Jerome R. Kerkman is a shareholder of the firm. He has a business litigation practice with an emphasis in commercial financial transactions, business restructuring in court or out-of-court, mergers and acquisitions, personal planning, and complex business litigation involving wrongful competition and trade secrets.
Jerome was appointed to the panel of Subchapter V, Chapter 11 Trustees for Wisconsin and the Northern District of Illinois, Western Division. He is one of four trustees on the panel covering these jurisdictions.
A sample of his significant case involvement include:
- Great Western Publishing, Inc. v. A.T. Mallad Enterprises, Inc. Represented plaintiff in breach of contract dispute seeking lost profits; defendant counterclaimed seeking millions of dollars for unfair competition and theft of trade secrets under California law; result: jury verdict of $500,000 for plaintiff.
- Princeton American Corporation (Holding company for real estate and other business; Phoenix, AZ) Lead attorney for major unsecured creditor of NASDAQ company; result: obtained Chapter 11 trustee within 1 month after filing.
- Prange Way, Inc. (Large discount department store chain-Green Bay) Major role in representing large Chapter 11 debtor; result: confirmed liquidating plan with equity receiving significant distribution.
- Great Western Publishing, Inc. ($40 million publishing company; Phoenix, AZ) Lead attorney for Chapter 11 debtor; result: confirmed plan in 7.5 months with owner retaining control.
- Datacare, Inc. (Hospital software company – Tampa, FL) Represented one of the largest Milwaukee hospitals and took lead role for hospital clients of debtor; result: Chapter 11 trustee appointed and confirmed plan allowed hospitals to smartly migrate to new software systems.
- P.A. Berger & Co. / Carson Pirie Scott & Company ($1 billion department store company-Milwaukee) Major role in representing large Chapter 11 debtor; result: confirmed operating plan issuing stock on NASDAQ.
- Andrae Electric Co. (Oldest electrical contracting firm in the country – Milwaukee) Represented acquiring party of Chapter 11 company proceedings; result: purchased company.
- Winjak, Inc. & Jack Winter Apparel, Inc. (Apparel manufacturer-Milwaukee) Co-counsel representing NYSE Chapter 11 debtor; result: confirmed plan which sold the company.
- Patrick Cudahy, Inc. (Large food processor-Milwaukee) Co-counsel representing major partially secured lender; result: cash payment.
- Great Western Publishing, Inc. Represented a $40 million publishing company located in Phoenix, Arizona with a plant in Ontario, California. Result: confirmed plan in 7.5 months with owner retaining control.
- Great Western Publishing, Inc. v. A.T. Mallad Enterprises, Inc. Represented chapter 11 company as plaintiff in break of contract dispute seeking lost profits. The defendant counterclaimed seeking millions of dollars for unfair competition and theft of trade secrets under California law. Result: jury verdict and payment of more than $500,000 to plaintiff.
- Heinemann’s (Restaurant Chain). Represented well-known, established Milwaukee restaurant group in winding down its affairs outside of the bankruptcy or state court insolvency proceedings.
- Irene D’Amico v. Structural I Company. Represented former president in break of contract dispute in the Superior Court of Maricopa County, Arizona. Result: after three week trial, a jury verdict of $1.2 million.
- KPH Construction Corporation. Represented large construction company with $8 million of debt taht encountered financial problems after being involved in multiple dispute with the construction of a well-known hotel in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Result: confirmed plan that left owner in place and continued business.
- P.A. Berger & Coi. / Carson Pirie Scott & Company ($1 billion department store company-Milwaukee) Major role in representing one of the largest chapter 11 debtors in Wisconsin – a $1 billion department store company. Result: confirmed operating plan issuing stock on NASDAQ and as head of claims process less than 5 contested matters over 12,000 claims.
- Patrick Cudahy, Inc. Co-counsel respresenting major partially secured lender with a claim against a large food processor in Milwaukee. Result: cash payment.
