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  • Wisconsin Lawyer
    December
    01
    2013

    Supreme Court Orders


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    • Order 13-07: The Wisconsin Supreme Court will hold a public hearing on Jan. 21, 2014, on a petition to amend SCR 10.04 and 10.05 of the State Bar Bylaws relating to State Bar officers and the board of governors.
    • Order 13-09: The Wisconsin Supreme Court will hold a public hearing on Jan. 21, 2014, on a petition to amend SCR 10.03(3) and (5) of the State Bar Bylaws relating to classes of membership and membership dues and reduction of dues.
    • Order 13-13: The Wisconsin Supreme Court will hold a public hearing on Jan. 21, 2014, on a petition to review State Bar Bylaw amendments to Article II and Article III, as passed by the board of governors in June 2013.

    State Bar Officers and Board of Governors

    In the matter of the petition to amend Supreme Court Rules 10.04 and 10.05 relating to Officers and the Board of Governors of the State Bar of Wisconsin.

    Order 13-07

    On July 3, 2013, the State Bar of Wisconsin, by its then-president, Kevin Klein, filed this petition, together with notice to the court that the Board of Governors had approved certain amendments to the State Bar’s bylaws. The petition seeks amendments to Supreme Court Rule (SCR) 10.04 relating to officers of the State Bar of Wisconsin and SCR 10.05 relating to the board of governors of the State Bar of Wisconsin.

    IT IS ORDERED that a public hearing on the petition shall be held in the Supreme Court Room in the State Capitol, Madison, Wis., on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, at 9:30 a.m.

    IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the court’s conference in the matter shall be held promptly following the public hearing.

    IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that notice of the hearing be given by a single publication of a copy of this order and of the petition in the official state newspaper and in an official publication of the State Bar of Wisconsin not more than 60 days nor less than 30 days before the date of the hearing.

    Dated at Madison, Wis., this 1st day of November, 2013.

    By the court:

    Diane M. Fremgen, Clerk of Supreme Court 

    Petition for Revision of Supreme Court Rule 10.04 and 10.05

    The State Bar of Wisconsin petitions the Court for a revision to Supreme Court Rule 10.04 relating to officers of the State Bar of Wisconsin and 10.05 relating to the board of governors of the State Bar of Wisconsin.  

    PROPOSED AMENDMENTS 

    SCR 10.04 Officers. (2)(c) Chairperson, board of governors. The chairperson of the board of governors shall be elected from the board membership by its members and shall be a member-at-large of the board of governors after his or her election. The chairperson shall be a member of the executive committee ex officio and shall preside at all meetings of the board of governors. The chairperson shall perform the duties of the president in the absence or disability of the president or in the event of a vacancy in the office of president.

    ***

    SCR 10.04 Officers. (4) Officers may be removed from office and vacancies filled in accordance with the bylaws.

    ***

    SCR 10.05 Board of governors. (3) Term; qualifications; nomination and election. The term of office of each elected member of the board of governors is 2 years, commencing on July 1 next following his or her election. No person is eligible to vote in a district for governor or to serve on the board of governors from a district unless he or she is an active member of the association and maintains in the district his or her principal office for the practice of law. No person is eligible for election to the board of governors for more than 2 consecutive terms. The eligibility of any person to serve as a member of the board of governors from any state bar district ceases upon removal of the person’s principal office for the practice of law from the district. Nominations, and elections, and filling of vacancies of members of the board of governors shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of the bylaws. Governors may be removed from office and vacancies filled in accordance with the bylaws. 

    Petitioners submit Supporting Memorandum, including attachment A (certificate of bylaws amendment) in support of this request.

    Respectfully submitted this 28th day of June 2013.

    Kevin G. Klein, President, State Bar of Wisconsin 

    State Bar Classes of Membership and Dues

    In the matter of the petition to amend Supreme Court Rules 10.03(3) and (5) relating to classes of membership and membership dues and reduction of dues.

    Order 13-09

    On July 3, 2013, the State Bar of Wisconsin, by its then-president, Kevin Klein, filed this rule petition asking the court to amend Supreme Court Rules (SCRs) 10.03(3) and (5) relating to classes of membership and membership dues and reduction of dues. The petition seeks to modify membership status of State Bar members to include a senior emeritus membership and active emeritus membership and raise the age for emeritus membership to 75. In addition, the proposed amendments grant a waiver of one-half dues to those members admitted to practice five or fewer years, rather than three or fewer years.

    IT IS ORDERED that a public hearing on the petition shall be held in the Supreme Court Room in the State Capitol, Madison, Wis., on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, at 9:30 a.m.

    IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the court’s conference in the matter shall be held promptly following the public hearing.

    IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that notice of the hearing be given by a single publication of a copy of this order and of the petition in the official state newspaper and in an official publication of the State Bar of Wisconsin not more than 60 days nor less than 30 days before the date of the hearing.

    Dated at Madison, Wis., this 1st day of November, 2013.

