Matthew J. Flynn, Retired Partner


Matt Flynn was considered one of Wisconsin's foremost litigators. He handled highly complex and often highly controversial matters. His extensive experience includes:

  • Defended individuals and corporations who are the subjects of Securities and Exchange Commission proceedings and investigations.
  • Represented defendants in class action securities cases.
  • Represented news organizations in cases involving libel, invasion of privacy, and newsgathering torts.
  • Complex commercial litigation.
  • Advised clients on internal investigations.

Representative Cases:

Complex Commercial Litigation:

  • Johnson Controls, Inc. v. Employers Insurance of Wausau, 264 Wis.2d 60, 665 N.W.2d 257 (July 11, 2003). Mr. Flynn successfully represented Johnson Controls when it sued its comprehensive general liability insurers to recover costs incurred for environmental cleanup of contaminated sites.
  • Lorraine Wilson, et al. v. ATM Enterprises, Inc. d/b/a First American Rental Center, Case No. 98-CV-005945. Mr. Flynn successfully represented ATM Enterprises, Inc. in settlement of this class action, in which the plaintiff class alleged that the defendant violated the Wisconsin Consumer Act and other Wisconsin laws protecting consumer interests.
  • Trickle, et al. v. Air Products and Chemicals, et al., Case No. 95-CV-3758. Mr. Flynn represented Air Products and Chemicals in a class action alleging that defendant supplied welding products containing manganese and other metallic substances used at sites where the plaintiff class was exposed to welding emissions containing manganese and other metallic substances. Mr. Flynn's motion to dismiss, granted by the Court, dismissed Mr. Flynn's client with prejudice.
  • Pritzlaff v. Archdiocese of Milwaukee, 194 Wis.2d 301, 533 N.W.2d 780 (June 27, 1995). In this highly emotional and controversial case, Mr. Flynn successfully defended the Archdiocese of Milwaukee against sexual abuse claims brought by a victim 30 years after the alleged incidents.
  • John BBB Doe v. Archdiocese of Milwaukee, 211 Wis.2d 312, 565 N.W.2d 94 (June 27, 1997). Seven alleged victims claiming that while they were minors, they had been sexually abused by priests, brought damage actions against diocese, churches, and priests. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Mr. Flynn's client, the Archdiocese.
  • Annunzio C. Ferraro v. Hyatt Corporation, 124 Wis.2d 154, 368 N.W.2d 666 (June 5, 1985). A former hotel employee brought a wrongful discharge action against Mr. Flynn's client, Hyatt Corporation. The Supreme Court held that an employee handbook may convert an employment-at-will relationship into one that can be terminated only by adherence to contractual terms in the handbook. However, the Court ruled in favor of Mr. Flynn's client on factual grounds.

Securities Litigation:

  • Joseph White, et al. v. Heartland High-Yield Municipal Bond Fund, et al., Consolidated Case No. 00-C-1388. Mr. Flynn successfully represented Heartland Group, Inc. in a class action by investors in several Heartland funds.
  • In re Van Wagoner Funds, Inc. Securities Litigation, Master File No. C-02-03383 JSW – Consolidated.
  • Mr. Flynn has successfully represented UMB/Sunstone, one of the defendants and the administrator of the Van Wagoner Funds, in a class action brought by disgruntled investors.
  • Decade's Monthly Income and Appreciation Fund v. W&H, 173 Wis.2d 665, 495 N.W.2d 335 (February 18, 1993). Mr. Flynn successfully represented the limited partnership in the malpractice case brought against a law firm and its legal malpractice insurer.
  • Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation v. Robert W. Quinn and Daniel J. Gannon, 922 F.2d 1251 (January 7, 1991). In an action by FSLIC, Mr. Flynn successfully represented an officer of a failed thrift who was recruited by FSLIC to prepare the thrift for acquisition.


  • United States of America v. Anthony J. Peters Appeal of Hearst Corporation and Newspapers, Inc., 754 F.2d 753 (February 8, 1985). Mr. Flynn successfully represented the Hearst Corporation's WISN-TV affiliate in a case involving the exclusion of the public and the media from voir dire of prospective jurors in a criminal case, and the exclusion of a reporter from access to admitted exhibits during the pendency of the trial.
  • Bay View Packing Company vs. Jerry Taff, 198 Wis. 2d 653, 543 N.W. 2d 522 (Ct. App. 1995). Mr. Flynn successfully represented an affiliate of the Hearst Corporation, WISN-TV, in a libel case in which the court ruled that the plaintiff was a limited-purpose public figure.

Education and Honors

  • University of Wisconsin Law School (J.D., 1975)
    • Order of the Coif (Member)
    • Wisconsin Law Review (Editor in Chief, 1974–1975)
  • Yale University (B.A., 1969)

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • Wisconsin Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin

Professional and Civic Activities

  • Law clerk to the Hon. Thomas E. Fairchild, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, 1975–1976
  • Milwaukee Bar Association (Member)
  • American Bar Association (Member)
  • State Bar of Wisconsin (Member)
  • Navy veteran
  • Has appeared in numerous other state and federal courts including Illinois, California, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Ohio

Professional Recognition

  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® (2010–present: Commercial Litigation)
  • "Wisconsin Lawyer of the Year," Wisconsin Law Journal
  • Selected for inclusion in the 2005–2016 Wisconsin Super Lawyers® lists (General Litigation)
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Peer Review Rated


  • Spanish
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