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Shawn M. Govern

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  • J.D., Marquette University Law School
  • B.S., Saint John’s University


  • Wisconsin

Shawn practices with a unique perspective and eye towards the most favorable outcome. His career spans more than 20 years in business law, real estate law, transactional matters and a variety of litigation. As a proponent of closely held businesses, Shawn seeks to assist family business owners with their day to day legal needs, as well as the family’s individual legal needs. His litigation experience includes trying cases in Federal, State, Trial and the Appellate Courts.

Shawn represents family owned businesses, banks, privately and publicly held entities as well as financial institutions, car dealerships and more. Some of his clients include:

  • Celtic Bank
  • Rosen Nissan, Inc.
  • Milwaukee Boiler
  • CHI Towing
  • The Sportsman Channel, Inc.
  • Rocky Trail Productions
  • Kinateder Masonry
  • Air Engineering, Inc.
  • Northwoods Software Development
  • Graphics Communication, Inc.


  • Board Member for Wisconsin Singer Songwriters Series
  • Committee Member - Archdiocese of Milwaukee Finance and Facilities Work Group on Urban Parishes
  • Current Co-Chair Representative of DeWitt to the Lexwork, Real Estate Practice Group
  • Current Board of Director - Revitalize Milwaukee
  • Current, Chair of the Legal Action Comm. – Wisconsin Realtors Association
  • Current Arbitration and Ethics Panelist and Chairperson for Arbitration and Ethics Hearings for the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors
  • Current Board of Director - St. John's University Alumni Association
    • Officer for St. John's Wisconsin Alumni Chapter
  • Former School Board Member - Northwest Catholic Schools
  • Director - Board of Directors Wisconsin Realtors Association (WRA)
    • Member - Legal Action Committee
    • Former Vice President and Executive Committee Member
    • Former Member - Public Policy Subcommittee
  • National Realtors Association
  • Member - American Bar Association
  • Member - Commercial Realtors Association of Wisconsin
  • Board of Directors - Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors
    • Panelist presiding over Ethics and Arbitration Hearings before the GMAR 
    • Committee Member - Political Action Committee
    • Public Policy Committee
  • Member - Milwaukee Bar Associations
  • Member - National Realtors Association
  • Member - Wisconsin Realtors Association
  • Milwaukee Bar Association
  • National Turnaround Management Association
  • Past Vice-President and Executive Comm. member of the Wisconsin Realtors Association
  • Past Board of Director, Wisconsin Realtors Association
  • Past Comm member, Legislative Initiative Comm – Wisconsin Realtors Association
  • Past Lecturer - Archdiocese of Milwaukee Seminary on Civil Law Topics in Parish Administration
  • Past President of Board of Governors - Sir Thomas More Lawyers Society of Wisconsin
    • Current Board Member
  • Wisconsin Bar Association

Articles & Presentations

  • "Did Your Business Retain Employees During the COVID-19 Pandemic? The Deadline to Apply for the ERC is Approaching Soon!" – DeWitt Labor & Employment News, July 2023
  • "Financial Institutions Will Begin Accepting Loan Applications on 4.3.2020 - CARES Act Resources and Practical Advice for Small Businesses and Nonprofits" – DeWitt LLP News Feed, April 2020
  • "How Does COVID-19 Affect the Real Estate Market?" – DeWitt LLP COVID-19 News Feed, March 2020
  • Author of chapter 71 on Replevin in Wisconsin Practice Series, Methods of Practice, West Publishing
  • Author of chapter 5 on Buying and Selling a Business in The Wisconsin Business Advisor: Securities, Mergers, and Acquisitions, by the State Bar of Wisconsin
  • Author of chapter on due diligence in the acquisition and sale of a charitable, not for profit business, for the State Bar Series on Non-Profit Organizations, State Bar of Wisconsin
  • Frequent lecturer on real estate, litigation and business topics throughout the State of Wisconsin

Awards & Recognitions

  • 2022 Top 50 Lawyers In America List

Notable Representations

Clients appreciate Shawn’s understanding of their legal objectives because he strives to provide responsive, affordable representation. Below is a snapshot of representative matters. 

  • Preparation of various business agreements related to the acquisition and operation of businesses, including business sales, franchises and distributorships
  • Transactional documents related to the sale of commercial, industrial and residential properties; bank loan documentation
  • The preparation of leases, easements, construction agreements and other documents associated with the ownership of real estate
  • Litigation of an extensive variety of civil matters ranging from insurance disputes, personal injury, probate matters, commercial transactions, creditors rights, collections, foreclosures, replevins and business litigation
  • Dussault v. Chrysler Corp., 229 Wis. 2d 296, 600 N.W.2d 6 (Wis. App. 1999)
  • In re Estate of Fredericks, 319 Wis. 2d 232, 769 N.W.2d 572 (Unpublished 2009)
  • PHH Mortg. Corp v. Kolodziej, 2011 WL 831175 (Wis. App. 2011)

Service Area Subspecialties

  • Trusts & Estates
    • Estate Planning
    • Probate
    • Trust Administration