workers’ Compensation Subrogation 101, February 23, 2010, MWL webinar presented to the public.

The Complete Guide To Taking A Credit In All 50 States, November 2, 2009, seminar presented at the 2009 National Association of Subrogation Professionals Annual Conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Legislative Fact Sheets & Tool Kit, November 1, 2009, seminar presented at the 2009 National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP) Annual Conference as part of NASP Amicus Committee in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Property Subrogation: Recognition and Investigation, October 29, 2009, seminar provided to Wisconsin Claims Counsel in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

The Complete Guide to Taking a Future Credit in All 50 States, April 23, 2009, seminar presented at 2009 National Other Party Liability Group (NOPLG) Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The Societal Benefits of Subrogation, April 21, 2009, seminar presented to 6th Annual National Property Subrogation Strategies ExecuSummit in Uncasville, Connecticut.

Lobbyist! We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Lobbyist!….Do We?, April 2-3, 2009, seminar presented to National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP) 2009 Subro Litigation: Skills and Management Conference in St. Pete, Florida.

Workers’ Compensation Subrogation: In The New Millennium, August 8, 2007, seminar presented at ExecuSummit Conference in New York, New York.

The Perfect Storm: Where Subrogation and Science Meet, April 19, 2007, seminar presented at 2007 ExecuSummit Conference in New York, New York.

Workers’ Compensation Subrogation: How to Position Your Investigation for Successful Recoveries, March 1, 2007, seminar presented at to Wisconsin Claims Counsel in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin.

Where’s the Money in Construction Cases?, November 14, 2005, seminar presented at 2005 National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP) Conference in Austin, Texas.

Recognizing Subrogation, June 15, 2005, seminar presented at the National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP) North Central Region Chapter Meeting in Appleton, Wisconsin.

The Nuts and Bolts of Workers’ Compensation Subrogation In All 50 States, June 9, 2005, seminar presented at ExecuSummit Workers’ Compensation Conference in New York, New York.

Subrogating Against God: Turning Natural Disasters Into Recoveries, April 27, 2005, seminar presented at ExecuSummit Property Subrogation Conference in New York, New York.

Workers’ Compensation Subrogation by Region: East Meets West: The Ultimate Panel Discussion (Workers’ Comp Track), November 9, 2004, seminar presented at the 2004 National Association of Subrogation Professionals Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

Subrogating Across State Lines, October 7, 2004, seminar presented to National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP) North Central Region Chapter Meeting in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Recognizing Subrogation, September 23, 2004, seminar presented at Laidlaw’s National Workers’ Compensation Conference in Naperville, Illinois.

Subrogating Across State Lines, April 29, 2004, seminar presented at 2004 National Other Party Liability Group (NOPLG) Annual Education Conference in Chicago, Illinois.

Subrogating Across State Lines: Extra-Territorial Workers’ Compensation in an Interstate Economy, November 3, 2003, seminar presented at 2003 National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP) Conference in Reno, Nevada.

Workers’ Compensation Subrogation in Wisconsin (covering product liability, governmental issues, and asserting a credit in a third-party settlement), September 30, 2003, seminar presented to National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP) North Central Region Chapter Meeting in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Workers’ Compensation Subrogation Liens, January 23, 2003, seminar presented for Wisconsin Insurance Claims Council in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin.

Great-West Life Insurance & Annuity Co. V. Knudson: The Aftermath (Panel Discussion on Health Care – Health Care Track), November 12, 2002, seminar presented at 2002 National Association of Subrogation Professionals Conference in Tampa, Florida.

Difficult Legal Issues in the Workers’ Compensation Recovery Area (Workers’ Comp Track), November 11, 2002, seminar presented at 2002 National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP) Conference in Tampa, Florida.

Introduction to Health Care Subrogation (Health Care Track), November 12, 2001, seminar presented at 2001 National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP) Conference in Reno, Nevada.

Workers’ Compensation Subrogation Primer, November 6, 2000, seminar presented at 2000 National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP) Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Contractual Risk Transfer, November 15, 1999, seminar presented at International Risk Management Institute Inc.’s 19th Annual Construction Insurance Conference in Chicago, Illinois.

Waiver of Subrogation As A Risk Management Tool, November 2, 1998, seminar presented at International Risk Management Institute, Inc.’s 18th Annual Construction Insurance Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Professional Associations & Memberships

  • 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
  • Wisconsin State Bar, 1988-Present, Member
  • National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP), 1999–Present, Founding Member
  • Property Loss Research Bureau (PLRB), 2000–Present, Member
  • Longshore Claims Association, 2018-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), 2000-Present, Member
  • Claims Litigation Management (CLM), 2010-Present, Member
  • Claims Litigation Management (CLM), 2013-Present, Workers' Comp Committee Co-Chair
  • Claims Litigation Management (CLM), 2013-Present, Subrogation Committee Co-Chair
  • Claims Litigation Management (CLM), 2013-Present, Adjuster's Training Subcommittee Co-Chair

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