Construction law only a natural choice
Published: July 26, 2010
Tags: Construction Law 2010
Construction is in John Kassner’s DNA. Kassner’s father was a developer, builder and a president of the Wisconsin Builders Association. Each of his three brothers owns a construction company in Green Bay. His sister used to buy and rehab older houses for resale. And he used to be a builder.
“I’ve developed subdivisions, condominiums, time shares, self-storage buildings and a restaurant. I think construction work may be a genetic defect in my family,” Kassner joked.
“I’ve always wanted to be an attorney and a developer. I’m a life director of the Wisconsin Builders Association. I’m an appointee to the Legal Action Committee of the National Association of Home Builders. In addition, I was the builder-representative on the Joint Legislative Council that recently rewrote significant parts of Wisconsin’s condominium statutes.”
Kassner, of Murphy Desmond SC in Madison, concentrates on land use, eminent domain, real property and construction litigation and appellate work. “My practice focus is on protecting constitutional property rights.
It’s not supposed to be easy, and it isn’t, but it’s truly rewarding when we succeed,” he said.
He devotes a great deal of his time to land use policy litigation and appellate work for the Wisconsin Builders and Wisconsin Realtors associations.
Among his recent triumphs on their behalf, and on behalf of 13 other trade associations, was to successfully seek invalidation of a state Department of Transportation administrative rule, TRANS 233, in Dane County Circuit Court in 2008. The rule, which regulated subdivisions along state highways, had been improperly enacted. It contained a number of burdensome provisions, including a prohibition on all structures and improvements within 50 feet of a highway.
Among his other recent trial court successes: Two years ago, Pierce County paid a $1.4 million settlement after the court ruled it had improperly withheld land division approvals to coerce a land dedication. The settlement ended a decade-long dispute.
Kassner is a familiar face in the Wisconsin Supreme Court, on average participating in oral argument once or twice a year. Recent significant high court cases where he played a role include Eberle v. Dane County, Ziervogel v. Washington County Board of Adjustment, ABKA v. DNR, Town of Rhine v. Bizzell and Olson v. Town of Cottage Grove.
— Jane Pribek