Mary C. Turke

Overview

I help clients with business-related matters including sales and purchase contracts, entity formation, leases and loan documents, construction matters and licenses to name a few. Because I have extensive civil litigation experience, my advice always includes best practices to avoid disputes and contractual provisions that are essential in the event of litigation. Over my career, I have handled mediation, litigation and arbitration matters involving contracting parties (buyer-seller, licensor-licensee, landlord-tenant), business owners (shareholders, members, partners) and even family members (trust and probate claimants).

My clients value my intelligent and well-reasoned analysis of issues, my responsiveness, and efficiency. I am down-to-earth and approachable. I do ask a lot of questions (at no cost to you) about your business and about your ultimate objective because the most valuable legal advice cannot be given in a vacuum — I need to know context and what a “win” would look like for you.

Experience

Contractual Advice
I negotiate, draft and review contracts for clients related to their commercial transactions in buying and/or selling products, services and property in a variety of industries. In particular, I assist with purchase orders and contracts, terms and conditions, leases, loan documents, licenses, agribusiness-related agreements, grain contracts and nondisclosure and noncompetition agreements.

Real estate
My real estate successes include defending a real estate developer against breach of fiduciary claims of a former business partner and navigating the development project through receivership, helping the co-owner of an assisted living facility work out an agreement with disgruntled business partners, representing a large seller of timeshare interests in consumer lawsuits in state and federal court and successfully asserting the rights of a dairy farm in a zoning dispute. On behalf of another client I negotiated a favorable settlement against claims that my client had abandoned a commercial lease.

Contractual disputes
Examples of my experience handling contractual disputes include obtaining a complete trial victory for my client, exonerating him from claims that in selling his business he misrepresented the value to the plaintiff seller. Most recently I obtained a favorable settlement for my client, a multinational fertilizer manufacturer, in a contractual dispute with its supplier over faulty equipment.

NGFA successes
My work in the grain industry includes reviewing and revising clients’ contracts and advising on best practices. I obtained a jury trial victory for an ethanol company regarding contractual terms governed by National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) trade rules. I also successfully defended an ethanol producer in a contractual dispute with a debtor in bankruptcy and obtained a complete victory for another ethanol producer against contract claims in a complex NGFA arbitration.

Defending against Good Faith and Fair Dealing Claim
In a civil case for money damages, I successfully defended a manufacturing client in a federal court trial against breach of good faith and fair dealing claims. The plaintiff contended that my client violated its duty of good faith and fair dealing under a marketing support agreement it had with plaintiff. However, I convinced the jury that the plaintiff did not bring the payment issue to my client’s attention in a timely manner and that there was no excuse for non-action.

Trademark and licensing
When a competitor infringed on a national client’s trademark, I obtained significant contempt damages against a trademark infringer. I also assisted a hi-tech company in obtaining favorable settlement of licensing dispute pending in federal court.

Trusts and family trusts
I successfully defended trustees of a family trust, obtaining complete victory at a state court trial. I also prevailed on a motion to dismiss against a shareholder’s direct and derivative claims by arguing that, because the trust was not a shareholder at the time of the challenged transactions, it could not maintain a derivative action or assert a
claim based on the failure to give notice of statutory dissenters’ rights.

From 1996 to 1997, I served as law clerk for the Honorable Robert D. Martin of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Wisconsin.

Professional Activities

  • Member, YPO Wisconsin Forum
  • Director, Summit Credit Union
    • Treasurer 2016-2017
    • Chair, ALCO Committee 2016-2017
  • Member, Atlas Providers Network
  • Board Member, Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce (2013-2016)
  • Board Member, Madison Children’s Museum (2012-2015)
    • Member, Finance Committee
    • Chair, Audit Committee
    • Co-Chair Wonder Ball Fundraiser
  • Member, State Bar of Wisconsin
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Board Member, Madison Children’s Museum (2012-2015)
    • Member, Finance Committee
    • Chair, Audit Committee
    • Co-Chair Wonder Ball Fundraiser
  • Member, Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin, Madison Office Task Force (2012)
  • Member, Phenomenal Women (2007-2010)
  • Volunteer, Dane County Small Claims Assistance Program (in Spanish) (2007-2009)
  • Chair, Michael Best Women Development Group, Madison Office (2007-2010)
  • Leadership Greater Madison, Class of 2004

Honors and Recognitions

  • Acknowledged in the area of commercial litigation in the Woodward/White, Inc. publication, The Best Lawyers in America®, 2012, 2014, 2015 & 2016
  • Included in the “Wisconsin Super Lawyer” list in the area of Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights 2011–2013 and Business Litigation 2014–2015
  • Recipient, Legal Innovator Award, Wisconsin State Bar, 2017
  • Featured as a Female Powerbroker by Law360, 2014
  • Coach of the Year 2014, Girls on the Run
  • Recognized in the “InBusiness” 2012 Executive Register
  • Honoree, 2011 Women in the Law, Wisconsin Law Journal
  • Recipient, 2006 Western District of Wisconsin Bar Association Pro Bono Award

Outside Interests

  • Triathlon racing, sometimes in cool places
  • Traveling with family and friends
  • Spending time with my husband and our five teenage girls

Get in touch

Direct: 608-237-1776

Education

  • University of Wisconsin Law School
    • Juris Doctor (J.D.)
    • cum laude
    • Order of the Coif
  • St. Olaf College
    • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
    • cum laude

Bar Admissions

  • Wisconsin, 1996

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin, 1996
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, 2001
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, 2004
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 2011

Languages Spoken

  • English
  • Spanish