Tim O’Brien is a trial lawyer. He represents individuals accused of serious crimes such as homicide, drug offenses and sexual assault. His civil trial practice concentrates on helping persons injured in motor vehicle accidents and disputes arising between businesses or their owners. He has also tried cases in state and federal court on matters ranging from operating while intoxicated allegations to employment claims to copyright and trademark disputes. Tim is certified as a trial specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, and has consistently been recognized as among the top 5% of litigators in Wisconsin by Super Lawyers, an independent ranking updated annually by Thomson Reuters. His AVVO rating is “superb.” He is also a trained mediator, providing out-of-court dispute resolution services to individuals and attorneys.
Tim has held many leadership positions with the State Bar of Wisconsin. He has been the chairperson of the Litigation Section and is a member of the Leadership Development Committee. He has previously served on the Executive Committee and the Board of Governors, and as President of the Young Lawyers Division. The Wisconsin Law Foundation has elected him as a Fellow, a distinction earned by less than 2.5% of Wisconsin lawyers. Tim is an active member of the Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys and the Wisconsin Association for Justice. He served as President of the St. Croix Valley Bar Association. For six years, he chaired the 10th District Self-Represented Litigant’s Initiative. In 2003, he was named the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Pro Bono Attorney of the Year.
Tim is also active in his community. He is a Past-President of the New Richmond Area Chamber of Commerce and is currently Chair of the New Richmond Community Foundation. In 2008, he was named the New Richmond Area Citizen of the Year.
- Certified Civil Pretrial and Trial Specialist, National Board of Trial Advocacy
- Wisconsin Super Lawyers
- AVVO Rating: 10 – “Superb”
- New Richmond Area Citizen of the Year (2008)
- Chair, Litigation Section of the State Bar of Wisconsin
- Pro Bono Attorney of the Year, State Bar of Wisconsin (2003)
- President, New Richmond Area Chamber of Commerce
- President, Young Lawyers Division, State Bar of Wisconsin
- President, St. Croix Valley Bar Association
- Chair, New Richmond Area Community Foundation
- Fellow, Wisconsin Law Foundation
- Argued before the Wisconsin Supreme Court that the Election of Remedies Doctrine did not bar a second lawsuit for damages against a person who had first sued our client and lost. The Supreme Court reinstated the $774,000 judgment for our client. Wickenhauser v. Lehtinen, 2007 WI 82.
- Together with other Bakke Norman attorneys, represented a bankruptcy estate on behalf of shareholders who claimed insiders had committed fraud and stolen the ideas and product of a start-up company. The three-week trial resulted in a favorable total verdict of more than $11 million. Bankruptcy Estate of KDC v. Kraklow, Eau Claire County Case No. 2004 CV 742.
- Provided representation to village board during investigation of police corruption, leading to termination or resignation of police chief and other officers involved in wrongdoing. Has also counseled police review boards on disciplinary matters and hearings and represented police officers facing shooting and other work-related investigations.
- Successfully defended woman charged with shooting her husband; charges dismissed before trial.
- Together with Pete Reinhardt, obtained federal court jury verdict finding willful infringement of our client’s copyrighted work by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, the authors of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Overton v. Health Communications, Inc., Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, LLC, John T. Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin, Case No. 10 CV 701.
- Recent not guilty verdicts in St. Croix, Polk and Eau Claire Counties on felony and misdemeanor cases involving charges of Attempted Battery to a Police Officer, Sexual Assault, False Imprisonment, Failure to Comply with Officer’s Attempt to Take Person into Custody, Disorderly Conduct and Obstructing a Police Officer.
- Recent verdicts awarding damages to plaintiffs in Eau Claire and Vernon Counties on slip and fall and automobile accident cases.
News and Publications
- Lecturer, “Defining Implements of Husbandry and Farm Vehicles: Now That’s Clear as Manure” Breakfast with Bakke Norman.
- Presenter, “Becoming a Successful Leader” State Bar of Wisconsin Young Lawyers Division Leadership Seminar
- Moderator, “How to Impress or Annoy a Judge” State Bar of Wisconsin Litigation Institute.
- Lecturer, “Capturing the Flag: Finding the Glory in Your OWI Trial” Wisconsin State Public Defenders.
- Lecturer, “Knowing and Using Local Court Rules” State Bar of Wisconsin Annual Convention.
- Lecturer, “Murder, Madness and Mayhem: Defending the Impossible Case” Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
- Lecturer, “Judges and Lawyers Take Off the Gloves” State Bar of Wisconsin Annual Convention.
- Lecturer, “Winning through Effective Legal Negotiations” State Bar of Wisconsin Young Lawyers Division.
- Lecturer, “How to Find Out What Your Clients Really Think of You” State Bar of Wisconsin Young Lawyers Division.
- Lecturer, “Effective Client Interview Skills” State Bar of Wisconsin Seminar.
- University of Wisconsin Law School, JD, 1988
- University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, BA, Political Science, 1985
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