- POC Properties, LLC. Represented three chapter 11 debtors owing real estate in New Mexico with mortgage debt of approximately $25 million. Result: consensual confirmed plan of reorganization that included resolution of multiple suits against the principals.
- Prange Way, Inc. Major role in representing large discount department store chain-Green Bay. Result: confirmed liquidating plan witih equity receiving significant distribution.
- Princeton American Corporation. Lead attorney for major unsecured creditor of NASDAQ company that held real estate and other business in Phoenix, Arizona. Result: obtained chapter 11 trustee within 1 month after filing.
- Triad Group, Inc. Substituted into a chapter 11 case as debtor’s counsel for a pharmaceutical company closed by the FDA. Result: personal injury suits throughout the country removed to Milwaukee for a claims resolution procedure, a resolution of all suits against the owners without the owners contributing to the settlements, and a confirmed liquidating plan.
- Chapes v. Pro-Pac, Inc. Represented chapter 11 debtor which included litigation to fund a plan against an employee that breached his fiduciary duties to the debtor by assisting a competitor that the employee sought to be employed. Result: after trial, judgment against the employee and competitor for $385,000 plus punitive damages that was affirmed on appeal by the district court in Chapes v. Pro-Pac, Inc., 473 B.R. 295 (E.D. Wis. 2012).
- Datacare, Inc. Represented one of the largest Milwaukee hospitals and took lead role for hospital clients of debor, a hospital software company located in Tampa, Florida. Result: chapter 11 trustee appointed and confirmed plan allowed hospitals to migrate to new software systems.
- Danial Bruckner. Represented chapter 11 debtor with approximately 36 limited liabilities companies holding 36 parcels of real estate that Kerman advised to consolidate before a chapter 11 filing, resulting in the filing for one case to simplify the chapter 11 reorganization. Fannie Mae challenged the consolidation and it was upheld by the bankruptcy court and district court on appeal in reported decisions, Federal National Morgage Association v. Bruckner, 489 B.R. 93 (E.D. Wis. 2012).
- Bulk Petroleum Corp. Represented one of the largest consolidated chapter 11 cases ever filed in Wisconsin that involved 28 related companies owning gasoline/convenience stores in eight Midwest states with 18 different secured lenders; Result: confirmed plan that left management and the owner in place, including judgement on complex issues against the Commonwealth of Kentucky to collect more than $1.5 million of overdue excise tax that was affirmed by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Bulk Petroleum v. Kentucky Dept. of Revenue, 796 F.3d 667 (7th Cir. 2015).
- E-L Enterprises, LLC v. Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District. Represented plaintiff in a complex inverse condemnation case against the sewerage district for taking groundwater that was necessary to keep wood piles moist to support a commercial building operating; Result: verdict for plaintiff for $624,375 that was upheld by the Court of Appeals for Wisconsin (2009 WI App 15) but reversed by the Wisconsin Supreme Court (2010 WI 58).
- Fox Valley Pro Basketball (Regional sports/concert arena in Oshkosh), represented chapter 11 debtor. Result: confirmed consensual plan that left the core owners in control, general trade creditors being paid in full and three classes of stock with some debt converted to equity.
- Great Lakes Quick Lube Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors (Oil change stores in Midwest). Represented credtors’ committee in chapter 11 case with more than 60 quick lube stores. Result: Obtained a dividend of 24.8% up from the initial 7.28% offered by the debtor.
