- A Two-year Patch: 2010 Tax Relief Act Overview
- There’s a little bit of relief for just about every taxpayer in the 2010 Tax Relief Act, including small and family businesses, working individuals, and wealthy people with substantial estates. The law contains several unique, limited-term planning opportunities but is fraught with peril for those who neglect the details.
- Panning for Gold: Social Networking's Impact on E-Discovery
- In seeking evidence when representing clients, attorneys must search where the evidence lies – and today, that often means searching online sources. The authors present practical recommendations and recent legal developments to help lawyers and clients u nderstand how the use of social networking sites can affect a case.
- Negotiating in the 'Red Zone'
- Lawyers should take special care to advise clients in a timely and meaningful way, faithfully follow client instructions, and document their actions when negotiating settlements, particularly when a demand and offer fall within the client’s stated accept able range – that is, the client’s red zone.
- Avoiding E-Discovery Traps
- it is to communicate on behalf of our clients and advance their goals. The authors clarify the basic principles of copyright infringement and plagiarism as they apply to t
- Revising the Residential Offer Form
- The same technology boom that necessitated Wisconsin's electronic discovery rules provides the tools for attorneys and clients to avoid potential traps and fulfill duties created by the new rules, in conjunction with federal court guidance.; As of July 1, 2011, real estate licensees are required to use the 2011 WB-11 residential offer to purchase form, which replaces the 2010 version. The 2011 revised form addresses most of the concerns with the older form but also raises new questions.
- WebXtra: Applying Plagiarism and Copyright Infringement Rules to Lawyers’ Work
- Lawyers do a lot of copying. Why charge a client to create a document from scratch when you can draw from many existing sources? In this video, available online with the June 2011 Wisconsin Lawyer, the authors clarify the basic principles of copyright infringement and plagiarism, and advocate for a flexible notion of plagiarism adapted to the needs of the institutions in which lawyers work.
- A New Era: Products Liability Law in Wisconsin
- Wisconsin’s products liability law has undergone a sea change. Changes to Wis. Stat. chapter 895 adopt a new test of defectiveness, leaving behind the analysis of consumer expectations in strict liability claims and substituting the reasonable-alternative-design standard. Plaintiffs now must meet more stringent requirements to recover for an injury caused by defective products.
- The Shaping of a President: Jim Brennan
- State Bar President Jim Brennan credits his upbringing as the son of an Irish immigrant cop and a nurse, in a family that values justice and advocacy for the poor, for shaping his life’s work – the pursuit of justice. As president, Brennan's focus will b e on supporting the roles lawyers play in the justice system and assuring the public of the Bar's commitment to equal justice.
- Over Assessed? Appealing Home Tax Assessments
- Nearly 60 percent of the nation's taxable property may be over assessed. There are many reasons for real estate appraisal inaccuracies, which may affect a property owner's tax assessment. It is important that taxpayers and their attorneys understand how appraisals are conducted and the different types of tax assessment appeals that are available, including their processes and limitations.
- Leaving a Client: Confidentiality Upon Withdrawal
- Most courts require a lawyer to seek permission to withdraw from representing a client and usually require the lawyer to provide some reason. Withdrawing lawyers still owe a duty of confidentiality to the client, however, and should not disclose informat ion that would be detrimental to the client's interests.
- WebXtra: Changes to Wisconsin’s Products Liability Law
- To recover for an injury caused by a defective product, plaintiffs now must prove a manufacturer rejected a reasonable alternative design that would have reduced the foreseeable danger. In this video, available online with the July 2011 Wisconsin Lawyer, coauthor Jessica Ozalp explains that the adoption of this new test of defectiveness is among the biggest changes to Wisconsin’s products liability law.
- The Pendulum Swings: No More Early Release
- The pendulum of sentencing policy has swung back again in Wisconsin. 2011 Wisconsin Act 38, which became effective Aug. 3, signals a return to truth-in-sentencing by changing the state's criminal sentencing laws to eliminate or adjust many of the procedures that had allowed early release of certain inmates.
- Navigating Conflict-of-Interest Disqualification Motions
- By making clear that objections to an attorney’s involvement in a case on conflict grounds can be raised by nonclient parties as well as by clients, a recent Wisconsin decision has increased the burden on lawyers to conduct thorough conflict-of-interest checks.
- Who Is a Prospective Client?
- Formal Opinion EF-11-03 discusses the definition of and duties owed to prospective clients, including when a lawyer is contacted through a lawyer website or by email.
- WebXtra video: Don't be victim to scammers
- Lawyers regularly receive email messages from prospective “clients” whose goal is to trick the lawyers into transmitting funds to the message senders. In this video, Madison attorney Thomas Watson notes business loans, commercial litigation, family law, and real estate appear to be the areas of law most commonly used by scammers. Watson urges, “Be wary of clients who make contact only by email, and be careful with your online banking system, particularly when it comes to your trust accounts.”
- Top 8 Recent Wisconsin Federal Court Decisions
- Federal court interpretations of Wisconsin law are of persuasive value to, but not binding on, Wisconsin courts, yet, they affect how Wisconsin law develops and is argued. Here is a look at eight significant Wisconsin federal court decisions interpreting Wisconsin law in 2010 and 2011, encompassing common law claims and statutory interpretations.
- Class Action Suits after Wal-Mart Inc. v. Dukes
- The U.S. Supreme Court has placed obstacles in the path of plaintiffs' litigators attempting to put together class action lawsuits. Learn about the Court's decision in Wal-Mart Inc. v. Dukes and the similarities and differences between the feder al rule the Court relied on and Wisconsin's class-action statute.
- The Toll of Trauma
- A groundbreaking study of Wisconsin State Public Defender attorneys examines the effects of "compassion fatigue" – the cumulative physical, emotional, and psychological effects resulting from continual exposure to others' traumatic experiences. This article discusses the significance of compassion fatigue's effects, factors contributing to the risk any lawyer may face of experiencing its symptoms, and what can be done to mitigate it.
- Health-care Reform: What You Should Know
- Lawyers need to understand the effects of the 2010 Health-care Reform Law as they seek health-care coverage for themselves, their families, and their employees, and as they counsel their business clients.
- Enhancing Animal Welfare Laws
- 2009 Wisconsin Act 90 bolsters Wisconsin's animal abuse and neglect laws by requiring dog breeders, animal shelters, rescues, and others involved in the care and custody of animals to obtain a license and meet state guidelines on animal treatment.
- Webxtra: The Toll of Trauma
- The cumulative physical, emotional, and psychological effects resulting from continual exposure to others' traumatic experience – compassion fatigue – can put lawyers at risk. In this video, Deb Smith, SPD director of assigned counsel, and Linda Albert, State Bar WisLAP coordinator, discuss a groundbreaking study of State Public Defender attorneys. This study examines the impact of secondary trauma on lawyers who are continually exposed to others' traumatic experiences.