Nora Gierke is a founding member and Managing Partner of Gierke Frank LLC. Prior to founding GF, Nora gained over 13 years of experience with one of Milwaukee’s oldest and most prestigious firms, where she tried cases before juries and courts at the state and federal level as well as before AAA arbitrators. Nora has represented clients in a wide range of disputes, including those related to product liability, asbestos claims, food borne illness, manufacturing defects, insurance coverage, construction defects, Uniform Commercial Code disputes, breach of warranty, franchise/dealership, supplier recovery, unfair competition, trade secret/trade dress, trust and estate disputes, guardianships, and physician contract disputes.
- Represented a manufacturer of ventilation products in a 1-week AAA arbitration involving claims of breach of contract and fraud related to a warehouse agreement.
- Successfully defended franchisor at a preliminary injunction hearing in the Northern District of Illinois federal court and won a denial of franchisee’s injunction motion under the Petroleum Marketing Practices Act. Emmanuel Joseph v. Sasafrasnet LLC, Case No. 2011-cv-00402 (N.D. Ill.). Argued subsequent appeal before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Emmanuel Joseph v. Sasafrasnet LLC, Appeal No. 11-2065 (decision pending).
- Defended various manufacturers in cases involving strict product liability, negligence and wrongful death claims related to alleged asbestos exposure.
- Successfully represented franchisee in a wrongful termination case at multiple temporary injunction hearings in the Eastern District of Wisconsin-Green Bay federal court and won a permanent injunction and attorney’s fee award based on wrongful termination under the Wisconsin Fair Dealership Law after a 1 week AAA arbitration. 1-800 Radiator of Wisconsin LLC v. 1-800 Franchise, Inc. et al., Case No. 2008-cv-00362 (E.D. Wis.-Green Bay); see also Business Franchise Guide (CCH) ¶13998 (11/21/2008).
- Defended manufacturer of a custard machine at a 3 day bench trial in Madison County, Illinois against claim for breach of warranty seeking damages, lost profits and attorney’s fees; won a total denial of lost profits and attorney’s fee claim.
- Defended a meat manufacturer against claims for contribution and breach of warranty in a 2 ½ week jury trial in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin as well as in the subsequent appeals to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals and Wisconsin Supreme Court. Estate of Briana Kriefall et al. v. Sizzler USA Franchise, Inc. et al., 2011 WI App 101, 335 Wis. 2d 151, 801 N.W.2d 781, on review (Wisconsin Supreme Court decision pending).
- Won an early summary judgment dismissal on economic loss doctrine grounds for a manufacturer and distributor of coach passenger buses who were both sued for negligence and strict product liability in connection with an alleged bus fire. Coach USA, Inc. et al. v. Van Hool N.V. et al., Slip Copy, 2007 WL 128335 (W.D. Wis. January 10, 2007) and Coach USA, Inc. et al. v. Van Hool N.V. et al., Slip Copy, 2006 WL 3523102 (W.D. Wis. December 5, 2006).
- Defended a manufacturer of outdoor sporting equipment in a California case involving claims for breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets and unfair competition.
- Won a $7.49 million jury verdict, along with an award of attorney’s fees, for an elevator products distributor in a case involving claims for wrongful termination, breach of contract and violation of the California Equipment Dealers Act. Braun Elevator Co. v. ThyssenKrupp Elevator Corp., 379 F. Supp. 2d 993 (W.D. Wis. 2005).
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- B.A., with distinction, University of Wisconsin-Madison
- J.D., Duke University
Awards & Accolades
- Selected to Wisconsin Super Lawyers® (2011-2017)
- Selected to Wisconsin Super Lawyers-Rising Stars® (2006, 2007)
- Selected to Wisconsin Law Journal – Women in the Law 2012
- AV Peer Review Rated-Martindale-Hubbell
- State Bar of Wisconsin
- Milwaukee Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- Defense Research Institute
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin
- Wisconsin Supreme Court
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- Admitted pro hac vice in federal and state courts throughout the country
- Special Prosecutor, Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office (prosecuted 9 jury trials and 1 bench trial) (2005)
- Volunteer Lawyer, Marquette Legal Clinic
- Volunteer Lawyer, VLP-Domestic Violence Injunction Project
- Speaker, “Redefining the Landscape: A Road Map to Wisconsin’s New Tort Reform Law,” Harris Martin’s Midwest Asbestos Litigation Conference (St. Louis, September 2011)
- Board Member, Wauwatosa Library Foundation (2008-present)