H. Dale Peterson
Dale is recognized as one of Dane County’s preeminent litigators of complex business, construction, and commercial disputes. He represents business clients in all aspects of litigation and alternative dispute resolution. He has extensive experience in disputes involving contracts, construction, dealerships, product manufacture and distribution, shareholder disagreements, mergers and acquisitions, real estate, technology, and property taxation, among others.
Dale also advises many Wisconsin and national business clients on compliance with Wisconsin’s laws and regulations and resolution of business disputes. He represents contractors, owners, developers, and subcontractors to help resolve construction issues and disputes. He has a proven track record of success and offers his clients broad knowledge and experience in his business law practice.
Dale’s business law background, including his knowledge of accounting, tax, and financing principles, has proven to be of significant advantage in litigating business disputes from start to successful completion.
- Has served for more than 20 years as general counsel to the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, the largest farm organization in the State of Wisconsin with more than 40,000 members; provided ongoing legal advice; represented the organization in numerous lawsuits in matters involving agricultural issues such as right-to-farm law and defending the constitutionality of Wisconsin’s use value system of property taxation; in use value taxation lawsuit, successfully defended the constitutionality of Wisconsin’s use value taxation system before the Wisconsin Supreme Court with the result that Wisconsin farmers now save more than $600 million annually in property taxes compared to the prior market-value assessment system.
- Successfully represented the general contractor in a $60 million construction dispute that resulted in an eight figure award at the conclusion of a seven-week long arbitration hearing.
- Represented one of Madison’s largest shopping centers with various legal matters, including property tax challenges, negotiating, drafting, and enforcing commercial lease agreements with tenants, employment law issues, property management, and tenant relations.
- Extensive front line litigation experience trying and defending business disputes before juries, judges, and arbitrators.
- Commercial Litigation and Arbitration
- Construction Disputes
- Corporation/Business Law
- Dealership and Shareholder Disputes
- Shopping Center Law
- Software and Technology
Professional Achievements, Honors, and Awards
- AV Preeminent® Rated by Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings
- Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® in Agricultural Cooperative, Construction Litigation, Construction Law, Commercial Litigation, and Litigation-Banking/Finance (2006-2024)
Named Best Lawyers® Construction Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Madison (2022)
Named Best Lawyers® Litigation-Banking & Finance “Lawyer of the Year” in Madison (2016)
- Named a Wisconsin Super Lawyer in Business Litigation, Business/Corporate, Construction Litigation (2006, 2009-2021)
- Named a “Top Lawyer” by Madison Magazine in Contracts, Litigation/Appeals, Environmental, and Agricultural Law
- Member of In Business magazine’s “Executive Register” (2006-2014)
- Past-president of the Dane County Bar Association
- Awarded 2008 Outstanding Service to Agriculture Award by Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation
- Named a 2007 “Leader in the Law” by the Wisconsin Law Journal
- University of Wisconsin Law School, J.D., cum laude
- University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, B.A., with honors
- Dale began his legal career as a research analyst with the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, where he helped develop and enforce school desegregation plans in school districts in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. His experience resulted in his returning home to attend law school at the University of Wisconsin intending to resume his civil rights work after graduation. Instead, Dale’s love of Madison and enjoyment of business and tax classes during law school caused him to change his career plans to pursue the litigation and business law practice that he continues today.