Colleague Corner: Meet Anu Chudasama ‘I like to get involved’

Anu-ChudasamaANURADHA (ANU) CHUDASAMA is a litigation attorney at Bassford Remele, practicing primarily in the areas of medical and legal malpractice, personal injury, insurance coverage, and general liability. She is chair of the MSBA’s Professional Regulation Committee, a Minnesota No-Fault Standing Committee member, president of the State Bar of Wisconsin’s (SBW) Nonresident Lawyers Division, a governor on SBW’s Board of Governors, and chair of its Governance Committee.

Why did you go to law school? 

While growing up in the Middle East in Bahrain and then in Toronto, Canada, my parents instilled in me a drive for higher education. My mother, a brilliant woman, ranked first in her Master of Science program and was the first female to receive a PhD in chemistry in her community in India. My father, an electronics engineer, was a distinguished CEO of two software companies in Bahrain. They set remarkable examples for me. For a career, doctor and lawyer were at the top of my list, but after a few science classes and occasional visits to the sterile environment of hospitals and clinics, I dispelled the idea of becoming a doctor. I found science and medicine quite intriguing, but couldn’t imagine spending every day in the work setting. On the other hand, I loved my high school law classes and had fun leading a class-wide mock trial, and decided being a lawyer would better suit my abilities. Following a rigorous undergraduate international business program and a short detour in the financial sector, I set my sights on law school.

What led you to focus your practice on professional malpractice and personal injury issues? 

My keen interest in personal injury law emerged when I interned at a Minneapolis products liability defense firm during law school. The issues were fascinating and each case was unique. That internship, coupled with my enjoyment of torts classes, catapulted me into the personal injury world. Before I graduated in 2010, the market had crashed and there were widespread hiring freezes. 

Back then, I didn’t distinguish between plaintiffs’ versus defense work or even appreciate the differences; I only knew I wanted to practice personal injury law. I applied to a job posting by a plaintiffs’ personal injury firm in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The next thing I knew, I was accompanying my soon-to-be boss to court during my interview process and getting a tour of the town from his delightful wife. (Talk about a personal touch!) Some years later, my practice expanded to include medical malpractice claims on behalf of plaintiffs, and later, on behalf of defendants. I now defend physicians, hospitals, and long-term healthcare facilities and love the work, as it is a marvelous marriage of my interest in science and medicine and the practice of law. In my professional malpractice work, I also defend lawyers, which I find similarly rewarding.

You chair the MSBA’s Professional Regulation Committee. Tell us a little about that body’s work.

The committee is a think tank of professionals with knowledge and experience in professional regulation—some with decades of it. We study and recommend changes to the Rules of Professional Conduct, Rules on Lawyers Professional Responsibility, Rules for Bar Admission, Client Security Board, and policies and administration of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility, Lawyers Board, and Board of Law Examiners. For example, one of our charges is to keep apprised of rule changes to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, examine whether to recommend the same or similar changes in Minnesota, and make recommendations. 

What do you get professionally or personally out of being involved in the MSBA and other bar groups? 

As far back as I can recall, I’ve been someone who signs up for different clubs and organizations and volunteers. I like to get involved and help others. The legal community provides ample opportunity for this, given all the committees and bar associations it takes to regulate, facilitate, and improve the profession for lawyers and those we serve. My involvement with the MSBA, No-Fault Standing Committee, and State Bar of Wisconsin, among others over the years, have enabled me to contribute and, hopefully, make a difference. Also, a fantastic “side-effect” is getting to work with extraordinary individuals who are similarly invested and share values like furthering diversity, inclusion, and belonging.

What do you do to feel rejuvenated when you aren’t working? 

In my work, I naturally tend to go-go-go, but I cherish downtime. For getaways, my husband, Jason, and I love traveling overseas, but during the pandemic, relaxing has included lake life at his parents’ cabin and visiting my parents in Chicago, where we’re always greeted with a feast of my mother’s delicious, savory Indian cooking. Overall, anything involving family and friends is a guaranteed serotonin boost—I’m fortunate to have them, as well as my career.