At Meissner Tierney we understand that our success is measured by nothing less and nothing more than the success of our clients. Indeed, our clients’ success is our singular motivation. In some settings “success” is difficult to measure—sometimes it’s a favorable settlement, other times it might be as simple as practical advice that helps a client achieve a particular business objective. In other settings “success” is crystal clear, typically in the form of a judgment, court decision, verdict or favorable settlement after victory on a litigated issue. In the past 160+ years, we have developed an unparalleled track record of achieving successful results for our clients. A small sampling of some of the more noteworthy matters and cases is listed below.
Next Technologies Inc., v. Beyond the Office Door, LLC
Shareholder Mark D. Malloy received 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmance of a federal district court’s grant of summary judgement on a business defamation case. The case involved allegations of tortious interference of contract and defamation arising out of alleged false product reviews posted by our clients. Our clients denied all material allegations on the basis that all statements were true and supported by concurrent testing. In addition, Malloy argued that there was no legal basis for the claims under Wisconsin law. After significant discovery, MTFN moved for summary judgement arguing that the claims were not recognized by Wisconsin law, and even if they were, the Plaintiff was a “limited person public figure” as it pertained to the reviews, thus requiring a showing of actual malice. The district court granted MTFN’s motion and dismissed the case in its entirety. On appeal, the 7th Circuit affirmed dismissal, finding that the claim as presented was not recognized by Wisconsin law. For further information about the 7th Circuit decision, click here. To read more about the district court decision, click here.
Modernizing Wisconsin Business Statutes
Adam Tutaj, Tom Nichols, and Randy Brotherhood were asked to participate in a panel in Madison to help brief legislators regarding a major update to Wisconsin’s business entity statutes. As Chair or Co-Chair of the State Bar Business Law Section’s Limited Liability Company, Partnership and Corporation Committees, respectively, the three of them were in charge of updating Chapters 178 (General Partnerships), 179 (Limited Partnerships), 180 (Business Corporations), 181 (Nonstock Corporations) and 183 (Limited Liability Companies) to adapt the Model Limited Liability Company, General Partnership and Limited Partnership Acts of the Uniform Law Commission for adoption in Wisconsin. The pending legislative package will also update all five Chapters to integrate provisions relating to mergers, conversions and other “cross-species” transactions involving more than one type of entity, as well as procedural provisions for the Department of Financial Institutions. Here is a link to a Wisconsin Eye “Morning Minute” featuring Tom’s summary of the legislation. If you would like to view the entire briefing, click here.
Structuring Merger and Acquisition Transactions
Over the past several months, Tom Nichols, Joe Tierney and Adam Tutaj have helped numerous clients structure merger and acquisition transactions for tax purposes. Projected tax savings from their recommendations have often been in seven figures. The three of them, as well as Randy Brotherhood, are often engaged to handle entire acquisition or sale transactions. However, Tom and Joe have also served as tax counsel for such transactions.
Drafting and Advising New Legislation
Tom Nichols and Erica Kolo have been engaged to draft and advise with respect to SALT Parity Legislation for pass-through businesses in over a dozen states, starting with Wisconsin. To date, 24 states have passed such legislation, or have such legislation pending. Tom and Erica have been actively involved in drafting and/or advising with respect to such legislation in the following states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Development and Implementation of Business Succession Plans
Tom Nichols, Joe Tierney and Randy Brotherhood have developed and implemented business succession plans for a number of substantial closely held business concerns in Wisconsin, successfully facilitating the transition of business operations to second and third generation family members. Each individual situation involves integrating estate tax, corporate law, income tax and other business considerations in a way that works for the principals of two or more generations.
Brown v. Kazmierski, Appeal No. 20-2655 (7th Cir. 2021)
Attorney Jacob Sosnay obtained summary judgment in favor of Deputy Kazmierski in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. Plaintiff, Charles Brown, alleged Deputy Kazmierski conducted an illegal roadside search along the highway. As a result of the search Brown was found to be concealing approximately 200 grams of heroin. Brown alleged the search was performed after Deputy Kazmierski unlawfully extended the traffic stop. Plaintiff appealed summary judgment to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals where summary judgment was affirmed.
Northern States Power v. TIG Insurance Company, United States District Court for the District of North Dakota Southeastern Division
Attorneys Michael Cohen and Garrett Soberalski obtained summary judgement for our insurer client in a multi-million claim for environmental cleanup costs involving a former manufactured gas plant. The court applied Minnesota law and held that based upon a pro rata allocation of damages as applied to the damages claimed by the plaintiff none of the insurer’s excess insurance policies were liable for the claimed damages.
Mared Industries, Inc. v. Mansfield
2005 WI 5, 277 Wis. 2d 350, 690 N.W.2d 835. Our client was sued by competitor for breach of a no-hire agreement. Michael Cohen and his co-counsel obtained summary judgement for the firm’s client on the grounds of defective service of process on a receptionist of the corporation. The decision was affirmed on appeal to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals and by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which established precedent on the proper service of process on a corporation.