David J. Turek

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David J. Turek

Dave Turek has extensive experience in complex civil litigation. He has tried cases in front of juries and judges, focusing primarily on business disputes and high-stakes injury cases. In December 2017, he successfully defended a severe burn injury case where the plaintiff asked the jury to award more than $38 million.

Dave handles a wide variety of cases. In commercial litigation, he focuses on non-compete claims, insurance disputes, and construction litigation. He also has significant experience with personal injury litigation, often defending trucking companies, product manufacturers, and other businesses in Wisconsin and other states across the country, including Missouri, Oklahoma, Nevada, and New Jersey.

  • J.D., Marquette University Law School, summa cum laude, 2002; Marquette University Law Review, Senior Articles Editor
  • B.A. in Political Science, magna cum laude, Carthage College, 1999


  • Wisconsin
  • Managing Member, Gass Turek, 2015-2017
  • Member, Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel (FDCC)
  • Charter Member, Litigation Counsel of America Trial Law Institute
  • Author, Wisconsin chapter of the Defense Research Institute’s Excess and Umbrella Insurance State-by-State Compendium
  • Author, Wrongful Death chapter in the Wisconsin Bar Association’s Law of Damages in Wisconsin
  • Author, Wisconsin Chapter of the Tort Law Desk Reference
  • Served as lead counsel in three-week wrongful death trial in Clark County (Las Vegas), Nevada in February 2020. The client asked Gass Turek to try this high-profile, nine-figure case approximately 90 days before the start of trial, which required review of extensive discovery, testing through a jury simulation, and formulation of trial strategy.
  • Defeated motion for preliminary injunction in contentious trade secret dispute after a four-day evidentiary hearing in November 2019. This hearing came on the heels of nearly 20 depositions, in three different states, over the course of a month. The Milwaukee County Circuit Court adopted nearly all of Dave’s client’s proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law, concluding that plaintiffs did not have a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits of their claims.
  • Defended damages portion of one of Wisconsin’s most significant personal injury trials from 2017. The plaintiff suffered third and fourth degree burns to more than 70% of his body as a result of a lawnmower fire, incurring more than $3 million in past medical expenses. Dave became involved in the case less than 60 days before the start of trial. After the plaintiff asked for more than $38 million in closing (including $20 million in punitive damages), the jury declined to award punitive damages and awarded compensatory damages close to those suggested by Dave. Coupled with a negligible apportionment of fault, the ultimate verdict resulted in Dave’s client paying no additional money to plaintiff as a result of the trial.
  • Secured the prompt dismissal of a trust’s claims against a large, national life insurance company for making distributions to an allegedly unscrupulous trustee. The trust did not appeal the federal judge’s decision granting the life insurer’s motion to dismiss. Kriete Family Insurance Trust v. Pacific Life Insurance Company, 2017 WL 3273580 (E.D. Wis. 2017).
  • Obtained summary judgment for a spine product company in a contentious non-compete dispute with one of its largest competitors. The competitor sought more than $10 million in damages, but the federal court determined there was no merit to the tortious interference and unfair competition claims. Biomet Spine, LLC v. Stryker Spine, 2016 WL 5793680 (E.D. Wis. 2016).
  • Worked as co-counsel with a large, national firm to pursue legal and actuarial malpractice claims arising from an $82 million ERISA class action settlement. The case involved multiple, complex issues on statute of limitations, professional liability, cause, and damages, plus intricate technical information surrounding cash balance pension plans. Dave’s client resolved the case through multiple settlements in advance of trial.
  • Earned summary judgment in favor of a large home builder by enforcing a contractual limitation against specific performance of the sale of land. In March 2016, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment in favor of Dave’s client. Key v. William Ryan Homes, Inc., Appeal No. 15-AP-490.
  • Secured a preliminary injunction against proceedings initiated by the Lac du Flambeau tribe in their tribal court arising from the Tribe’s $50 million bond issuance. The Seventh Circuit’s decision resolves several nationally watched issues of tribal court jurisdiction. Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc. v. Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, 807 F.3d 184, 204-05 (7th Cir. 2015).
  • Secured a $1 million-plus jury verdict for a subcontractor improperly terminated from a construction project. The Wisconsin Court of Appeals affirmed the jury’s award in Henshue Construction, Inc. v. Terra Engineering & Construction Corp., 2013 WI App 84.
  • Won summary judgment based on Wisconsin’s recreational immunity statute against a paraplegic injured while riding on a bicycle trail.
  • Obtained a temporary restraining order that prevented a former employee from using trade secrets and other pilfered information for a new, competitive financial institution.
  • Worked with a trial team to obtain a defense verdict in a pedestrian-truck accident where the plaintiff sought in excess of $22 million in damages.
  • Convinced a district court that an insurer should not be automatically responsible for a judgment if the insurer breaches its duty to defend. Johnson Outdoors, Inc. v. General Star Indemnity Co. (E.D. Wis. 2009), available at 2009 WL 4043104.

“Dave Turek is a rock star.”

“Turek, Kelber and Trigg are all smart, strategic, excellent writers and exceptional lawyers.”

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