Policy Positions

State Bar of Wisconsin

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Board of Governors Policy Positions

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The State Bar is led by a 52-member Board of Governors, including the association's five officers and the immediate past president, who are elected by the membership or appointed by the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The organization operates under the rules of the supreme court and the State Bar's bylaws.

The Board of Governors works with the Government Relations staff on a wide variety of issues and policy decisions important to the legal profession, the general public, and the justice system. The Board adopts public policy positions on behalf of the entire organization, consistent with the State Bar's mission.

 

On This Page

State Bar Position Statements

The State Bar of Wisconsin takes legislative positions on general policy items of importance to the legal profession. By a 60 percent majority vote, the Board of Governors has the authority to determine the legislative positions of the State Bar.

The following are guiding principles for the State Bar's public policy positions. Specific examples of issues which fall under those guiding principles are also included.

The six principles include:

  • Regulation of the Practice of Law
  • Delivery of Legal Services
  • Administration of Justice
  • Funding of the Justice System
  • Criminal Practice and Procedure
  • Civil Practice and Procedure

If you have any questions, please contact State Bar Government Relations Staff

Current Legislation

  • Assembly

      • Assembly 243 (Private Bar Rate)
      • Companion Bill: SB 235
      • Relating to: increasing the rate paid to private attorneys for representing indigent clients.
      • Position: Active Support
      • Final Status: Failed to pass
      • Bill History
      • Bill Text
      • Assembly 387 (Second Chance)
      • Companion Bill: SB 308
      • Relating to the age at which a person who is alleged to have violated a criminal law, a civil law, or a municipal ordinance and who is not alleged to have committed certain violent offences or has not previously been convicted of a crime or adjudicated delinquent is subject to juvenile court jurisdiction.
      • Position: Active Support
      • Final Status: Failed to pass
      • Bill History
      • Bill Text
  • Budget

      • Budget 0 (AB 40 - Civil Legal Services)
      • Relating to adding language in the state budget bill, AB 40, that provides state general purpose revenue funding to give civil legal assistance by lawyers to low-income citizens.
      • Position: Active Support
      • Final Status: Failed to Pass
      • Bill History
      • Bill Text
      • Budget 0 (AB 40 - Court Funding )
      • Relating to adequate funding of the Judicial Branch of government.
      • Position: Active Support
      • Final Status: Failed with Amendment
      • Bill History
      • Bill Text
      • Budget 0 (AB 40 - Public Defender Funding)
      • Relating to providing compensation, including benefit packages, that are adequate to attract and retain public defenders.
      • Position: Active Support
      • Final Status: 2013 Wisconsin Act 20
      • Bill History
      • Bill Text
      • Budget 0 (AB 40 - State Attorney Compensation)
      • Relating to compensation, including benefit packages, that are adequate to attract and retain experienced and qualified attorneys employed by the State of Wisconsin.
      • Position: Active Support
      • Final Status: 2013 Wisconsin Act 20
      • Bill History
      • Bill Text

 

Previous Sessions

2011-2012

  • Assembly

      • Assembly 488 (ADA Pay Progression)
      • Companion Bill: SB 394
      • Relating to establishing an assistant district attorney pay progression plan.
      • Position: Active Support
      • Final Status: Failed to pass
      • Bill History
      • Bill Text
      • Assembly 4 (Auto Insurance Anti-Stacking)
      • Companion Bill: SB 7
      • Relating to automobile insurance coverage limits, permissible policy provisions, and proof of financial responsibility.
      • Position: Active Opposition
      • Final Status: 2011 Wisconsin Act 14
      • Bill History
      • Bill Text
      • Assembly 18 (Data Collection - ethnic and racial profiling)
      • Companion Bill: SB 15
      • Relating to collection and analysis of motor vehicle traffic stop information and law enforcement training standards.
      • Position: Active Opposition
      • Final Status: Failed to pass
      • Bill History
      • Bill Text
      • Assembly 173 (Immigration)
      • Relating to local ordinances, determining the lawful presence of a person arrested for or charged with a crime or certain civil violations, and providing a penalty.
      • Position: Active Opposition
      • Final Status: Failed to pass
      • Bill History
      • Bill Text
      • Assembly 109 (Judicial Substitution)
      • Companion Bill: Senate Bill 74
      • Relating to eliminating substitution of judges in criminal matters.
      • Position: Active Opposition
      • Final Status: Failed to pass
      • Bill History
      • Bill Text
      • Assembly 538 (Product Liability)
      • Companion Bill: SB 373
      • Relating to changes to product liability law and the law governing remedies against manufacturers, distributors, sellers, and promoters of a product.
      • Position: Active Opposition
      • Final Status: Failed to pass
      • Bill History
      • Bill Text
      • Assembly 544 (Product Liability)
      • Companion Bill: SB 373
      • Relating to changes to product liability law and the law governing remedies against manufacturers, distributors, sellers, and promoters of a product.
      • Position: Active Opposition
      • Final Status: Failed to pass
      • Bill History
      • Bill Text
  • Senate

