Wisconsin Lawyer: Supreme Court Orders:

State Bar of Wisconsin

Sign In

Top Link Bar

    Wisconsin LawyerWisconsin Lawyer

News & Pubs Search

Advanced

    Supreme Court Orders

    The Wisconsin Supreme Court will hold a public hearing on Oct. 24 to consider petitions to amend the rules of appellate procedure (order 06-02) and to adopt procedures to suspend or deny law licenses for delinquent state taxes (order 06-05). The court will hold an open administrative conference on Oct. 25 to set an effective date for amendments to the Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorneys (order 04-07).
    Share This:

    Wisconsin LawyerWisconsin Lawyer
    Vol. 79, No. 9, September 2006

    Supreme Court Orders

    The Wisconsin Supreme Court will hold a public hearing on Oct. 24 to consider petitions to amend the rules of appellate procedure (order 06-02) and to adopt procedures to suspend or deny law licenses for delinquent state taxes (order 06-05). The court will hold an open administrative conference on Oct. 25 to set an effective date for amendments to the Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorneys (order 04-07).

    Appellate Procedure

    In the Matter of the Petition to Amend Wis. Stat. § (Rule) 809.19(3)

    Order 06-02

    On March 8, 2006, the Department of Workforce Development filed a petition proposing an amendment to Wis. Stat. § (Rule) 809.19(3) stating that a respondent who is not a party in interest to an appeal may file a statement that no brief will be filed.

    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. 24, 2006 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 publication of a copy of this order and of the petition in the official state newspaper once 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 26th day of July, 2006.

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

    Petition

    Petitioner, the State of Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development ("DWD"), hereby petitions the Wisconsin Supreme Court pursuant to the Court's rulemaking authority under Wis. Stat. § 751.12 and its administrative authority over all courts conferred by Article VII, § 3 of the Wisconsin Constitution, to amend the Supreme Court Rules of Appellate Procedure, Wis. Stat. § (Rule) 809.19(3) as set forth herein.

    The child support program under Wis. Stat. § 49.22, is a federally funded, state administered program, the purpose of which is to establish paternity and establish and enforce child support obligations. In Wisconsin, the DWD is responsible for administration of the program, which is operated in 71 county and 3 tribal agencies. County Boards are required to contract with the DWD to implement and administer the program under Title IV of the Federal Social Security Act. See Wis. Stat. § 59.53(5).

    The DWD is authorized by s. 49.22(7) to delegate its authority to represent the State of Wisconsin in child support and paternity actions to attorneys responsible for support enforcement under s. 59.53(6). Attorneys responsible for support enforcement are authorized to represent the State in actions or proceedings under ss. 49.22(7), 767.075, 767.08, 767.45 and Ch. 769. However, the authority of child support agency attorneys under either s. 49.22 or s. 59.53(5) is limited to representation of the State. No attorney-client relationship exists between the agency attorney and the individuals who apply for child support services. See Wis. Stat. § 767.075(2). Rather, a child support agency attorney's participation in a case is limited, as a matter of law, to issues related to establishing paternity and child support.

    It is not uncommon for an appeal to be filed in such cases that relates to the custody or placement of the child, but not to child support. The State is not a party of interest in those issues. Nonetheless, DWD has been repeatedly advised that if the State determines that an appeal does not raise issues related to child support, it is not sufficient to simply notify the court of this fact with a brief letter. Indeed, DWD has been advised that such a letter:

    "[D]oes not discharge [DWD's] responsibilities under our rules of appellate procedure. If the respondent feels that the appeal does not raise issues related to child support, it should file a brief stating that legal position and the legal authority for it."

    In another instance, after filing a letter indicating it was not a party of interest to the appeal, the DWD was threatened with sanctions pursuant to Wis. Stat. § 809.83(2) for failure to file a brief.

    The briefing requirement is time consuming and costly for counties. It is of no benefit to the client, the State. Therefore, the DWD hereby petitions the Wisconsin Supreme Court for an order amending Wis. Stat. 809.19(3)(a), as follows:

    Section 1. Wis. Stat. s. 809.19(3)(a)2. of the rules of appellate procedure is amended to read:

    2. The brief must conform with sub. (1), except that the statement of issues and the statement of the case may be excluded, and, a respondent who is not a party in interest to the appeal may file a statement that no brief will be filed.

    Respectfully submitted this 8th day of March, 2006.

    By: Constance M. Chesnik
    Department of Workforce Development
    Madison, Wis.

    Top of page

    Procedure to Suspend or Deny Law License for Delinquent Taxes

    In the Matter of the Petition for Adoption of a Procedure to Suspend or Deny the License to Practice Law of a Person Certified as Delinquent in Payment of Wisconsin State Taxes

    Order 06-05

    On July 18, 2006, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue filed a petition proposing the amendment or creation of Supreme Court Rules by which the court would suspend an attorney's license to practice law or refuse to grant bar admission to an applicant if the attorney or applicant is certified to be liable for delinquent taxes, as provided by statute.

    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. 24, 2006 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 publication of a copy of this order and of the petition in the official state newspaper once 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 August, 2006.

