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Kurt Dykstra is a shareholder in Reinhart’s Litigation Practice, where he offers insightful counsel to help clients navigate complex disputes across various jurisdictions and forums, with a particular focus in the higher education, commercial and financial, and energy industries throughout the Upper Midwest.

As a former college president, Kurt has unique insights and understandings of the myriad of issues affecting institutions of higher education. In addition to employment, contract, and financing issues typical among colleges and universities, he also has navigated institutional and programmatic accreditation, Title IX policy development and adjudication. He is also experienced with navigating the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act related to donor gifting. Kurt has represented colleges and universities both in private practice and in the general counsel’s office of an NCAA Division 1/R2 Doctoral University.

Kurt draws upon his extensive, multifaceted career to provide informed advice on a wide array of challenging issues. In addition to practicing at two large, well-respected law firms, he has served in elected office (Mayor of Holland, Michigan), in the financial services industry (senior vice president of a major regional bank and board of directors of an Illinois bank), in higher education leadership (president of a private liberal arts college) and in the military (Major in the U.S. Army Reserve, Civil Affairs). Previously, he worked extensively in the permitting and construction of electrical generation facilities as well as working with companies, both local and global, on economic incentive programs related to site selection and expansion.

Kurt partners with clients as a trusted adviser in order to provide practical solutions that solve their challenges. Clients value Kurt's thoughtful and thorough approach, appreciating how he harnesses his experiences in the public, private, nonprofit and governmental sectors for their benefit. He seeks to see the world through the client’s eyes, striving to achieve the best possible outcome in each matter.

Graduating at the top of his class from Marquette University Law School with merit from the London School of Economics, Kurt served as a judicial clerk for Justice Ann Walsh Bradley of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. He then joined Reinhart as an associate for a number of years before embarking on a path of public and private service. He has appeared on and been interviewed by numerous media outlets, including 60 Minutes, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. Outside of the office, Kurt enjoys music of many types, college athletics, architecture and spending time outdoors together with his wife and adult children.

Education

  • L.L.M., with merit, The London School of Economics & Political Science
  • J.D., summa cum laude, Marquette University Law School (Editor in Chief, Marquette Law Review)
  • B.A., magna cum laude, Northwestern College (IA)

Bar Admissions

Wisconsin | Michigan

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas
  • U.S. Tax Court
Practices

Matters

  • Resolved a dispute where a client was alleged to be operating as an unregulated electrical utility.
  • Resolved a medical center’s claim against a technology services provider for alleged failure to perform under a technology outsource contract.
  • Recovered a large settlement for a technology client as a part of a joint development agreement for the creation and production of a revolutionary automotive product.
  • Obtained dismissal of shareholder derivative action brought against a leading provider of over-the-counter health and wellness medications.
  • Convinced a state regulatory agency to voluntarily dismiss, as lacking merit, formal charges brought against a medical provider alleging violations of the state’s public health code.
  • Prosecuted a bet-the-company case of non-payment and defended an office furniture dealer against claims of fraud.
  • Defended a technology company against allegations of trade secret misappropriation regarding a highly profitable and popular automotive electronic component.
  • Defended a body armor company against national class-action, federal government and state government suits alleging product defect and prosecuted claims against third-party product manufacturers.
  • Defended an international client against wrongful death and related claims involving the construction of a Major League baseball stadium.
  • Defended an agricultural and construction manufacturing company in a variety of product liability lawsuits in courts across the country.
  • Defended a fire protection systems manufacturing company against claims brought by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Honors & Affiliations

Honors

  • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
  • Special Award of Merit, Michigan Municipal League
  • Recognition of Service, Consulate of Mexico – Detroit
  • Recognition of Service, United States House of Representatives (Congressional Record)
  • Recognition of Service, Michigan State Legislature (Joint Resolution)

Affiliations

  • State Bar of Wisconsin
  • State Bar of Michigan
  • Federal Bar Association (Western District of Michigan)
  • Director, Netherland America Foundation
  • Former Board Member, State of Wisconsin Board of Bar Examiners
  • Former Member of the Council of Presidents, National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics
  • Former Committee Member of the Committee on Policy Analysis and Public Relations, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities
  • Former Member of the President’s Council, Associated Colleges of Illinois
  • Former Chair of the Council of Presidents, Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference
  • Former Member of the Executive Committee, Federation of Illinois Independent Colleges and Universities
  • Former Trustee, Northwestern College Board of Trustees
  • Former Member of the CEO Advisory Council, Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance

News & Insights

Presentations

  • “Evaluating Pricing Models For Higher Education,” NAICUSE Capitol Hill Conference, Washington, D.C.
  • “Vocational Exploration as a Bridge Between the Liberal Arts and Employment Outcomes,” President’s Institute, Council of Independent Colleges
  • “An American President’s Observations on the Distinctions and Challenges of U.S. Higher Education,” Jenderal Soedirman University, Purwokerto, Indonesia
  • “How and Why Holland, Michigan, Is Gallup’s Silver Medal City,” Gallup-Healthways’ Wellbeing:  The Leading Metric of Thriving Cities, Washington, D.C.
  • “What Happens on a Computer Stays on a Computer,” Marquette University Law School Continuing Legal Education, Las Vegas, NV
  • “Managing Electronic and Paper Evidence: A Practical Guide to Litigating in a Technological Era,” Detroit Bar Association, Detroit, MI
  • “Keeping the Lid on Pandora’s (In)Box: Managing Documents (and Discovery) In an Electronic Age,” Marquette University Law School Continuing Legal Education, New York, NY
  • “Understanding the Higher Education Enterprise In Its Totality,” Indiana Association of College and University Business Officers

Publications

  • 60 Minutes
  • ABC World News Tonight
  • C-SPAN
  • Chronicle of Higher Education
  • FOX Business Channel
  • FOX News
  • National Public Radio
  • POTUS Channel, Sirius/XM Radio
  • The New York Times
  • RTL Nederland (Netherlands TV)
  • Wall Street Journal