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.
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.
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.
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.