Susan G. Schellinger

Shareholder

Susan G. Schellinger

Location: Milwaukee

T: 414.225.1492

F: 414.278.3692

sschellinger@dkattorneys.com

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Assistant: Paula Lee

T: 414.225.7521

Recognitions

  • Best Lawyers® in America - Litigation - Construction (2013-2021), Commercial Litigation (2015-2021)
  • Best Lawyers® in America, Women in the Law (2017)
  • Wisconsin Super Lawyer, Super Lawyers Magazine - Business Litigation (2006, 2014-2020)
  • Women in the Law, Wisconsin Law Journal (2013)
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Peer Review Rated

Education

  • J.D., magna cum laude, Marquette University Law School, 1993
  • B.S., magna cum laude, University of Wisconsin-Parkside, 1990

Biography

Mindful of the necessary synergy between a client’s business goals and litigation impact, Sue provides exceptional client service through substantive expertise and frequent communication with clients regarding case assessment and strategy. Her clients include mid and large-sized corporations, real estate developers, individuals, and governmental units.

Sue’s sage counseling approach is backed by 20 years of experience litigating a broad range of complex matters in state and federal trial and appellate courts as well as in arbitration and other alternative dispute resolution proceedings. Her practice has a substantive focus on insurance coverage litigation and construction law. Relative to insurance coverage, Sue exclusively represents policyholders against insurance companies and brokers to obtain coverage — often after the insurer denied. In construction, she has represented owners, contractors, and design professionals on a variety of projects.

Sue also offers substantial experience and an ongoing practice in lender liability, securities litigation, noncompetition agreements, and trade secrets cases. Additionally, she has represented clients in breach of contract, warranty claims, products liability and investor disputes.

 

Representative Clients

  • AECOM, Inc.
  • HealthEOS by Multiplan
  • Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District (Miller Park)
  • Regal Beloit Corporation
  • Boulder Brands, Inc.

Published Cases
Amcore Bank v. Heus Mfg., LLC, 340 Wis. 2d 498, 812 N.W.2d 540 (Wis. App. 2012)

Central Brown County Water Authority v. Consoer, Townsend Envirodyne, Inc., 2011 WL 5040453 (E.D. Wis. 2011)

Merge Healthcare, Inc. v. Linden, 2010 WL 4065588 (E.D. Wis. 2010)

Feinstein v. Wood, Hat & Silver, LLC, 2010 WL 3584002 (E.D. Wis. 2010)

Maypark v. Securitas Security Services USA,Inc., 321 Wis. 2d 479, 775 N.W.2d 270 (Wis. App. 2009)

Plastics Engineering Co. v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 315 Wis. 2d 556, 759 N.W.2d 613 (2009)

Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District v. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, Inc., 304 Wis. 2d 637, 738 N.W.2d 87 (Wis. App. 2007)

Northwestern Mut. Life Ins. Co. v. Banc of America Securities, LLC, 254 F. Supp. 2d 390 (S.D.N.Y. 2003)

Van den Heuvel v. AICC, 951 F. Supp. 2d 1064, (E.D. Wis. 2013)

Notable Representations

Insurance Coverage Litigation

  • Sue obtained insurance coverage under both commercial general liability and professional errors and omissions policies for claims brought against the owner of Miller Park by the roof builder. She ultimately obtained a ruling by the circuit court that the insurers had breached their duty to defend, requiring payment of all defense costs, along with the insurers’ payment of indemnity.
  • Sue represented a multinational company in a dispute where its insurer sought to recover the multi-millions of dollars paid to defend claims made against our client based on the insurer’s interpretation of a governing policy endorsement. She defeated the insurer’s claim, convincing the ruling judge that the insurance company was required to pay all of the defense costs.
  • Sue submitted an amicus brief to the Wisconsin Supreme Court on behalf of a business group in Plastics Engineering Company v. Liberty Mutual, a case in which the high court issued a landmark decision significantly impacting insured's coverage under standard commercial liability policies for asbestos claims and environmental claims.
  • Sue obtained a federal court ruling requiring an insurer to reimburse a client for the millions it paid to national counsel to oversee defense of product liability claims.

