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Matthew M. Fernholz

Matthew M. Fernholz

  • Partner


Attorney Matthew Fernholz joined the firm in 2013. He handles all phases of litigation in state and federal court, from pre-trial investigation and assessment, initial pleadings, written discovery and depositions, all the way through trial, and if necessary, appeal. He has a particular emphasis on commercial litigation, trust and fiduciary disputes, business torts, trade secrets, non-compete agreements, construction litigation, and appellate work.

Professional Associations

  • President of the Federalist Society - Milwaukee Lawyers Chapter (2020 – present)
  • Appointed by the Wisconsin Supreme Court to the Office of Lawyer Regulation District 6 Committee, 2017 to present
  • Appointed by Governor Scott Walker to the Architects Section of the Wisconsin Examining Board of Architects, Landscape Architects, Professional Engineers, Designers and Land Surveyors, 2014 to 2016
  • Marquette University Law School Woolsack Society, Recent Graduate Planning Committee, and Reunion Committee

Practice Areas

  • Commercial Litigation
  • Construction (Litigation and Contract Drafting)
  • Trust and Fiduciary Disputes


  • Marquette University Law School, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    • J.D. - 2010
  • Lake Forest College
    • B.A. - 2007
    • Honors: cum laude

Bar Admissions

  • Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit


  • Law Clerk to Justice Michael J. Gableman, Wisconsin Supreme Court, 2012 to 2013
  • Law Clerk to Judge Paul F. Reilly, Wisconsin Court of Appeals, 2010 to 2012

Representative Matters

  • Brought successful original action petition before the Wisconsin Supreme Court to declare the Governor’s multiple successive state of emergency declarations relating to COVID-19 were unlawful and invalid. Fabick v. Evers, 2021 WI 28, 396 Wis. 2d 231, 956 N.W.2d 856.
  • Representation of a physician and an insurance broker in a contentious and ongoing “business divorce” against former business partners over ownership of profits from a genomic testing company. Parallel litigation has been ongoing in Wisconsin and Texas since 2016, with extensive disputes over venue of the case and personal jurisdiction. Successfully briefed and argued the matter before the Supreme Court of Texas, achieving a 9-0 victory that the forum selection clause in the series agreement between the two companies could not be used to obtain personal jurisdiction over our Wisconsin clients in the State of Texas. Rieder v. Woods, 603 S.W.3d 86 (Tex. 2020) Rieder v. Meeker, 587 S.W.3d 32 (Tex. Ct. App.—Fort Worth, 2018); Cadbury Solutions, LLC v. Kenny Woods, et al., Waukesha County Case No. 2016CV2138.
  • Co-chaired two-week federal court jury trial representing a trucking and excavating company whose $6.785 million subcontract on the Indianapolis Deep Rock Tunnel Connector project was terminated by the general contractor. Jury returned a $775,000 verdict for the client. In motion practice prior to trial, successfully knocked out both of defendants’ expert witnesses with Daubert motions and obtained partial summary judgment ruling that the contract was for a lump sum rather than time-and-materials. RMS of Wisconsin, Inc. v. S-K JV, No. 13-CV-1071 (E.D. Wis.).
  • Handled all postverdict and appellate briefing on behalf of the primary plaintiffs in the $39 million O’Donnell Park panel collapse case. Wosinski et al. v. Adv. Cast Stone Co., et al., Milwaukee County Case No. 2011CV1003.
  • First-chair defense of a construction company in a three-day bench trial. Successfully defeated plaintiff’s claims of theft by contractor, conversion, and fraudulent conveyance, and limited the cost of repair breach of contract damages. Carl Markestad, et al. v. F.C. Price Corp., et al., Rock County Case No. 2016CV489.
  • Obtained preliminary injunction in federal court on behalf of a floral company for defendants’ infringement of client’s trademark. Waukesha Floral & Greenhouses, Inc. v. Possi, No. 15-CV-1365 (E.D. Wis.).
  • Represented insurance agent sued by a non-emergency medical transportation company for fraudulent misrepresentation, theft of property by fraud, unfair competition, conversion, intentional interference with contract, and civil conspiracy. The nature of the allegations was that the agent conspired with a rival non-emergency medical transportation company (who was a co-defendant) to assist it in entering the industry and cutting into the plaintiff’s market share. The plaintiff alleged nearly $500,000 in compensatory damages, and asserted the damages were subject to trebling and attorney’s fees. After filing a motion for summary judgment to dismiss all claims and a Daubert motion to exclude the plaintiff’s expert, the case settled on confidential terms. DRM Transit LLC v. Richwood Transport, LLC, et al., Dane County Case No. 2017CV33.
  • Obtained preliminary and permanent injunction for family realtors whose billboard sign on Highway 16 was take down after Clear Channel Outdoor unilaterally terminated the parties’ advertising contract. The circuit court granted summary judgment in our clients’ favor, ruling that the contract was perpetual and could not be unilaterally terminated by Clear Channel. Koepp v. Clear Channel Outdoor, Inc., Waukesha County Case No. 2018CV978.
  • Defended national maintenance technicians company against injunction motion for unfair competition and theft of trade secrets. After briefing, plaintiff voluntarily withdrew motion on the morning of the injunction hearing. JLM Adv. Tech. Servs., Inc. v. Bays, et al., No. 16-CV-1270 (E.D. Wis.).
  • Represented real estate developer in case against international railroad company seeking adverse possession of property near a railroad crossing. Railroad company sought summary judgment on grounds that all state law claims were preempted by the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act. After defeating the railroad company’s motion for summary judgment, case settled with payment from defendant to client. Pewaukee Land Company LLC v. Soo Line Railroad Company, Waukesha County Case No. 2014CV2015.
  • Represented national trucking company at a TRO hearing against its insurer who was seeking to cancel insurance coverage. Court ruled that insurance would remain in effect, which allowed client time to find another insurer without a gap in coverage. Fratrans, Inc. v. New York Marine and General Insurance Company, Waukesha County Case No. 2014CV1429.
  • Served as local counsel to amicus curiae in the “John Doe II” case and the successful challenge to Wisconsin’s “Safer at Home” order.
  • Represented Attorney General Brad Schimel in connection with his 2018 campaign.