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Travis J. Rhoades


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Travis J. Rhoades



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Milwaukee, WI


Travis represents businesses and their insurers in injury, death, and property damage claims as well as business disputes and construction claims. His practice involves the defense of product liability claims for consumer, commercial, and industrial product manufacturers and their insurers. He acts as national and regional counsel for manufacturing and contracting clients for product liability and toxic tort lawsuits. He represents clients in traditional and multidistrict litigation, including MDL 875, the largest and longest MDL in history, venued in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. 

Travis represents clients in formal and informal meetings with governmental agencies responsible for product safety. He developed a professional interest in fire and explosion litigation, and represents manufacturers, installers, and maintenance contractors of burner controls, sprinkler systems, and fire and explosion suppression systems in claims and lawsuits around the country. He has appeared in courts in 37 states for his clients over two decades of practice.

As the son of a general contractor, Travis spent countless hours hauling and setting block, framing walls, pulling wire, laying flooring, and setting trusses before and during college and law school. He applies that firsthand knowledge of the construction industry in his practice representing owners, developers, architects, contractors, and subcontractors or their insurers in construction defect cases.

In each matter, he works to understand his client’s goal and ensure that any decision that will have a meaningful impact on the outcome is understood and approved. He develops strategies in each case based on his understanding of client’s needs and wishes, the law, the court, and the people involved.

Travis is active in the Defense Research Institute, Wisconsin Defense Counsel, and the National Fire Protection Association. He maintains connections to experts, consultants, and local attorneys across the country and in Canada, which pays dividends for his clients in terms of early notice of claims, practical advice for navigating procedure in other jurisdictions, and changes and updates in the law.

Travis is an Air Force brat who attended high school at Ramstein Air Force Base in then-West Germany. He met his wife Michelle at the BX at Scott Air Force Base, and they have four teenage children. He recently hung up his youth-sports coaching whistle and settled into the maddening pursuit of a sub-80 round of golf. 

Community Service Activities

Board of Directors, Downtown Montessori Academy

Board of Directors, Milwaukee Sports Club

Practice Areas

Appellate Practice
Environmental Litigation and Coverage
Industrial Accidents
Insurance Defense, Coverage, and Disputes
Mass Tort and Toxic Tort Litigation
Negligence and Personal Injury Defense
Product Liability
Construction Law

Bar Admissions

State of Wisconsin
State of Illinois
U.S. District Court - Eastern District of Wisconsin
U.S. District Court - Western District of Wisconsin

State Certifications

State Certification 1
State Certification 2


Marquette University Law School, J.D. 1998
Southern Illinois University, B.A., History, 1995

Professional Organizations

Wisconsin Bar Association
American Bar Association
Defense Research Institute
Wisconsin Defense Counsel, Board of Directors, 2012-2020
National Fire Protection Association

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