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Randal J. Brotherhood

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Business & Corporate Attorney in Milwaukee, WI

Meissner Tierney Fisher & Nichols S.C.
111 East Kilbourn Avenue, 19th Floor
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Phone: 414-273-1300
Fax: 414-273-5840
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2011 - 2021
Licensed in Wisconsin Since: 1981
Practice Areas: Business/Corporate (50%), Nonprofit Organizations (30%), Intellectual Property (20%)
Attorney Profile

Randal J. Brotherhood is a shareholder in the law firm of Meissner Tierney Fisher & Nichols S.C. and a member of the firm's Board of Directors and Executive Committee.  His primary practice areas include corporate and business organizations and governance, trade associations and non-profit tax exempt organizations and foundations, intellectual property matters (including technology licensing and trademark and copyright registrations), securities regulation (including securities offerings and matters relating to registered investment advisers) and acquisition transactions. Mr. Brotherhood is a frequent lecturer and author on a variety of business-related legal topics.  His bar leadership activities include the following: Board of Directors of the Business Law Section of the State Bar of Wisconsin (Secretary-Treasurer; Chair, Committee on Business Corporations); member, State Bar of Wisconsin Real Estate and Business Law Institute; organizing and planning group, 2011-12; State Bar of Wisconsin Securities Law Committee; ABA Committee on Legal Opinions; ABA Section of Business Law Committee on Venture Capital and Private Equity; ABA Committee on Fund Formation; ABA Subcommittee on Prototype Limited Liability Company Fund Agreements;  ABA Section of Business Law Subcommittee on Governmental Regulation; ABA Subcommittee on Nonprofit Governance; ABA Subcommittee on the Model Nonprofit Corporation Act; ABA Subcommittee on Current Developments in Nonprofit Corporation Law; ABA Subcommittee on Trade Associations; ABA Section of Intellectual Property Law Committee on Federal Trademark Legislation; and the State Bar of Wisconsin's Securities Law Committee.   In February, 2014, Mr. Brotherhood was selected as a "Leader in the Law" by the Wisconsin Law Journal.  He is a member of the American, Wisconsin and Milwaukee Bar Associations.   Mr. Brotherhood has chaired and served on the governing boards of numerous civic, charitable and non-profit organizations, both locally and nationally.

White Papers

  • Updating Force Majeure Clauses in Conference and Meeting Agreements in Light of Coronavirus (2020) - The COVID-19 pandemic and related governmental shutdown and travel restriction orders have seriously disrupted the way many commercial enterprises operate. Nowhere has such disruption been more pronounced than for nonprofit member-based organizations with contracts pertaining to the holding of member conferences and meetings, some entered into several years beforehand, when, due to pandemic-related developments, it is not possible or practicable to hold such conference or meeting.
  • Attorney Randy Brotherhood's Article, “The EU’s New General Data Protection Regulation: Implications for U.S. Businesses” Published by The State Bar of Wisconsin (2018) - The EU’s new data privacy law, the General Data Protection Regulation, represents far-reaching changes that make it one of the strictest in the world. Randal Brotherhood discusses this new law and why U.S. businesses need to pay attention to it.
  • Steps to Protect Your Business From Trademark Infringement (2018) - The elements for a successful trademark infringement claim have been well established under both federal and state law. Overall, an aggrieved trademark owner—let’s call him the “senior trademark owner”—must show that the use of its trademark by another business has created a likelihood-of-confusion about the origin of the senior trademark owner's products. To do this, the senior trademark owner must first show that it has developed a protectable right in its mark and that it began using it in commerce first. It must then show that the junior party's trademark is likely to cause confusion, mistake or deception by erroneously creating the impression that junior party's products are those of the party owning the senior mark.
  • The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016: A New Federal Civil Cause of Action for Trade Secret Theft (2016) - The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016, which establishes a new federal civil cause of action for trade secret theft, represents one of the most significant events in trade secret reform in years. This new law toughens and modernizes trade secret law in numerous respects, and provides an additional tool for businesses and their legal counsel to protect trade secrets.
  • Steps in Protecting Rights in a Trademark Once it is Selected (2016) - Once a business selects a trademark, the key next steps consist of, first, searching the trademark and clearing it for use, and, second, applying for federal registration of the mark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO).  As for the first step, a trademark search is an absolutely crucial, yet sometimes overlooked aspect of trademark protection. The purpose of a trademark search is to identify potential risks by determining whether there are any trademarks already in existence which could force the owner of the new mark to stop using it or otherwise limit the new trademark owner’s ability to use it in connection with its product or service.
  • What is a Trademark & What Does a Business Need to Know in Selecting One? (2016) - A trademark, in its most basic sense, helps consumers relate to a business’s goods or services. If a business has high quality products, then customers will associate that business with positive feelings, so the next time they see the business’s trademark these positive attributes will come to mind. That, in a nutshell, is why trademarks exist and why businesses expend significant resources to establish and protect them.