You can reach him by phone at 414.277.8200
Areas of Practice
- Bankruptcy Litigation
- Chapter 11/Out of Court Restructurings
- Commercial Law/Contracts/UCC
- Creditors’ Rights
- Copyright Infringement
- Cyber Law
- Fraudulent Transfers
- Mergers & Acquisitions
- Noncompetition Agreements
- Trade Secrets
- Unfair Competition
University of Wisconsin Law School; Madison, Wisconsin
J.D. cum laude – 1984
Lawrence University; Appleton, Wisconsin
B.A. – 1979
- The Debtor in Full Control: A Case for Adoption of the U.S. Trustee System, 70 Marq. L. Rev. 159, 1987
- Collecting the Uncollectable Debt: The Underutilized Involuntary Petition, 10 The Milwaukee Lawyer 4, 1987
- Giotis v. Apollo of the Ozarks, Inc., 800 F.2d 660 (C.A.7 1986)
- Matter of Adventist Living Centers, Inc., 52 F.3d 159 (C.A.7 1995)
- In re National Structures, Inc., 74 B.R. 986 (Bankr. E.D. Wis. 1987)
- The Bostwick-Braun Company v. Szews, 645 F. Supp. 221 (W.D. Wis. 1986)
- The Bostwick-Braun Company v. Owens, 634 F. Supp. 839 (E.D. Wis. 1986)
- Matter of All-Way Services, Inc., 73 B.R. 556 (Bankr. E.D. Wis. 1987)
- Federal Nat. Assosication v. Bruckner 489 B.R. 93 (E.D. Wis. 2012)
- In re Gialemas, 606 B.R. 798 (Bankr. W.D. Wis. 2019)
- Creditors of Great Lakes Quick Lube LP v. Theisen, 2018 Wis. App 70
- In re POC Properties, LLC, 580 B.R. 504 (Bankr. E.D. Wis. 2017)
- E-L Enterprises, Inc. v. Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage Distr, 326 Wis.2d 82 (2010)
- Wisconsin State Bar Bankruptcy, Insolvency Creditors Rights (BICR) Speaker 2015, 2016, 2019
- Covenants Not to Compete in Wisconsin, 2001 – 2019
- Fundamentals of Bankruptcy Law and Procedure, 2001 – 2019
- 1999 Annual Bankruptcy Update, State Bar of Wisconsin, 1999
- The Interface Between Intellectual Licenses and the Bankruptcy Code, Wisconsin Intellectual Property Association, 1992
- 21st Annual Central States Workshop, ABI, Speaker, 2014
- 7th Circuit Bar Association Sponsor, 2014
- Wisconsin State Bar, Annual Update Speaker, 2014
Honors and Awards
- Received AV Preeminent Rating, the highest possible rating, from Martindale-Hubbell, reflecting the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and Judiciary in 2022.
- Featured in 2021 in the 28th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America® for his work in Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law
- Featured in the 29th Edition (2022) of The Best Lawyers in America® for his work in Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law
- Featured in the 2024 addition of The Best Lawyers in America® for his work in Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law.
- Super Lawyers, Business Bankruptcy
- Recognized by Best Lawyers
- “AV” Rated Lawyer by Martindale-Hubbell
- Outstanding Volunteer Lawyer Award by Milwaukee Young Lawyers Association, 1992
- Volunteer Lawyer of the Year Award by Milwaukee Young Lawyers Association, 1990
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Eastern District of Wisconsin Bar Association, Co-chair of Bankruptcy Committee and Board Member, 2017-Present
- Milwaukee Young Lawyers Association, Director, 1988 – 1992
- Maier McIlnay & Kerkman, Ltd., 1997 – 2001
- Quarles & Brady, Lawyer, 1991 – 1997
- Minahan & Peterson, Lawyer, 1989 – 1991
- Kravit, Waisbren & De Bruin S.C., Associate Lawyer, 1987 – 1989
- Cook & Franke, S.C., Associate Lawyer, 1984 – 1987
- Hon. C.N. Clevert, U. S. Bankruptcy Judge (now retired E.D. Wisconsin Federal district court judge), Intern, 1984
Pro Bono Activities
- MYLA/Legal Action of Wisconsin Volunteer Lawyers Project, 1989 – Present
- Interests include Downhill Skiing, Scuba Diving, and Tennis
- Delta Tau Delta