David L. Coon (born December 6, 1968) is a Resort owner, former private practice attorney, and former Commissioner with the Wisconsin Tax Appeals Commission. He was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and grew up in Delafield, Wisconsin. He has been a lifelong resident of Wisconsin.
David’s father was Dr. Robert L. Coon. His mother is Carolyn A. (Waltz) Coon. His parents were married on June 13, 1959, and celebrated their 60th anniversary in 2019, shortly before his father’s passing. He has a younger brother and sister. In Delafield, Wisconsin, his family had a hobby farm with horses, a cow, chickens and ducks, where they also grew and baled hay for the animals.
David attended and graduated from Kettle Moraine High School in Wales, Wisconsin, with honors in 1987. During high school, David received various awards, including FFA Chapter Star Farmer Award in 1986, third place in the Elks Club Constitution Competition State Finals in 1987, and a Gold Medal at the Wisconsin State Finals of the National Science Olympiad in 1987. He was also a member of the National Honor Society.
Beginning in the fall of 1987, David attended Marquette University. In 1990, he completed his undergraduate studies in three years, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in History and English. He was nominated to the English and History Honor Societies during his undergraduate studies.
David subsequently attended Marquette University Law School. In 1993, he received his Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree with honors, Cum Laude. During his time at the Marquette University Law School, David received several awards, including the Peters Scholarship and Zilber Scholarship for the academic years 1992-1993 and 1991-1992 respectively. He also received the American Jurisprudence Award for Constitutional Law II in 1992, and Civil Procedure II in 1991, for the top grades in those classes. David was also named to the Dean's List for three semesters.
While in school, David worked as a medical research technician at the Medical College of Wisconsin from 1987 to 1988 and at Criticare Systems Incorporated, a medical product manufacturer, in Waukesha, Wisconsin, from 1990 to 1992.
Law Practice (1993-2016):
After law school, David was admitted to practice in the State of Wisconsin and the federal courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin. From 1993 to 2016, David had his own law office as a sole or small practice attorney handling cases around the State of Wisconsin, but primarily in Waukesha County, where his office was located. While in practice, he handled cases related to probate, real estate, juvenile/children, criminal, guardianship, estate planning, taxation, social security disability, and other legal matters. David participated in numerous court and jury trials and worked on several appeals, including one related to the release of juvenile court records, that was published. He also served as either Guardian ad Litem or advocate counsel for children and parents in hundreds of children's court matters in Milwaukee and Waukesha Counties.
David was active in serving on numerous Wisconsin State Bar committees, including the Bench and Bar Committee, 2010-2012, Member Relations Committee, 1997-2008 (chairperson 2004-2007), Electronic Working Group, 2003-2004, Solo and Small Practice Committee, 1998-2001, and Convention and Entertainment Committee, 1998-1999. The Wisconsin Pro Bono Honor Society honored him each year from 2014 to 2016.
David closed his law office in 2016. He still maintains his membership with the State Bar of Wisconsin and is still licensed to practice law.
State of Wisconsin:
In 2010, David ran for the State Assembly in Waukesha and Milwaukee Counties. In a six-way primary, David finished second to the eventual winner who later became a Wisconsin State Senator.
In 2013, David was appointed by the governor, and confirmed by the state senate, to the Wisconsin State Public Defender Board. As a volunteer position, the board oversees the operation of the Office of the Wisconsin State Public Defender and conducts hearings related to appeals of actions by the agency related to private bar attorneys. He was re-appointed to a second term.
In 2016, David was appointed by the governor, and confirmed by the state senate, to serve on the Wisconsin Tax Appeals Commission. As a Commissioner, David heard and decided cases brought before the Commission from appeals of actions by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue and some appeals from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and appeals of municipal fees. The Commission has jurisdiction over a wide range of tax issues, including income taxes, sales and use taxes, manufacturing property tax assessments, and excise taxes, hearing appeals from both individuals and businesses. The Commission has the authority to subpoena witnesses, conduct hearings, and issue written decisions. Large claims decisions are legal precedents, binding in the current and subsequent matters, subject only to appeal to the Wisconsin circuit court system. David left the Commission at the expiration of his term of service in 2021.
Bashaw Lake Resort:
At the end of 2012, David and his wife, Ellen, purchased Bashaw Lake Resort in the Town of Dewey, Burnett County, Wisconsin. It had been empty for several years after being taken by a bank in a foreclosure. With the help of family, David and Ellen rehabbed the property during 2013. They had limited operations in 2014, before opening the whole property in 2015. They continue to work on improvements to the property.
The Resort has four cabins and sixteen campsites. The property is just under 12 acres with 900 feet of lake frontage.
David served on the Board of Directors for Elmbrook Historical Society from 2011 to 2016. While on the board, he also served as their Civil War Event Coordinator from 2012-2015. The three-day weekend Civil War Encampment included many re-enactors who provided demonstrations, including live-firing cannons (with powder charges). School Day on Friday saw hundreds of middle school students come for demonstrations related to various aspects of the war and life during that time period.
From approximately 1997 to 2014, David served as a volunteer guardian for a disabled individual. David worked to manage the person’s funds and make medical decisions. He also took his ward out shopping, banking, and other errands every week.
Doing some writing, David received a Writer’s Digest Your Assignment Honorable Mention, in April, 2003 and was awarded Third Place in the Chapter One Writer’s Group Short Story Contest in 2001. He has had small pieces published in places such as the Lake Country Reporter, Writer’s Digest Online, and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. David has two completed novels and one non-fiction book in process of being sent to potential publishers.
David has also served as an Election Inspector, Dewey Township, Burnett County, Wisconsin, since the beginning of 2022.
David and Ellen married in October 1999. They have one daughter, Hannah, who was born in 2007.