About Randal J. Brotherhood

First Admitted: 1981, Wisconsin

Professional Webpage: http://www.mtfn.com/attorneys-Randal-Brotherhood.html

Other Outstanding Achievements

  • Member of Board of Directors and Executive Committee, Meissner, Tierney, Fisher & Nichols, S.C.;  Senior Editor, WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY LAW QUARTERLY, 1980-1981 (member, 1979-80); Alpha Sigma Nu; Pi Gamma Mu; Phi Sigma; Active in student government in college.

Educational Background

  • B.A. (cum laude) Marquette University, 1978
  • J.D. Washington University School of Law, 1981

Pro bono/Community Service

  • American Heart Association, Wisconsin Affiliate, Executive Board of Directors (1993-2002); Chairman (2000-2001), 2001
  • Wauwatosa Public Library, Board of Trustees (1997-2004); Chairman (2001), 2001
  • Washington University Alumni Association, Wisconsin Chair (1987-2000), 2000
  • Kindcare Inc., President, Board of Directors (1993-1999); President (1995-1998), 1998
  • Catholic Social Services of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Inc., Board of Directors, Milwaukee Regional Board (1993-1997), 1997
  • Marian Catholic Home, Inc., Chairman, Board of Directors (1988-1995); Chairman (1992-1995), 1995
  • Washington University, Alumni Board of Governors, 1993

Videos

  • In this final installment of a three part video series on Trademark Law, Attorney Randy Brotherhood, a shareholder with the Milwaukee, Wisconsin law firm of Meissner Tierney Fisher & Nichols S.C. identifies how a business can determine whether its trademark rights may have been violated or infringed, by another trademark. Randy further discusses what a business can do in the event that its trademark is infringed upon., Steps to Protect Your Business From Trademark Infringement, 2017
  • Attorney Randy Brotherhood, Shareholder with Meissner Tierney Fisher & Nichols, S.C. based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin highlights what a business should consider once it selects a trademark. Specifically, how to obtain registration of a mark, how it should go about protecting its rights in the mark, and the benefits of federal trademark registration., Protecting Rights in a Trademark, 2016
  • A trademark is a way of distinguishing the goods or services of your business from those of other businesses. It gives you exclusive rights to commercially use, license or sell the trademark. In this video, Attorney Randy Brotherhood, Shareholder with Meissner Tierney Fisher & Nichols, S.C. based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin focuses on what a trademark is and what a business should think about when selecting one. He also addresses questions like, what businesses should know about trademark, why protecting a trademark is important, and how to successfully protect them?, Understanding & Protecting Trademarks, 2016

