Michael Huitink

Email:  mhuitink@sbrlaw.us

Direct:  262-333-8324

Courtroom success is the measure of an effective litigator.   Mike brings a more than twenty-year track record of courtroom successes in complex civil, business, and employment litigation.  As the head of SBR’s litigation group, Mike has a nearly unmatched amount of trial, arbitration, and alternative dispute resolution experience, including years of experience at some of the largest law firms in Wisconsin and Michigan, and including “bet the company” and “bet the career” noncompete, commercial, trade secret, and employment litigation.   At SBR, Mike is able to offer his experience and courtroom skills in a cost-effective manner to meet his clients’ needs.

Mike’s record of courtroom success is recent and ongoing.  In 2021 alone, Mike has:

  • Won a three-day jury trial involving loan and unjust enrichment issues in Wisconsin Circuit Court (July, 2021).
  • Successfully stayed a commercial lawsuit to enforce a commercial subordination agreement from a multi-million-dollar business purchase transaction in Minnesota state court, in favor of his client’s ongoing litigation of related claims regarding the transaction in Wisconsin (July, 2021).
  • Obtained a preliminary (temporary) injunction in Wisconsin Circuit Court to halt an attempted board and management takeover of a medical technology company (June, 2021).
  • Dissolved a previously issued injunction and won a complete dismissal of noncompetition and confidential information claims brought by a technology buy-back company under Wisconsin’s unique restrictive covenant statutes (May, 2021).
  • Won a motion to dismiss professional negligence claims against a local architectural firm in a commercial lawsuit alleging approximately $5 million in damages (May, 2021).
  • Won judgment on the pleadings dismissing an alleged multi-million commission claim by a business broker regarding a potential sale of a large manufacturing business with over $20 million in annual revenue (March, 2021).
  • Won a dismissal of noncompete, trade secrets, and related competition claims brought by an insurance and financial services corporation against a former employee under Wisconsin’s restrictive covenant statute and related competition law, preserving a new business enterprise’s survival and ability to compete in the industry (February, 2021).
  • Defeated an injunction request arising from a multi-million-dollar sale of business transaction and non-competition agreements signed therein, to preserve the business of one of the largest, private COVID-19 testing and vaccination companies in Wisconsin (January, 2021).

These 2021 successes follow on Mike’s more than twenty-year track record of litigation successes in complex commercial, competitive, and employment litigation for clients ranging from large corporations to individuals attempting to preserve their businesses and livelihoods, including:

  • Winning a $12.6 million federal jury verdict in a commercial dispute on behalf of one of Wisconsin’s largest companies against a former sales agent and his company, and an affirmance by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals of the verdict.
  • Defeating on summary judgment a more than $40 million claim alleging trade secret misappropriation and violation of a noncompete agreement relating to a client’s services to a Fortune 50 company.
  • Defeating a $3.5 million trade secrets and confidentiality claim in a federal jury trial on behalf of a Wisconsin manufacturing company accused of copying a competitor’s manufacturing process.
  • Defeating a federal court injunction request brought under the then-newly enacted federal Defend Trade Secrets Act and Wisconsin’s Uniform Trade Secrets Act in a lawsuit brought against a technological company by a competitor.
  • Obtaining, as co-counsel in a trademark case, a temporary restraining order requiring a client’s competitor to cease sales and remove product from store shelves.
  • Winning a high-profile jury verdict absolving a university from liability and damages relating to a claimed environmental impact on neighboring properties on Lake Michigan and over $1 million in damages.
  • Serving as co-lead counsel in a seminal non-compete case decided by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which allows employers to give continued employment as consideration for the noncompete.
  • Obtaining a judgment in favor of a manufacturing representative which included a 200% exemplary damages award under Wisconsin’s independent sales representative statute.

Mike has argued cases before the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit.

With a track record of courtroom success, Mike and the SBR litigation team avoid a frequent pitfall for clients in civil litigation – lawyers who run up excessive legal bills during years of discovery and delays, only to later cave to unproductive settlements because they are “afraid to try a case.”  No litigator can guarantee success in a lawsuit, but Mike and the SBR litigation team position their clients for success by impressing upon opponents that they will not hesitate to try a case in their clients’ best interests.

Mike has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America (2012-2021).  He has lectured at seminars for the State Bar of Wisconsin and other organizations on commercial, noncompete, and related litigation topics.  He is also active in his communities, and spends time as an assistant high school baseball coach, a lawyer-mentor in Wauwatosa West High School’s nationally-competitive “We the People” constitutional law program, and as a member of the Education Foundation of Wauwatosa.

Education

  • Central College, 1996 (B.A., Criminal Justice, summa cum laude)
  • Georgetown University Law School, 1999 (J.D., cum laude)

Admissions & Activities

  • State Bar of Wisconsin
  • State Bar of Michigan
  • United States District Court, Eastern & Western Districts of Wisconsin, Eastern & Western Districts of Michigan, and numerous other federal courts.
  • Milwaukee Bar Association
  • Best Lawyers in America, 2012-2021