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

    Petition

    Since 1997, the Wisconsin Legislature has provided for the denial, nonrenewal, revocation and suspension of licenses of persons certified to be delinquent in the payment of state taxes. On July 25, 2005, the legislature enacted 2005 Wisconsin Act 25, which, inter alia, amended Wis. Stat. §§ 73.0301(5)(b) (intro.), 73.0301(2)(b)1.a., 73.0301(2)(b)1.b., 73.0301(2)(b)2, 73.0301(2)(c)2, 73.0301(5)(a), and created Wis. Stat. § 73.0301(5)(am) and § 73.0301(2)(b)2m. See generally, 2005 Wis. Act 25 at 274-275, reproduced at http://www.legis.state.wi.us/2005/data/acts/05Act25.pdf. (2.69MB PDF)

    The legislative directive now clearly encompasses licenses to practice law in Wisconsin, see s. 73.0301(1)(d)11. Effectuating these legislative enactments requires the amendment and creation of certain Supreme Court Rules, to create a procedure by which the Court would suspend an attorney's license to practice law or refuse to grant bar admission to an applicant if the attorney or applicant is certified to be liable for delinquent taxes, as provided by statute. See ss. 73.0301(2)(a); 73.0301(3)(a)1, and 73.0301(4), stats.

    Therefore, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, hereby petitions the Wisconsin Supreme Court for an order amending or creating Supreme Court Rules, as follows:

    Section 1. SCR 11.05 of the supreme court rules is created to read:

    SCR 11.05 Suspension on certification of tax delinquency.

    (1) Upon submission of a certification from the department of revenue under s. 73.0301(2)(b)1.a., stats. that a person licensed to practice law in this state is liable for delinquent taxes, the supreme court may suspend the license of that person to practice law for up to [5] years.

    (2) Before entering an order suspending an attorney license under sub. (1), the supreme court shall issue an order requiring the attorney to show cause why his or her license to practice law should not be suspended. The supreme court may inquire into the reasons for the delinquency or any other matters the court considers appropriate. The court may enter any orders that it deems appropriate.

    (3) The supreme court may return the certification of tax delinquency to the department of revenue upon a showing by the attorney that the department or revenue failed to provide notice under s. 73.0301(2)(b)1.b., stats. of its intent to seek license suspension and that, as a result, the attorney was not aware of the right to a hearing as provided by s. 73.0301, stats. or has not had a reasonable opportunity to pay the delinquency or enter into an agreement with the department of revenue to satisfy the delinquency.

    (4) A license to practice law suspended under sub. (1) shall be automatically reinstated upon the expiration of the period for which the attorney's license to practice law was suspended unless the license is sooner reinstated by order of the supreme court upon notification by the department of revenue that the attorney has paid the delinquent tax in full or has made satisfactory payment arrangements with the department of revenue to satisfy the delinquency.

    (5) An attorney whose license to practice law is suspended under sub. (1) shall comply with the provisions of SCR 22.26.

    (6) The supreme court may disclose the social security number of a member of the state bar to the department of revenue for the purpose of administering s. 73.0301, stats.

    Section 2. SCR 40.06(4) of the supreme court rules is amended to read:

    SCR 40.06(4) The board shall not certify an applicant while an attorney disciplinary matter against the applicant is pending, or the applicant is certified by the department of workforce development as delinquent in making court-ordered payments of support or failing to comply with a subpoena or warrant, as those terms are defined in SCR 11.04(1), or the applicant is certified by the department of revenue as "liable for delinquent taxes," as defined in s. 73.0301(1)(c), stats. If an applicant's license to practice law in another jurisdiction is suspended or revoked for reasons related to professional responsibility at the time the application is filed or at any time that the application is pending, the suspension or revocation is a sufficient basis for denial of certification.

    Respectfully submitted this 18th day of July, 2006.

    By: Wisconsin Department of Revenue
    Michael L. Morgan, Secretary
    Madison, Wis.

    Top of page

    Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorneys

    In the matter of the Petition for Amendment to Supreme Court Chapter 20 - Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorneys

    Order 04-07

    The Wisconsin Supreme Court is considering a petition to amend Supreme Court Rules Chapter 20, the Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorneys. The petition was filed on July 29, 2004, by the Wisconsin Ethics 2000 Committee. The court conducted a public hearing on Feb. 17, 2005, in which numerous persons participated. Open administrative conferences on the petition were conducted on Nov. 30, 2005, Dec. 15, 2005, Jan. 19, 2006, Jan. 25, 2006, Feb. 28, 2006, March 7, 2006, and March 15, 2006. The court then released a draft of the proposed amendments and invited interested persons to submit written corrections or comments on or before Sept. 8, 2006. Comments may be submitted to Cornelia G. Clark, Clerk of the Supreme Court via email at Cornelia.Clark@wicourts.gov; by fax to (608) 267-0640; or by regular mail to P.O. Box 1688, 110 E. Main St., Suite 215, Madison, WI 53701-1688.

    On Oct. 25, 2006, at 9:30 a.m., at its open administrative conference the court will discuss final issues relating to the proposed draft and will determine the appropriate effective date for amendments. As this matter has already been the subject of a public hearing, general public testimony will not be entertained at the open conference. The court may direct questions to individuals present at the conference to aid the court's consideration of these matters. Therefore,

    IT IS ORDERED that on Oct. 25, 2006, at 9:30 a.m., at its open administrative conference in the Supreme Court Room in the State Capitol, Madison, Wis., the court will discuss final issues relating to the proposed draft and will determine the appropriate effective date for amendments.

    IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that notice of this conference shall be given by a single publication of a copy of this order 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 7th day of August, 2006.

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




To view or add comment, Login