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Deborah C. Meiners

Attorney
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Education:

  • J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, University of Wisconsin Law School
  • M.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • B.A., with distinction, Phi Beta Kappa, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Admissions:

  • Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th, 8th, & 9th Circuits

Deborah has been a commercial litigator for more than a dozen years, with particular expertise in insurance coverage matters on behalf of policyholders.  Individuals and companies call on her to assist when they are involved in disputes with their insurance carriers. Deborah has established coverage in the transportation, technology, manufacturing, construction, staffing, and agriculture sectors.  She has handled issues involving myriad types of policies, including commercial general liability, commercial crime coverage, automobile liability, motor carrier coverage, property insurance, event cancellation insurance, business protection coverage, homeowners insurance, umbrella liability coverage, and title insurance.  

In addition to insurance coverage, Deborah regularly handles complex commercial disputes, employment relations matters, and litigation concerning real estate, construction, transportation, and title insurance.  She has litigated matters involving fraud and other intentional torts, professional negligence, lending disputes, lien priority, easements, commercial landlords and tenants, title defects, employment discrimination, wage and hour claims, freight claims, and independent contractor classification. She also regularly provides advice and consultation to veterinary professionals regarding recordkeeping and informed consent requirements.   

Deborah represents clients before state and federal trial and appellate courts, and in arbitration and administrative proceedings.  In all matters and for all clients, Deborah is committed to providing efficient, cost-effective legal services with attention to responsiveness, timeliness, and the production of high-quality legal work.

Affiliations

  • Dane County Bar Association
  • DeWitt Law Clerk Committee
  • Fellow – Wisconsin Law Foundation
  • Leadership Greater Madison
  • Legal Association for Women
  • Western District of Wisconsin Bar Association

Articles & Presentations

  • "A Guide for Understanding Your Insurance Policies Before You Need To Use Them"– DeWitt LLP News Update, August 2021.
  • Five Essential Best Practices for Workplace Investigations” – DeWitt Employment Law News, July 2019
  • “The Lifecycle of an Employment Relationship in Six Acts” – Presenter for the DeWitt Fall Employment Law Seminar, October 2018 
  • “So You Got a Reservation of Rights Letter, Now What? A Policyholders Perspective”–  Wisconsin Association of Corporate Counsel, May 2016, co-presenter with Megan Senatori 
  • “Objection Perplexion: Avoid Sanctions By Knowing Your Jurisdiction Before Objecting to Form in a Deposition”–  Western District of Wisconsin Bar Association Newsletter, February 2015 
  • “The Basics of Commercial General Liability Insurance Coverage and Additional Insured Status on Construction Projects”–  State Bar of Wisconsin Annual Meeting & Conference, co-presenter with Megan Senatori, June 2014 
  • “Constitutional Law” –  2014 Annual Survey of Wisconsin Law, State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE, with co-author Kevin M. Scott 
  • “Enforcing Forum Selection Clauses After Atlantic Marine” –  Western District of Wisconsin Bar Association Newsletter, March 2014 
  • “Ethical Issues Presented by e-Discovery” – presentation for the DeWitt Annual Ethics Seminar, co-presenter with Harry E. Van Camp, Fall 2013 
  • “Luddites Beware: The Model Rules Catch Up To 21st Century Practice” –  DeWitt Annual Ethics Seminar, Fall 2012 
  • “Constitutional Law” – 2012 Annual Survey of Wisconsin Law, State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE, co-author with Kevin M. Scott 
  • “2010 Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure” –  Newsletter of the Western District of Wisconsin Bar Association, March 2011 
  • “Document, Discharge, Decide: Elements of Employee Termination” –  presentation for the “You Hired Them: Now What?,” DeWitt Fall Employment Law Seminar, November 2010 
  • “Professionalization in the Chinese Legal System: Current Education and Certification of Chinese Lawyers” –  The Bar Examiner May 2007, with co-author Chen Jian

Awards & Recognitions

  • American Bar Association – Bureau of National Affairs Health Law Award
  • Up and Coming Lawyer, Wisconsin Law Journal – 2014
  • Wisconsin Rising Stars® (Business Litigation) – 2013-2019

Client Recommendations

“We selected DeWitt’s legal services to settle a real estate contract dispute that we became involved in. Attorney Meiners’ experience and expertise in the area of contract law was invaluable to the settlement of our case. She was always available to answer our questions, while guiding us patiently through the legal process. Her ability to present all of our legal options in understandable terms made the decisions we needed to make that much easier. A very sincere “Thank You” to Attorney Meiners, for all of her hard work and for making our legal experience a positive one!” – Greg and Tonya Ringler

Notable Representations

  • Obtained favorable ruling leading  to an advantageous settlement for a corporate client pursuing claims for breach of the duty to defend and bad faith against its insurer in federal court
  • Successfully obtained a ruling on behalf of a transportation technology company finding coverage for a driver the insurer sought to exclude under an automobile liability policy
  • Obtained a ruling on behalf of an agricultural company establishing a duty to defend under a commercial general liability policy in construction litigation arising from deficient concrete work
  • Secured policy limits under a commercial crime policy for a family-owned business that suffered losses as a result of employee theft
  • Assisted a large corporation in navigating policy requirements under a crime coverage form for losses resulting from a forgery of vendor documents
  • Assisted a non-profit organization in navigating claims requirements under an event cancellation insurance policy to recover losses suffered from the cancellation of a conference due to COVID-19
  • Working with a shareholder, successfully obtained a ruling on behalf of an individual client finding coverage under both a homeowners insurance policy and an umbrella policy

Notable Litigation Matters 

  • Represented individual sellers of real estate in lawsuit to recover tens of thousands of dollars in earnest money after the sale failed to close
  • Represented contractor in trial resulting in judgment in excess of $570,000 against homeowner who breached a construction agreement and failed to pay
  • Primary author of briefing on behalf of a commercial tenant to obtain a ruling finding that the landlord had wrongfully failed to honor an extension of the commercial lease
  • Primary author of briefing before the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit to secure a decision allowing an individual to pursue fraud claims in Wisconsin against a real estate developer who failed to complete a condominium development in Mexico
  • Working with a shareholder, defended a small business and business-owner in a lawsuit against a former employee concerning the employee’s alleged ownership interest in the company
  • Negotiated a favorable distribution and license agreement between a therapeutic services corporation and a supplier, successfully avoiding costly trademark and trade secrets litigation in the process