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    The Wisconsin Supreme Court will hold a public hearing on Oct. 27 regarding paralegal licensure and regulation in Wisconsin and regarding adding two circuit court commissioners to the Judicial Branch Planning and Policy Advisory Committee.


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    Vol. 77, No. 8, August 2004

    Supreme Court Orders

    The Wisconsin Supreme Court will hold a public hearing on Oct. 27 regarding paralegal licensure and regulation in Wisconsin and regarding adding two circuit court commissioners to the Judicial Branch Planning and Policy Advisory Committee.

    Paralegal Licensure and Regulation

    In the matter of the Licensure and Regulations of Paralegals

    Order 04-03

    On Feb. 13, 2004, the Board of Governors of the State Bar of Wisconsin filed a petition for the establishment of a system for licensure and regulation of paralegals in 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 Oct. 27, 2004, 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 third day of May, 2004.

    By the court:
    Cornelia G. Clark, Clerk of Supreme Court

    Petition

    To: The Honorable Justices of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin

    The Board of Governors of the State Bar of Wisconsin, by R. George Burnett, President of the State Bar of Wisconsin, hereby petitions this Honorable Court to establish a system for the licensure and regulation of paralegals in Wisconsin.

    Petitioner respectfully requests that such licensure and regulation be conducted by one or more of the agencies of the Wisconsin Supreme Court; that all persons utilizing the title "paralegal" in Wisconsin be subject to such regulation and licensure; and that all such persons perform their services under the supervision of an attorney licensed to practice law in Wisconsin.

    Attached to this petition as Exhibit "A" is the supporting Final Report of the State Bar of Wisconsin Paralegal Task Force dated December 2003. [Editor's Note: This report is available online at www.wisbar.org/bar/reports/2004/ptf_final_2004.pdf.] PDF 192 KB

    Respectfully submitted on behalf of the Board of Governors of the State Bar of Wisconsin this 13th day of February, 2004.

    R. George Burnett, President, State Bar of Wisconsin

    Composition of Judicial Branch Planning and Advisory Committee

    In the matter of the Amendment of Supreme Court Rule 70.14(1)

    Order 04-04

    On May 11, 2004, the Wisconsin Association of Judicial Court Commissioners and the Wisconsin Family Court Commissioner Association filed a joint petition to amend Supreme Court Rule 70.14(1) by adding two circuit court commissioners to the membership of the judicial branch planning and policy advisory committee.

    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 Oct. 27, 2004, 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 24th day of May, 2004.

    By the court:
    Cornelia G. Clark, Clerk of Supreme Court

    Petition

    The Wisconsin Association of Judicial Court Commissioners and the Wisconsin Family Court Commissioner Association hereby petition the Supreme Court to amend Supreme Court Rule 70.14(1).

    This rule determines the composition of the Planning and Policy Advisory Committee. The committee's purpose is to advise the Supreme Court and the Director of State Courts on matters relating to "evaluating the administrative structure of the court system, including recommending appropriate changes in the administration and methods of operations of all the courts of the state, the volume and conditions of business in those courts, and advise on the expeditious handling of judicial matters in the future." SCR 70.14(4).

    Currently, the committee has representatives from a wide range of participants in the justice system. The committee consists of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and other Justices as the Chief Justice may designate, a court of appeals judge, 13 circuit court judges, a municipal judge, two representatives from the State Bar, three nonlawyers, a public defender, a court administrator, a prosecutor, and a clerk of court. SCR 70.14(1)(a-j).

    Court commissioners perform a wide range of judicial and quasi-judicial functions in every area of the law. Larger counties rely heavily on court commissioners to process high volume cases. For many citizens, a court commissioner is the only judicial figure they may encounter in court. Every county in the state uses court commissioners in some manner. Although there are approximately 155 full and part-time circuit court commissioners in the state of Wisconsin, court commissioners are not represented on this important committee.

    Consequently, the two statewide associations of circuit court commissioners respectfully petition the Supreme Court to modify SCR 70.14(1) as follows:

    Add (k) two (2) circuit court commissioners, with one designated by the Wisconsin Association of Judicial Court Commissioners and one designated by the Wisconsin Family Court Commissioners Association.

    Respectfully submitted this 11th day of May, 2004.

    Stephen D. Meyer, President, Wisconsin Association of Judicial Court Commissioners

    Darcy E. McManus, President, Wisconsin Family Court Commissioner Association




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