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Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013

A Conversation with Michael Hupy

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Michael Hupy has been a lawyer for more than four decades. And a good one too—he all but owns this fine paper’s annual Best Personal Injury Lawyer award. He is also a longtime motorcycle enthusiast. With the Harley-Davidson 110th Anniversary Celebration approaching, he sat down with Off the Cuff to discuss how lawyering is like surgery and the intimacy of a million miles logged. 

 

How long have you been riding?

I don’t ride. I protect the bikers. It dates back to when I was four, crossing the street—story for a different day.

 

How long have you been a motorcycle enthusiast?

Since 1988 or 1989. I discovered that bikers had no good lawyers. The culture just swept me in.

 

How are motorcycling and lawyering different?

Lawyers are typically in an office or at court. Motorcyclists are typically out enjoying life.

 

How are they alike?

They’re not really. Certainly, it is a myth that lawyers who ride make the best motorcycle lawyers. Who requires a heart surgeon who has had heart surgery? But the two worlds definitely intersect at our firm. We’ve represented over 3,000 injured bikers and returned multi-million dollar settlements. We’ve lobbied heavily for bikers rights, safety and issues. Over 10 million people have seen our “Watch For Motorcycles” campaign worldwide. It’s in print, television and radio ads, on bumper stickers, airplane banners and the web.

 

Favorite motorcycle moment?

Riding with [Dave] Zien when he became the only person to go one million miles on a motorcycle.

 

You were with him all million miles?

Woah! No no. That would be a very intimate 18 years. I was on the back when the odometer turned as he pulled into Cal’s Harley-Davidson on Moreland Road—April 4, 2009.

 

Speaking of big numbers and Harleys—where will you be during the 110th?

My daughter will be at the Aerosmith concert. I will be in Milwaukee, definitely. Specifically where is hard to say. My favorite spots are the Harley headquarters and the lakefront. But we’ll be at different venues handling electronic billboards, promoting the firm, furthering the safety campaign.

 

Advice to riders and enthusiasts, citizens and visitors?

Ride safely. Don’t drink and drive. Beware of motorists who aren’t watching. Don’t assume they’re paying attention. There will be hundreds of thousands out. So keep your eyes peeled. Have fun. Enjoy yourself. But arrive safely.

Jill Wellskopf

jwellskopf@mfhupy.com

Phone: 414.982.2059

 

Director of Marketing

111 E. Kilbourn Avenue, Suite 1100

Milwaukee, WI 53202

Fax: 414.271.3374

 

Attorney Michael Hupy

414.223.4800

 

Attorney Jason Abraham

414.982.2005