K. Scott WagnerSince graduating from Marquette University Law School, cum laude in 1989 Scott has been actively involved in handling complex commercial litigation. Less than four months out of law school, Scott was arguing in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and since then Scott has appeared in State and Federal Courts across Wisconsin (and other states) and has argued in the Wisconsin Court of Appeals and the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Over the course of his career, Scott has handled a wide variety of commercial litigation matters including, but not limited to, anti-trust, contractual disputes, covenants not to compete, securities fraud and shareholder disputes involving both public and private entities. In this capacity, Scott has represented a wide range of clients including individuals, small businesses and large corporations. Scott frequently represents clients in “business divorces” when partners or shareholders are looking to end their relationship through a buy-out or similar type of transaction.

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Scott also has considerable experience representing shareholders in derivative actions and has served as Court appointed counsel in numerous class actions with a particular focus on matters involving anti-trust, securities fraud and fiduciary breaches by majority shareholders. In his class action work, Scott has partnered with some of the most prestigious class action firms in the country to champion plaintiffs’ rights. Scott has also served as a guest lecturer on class actions from the plaintiffs’ perspective.

While a tenacious litigator, Scott understands that some of the best advice that an attorney can give involves litigation avoidance and Scott actively works to keep his clients out of the courts whenever possible recognizing that the cost of commercial litigation can often outweigh the benefit that a client can reasonably expect to recover. If litigation cannot be avoided, Scott is an aggressive advocate carefully balancing the costs to the client against likely outcomes and involving the client in strategic decisions throughout the litigation process. Recognizing the importance of candor in his role as a fiduciary, Scott is always honest, and sometimes brutally so, with his clients and his efforts to manage expectations. Similarly, opposing counsel recognize Scott’s honest approach to the practice of law and while he will fight the battles that need to be fought, he will not waste time or the resources of clients or courts fighting just to generate fees or create unnecessary deforestation.

Regardless of the situation that brings you to Kerkman Wagner & Dunn, Scott will quickly analyze the relevant issues and work with you to promptly and economically obtain the relief you are entitled to or minimize any potential liability. Scott’s clients are actively involved in every step of the process.

Scott has been recognized for inclusion in SuperLawyers by his peers on multiple occasions and has been recognized for inclusion in America’s Best lawyers from 2011 to 2017. Scott is rated AV 5.0 Preeminent by Martindale Hubbell.

Scott has spent most of his life in Southeastern Wisconsin and currently resides in Pewaukee with his wife and two children. When he isn’t working, Scott enjoys spending time with his family, coaching his kids’ soccer teams and riding the biggest roller coasters he can find. He has been to far too many Jimmy Buffett concerts to count (which is more of a desperate cry for help than a boast) and has been known to frequent Las Vegas and various horse racing tracks for medicinal purposes. At some point, he will retire to someplace tropical but given the cost of college tuition, it probably won’t be any time soon.

A sampling of Scott’s significant cases include:

FrontRange Solutions USA, Inc. v. NewRoad Software, Inc., 505 F. Supp 821 (D. Colo. 2007) As counsel for the much smaller NewRoad, Scott obtained dismissal of claims for breach of contract, trademark infringement, misappropriation of trade secrets, and tortious interference with contractual relations on summary judgment. Scott also obtained summary judgment in NewRoad’s favor on its own breach of contract claims.

In re Lawnmower Engine Horespower Marketing & Sales Practices Litigation, 723 F. Supp. 2d 997 (E.D. Wis. 2010) Acting as court appointed liaison counsel for the class, Scott assisted in obtaining a recovery in cash and warranties for consumers who had purchased various brands of lawnmowers that the Court valued at $110.7 million.

White v. Heartland High Yield Bond Fund, et.al; Case No. 00-C-1388 (E.D. Wis ). As court appointed local counsel and trial counsel in this class action, Scott assisted in negotiating two settlements from the mutual fund company and their auditor totaling $22.5 million dollars on behalf of investors in Heartland’s High Yield Bond Fund after it took an unprecedented drop in value. The second settlement occurred after trial was virtually completed and prior to the jury receiving the case.

Champine et al v. Milwaukee County, 280 Wis. 2d 603, 696 N.W. 2d 245(Ct. App. 2005). As lead counsel for a class consisting of non-union County employees, Scott successfully fought the County’s attempt to revoke the County’s obligation to pay accrued sick leave upon retirement which was promised as part of a benefit package. While the case was dismissed at the trial court level, Scott prevailed on appeal and ultimately settled with the County obtaining a commitment to pay previously accrued sick leave upon retirement.

Buttonwood Tree Value Partners, LP v. Smith, Et. Al; Case No. 08-CV-002963 (Milwaukee County). As Court appointed local counsel representing a class of investors, Scott assisted in obtaining a settlement consisting of cash and other consideration valued at over $45,000,000 by an arbitrator.

Bar Admissions:

  • Wisconsin, 1989
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 1989
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Wisconsin, 1989
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Wisconsin, 1989

Education:

  • J.D. Marquette University Law School, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1989
    Honors: Cum Laude
  • B.S. Broadcast Communications/Political Science, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1986