Teamwork Wins the Day for Real Estate Developer

Issue: Challenge to a real estate development Action: Jury trial Outcome: Winning verdict for the developer A recent real estate case called on the collective expertise of the Nowlan team. Real estate attorney Fred Wesner represented BLM, a local commercial developer, as it sought to develop a parcel as part of a larger project. The owner of a neighboring commercial parcel, however, objected to the granting of a conditional use permit for BLM’s project. When he attempted to appeal to the Janesville Board of Zoning Appeals, Wesner brought the matter to commercial and municipal litigation attorney Dave Moore. Moore represented BLM before the Zoning Board of Appeals, which upheld the grant of the permit. But the neighbor didn’t stop there. He filed an action in Rock County Circuit Court, challenging the City’s right to approve the project as proposed. Ultimately, the matter went to a jury trial. Moore tried the case for BLM. BLM won. Later, the client decided to change the project in a manner that required additional communications and negotiations. Working together, Moore and Wesner carefully …

Nowlan Earns the Trust and Confidence of a Family Business

Nowlan Earns the Trust and Confidence of a Family Business

Issue: Requirement for complex business succession plan Action: Learn about family business and family dynamics to develop business succession plan Outcome: Execute a successful business succession plan and provide ongoing legal counsel Bjoin Limestone, Inc., is a longstanding family business that placed its trust and confidence in one attorney for decades. When that attorney retired, the family was left with a large void on their business team. Even worse, the retirement occurred immediately prior to the family’s decision to engage in a sizable and complex business succession. Relying upon a referral, the Bjoin family contacted Attorney Timothy Lindau to guide them through their business succession plan and to serve as their corporate attorney. During their initial consultations, the family became confident that Attorney Lindau, together with his partners and the staff of Nowlan, could handle all of their legal needs. In addition, they knew that Attorney Lindau shared their objectives and goals and that he would be invested in the success of their business. Attorney Lindau successfully guided the family through the business succession plan, which involved many …

Protect First Amendment Rights, Prevent Public Relations Nightmare

Issue: Bible-ripping incident Action: Preemptive opinion letter Outcome: Lawsuit prevented A speech given by a local high school student in an English class became a source of national news. The teacher asked students to select a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, and describe how the quote related to the student personally while using a visual aid. In this case, the student used his speech to attack religious faith in general, and the Bible in particular. His visual aid was a Bible, which he proceeded to rip up, while he referred to other students in the class as “a bunch of superstitious, simple-minded ignoramuses.” Other students in the class were understandably upset, and complaints were made to the administrative staff of the School District of Janesville.  The story hit the front page of the Janesville Gazette, and was picked up by blogs and news media in other parts of the United States. School District lead attorney David Moore of Nowlan was contacted shortly after the incident occurred. Administration discussed with Moore the legal repercussions of the incident, which raised …

Legal Heavy Lifting Recovers $1.6 Million Settlement

Legal Heavy Lifting Recovers $1.6 Million Settlement

Issue: Road damage from pipeline trucks Action: Court enforcement of town’s rights Outcome: $1.6 million settlement In the fall of 2007 and spring of 2008, a large pipeline company began hauling materials over the roads of two towns in connection with the construction of a stretch of pipeline through Rock County. Town residents and officials noticed extensive damage as a result of the unusually heavy loads being carried by the trucks. The towns approached municipal attorney Dave Moore, in search of a solution to safeguard their interests under the law which allows them to regulate use of municipal roads when necessary to prevent injury to such roads, while cooperating with the pipeline company’s efforts. Attorney Moore drafted agreements for the towns, under which the pipeline company agreed to pay the cost of all temporary repairs and a negotiated percentage of the cost for permanent repairs to the affected portions of the towns’ roads. The agreements also required the pipeline company to pay for the cost of enforcing the agreements, including the towns’ attorney’s fees. As completion of the …

Visionary Coffee Shop Becomes One of Janesville’s Favorite Meeting Places

Visionary Coffee Shop Becomes One of Janesville's Favorite Meeting Places

Issue: Develop an unconventional coffee shop Action: Successfully resolve city concerns Outcome: A beloved Janesville institution is born Steve and Kathy Dean had a vision. A minister for 30 years, Steve wanted to build a coffee shop that he and his family would own and operate. He and Kathy imagined a community gathering place, where people of all kinds would come together to have coffee, break bread, and build community bonds. The Deans had never owned a business, and didn’t know where to start. A local banker referred them to Fred Wesner of Nowlan. Fred helped Steve and Kathy work their way through the process of purchasing the right piece of land and obtaining all the necessary government approvals. It wasn’t easy. City planning staff was initially opposed to permitting the Deans’ unconventional plan, beginning with the configuration of the lot and the proposed building. The land would need re-zoning. In addition, the Deans would require an easement across City land, and also City agreement to place the building at the back of the lot, instead of the …