Kevin J. Lyons


Kevin J. Lyons

Location: Milwaukee

T: 414.225.1402

F: 414.278.3602

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Assistant: Dawn Riegel

T: 414.225.7505


  • Best Lawyers® in America - Environmental Law (1995-2022), Construction Law (2006-2022), Arbitration (2011-2022), Mediation (2011-2022), Litigation – Construction (2013-2022), Litigation – Environmental (2013-2022)
  • Best Lawyers® in America - Milwaukee, Mediation "Lawyer of the Year" (2021)
  • Best Lawyers® in America - Milwaukee, Arbitration "Lawyer of the Year" (2015, 2018, 2020)
  • Wisconsin Super Lawyer, Super Lawyers Magazine - Alternative Dispute Resolution (2005, 2009-2021)
  • Fellow, Wisconsin Law Foundation, (2016)
  • Director, Wisconsin Bar Association (2016)
  • Recipient, 2015 State Bar of Wisconsin President’s Award
  • M Magazine, Leading Lawyers (2014)
  • Best Lawyers® in America - Milwaukee, Litigation - Construction "Lawyer of the Year" (2014)
  • Listed as M Magazine Best Lawyers (2013-2015)
  • Best Lawyers® in America - Milwaukee, Construction "Lawyer of the Year" (2013)
  • Martindale Hubbell AV® Peer Review Rated


  • J.D., University of Wisconsin Law School
  • B.A., University of Notre Dame


After almost 50 years running a litigation practice in public and private sectors with a focus in construction, environmental and commercial disputes, Kevin now focuses primarily on mediation and arbitration in these areas.  As a fair and considerate moderator, he has brought to working resolution dozens of cases. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources recently appointed Kevin as Umpire under Sec. 292.35 Wis. Stats. to handle a multi-million dollar municipal cost recovery action. The role of Umpire involves mediation, negotiation, analytical, and reporting skills for the parties and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. He has worked with individuals, public and private companies, governments, insurance companies, and professions including architecture and engineering. Disputes have involved construction both above and below ground, residential and commercial buildings, business contracts, indemnity and insurance, environmental liability, site remediation, and damages. Kevin’s wide-ranging expertise includes working for companies ranging from family owned to Fortune 500 as well as with federal, state, and local governments. His experience makes him uniquely qualified to resolve disputes.


Representative Clients

  • J.P. Cullen & Sons, Inc.
  • Thomas Industries, Inc.
  • Neenah Menasha Sewerage Commission
  • Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District
  • Village of Elm Grove
  • Village of Combined Locks

Notable Representations

Milwaukee City Hall Construction Defect Case Successfully obtained a settlement for J.P. Cullen & Sons, Inc. for façade work done on City Hall. The settlement included a contract with City of Milwaukee for the company to repair City Hall's damages. In turn the City dismissed the lawsuit against Cullen, its subcontractors, and supplier. The repair work includes attaching new terra cotta units to replace those that cracked and fell from the façade in 2011.

Dispute Resolution Arbitrated, mediated, and umpired disputes among owners, architects, general contractors and subcontractors, and governments concerning environmental, construction, land use, commercial and contract matters. Filed friend of the court brief concerning mediator ethics and authority. Borst v. All State 291, Wis.2d 361, 717 N.W.2d 42 (2006).

Neenah Menasha Sewerage Commission Kevin represents NMSC in decades long CERCLA litigation concerning the $1.5 billion cleanup of PCBs in the Fox River and Green Bay.

Thomas Industries, Inc. Kevin represents Thomas Industries in another decades long dispute over cleanup of the Sheboygan River.

Construction Dispute The Village of Elm Grove hired Kevin in a dispute with a tunnel contractor over the construction of a sewer tunnel in which the Village prevailed at trial.

WDNR Water Discharge Permit Kevin has assisted auto salvage yard owners operating under a single WDNR surface water discharge permit.

Village of Combined Locks Kevin represents the Village in a construction dispute with a contractor and concrete supplier over concrete construction.

Trial Experience DNR, DEP, DOA During the past thirty years, Kevin has tried and argued numerous cases in courts and before administrative agencies, including OSHA, U.S. EPA, U.S. Army, U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Defense Investigative Service, Wisconsin DNR, Connecticut DEP, Wisconsin DOA, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, the Wisconsin Gaming Board, and BAPR.

Construction Accident, OSHA Kevin has represented Mortenson Construction in matters stemming from a construction accident involving subcontractors, OSHA, and local government agencies. He also represented the principal engineering firm during the Milwaukee Water Pollution Abatement Program.

Pollution, IP Kevin appeared in federal court while representing ABB in a pollution case in Connecticut and in a contract dispute over intellectual property rights in federal court in Wisconsin.

Health and Administrative Law Kevin represents the D.C. Everest School District in protecting the health of students and staff from air pollution.

Land Use and Lease Kevin represented Walgreen in the defense of its lease exclusivity. Walgreen v. Sara Creek Properties, 966F.2d 273 (7th Cir. 1992).

Land Use and Mining In the areas of land use and mining, Kevin has represented towns in matters with Exxon and Rio Algom, and Kennecott Copper, and in land use matters with Wal-Mart.

Milwaukee Water Pollution Kevin has represented the lead engineer on matters on matters involving the Milwaukee Water Pollution Abatement Program Deep Tunnel Construction project, including civil litigation; investigations; construction and contract matters; employment and lease matters; state and federal air and water permit issues; and government relations matters.

OSHA Representation For more than eleven years, Kevin assisted CH2M Hill in a dispute with OSHA in federal courts concerning responsibility for jobsite safety on the "Deep Tunnel" project.

MMSD Deep Sewer Tunnels Recently, Kevin has represented Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District at trial, and continues his representation on appeal and a state court dispute with Bostco LLC over whether Milwaukee’s sewerage damaged the Boston Store building in downtown Milwaukee.


Professional Activities

Admitted, United States Supreme Court; Circuit Courts of Appeal for the District of Columbia, 2nd Circuit, and 7th Circuit; Federal District Courts of the Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin; and Wisconsin Supreme Court and all Wisconsin State Courts

Umpire, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (Environmental Remediation)

Board of Directors, Wisconsin Law Foundation

Former Member, Policy Committee for the Board of Governors, State Bar of Wisconsin

State Bar of Wisconsin, Past Treasurer, Member, Past Member, Board of Governors; Past Chair, Construction and Public Contract Law Section; Past Chair, Alternative Dispute Resolution Section; Past Chair, Section Leaders Council

Member, American and Seventh Circuit Bar Associations

Community Involvement

Supervising Attorney, Marquette University Law School, Mediation Program

Teacher-Mediator, Judge, Supervising Attorney, Marquette University Law School Mediation Program

Guest Lecturer, UW-Madison Law School General Practice Course

Published Articles / Presentations

Presented "U.S. Environmental Law" to Australian Barristers' (April 2014)

"Views of ADR: Client, Advocate, Mediator, and Arbitrator," State Bar of Wisconsin CLE, November 2009, Speaker

Frequent lecturer on construction law topics, organized 2008 Wisconsin Bar daylong joint Construction Law - ADR program, including claims and dispute resolutions

Author, “Post-Trial Motions” chapter of “Wis. Bar Trial Book”

Lectured on civil litigation, criminal litigation, mental health law, and law for dentists at the University of Wisconsin Law School and Marquette University Dental School

Handling a First Environmental Case

Organized (and presented at) 27 speaker environmental law conferences, Vail, CO