Laura A Brenner

Laura A. Brenner

Shareholder

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Laura A. Brenner is a shareholder in Reinhart's Litigation Practice and chair of the firm's Commercial and Competition Law Group, a cross-disciplinary group comprised of both corporate and litigation attorneys. Her team practices at the forefront of the law affecting clients whose livelihood depends on buying or selling products and services.

Representing a wide range of clients on a national and international level, Laura offers clients practical solutions to complex problems. In addition to her litigation work, she acts as outside general counsel to many companies by helping them develop preemptive strategies to avoid risk in competitive environments.

As part of her legal practice, Laura frequently speaks to members of the business community on topics related to: dealership and franchise laws (including the Wisconsin Fair Dealership Law), sales representative laws, federal and state antitrust and competition laws, pricing, advertising, trade regulation, warranties and contract issues. She also provides in-house training for her clients. Laura is familiar with the ever-evolving policies and procedures critical to clients involved in online sales and speaks on Internet distribution issues such as Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) policies, social media policies and supply chain issues.

Education

  • J.D., magna cum laude, University of California Hastings College of Law; Order of the Coif
  • B.S., with distinction, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Phi Beta Kappa

Bar Admissions

Wisconsin

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Iowa
  • U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota

Matters

  • Conducting antitrust compliance sessions and preparing antitrust compliance materials for a variety of regional, national and global clients.

  • Representing one of the nation's largest chocolate producers. A former sales representative claimed exclusive rights to business in Mexico and sued the company in California alleging a long list of statutory, tort and contract violations. Won a no-liability decision for our client

  • Representing a client who paid over a billion dollars to acquire a competitor and unknowingly acquired a problem with disgruntled dealers who claimed hundreds of millions of dollars of the client's historical sales into their "exclusive" territories. Persuaded the Federal District Court to grant summary judgment to our client, rejecting the dealers' argument and avoiding a six-week jury trial

  • Successfully defending the component supplier to one of the world's largest crane manufacturers. The crane manufacturer claimed that our client supplied out-of-spec components resulting in the recall of an entire fleet of construction equipment. In addition to defeating the claim, an attorney's fee award was won for the client

  • Successfully represented a leading producer of snacks and refreshments, helping it defeat a wrongful termination claim filed by one of its sales agents. The agent argued that its contract should be interpreted to preclude the company from ever terminating their business relationship without a substantial showing of cause. The court dismissed the claims and awarded summary judgment for the client. Continued to structure dealer and distributor agreements that will help minimize the threat of future disputes

  • Frequent presentations to the business community, particularly on topics of the Wisconsin Fair Dealership Law, antitrust and contract issues relating to the sale of goods

Examples of Laura's cases include:

  • L'Eft Bank Wine Co. v. Bogle Vineyards, Inc., Business Franchise Guide (CCH) ¶ 16,862 (Wis. Cir. Ct. Dane Cnty. Apr. 26, 2021)

  • SD3 II LLC v. Black & Decker (U.S.) Inc., Nos. 16-2317, 16-2354, 2018 WL 1866994 (4th Cir. Apr. 19, 2018)

  • SD3, LLC and SawStop, LLC v. Black & Decker (U.S.), Inc., et al., No. 14-C-191, 2016 WL 6093488 (E.D. Va. October 18, 2016)

  • Priority Envtl. Sols., Inc. v. Stevens Co., No. 15-CV-871-JPS, 2015 WL 9274016 (E.D. Wis. Dec. 18, 2015)

  • DXP Enters., Inc. v. Goulds Pumps, Inc., No. H-14-1112, 2014 WL 5682465 (S.D. Tex. Nov. 4, 2014)

  • Orchard Supply Hardware LLC v. Home Depot USA, Inc., No. 12CV06361, 2013 WL 5289011 (N.D. Cal Sept. 19, 2013)

  • Avon HiLife Inc. v. Lauren Agrisystems Ltd, 3:13CV0036, 2012 WL 5953133 (W.D. Wis. Mar. 25, 2013)

  • Aspex Eyewear, Inc. v. Vision Serv. Plan, No. 1115000, 2012 WL 1233009 (9th Cir. Mar. 1, 2012) affirming dismissal without leave to amend