Construction Litigation

  • Sue represented the public owner of Miller Park in litigation with contractors arising out of the construction of the baseball stadium and related facilities. She defended the public owner of the stadium in a $100 million lawsuit brought by the roof builder, obtaining a settlement resulting in payments of more than $30 million to the owner.
  • Sue obtained summary judgment dismissal of a multimillion dollar claim against the Miller Park District for the District’s alleged failure to construct roadway improvements around Miller Park.
  • Sue has brought claims on behalf of owners against architects and design professionals for defective design. After an arbitration before the American Arbitration Association, she obtained an award in favor of the owner for the full amount of damages sought for remediation of the building, including lost profits.

Commercial Litigation

  • Sue defended a manufacturer against a $50 million claim by its foreign partner for breach of a joint venture agreement. The representation was a significant success in several regards: Sue was able to obtain full coverage for all of the client's defense costs under a Commercial General Liability (CGL) policy, and after a week-long arbitration in Dallas before the International Chamber of Commerce, all claims against the client were dismissed, and an award was entered in favor of the client on its counterclaim.
  • Sue successfully defended a claim brought by a health care group for breach of a network agreement, obtaining dismissal before trial based on limiting language in the agreement and Wisconsin’s voluntary payment doctrine.
  • Sue defended a Fortune 500 executive in a dispute brought by his former employer for breach of a non-compete agreement and violation of the trade secret statutes. Sue was able to fend off a preliminary injunction motion brought by the former employer seeking to enjoin the executive’s employment with his new employer. The denial of the motion gave the executive significant leverage to negotiate a favorable resolution which allowed him to accept employment with the former employer's prime competitor.

Health Care Litigation Experience

  • In a federal court lawsuit, Sue obtained a dismissal of a $1 million-plus claim brought against a health maintenance organization for breach of contract brought by a pharmacy consultant.
  • Sue successfully defended a case brought against a preferred provider network by a group of physicians, claiming they were owed several million dollars for breach of a provider agreement. After a multiple-day arbitration hearing, the arbitrator ruled in favor of the preferred provider network, dismissing all claims.

Lender Liability

  • Sue has defeated numerous lender liability claims brought against multiple financial institutions by both borrowers and third parties.

Securities Litigation

  • Sue has handled securities related claims, both in court and before FINRA, involving claims of suitability, churning, and misrepresentation. She has both prosecuted claims on behalf of investors and defended claims against brokers and other investment professionals.
  • Sue obtained a $1.5 million settlement on behalf of investors who were inappropriately advised to invest in a hedge fund. She also successfully obtained court judgments in favor of two investors for over $600,000, including attorneys fees, in full payment of promissory notes issued by a hedge fund.

Leadership

Professional Activities

Former Director, Hartford Golf Club

Former Director, Executive Women’s Golf Association, Milwaukee Chapter

Member, Milwaukee Bar Association

Member, Wisconsin Bar Association, Construction Law Section, Litigation Section

Member, American Bar Association

Published Articles / Presentations

Triggering Insurance Coverage for Success in Commercial Litigation – Winter 2017 Issue of American Bar Association’s, Business Torts Litigation Journal

Beyond the Rules: Leveraging the New Federal Discovery Rules to Curtail Discovery Cost and Expedite Resolution presented May 19, 2016 to Association of Corporate Counsel Wisconsin Chapter

Critical Legal Developments Impacting Businesses in 2015 and Beyond presented April 30, 2015 to Association of Corporate Counsel Wisconsin Chapter

Litigation is Often Unavoidable. Overspending and Poor Results Are Not. Control Your Fate, presented May 15, 2014 to Association of Corporate Counsel Wisconsin Chapter

Ask, and You May Receive – Knock and the Door of Insurance Coverage Secrets Will Be Opened to You, presented May 9, 2013 to Wisconsin Association of Corporate Counsel