    By the court:

    Diane M. Fremgen, Clerk of Supreme Court 

    Petition for Revision of Supreme Court Rule 10.03(3) and 10.03(5)

    The State Bar of Wisconsin petitions the Court for a revision to Supreme Court Rule 10.03(3), relating to classes of membership in the State Bar and 10.03(5) relating to membership dues and reduction of dues for certain activities.

    PROPOSED AMENDMENTS

    SCR 10.03 (3) Classes of membership. (a) The members of the state bar are divided into 46 classes: active members, judicial members, inactive members, active emeritus members, senior emeritus members and emeritus members. The class of active members includes all members of the state bar except the judicial members and inactive members. The class of inactive members includes those persons who are eligible for active membership but are not engaged in the practice of law in this state and have filed with the secretary of the association written notice requesting enrollment in the class of inactive members. The class of judicial members includes the following persons: supreme court justices, court of appeals judges, circuit court judges, full-time circuit court commissioners, full-time municipal court judges, supreme court commissioners, court of appeals staff attorneys, federal district court judges, federal appellate court judges, federal bankruptcy judges, federal magistrate judges, federal administrative law judges, and retired justices and judges who are eligible for temporary judicial assignment and are not engaged in the practice of law. Any judicial member may elect to become an active member with all rights of active membership except to hold office as an officer or governor or to practice law. The class of active emeritus members includes those active members ages 70 to 74 who perform the equivalent of 800 or more billable hours of legal work annually and have filed with the executive director of the association a written notice requesting enrollment in the class of active emeritus members. The class of senior emeritus members includes active members ages 70 to 74 who perform the equivalent of less than 800 billable hours of legal work annually and have filed with the executive director of the association a written notice requesting enrollment in the class of senior emeritus members. The class of emeritus members includes those persons who are either active or inactive members in good standing but who are at least 750 years of age and have filed with the executive director of the association a written notice requesting enrollment in the class of emeritus members. Members of An all categories of emeritus member haves all the privileges of membership in the state bar. and need not pay membership dues for the years following the year in which he or she attains the age of 70.

    ***

    SCR 10.03(5) Membership dues and reduction of dues for certain activities. (a) The annual membership dues for state bar operations for an active member shall be established as provided herein. Other classes of members shall pay the fraction of the dues of an active member as follows: Supreme Court Justices, the full amount; inactive member, one-half; judicial members, two-thirds; senior emeritus members, one-half; emeritus members, no dues and members admitted to practice for 35 years or less, one-half. For purposes of determining an active member’s dues status based on the number of years admitted, there shall be no proration based on the exact month and year of admission. A fiscal year for which any dues are required to be paid under Bylaw 1, Section 2 shall count as a full year and a fiscal year for which no dues payment is required shall not count as a year. A change in the dues of an active member for state bar operations may be made by the board of governors or as set forth herein. The state bar shall include in the dues statement each year the amount necessary to pay the costs of the Lawyer Regulation System and of the continuing legal education functions of the Board of Bar Examiners as approved by the Supreme Court. Judicial members other than Supreme Court Justices are not liable to pay the portion for the costs of these boards, as reflected in the dues statement. The state bar shall also include in the dues statement each year an assessment to support the public interest legal services fund, as approved by the supreme court. The state bar shall show separately on its annual dues statement the portion of the total dues for state bar operations, the assessments for each of the boards, and other assessments imposed by the supreme court. An emeritus member has all the privileges of membership in the state bar and need not pay membership dues for the years following the year in which he or she attains the age of 75.

    ***

    Petitioners submit Supporting Memorandum and Cover Sheet in support of this request.

    Respectfully submitted this 28th day of June 2013.

    Kevin G. Klein, President, State Bar of Wisconsin

    Review of Amendments to State Bar Bylaws

    In the matter of the petition to review State Bar Bylaws Amendments.

    Order 13-13

    On July 3, 2013, pursuant to SCR 10.13(2) and Article IX of the State Bar of Wisconsin bylaws, the State Bar of Wisconsin, by its then-president, Kevin Klein, filed a certificate of bylaw amendment regarding amendments to State Bar Bylaws Article II and Article III. The amendments were approved by the Board of Governors of the State Bar on June 12, 2013, on a 38 to 2 vote.

    On Sept. 11, 2013, Attorney Steven Levine filed a timely petition seeking review of certain of these bylaws amendments, signed by 25 or more active members of the State Bar of Wisconsin. See SCR 10.13(2). Supreme court rule 10.13(2) provides that a hearing upon such a petition will be pursuant to notice in such manner as the court directs.

    On Jan. 21, 2014, a public hearing is scheduled on Rule No. 13-07, In the matter of the petition to amend Supreme Court Rules 10.04 and 10.05 relating to Officers and the Board of Governors of the State Bar of Wisconsin. This petition proposes amendments to SCR 10.04 relating to officers of the State Bar of Wisconsin and SCR 10.05 relating to the board of governors of the State Bar of Wisconsin. The proposed changes in Rule No. 13-07 explicitly make reference to the recently revised bylaws, which are the subject of this petition for review. Therefore, the court deems it appropriate to review the bylaws amendments together with Rule No. 13-07.

