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    Wisconsin LawyerWisconsin Lawyer
    Vol. 84, No. 6, June 2011

    • Order 10-10 – Wisconsin Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection
    • Order 10-11 – Administration of Municipal Courts

    Wisconsin Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection

    In the matter of the amendment of Supreme Court Rule 12.07 Relating to Assessment of Attorneys for the Wisconsin Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection

    Order 10-10

    On Dec. 17, 2010, the Wisconsin Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection (“the Fund”) petitioned this court to amend Supreme Court Rule (SCR) 12.07 relating to the assessment of attorneys for operation of the Fund. The Fund was created by this court in 1981, and is designed to provide reimbursement to clients who have incurred financial losses due to the dishonest conduct of their attorneys. Members of the State Bar of Wisconsin are assessed annual fees to finance the Fund. The Fund is recommending that SCR 12.07 be amended to provide for an annual assessment of $20 beginning with the dues statement for Fiscal Year 2013 (July 1, 2012 – June 30, 2013). The amendment is intended to provide a more reliable and predictable source of income for payment of eligible claims. The proposed amendment provides that the court will review SCR 12.07 every five years to evaluate whether the assessment and reserve fund are appropriate to meet the legitimate claims of clients. A public hearing on the petition was conducted on April 11, 2011. At the ensuing open administrative conference the court discussed the matter and voted unanimously to grant the petition with minor clarifications. Therefore,

    IT IS ORDERED that, effective Jan. 1, 2012, the Supreme Court Rules are amended as follows:

    Section 1. 12.07 (title) of the Supreme Court Rules is amended as follows:

    12.07 Assessment of attorneys; reserve; enforcement.

    Section 2. 12.07 (2) (title) of the Supreme Court Rules is created to read:

    12.07 (2) Annual Assessments; Reserve.

    Section 3. 12.07 (2) of the Supreme Court Rules is renumbered 12.07 (2) (a) and amended to read:

    12.07 (2) (a) Annual Assessments. Commencing with the state bar’s July 1, 1982 2013 fiscal year, every attorney shall pay to the fund such an annual assessment as is necessary to maintain a balance in the fund of $250,000, but in no event shall any annual assessment exceed $25.of $20. An attorney whose annual state bar membership dues are waived for hardship shall be excused from the payment of the annual assessment for that year. An attorney shall be excused from the payment of the annual assessment for the fiscal year during which he or she is admitted to practice in Wisconsin.

    Section 4. 12.07 (2) (b) of the Supreme Court Rules is created to read:

    12.07 (2) (b) Reserve. As of May 1 of each year, any funds in excess of those required for payment of approved claims shall be maintained in a reserve account for the Wisconsin Lawyers Fund for Client Protection.

    Section 5. 12.07 (3) of the Supreme Court Rules is repealed and recreated as follows:

    12.07 (3) Sufficiency; report. (a) Sufficiency of the fund. The committee shall determine the net value of the fund as of May 1 of each year. The committee shall determine the net value of the fund, including the reserve, after deducting all claims which the committee has determined to pay and which are not disposed of at the date of valuation, deferred claims, claims received but not yet considered by the committee, and all expenses properly chargeable against the fund.

    (b) Report. The committee shall file a report of the net value of the fund with the supreme court by May 31 of each year.

    Section 6. 12.07 (5) of the Supreme Court Rules is created to read:

    12.07 (5) Periodic Review. The supreme court shall review SCR 12.07 every five years to determine if the assessment and reserve fund is adequate to timely meet the legitimate claims of clients.

    IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that notice of the amendments to Supreme Court Rule 12.07 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.

    Dated at Madison, Wis., this 29th day of April, 2011.

    By the court:

    A. John Voelker,
    Acting Clerk of Supreme Court

    Administration of Municipal Courts

    In the matter of amendment of Supreme Court Rules Chapters 70 and 33 relating to administration of municipal courts.

    Order 10-11

    On Dec. 17, 2010, the Director of State Courts, on behalf of the Committee of Chief Judges, petitioned this court for an order amending Chapters 70 and 33 of the Supreme Court Rules relating to rules of judicial administration of municipal courts and continuing education for municipal judges. The amendments are intended to make the Supreme Court Rules consistent with recent legislative changes to Wis. Stat. chs. 755 and 800 (2009 Act 402, eff. Jan. 1, 2011). A public hearing was conducted on April 11, 2011. At the ensuing open administrative conference the court voted unanimously to adopt the petition and proposed amendments with some minor clarifications. Accordingly,

    IT IS ORDERED that effective July 1, 2011, the Supreme Court Rules are amended as follows:

    Section 1. 33.01 (4) of the Supreme Court Rules is created to read:

    33.01 (4) “Municipal court clerk” means a court clerk appointed by a municipal judge pursuant to section 755.10 of the statutes.

    Section 2. 33.04 (3) of the Supreme Court Rules is created to read:

    33.04 (3) Each municipal judge shall designate and require a minimum of one municipal court clerk to attend the annual municipal court clerk’s training seminar, developed by the judicial education office, at least once every 2 years.

    Section 3. 70.19 (4) of the Supreme Court Rules is amended to read:

    70.19 (4) The chief judge shall exercise administrative authority over the administration of judicial business of the municipal courts of the judicial administrative district. The chief judge shall assign municipal judges as specified in SCR 70.24.

    Section 4. 70.20 of the Supreme Court Rules is renumbered 70.20 (1).

    Section 5. 70.20 (2) of the Supreme Court Rules is created to read:

    70.20 (2) The administrative authority of the chief judge extends to the municipal courts of the judicial administrative district. If a municipal court is located in more than one judicial administrative district, the chief judge whose district includes the county having the largest portion of the population served by the municipal court shall have administrative authority over that court, consistent with section 755.001 (2) of the statutes.

    Section 6. 70.21 (15m) of the Supreme Court Rules is created to read:

    70.21 (15m) Section 755.01(1): certification that a new municipal court meets the operational standards set forth in chapter 755 of the statutes.

    Section 7. 70.21 (26) of the Supreme Court Rules is amended to read:

    70.21 (26) Sections 48.29(1m), 345.315(1m), 799.205(2), 800.05(3), 800.05(5), 801.58(2), 938.29(1m) and 971.20(8): determination of substitution requests and reassignment of judges.

    Section 8. 70.24 of the Supreme Court Rules is renumbered 70.24 (1).

    Section 9. 70.24 (2) of the Supreme Court Rules is created to read:

    70.24 (2) When making an assignment under sub (1), the chief judge by order may assign a municipal judge or a reserve municipal judge from outside the judicial administrative district. Before making the assignment of a reserve municipal judge, the chief judge shall consult with the chief judge of the reserve municipal judge’s district.

    IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that notice of the amendments to Chapters 70 and 33 of the Supreme Court Rules 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.

    Dated at Madison, Wis., this 27th day of April, 2011.

    By the court:

    A. John Voelker,
    Acting Clerk of Supreme Court

     




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