  • Jaw Properties LLC v. AMTEC Int'l of NY Corp., No. 2010CV3061 (Wis. Circ. Ct. Dane Cnty. Oct. 11, 2010)

  • Aspex Eyewear, Inc. v. Vision Serv. Plan, No. 10-16232, 2010 WL 2893824 (9th Cir. July 26, 2010)

  • Northland Sales, Inc. v. Maax Corp., 556 F. Supp. 2d 928 (E.D. Wis. 2008)

  • Orion Flight Servs. v. Basler Flight Serv., 2006 WI 51, 290 Wis. 2d 421, 714 N.W.2d 130

  • Saratoga Liquor Cp. v. Pernod Ricard SA, No. 2006CV000002 (Wis. Circ. Ct. Douglas Cnty. April 6, 2006), Business Franchise Guide (CCH) 13,312

  • Kuhn Knight, Inc. v. WMC Enters., Inc., 464 F. Supp. 2d 806 (W.D. Wis., 2006)

  • Kaloti Enters., Inc. v. Kellogg Sales Co., 2005 WI 111, 283 Wis. 2d 555, 699 N.W.2d 205

  • AutoChlor System of Minn., Inc. v. JohnsonDiversey, 328 F. Supp. 2d 980 (D. Minn. 2004)

  • Glen Lake Sales & Mktg., Inc. v. Mott's Inc., No. Civ. 01-1582, 2003 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129298, 2003 WL 21730111 (D. Minn. July 21, 2003)

  • Lerma v. Univision Commc'ns, Inc., 52 F. Supp. 2d 1011 (E.D. Wis 1999)

  • Roebke v. Newell Co., 177 Wis. 2d 624, 503 N.W.2d 295 (Ct. App. 1993)

  • Souter v. Int'l Union, 993 F.2d 595 (7th Cir. 1993)

Honors & Affiliations

Honors

  • Best Lawyers in America - Lawyer of the Year, Franchise Law

  • Best Lawyers in America (Commercial Litigation, Franchise Law)

  • Selected for inclusion in Wisconsin Super Lawyers

  • Benchmark Litigation: Wisconsin Litigation Star

  • Wisconsin Top Rated Lawyer Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rated

  • Senior Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America, The Trial Lawyer Honorary Society

Affiliations

  • Member, Commercial Court Pilot Program Steering Committee (appointed by Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice) 2017 - present

  • The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation

  • Member, Trial Law Institute

  • Milwaukee Bar Association (former member of Ethics, Messenger and Membership Committees)

  • Waukesha Bar Association

  • State Bar of Wisconsin

  • Former Chair of the Wisconsin Bar Association Antitrust Committee of the Business Law Section and a member of the Litigation Section

  • American Bar Association (Litigation, Franchise and Antitrust Law Sections)

  • Eastern District of Wisconsin Bar Association (Board Member)

  • Seventh Circuit Bar Association

  • American Inns of Court (Fairchild Inn Chapter, President)

  • Sergeants' Inn

  • Association for Women's Lawyers

  • Rotary Club of Milwaukee

News & Insights

Presentations

  • "Hot Topics in Commercial and Civil Law Litigation," Wisconsin Supreme Court Judicial Conference (December 2017)

  • "Winning from Day One: Impact of Recent Federal Antitrust Cases and How to Integrate Antitrust Defenses into Early Business Strategy," State Bar of Wisconsin Health, Labor and Employment Law Institute (August 2016)

  • "Complex Litigation Issues," 2015 Annual Meeting of the Wisconsin Judicial Conference (November 2015)

  • "Complex Discovery Issues," 2014 Annual Meeting of the Wisconsin Judicial Conference (November 2014)

  • "U.S. Dispute Resolution for Foreign Businesses," Reinhart International Webinar (May 2014)

  • "Strategy and Ethics in Mining the Internet and Social Media for Usable Evidence," American Bar Association Corporate Counsel Seminar (February 2014)

  • Various presentations on antitrust and dealer laws (including Wisconsin Fair Dealership Law)

Publications