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • Essential Trademark Concepts for Business Lawyers, Presentation to State Bar of Wisconsin Annual Meeting and Convention (June 21, 2018), Presenter, Essential Trademark Concepts for Business Lawyers, State Bar of Wisconsin Annual Meeting and Convention, 2018
  • A Primer on Hotel and Meeting Agreements--Selected Issues, Presentation to association management industry executives (March 3, 2017), Presenter, A Primer on Hotel and Meeting Agreements--Selected Issues, Association Management Industry Executive, 2017
  • Securities Law Considerations in Closely-Held Business Transactions, Presentation to StartupMKE (November 1, 2016), Presenter, Securities Law Considerations in Closely-Held Business Transactions, StartupMKE, 2016
  • What Every Business Needs to Know About Intellectual Property, Presentation to StartupMKE (November 1, 2016), Presenter, What Every Business Needs to Know About Intellectual Property, StartupMKE, 2016
  • Program Chair and Presenter, What Every Business Lawyer Needs to Know in Advising Clients About Social Media Law, State Bar of Wisconsin Seminar (October, 2015), Program Chair and Presenter, What Every Business Lawyer Needs to Know in Advising Clients About Social Media Law, State Bar of Wisconsin Seminar, 2015
  • Rule 13e-3 and the Going Private Dilemma: The SEC's Quest for a Substantive Fairness Doctrine,  58 Wash.U.L.Q. 883 (1981). Partial list of lectures and seminar presentations: Nonprofit Strategic Alliances and Mergers (National Business Institute, scheduled for September, 2014); Licensing Issues For Finders in Securities Offerings, Solicitors for Investment Advisers and Others Paid in Securities-Related Transactions: A Dialogue With the Wisconsin Securities Administrator (State Bar of Wisconsin Business and Real Estate Law Institute, June 2013); Social Media and the Law for Businesses: Developing Legal Issues and Trends (State Bar of Wisconsin Real Estate and Business Institute, June, 2012); Social Media and Securities Law Considerations for Owners of Closely-Held Businesses (State Bar of Wisconsin Real Estate and Business Law Institute June, 2011); What Every Business Lawyer Needs to Know About Intellectual Property (State Bar of Wisconsin, June, July and September, 2010); Choice of Business Entity and Tax Aspects of Choice of Entity (Corporate Practice Institute, 2009); Overview of Pertinent Issues in Association Law (private client presentations, 2007 and 2008); Protecting Directors and Officers of Tax-Exempt Organizations (National Business Institute, (2004, 2005 and 2006); Securities Law Considerations in Formation of Start-Up and Venture Capital (delivered annually at Marquette University School of Business Administration); Selected Issues in Regulation of Non-Profit Organization Activities (National Business Institute, 2005); Boards of Directors of Tax-Exempt Organizations (National Business Institute, 2004); Ethical Considerations Relating to Attorney Representation of Non-Profit Organizations (National Business Institute, 2004); Introduction to Tax-Exempt Organizations (National Business Institute, 2005 and 2006); Intellectual Property Law Aspects of Franchises (National Business Institute, 2003);  Forms to be Familiar With in Starting a Franchise (National Business Institute, 2003); Location Selection in Starting a Franchise (National Business Institute, 2003);  Introduction to Intellectual Property for IT Professionals (State Bar of Wisconsin 1999); Doing Business in Wisconsin: Recent Trends, Historical Perspectives and a Look to the Future (MTFN Symposium, 1998); A Practitioner's Guide to Intellectual Property Issues on the Internet (State Bar of Wisconsin, 1998); Developments in Investment Adviser Regulation (State Bar of Wisconsin 1998); Legal Issues Presented by the Internet and E-Mail (International Association of Association Management Companies, 1997); Knowing Your Rights in Computer Software (National Business Institute, 1996); Recent Developments in Intellectual Property Pertaining to the Internet (National Business Institute, 1996); The Wisconsin Fair Dealership Act (Milwaukee Minority Business Development Center, 1993); Legal Aspects of Franchising (National Business Institute, 1993); What Business and Investors Can Expect Under the Clinton Administration (Robert W. Baird/MTFN Symposium, 1993); The Impact  of Asbestos on Real Estate Transactions and Ownership (State Bar of Wisconsin, 1991); Gain from Sale or Exchange of Residence (private client presentation, 1990).

Bar/Professional Activity

  • Member, American Bar Associations, State Bar of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Bar Association, 2020
  • Member, Diversity and Inclusion Oversight Committee, Wisconsin State Bar, 2020
  • Member, Section Leaders Council State Bar of Wisconsin, 2020
  • Member, ABA Committee on Legal Opinions; ABA Section of Business Law Committee on Venture Capital and Private Equity; ABA Committee on Fund Formation; ABA Subcommittee on Prototype Limited Liability Company Fund Agreements;  ABA Section of Business Law Subcommittee on Governmental Regulation; ABA Subcommittee on Nonprofit Governance; ABA Subcommittee on the Model Nonprofit Corporation Act; ABA Subcommittee on Current Developments in Nonprofit Corporation Law; ABA Subcommittee on Trade Associations; ABA Section of Intellectual Property Law Committee on Federal Trademark Legislation, 2020
  • Board of Directors of the Business Law Section of the State Bar of Wisconsin (Secretary-Treasurer, 2012-2014, Vice-Chair, 2014-2016; Chair, 2016-2018; Immediate Past Chair, 2019), 2020
  • State Bar of Wisconsin Securities Law Committee, 2020
  • SLC Representative to the Legilastion Oversight Committee of the Wisconsin State Bar, 2020
  • Chair of the Business Law Section of the State Bar of Wisconsin (June 2018); Immediate Past Chair (Current), 2020
  • Member, State Bar of Wisconsin Real Estate and Business Law Institute; organizing and planning group, 2011-13, 2013
  • Past member, American Society of Association Executives

Honors/Awards

  • Named in Best Lawyers of America® 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, The Best Lawyers in America, Best Lawyers, 2021
  • Named in Wisconsin Super Lawyers® 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, Wisconsin Super Lawyers, Super Lawyers, 2020
  • Leaders in the Law, Wisconsin Law Journal, 2014
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Pre-Eminent Peer Review Rated
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Office Location for Randal J. Brotherhood

111 East Kilbourn Avenue
19th Floor
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Last Updated: 6/14/2021

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