Jerome R. Kerkman

Top rated Bankruptcy attorney in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Kerkman & Dunn
Jerome R. Kerkman
Kerkman & Dunn

Practice Areas: Bankruptcy, Business Litigation, Business & Corporate; view more

Licensed in Wisconsin since: 1984

Education: University of Wisconsin Law School

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2020 - 2024

Kerkman & Dunn

839 North Jefferson Street
Suite 400
Milwaukee, WI 53202-3645 Visit website


Jerome R. Kerkman is one of the founding partners at Kerkman & Dunn. As a shareholder and attorney, he handles business litigation cases on behalf of the firm. When serving his clients in the Greater Milwaukee area, he handles bankruptcy litigation, creditors rights, copyright infringement, mergers and acquisitions, trade secrets, unfair competition and business contracts.

In 2022, he became a subchapter V trustee with the Department of Justice for all federal courts in Wisconsin and the Northern District of Illinois, Western Division.  

Mr. Kerkman began his academic career with a love for music. In fact, this was his major when he graduated from Lawrence University. He then went on to complete his law degree in 1984 and graduated cum laude. Since then, he has published articles on the U.S. Trustee System and debt collection. His bar admissions include Wisconsin state courts, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin and the U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit.

Not surprisingly, Mr. Kerkman has experienced great success in his legal career. In 2021, The Best Lawyers in America featured him because of his work in bankruptcy and insolvency. He has also received the Volunteer Lawyer of the Year Award by Milwaukee Young Lawyers Association from 1990 to the present. Similarly, he has received the Outstanding Volunteer Lawyer Award by Milwaukee Young Lawyers Association from 1992 to the present.

Outside of work, he is heavily involved in providing pro bono services to his community. He has been part of the MYLA/Legal Action of Wisconsin Volunteer Lawyers Project since 1989. Mr. Kerkman also enjoys scuba diving, skiing and tennis.

Practice areas

Bankruptcy: Business, Business Litigation, Business/Corporate, Mergers & Acquisitions, Creditor Debtor Rights: Consumer

Focus areas

Bankruptcy Law, Non-Compete Agreements, Trade Secret

  • 60% Bankruptcy: Business
  • 20% Business Litigation
  • 10% Business/Corporate
  • 10% Mergers & Acquisitions
  • 0% Creditor Debtor Rights: Consumer

First Admitted: 1984, Wisconsin

Professional Webpage:

Other Outstanding Achievements:
  • Recognized by U.S. News as one of the Best Law Firms and Lawyers in America for Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law
  • Outstanding Volunteer Lawyer awarded by the Milwaukee Young Lawyers Association, 1992
  • Recognized by U.S. News as one of the Best Law Firms and Lawyers in America for Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law, 2020
  • Volunteer Lawyer of the Year awarded by the Milwaukee Young Lawyers Association, 1990
  • Rated "AV" by Martindale-Hubbell, 2011
Pro bono/Community Service:
  • MYLA/Legal Action of Wisconsin Volunteer Lawyers Project, 1989 – Present
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • Milwaukee Young Lawyers Association, Director, 1988 – 1992
  • Title IV Disciplinary Board Member for the Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee
  • Eastern District of Wisconsin Bar Association, Co-chair of Bankruptcy Committee and Board Member, 2017-2022, board member, Vice President 2023-24.
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 1986
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Wisconsin, 1984
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Wisconsin, 1984
  • Wisconsin, 1984
  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2021
  • Volunteer Lawyer of the Year Award, Milwaukee Young Lawyers Association, 1990
  • Outstanding Volunteer Lawyer Award, Milwaukee Young Lawyers Association, 1992
  • “AV” Rated Lawyer, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Recognized, Best Lawyers
  • Business Bankruptcy, Super Lawyers
Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • Fundamentals of Bankruptcy Law and Procedure, 2001 – 2019
  • Presented on Subchapter V Chapter 11 cases. , Speaker, Annual Debtor-Creditor Bankruptcy Update - Eastern District [of Wisconsin], 2023
  • Wrote an article on solvency issues facing higher education cases. , Author, Unique Issues in University Cases, American Bankruptcy Law Journal, 2023
  • Wisconsin State Bar, Annual Update Speaker, 2014
  • 21st Annual Central States Workshop, ABI, Speaker, 2014
  • The Interface Between Intellectual Licenses and the Bankruptcy Code, Wisconsin Intellectual Property Association, 1992
  • Speaker at State Bar meeting for bankruptcy lawyers., Speaker, Intellectual Property and Executory Contracts, Creditors' Rights Section, Wis. State Bar, 2013
  • Collecting the Uncollectable Debt: The Underutilized Involuntary Petition, 10 The Milwaukee Lawyer 4, 1987
  • Prepared materials and was speaker on ways to streamline chapter 11 cases, 2015, 2016, 2019, Speaker, Chapter 11 - Streamlined, Wisconsin State Bar Bankruptcy Insolvency and Creditors Right Meeting, Bankruptcy Lawyers
  • Spoke at regional bankruptcy meeting of bankruptcy lawyers., Speaker, Financing the Turnaround and Plan, American Bankruptcy Institute -Central States Bankruptcy Workshop, 2014
  • Speaker at Statewide bankruptcy meeting for State Bar of Wisconsin., Speaker, Individual Chapter 11 Cases, Bankruptcy Section of State Bar of Wis., 2014
  • One of 8 lawyers in total to speak at 7th Circuit Bar Association meeting, 2015, 2014, Speaker, Bankruptcy Appeals: New Rules and Strategic Considerations, 7th Circuit Bar Association
  • Speaker at annual statewide meeting of bankruptcy lawyers, Speaker, Bankruptcy Appeals, Bankruptcy section of State Bar of Wisconsin, 2016
  • Speaker, Speaker, Bankruptcy, Lorman Education Services, 2010
  • 2001 – 2019, Speaker, Covenants Not to Compete, Lorman Educational Services
  • Speaker, Understanding Bankruptcy Law, Lorman Educational Services, 2005, 2006
  • Speaker, Fundamentals of Bankruptcy, Lorman Educational Services, 2004
  • Speaker, Bankruptcy Update in Wisconsin, Lorman Educational Services, 2002
  • 1999, 2014, Speaker, Annual Bankruptcy Update, State Bar of Wisconsin
  • Speaker, Bankruptcy Law and Procedure, National Business Institute, 2006
  • Speaker, Fundamentals of Bankruptcy, National Business Institute, 2001
  • Author, The Debtor in Full Control: A Case Study for Adoption of the U.S. Trustee System, Marquette Law Review, 1987
Verdicts/Settlements (Case Results):
  • The Bostwick-Braun Company v. Owens, 634 F. Supp. 839 (E.D. Wis. 1986)
  • Cardinal Stritch University. Represented University in its closing and wind down of its affairs. , 2023
  • Great Western Publishing, Inc. v. A.T. Mallad Enterprises, Inc.
  • E-L Enterprises, Inc. v. Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District, 326 Wis.2d 82 (2010)
  • In re POC Properties, LLC, 580 B.R. 504 (Bankr. E.D. Wis. 2017)
  • Creditors of Great Lakes Quick Lube LP v. Theisen, 2018 Wis. App 70
  • In re Gialemas, 606 B.R. 798 (Bankr. W.D. Wis. 2019)
  • Federal Nat. Association v. Bruckner 489 B.R. 93 (E.D. Wis. 2012)
  • Matter of All-Way Services, Inc., 73 B.R. 556 (Bankr. E.D. Wis. 1987)
  • 7th Circuit decision interpreting meaning of "transfer" for bankruptcy avoidance purposes; first case at circuit level on issue, 2016
  • The Bostwick-Braun Company v. Szews, 645 F. Supp. 221 (W.D. Wis. 1986)
  • In re National Structures, Inc., 74 B.R. 986 (Bankr. E.D. Wis. 1987)
  • Matter of Adventist Living Centers, Inc., 52 F.3d 159 (C.A.7 1995)
  • Giotis v. Apollo of the Ozarks, Inc., 800 F.2d 660 (C.A.7 1986)
  • Bankruptcy court decision in the W.D. Wisconsin that State court order did not create an enforceable lien against debtor's membership interest in limited liability company., 2019
  • Wisconsin Court of Appeals decision addressing statute of limitations for fraudulent transfers from the discovery of the transfer. , 2018
  • 7th Circuit decision upholding $1.5 million award in favor of client against the State of Kentucky. The Supreme Court denied the petition for cert., 2015
  • Settlement of 30+ personal injury claims for over $100 million for less than $4 million in chapter 11 case filed due to product recall, 2014
  • See CV for additional listings. In re Bulk Petroleum Corp., 2011 WL 1048198 (Bankr. E.D. Wis. 2011) (settlement agreement for plan of reorganization terms upheld) E-L Enterprises, Inc. v. Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage Dist., 326 Wis. 2d 82 (2010) (government taking of groundwater) In re Muth Mirror Systems, LLC, 379 B.R. 805 (Bankr. E.D. Wis. 2007) (breach of contract leading to $2.5 million judgment) Anderson v. Wisconsin Cent. Transp. Co., 327 F.Supp. 2d 969 (E.D. Wis. 2004) (Federal law did not pre-empt certain tort claims)  , 1984
Educational Background:
  • Lawrence University; Appleton, Wisconsin, B.A. in Music, 1979

Office location for Jerome R. Kerkman

839 North Jefferson Street
Suite 400
Milwaukee, WI 53202-3645

Phone: 414-277-8200


5 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2020 - 2024

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