    The bylaws amendments which are the subject of the petition for review provide as follows:

    RESOLVED, that State Bar Bylaw Article II, be amended as follows:

    ...

    Section 7. Removal. An officer may be removed from office as follows: ... (b) Removal by Board of Governors. An officer shall be removed if the officer is unable or unwilling to fulfill his or her duties, or if the officer’s conduct while in office is contrary to the best interest of the State Bar as determined by an affirmative vote of 75 percent of the total membership of the Board of Governors (including the officer subject to the motion to remove). Before any vote on the motion, notice of the motion to remove and of the grounds alleged against the officer, and an opportunity to be heard by the Board must be given to the officer.

    RESOLVED, that State Bar Bylaw Article III, be amended as follows:

    ...

    Section 10. Removal. A Governor may be removed from office as follows: ... . (b) Removal by Board of Governors. A governor shall be removed if the governor is unable or unwilling to perform his or her duties, or if the governor engages in conduct which is contrary to the best interest of the State Bar as determined by the affirmative vote of 75 percent of the total membership of the Board (including the governor subject to the motion to remove). Before any vote on the motion to remove the governor, notice of the motion and of the grounds alleged against the governor, and an opportunity to be heard by the Board must be given to the governor.

    IT IS ORDERED that a public hearing on the petition for review shall be held in the Supreme Court Room in the State Capitol, Madison, Wis., on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, at 9:30 a.m.

    IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the court’s conference in the matter shall be held promptly following the public hearing.

    IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that notice of the hearing be given by a single publication of a copy of this order and of the petition in the official state newspaper and in an official publication of the State Bar of Wisconsin not more than 60 days nor less than 30 days before the date of the hearing.

    Dated at Madison, Wis., this 1st day of November, 2013.

    By the court:

    Diane M. Fremgen, Clerk of Supreme Court 

    PETITION TO REVIEW STATE BAR BYLAWS

    Pursuant to SCR 10.13(2) and Article IX, State Bar Bylaws, the undersigned 25+ active members of the State Bar of Wisconsin petition the Supreme Court to review and reject Article II, Section 7(b) and Article III, Section 10(b) of the State Bar Bylaws, which were adopted by the Board of Governors June 12, 2013 and published at pages 54-55 of the Wisconsin Lawyer in July, 2013 (received by mail July 27, 2013, copy attached.). The bylaws respectively read as follows:

    7(b) Removal by Board of Governors. An officer shall be removed if the officer is unable or unwilling to fulfill his or her duties, or if the officer’s conduct while in office is contrary to the best interest of the State Bar as determined by an affirmative vote of 75 percent of the total membership of the Board of Governors (including the officer subject to the motion to remove). Before any vote on the motion, notice of the motion to remove and of the grounds alleged against the officer, and an opportunity to be heard by the Board must be given to the officer.

    10(b) Removal by Board of Governors. A governor shall be removed if the governor is unable or unwilling to fulfill his or her duties, or if the governor engages in conduct which is contrary to the best interest of the State Bar as determined by an affirmative vote of 75 percent of the total membership of the Board (including the officer subject to the motion to remove). Before any vote on the motion to remove the governor, notice of the motion and of the grounds alleged against the governor, and an opportunity to be heard by the Board must be given to the governor.

    (If the Court rejects these provisions, the words “or by removal of an officer pursuant to section 7” and “or by removal of a governor pursuant to section 10” should also be removed from State Bar Bylaws Article II, Section 5 and Article III, Section 9, respectively.) A brief in opposition to the bylaws follows this petition. Petitioners respectfully request a hearing. 

    NAME ADDRESS [street address on original]

    1. John Lorence [Madison]

    2. Arielle Silver Karsh [Madison]

    3. Mike Newmark [Janesville]

    4. David Albino [Madison]

    5. Justin Chasco [McFarland]

    6. David Ludwig [Madison]

    7. Leon Swerin [Madison]

    8. John Sobotik [Madison]

    9. Kathleen Batha [Madison]

    10. Alex Mahfood [Madison]

    11. Joyce Dingman [Madison]

    12. Paul Nilsen [Madison]

    13. Kathleen Chung [Madison]

    14. Carrie Cox [Madison]

    15. Cynthia Smith [Middleton]

    16. Diane Norman [McFarland]

    17. Jeffrey Boldt [Middleton]

    18. Patrick Currie [Madison]

    19. Brian Schneider [Madison]

    20. Kenneth Duren [Madison]

    21. Peter McCombs [Oregon]

    22. Jennifer Nashold [Madison]

    23. Cynthia Stoppel [Fort Atkinson]

    24. James Thiel [Madison]

    25. Douglas Woods [Monona]

    26. Jon Kingstad [Stillwater, MN]

    27. Steven Levine [Madison]

    Submitted by:

    Attorney Steven Levine
    Sept. 10, 2013