Attorneys Peter Bruce, John Hein, and Kevin Lyons Acknowledged by State Bar for 50 Years of Practice

September 30, 2020

Milwaukee — Davis|Kuelthau is pleased to announce that attorneys Peter W. BruceJohn W. Hein and Kevin J. Lyons have been acknowledged by the State Bar for being in practice for 50 years.

The State Bar of Wisconsin has recognized 183 lawyers for their commitment to practicing law for 50 years. Among those listed for this monumental achievement are three Davis|Kuelthau attorneys, Peter W. Bruce, John W. Hein and Kevin J. Lyons, who were admitted to practice in 1970. In their honor, join us in celebrating with a quick synopsis of their extensive accomplishments and dedication to the legal industry.

Peter W. Bruce joined Davis|Kuelthau in September of 2007, after almost 40 years with Northwestern Mutual.

As an Of Counsel member of Davis|Kuelthau, the firm has provided a supportive platform for Peter’s continued civic work and for his service as guardian ad litem in Milwaukee County Children’s Court for children in the foster system and as a volunteer lawyer with the Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee.

For 37 years prior to joining the firm, Peter worked at Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company (NML) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He served in a variety of legal and business capacities at NML, including Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary, and Senior Vice President of Insurance Operations. His final promotion elevated Peter to the position of Chief Insurance Officer, where he was responsible for product lines representing approximately 85 percent of the corporation’s sales revenues at that time.

In addition to his service on the Board of the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Peter also served on the Board of several of its significant subsidiaries, as follows: Northwestern Mutual Investment Management Company, Northwestern Mutual International Holdings, Robert W. Baird and Frank Russell Company. Peter also served on the Board of a FHLB member, Continental Savings Bank, which subsequently merged with West Bend Savings Bank to form Westbury Bank. He served on the Board of Westbury until 2012.

In addition to Peter’s corporate leadership, he also has served on the governance boards of a number of not-for-profit enterprises, including: Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Alverno College, Badger Meter Foundation, Milwaukee Bar Association Foundation, Urban Day School, Curative Rehabilitation Foundation, and the Wisconsin Equal Justice Fund, among others. He and his wife Joan were also recipients of the 2019 Evan P. Helfaer Donor Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). This award honors distinguished service in sharing resources with charitable organizations. They established the Peter and Joan Bruce Scholarship Fund at Divine Savior/Holy Angels in 2007.” Peter earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago and his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After graduating from the University of Chicago Peter completed the Harvard Advanced Management Program.

Peter previously received numerous recognitions including:
Bene Award – Alverno College (2014), Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee Equal Justice Medal (2012), Fellow – Wisconsin Law Foundation (2011), Milwaukee Bar Association Lifetime Achievement Award (2010), Marquette University High School – Alumnus of the Year (2008), Grand Avenue Club – Community Service Award (2008), and National Conference of Christians & Jews – Community Service Award (1990).

Peter’s professional activities include:

  • Member, State Bar of Wisconsin
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, American Law Institute
  • Former Board Member, Milwaukee Bar Association Foundation

Peter’s community involvement includes:

  • Alverno College, Emeritus Trustee; Audit, Investment and Development Committees; Former Board and Board Chair
  • Badger Meter Foundation, Board Member
  • Curative Rehabilitation Foundation, Board and Former Board Chair
  • Curative Rehabilitation Center, Former Board and Board Chair
  • Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Former Board and Former Board Chair
  • Greater Milwaukee Foundation Herbert Mueller, Member
  • Former Board and Board Chair, Horizon House
  • LISC Milwaukee, Honorary Board
  • Milwaukee Catholic Community Foundation, Former Board and Board Chair
  • Next Door Foundation, Former Board and Board Chair
  • Urban Day School, Board and Past Board Chair; Executive, Advancement, Investment and Audit Committees
  • Legal Aid Society, Guardian Ad Litem Practice Group
  • American Management Association, Former Board Member
  • Wisconsin Equal Justice Fund, Former Board and Board Chair

John W. Hein joined Davis|Kuelthau in February of 2016, after a long tenure with the firm Godfrey, Braun & Frazier, LLP which was absorbed by Davis|Kuelthau in the same year. Prior to that John began his legal career at Gibbs Roper Loots and Williams.

As an Of Counsel member of Davis|Kuelthau’s Litigation Team John practices in the Milwaukee office. His practice focuses on litigation, business consultation, real estate, estate, and financial planning. John’s experience in the prosecution and defense of professional liability claims; shareholder, partnership, trust, and estate dispute resolution; intellectual property claims; real estate transactions, and general trade and commercial matters has assisted corporate and individual clients for over 50 years. John was co-author of a chapter in the Law of Damages in Wisconsin and has presented programs for the State Bar of Wisconsin and other legal associations on topics including discovery, professional malpractice, professional responsibility, securities law, securities aspects of real estate transactions, and minority shareholder squeeze-outs. Additionally, John previously received the Rated AV® Preeminent™ recognition by Martindale-Hubbell®. John earned his Juris Doctorate from New York University School of Law where he was a Root-Tilden Scholar and his Bachelor’s degree from Lawrence University.

John’s professional activities include:

  • Admitted, Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Admitted, U.S. Supreme Court
  • Admitted, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • Admitted, Western District of Wisconsin
  • Admitted, U.S. Tax Court
  • Admitted, Northern District of Illinois
  • Member, State Bar of Wisconsin
  • Served two terms for State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors
  • Member, Serjeant’s Inn
  • Member, Milwaukee Bar Association
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Wisconsin Bar Foundation Fellow

John’s community involvement includes:

  • Member, Board of Directors, Milwaukee Downtown Rotary Club
  • Global Grants Committee, Chair, Rotary District 6270
  • Former Member, Board President, Shorewood School Board
  • Member, Lawyers for Libraries
  • Member, Immanuel Presbyterian Church
  • Former Board Member, Board Chair, Presbyterian Homes of Wisconsin
  • Former Board Member, Board Secretary, Skylight Opera Theatre
  • Former Board Member, United Performing Arts Fund

Litigation and Mediation attorney, Kevin J. Lyons joined Davis|Kuelthau in December of 2001 after a long tenure with the firm Cook & Franke. After almost 50 years running a litigation practice in public and private sectors with a focus on 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. Kevin earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Wisconsin Law School and his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame.

Kevin previously received numerous recognitions including:
Best Lawyers® in America – Environmental Law (1995-2021), Construction Law (2006-2021), Arbitration (2011-2021), Mediation (2011-2021), Litigation – Construction (2013-2021), Litigation – Environmental (2013-2021), 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, 2009-2019), 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), and Martindale Hubbell AV® Peer Review Rated.

Kevin published “Post-Trial Motions” a chapter of “Wisconsin Bar Trial Book.” Kevin’s past presentations include: “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, 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, and Organized (and presented at) 27 speaker environmental law conferences, Vail, CO.

Kevin’s professional activities include:

  • 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

Kevin’s community involvement includes:

  • 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

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Davis|Kuelthau, s.c. offers an array of innovative legal solutions to business owners and corporations of all sizes, including emerging, middle-market and Fortune 500 companies, high net worth individuals and families, private and institutional investors, and lenders. The firm’s attorneys, who practice from three offices across Wisconsin, have national experience combined with strong community ties.