      • Senate 394 (ADA Pay Progression)
      • Companion Bill: AB 488
      • Relating to establishing an assistant district attorney pay progression plan.
      • Position: Active Support
      • Final Status: 2011 Wisconsin Act 238
      • Bill History
      • Bill Text
      • Senate 7 (Auto Insurance Anti-Stacking)
      • Companion Bill: Assembly Bill 4
      • Relating to automobile insurance coverage limits, permissible policy provisions, and proof of financial responsibility
      • Position: Active Opposition
      • Final Status: Failed to pass
      • Bill History
      • Bill Text
      • Senate 15 (Data Collection - ethnic and racial profiling)
      • Companion Bill: Assembly Bill 18
      • Relating to collection and analysis of motor vehicle traffic stop information and law enforcement training standards.
      • Position: Active Opposition
      • Final Status: 2011 Wisconsin Act 29
      • Bill History
      • Bill Text
      • Senate 74 (Judicial Substitution)
      • Companion Bill: Assembly Bill 109
      • Relating to eliminating substitution of judges in criminal matters
      • Position: No Position
      • Final Status: Failed to pass
      • Bill History
      • Bill Text
      • Senate 373 (Product Liability)
      • Companion Bill: AB 538 & AB 544
      • Relating to changes to product liability law and the law governing remedies against manufacturers, distributors, sellers, and promoters of a product.
      • Position: Active Opposition
      • Final Status: Failed to pass
      • Bill History
      • Bill Text
  • Special Session

      • Special Session 1 (Jan. SS AB 1 - Tort Reform: product liability, non economic damages & expert lay/witness testimony)
      • Companion Bill: Jan. SS SB 1
      • Relating to limiting noneconomic damages awarded in actions against long-term care providers; actions against manufacturers, distributors, sellers, and promoters of certain products; confidentiality of health care services reviews; use as evidence of information regarding health care providers; reporting of quality indicators identifying individual hospitals; homicide or injury by negligent handling of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire; criminal abuse of individuals at risk; criminal abuse and neglect of patients and residents; evidence of lay and expert witnesses; damages for frivolous claims; and punitive damage awards.
      • Position: Active Opposition
      • Final Status: Failed to pass
      • Bill History
      • Bill Text
      • Special Session 1 (Jan. SS SB 1 - Tort Reform: product liability, non economic damages & expert lay/witness testimony )
      • Companion Bill: Jan. SS AB 1
      • Relating to limiting noneconomic damages awarded in actions against long?term care providers; actions against manufacturers, distributors, sellers, and promoters of certain products; confidentiality of health care services reviews; use as evidence of information regarding health care providers; reporting of quality indicators identifying individual hospitals; homicide or injury by negligent handling of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire; criminal abuse of individuals at risk; criminal abuse and neglect of patients and residents; evidence of lay and expert witnesses; damages for frivolous claims; and punitive damage awards.
      • Position: Active Opposition
      • Final Status: 2011 Wisconsin Act 2
      • Bill History
      • Bill Text
      • Special Session 12 (Sept. SS AB 12 Reasonableness of Attorney Fees)
      • Companion Bill: Sept. SS SB 12
      • Relating to factors for determining the reasonableness of attorney fees.
      • Position: Active Opposition
      • Final Status: Failed to pass
      • Bill History
      • Bill Text
      • Special Session 13 (Sept. SS AB13 Liability for Defective Products)
      • Companion Bill: Sept. SS SB 13
      • Relating to providing immunity from liability to drug and device manufacturers and sellers under certain circumstances.
      • Position: Active Opposition
      • Final Status: Failed to pass
      • Bill History
      • Bill Text
      • Special Session 12 (Sept. SS SB 12 Reasonableness of Attorney Fees)
      • Companion Bill: Sept. SS AB12
      • Relating to factors for determining the reasonableness of attorney fees.
      • Position: Active Opposition
      • Final Status: 2011 Wisconsin Act 92
      • Bill History
      • Bill Text
      • Special Session 13 (Sept. SS SB13 Liability for Defective Products)
      • Companion Bill: Sept. SS AB13
      • Relating to providing immunity from liability to drug and device manufacturers and sellers under certain circumstances.
      • Position: Active Opposition
      • Final Status: Failed to pass
      • Bill History
      • Bill Text

2009-2010

  • Assembly

      • Assembly 189 (Homestead Exemption)
      • Companion Bill: Senate Bill 160
      • Relating to increasing the amount of the homestead exemption.
      • Position: Active Support
      • Final Status: Failed to pass
      • Bill Text
      • Assembly 224 (Private Bar Rate)
      • Relating to the reimbursement rate for private attorneys appointed by the State Public Defender.
      • Position: Active Support
      • Final Status: Failed to pass
      • Bill Text
      • Assembly 291 (Family Justice Bill)
      • Companion Bill: Senate Bill 203
      • Relating to claims for loss of society and companionship in medical malpractice cases.
      • Position: Active Support
      • Final Status: Failed to pass
      • Bill Text
      • Assembly 891 (Prosecutor Funding)
      • Companion Bill: Senate Bill 636
      • Relating to imposing a surcharge for certain forfeitures and making an appropriation.
      • Position: Active Support
      • Final Status: Failed to pass
      • Bill Text
      • Assembly 732 (17-Year-old Juvenile Court Jurisdiction)
      • Relating to the age at which a person who is alleged to have violated a criminal law, a civil law, or a municipal ordinance is subject to circuit court or municipal court jurisdiction rather than juvenile court jurisdiction; creating a community youth and family aids surcharge; authorizing the Department of Corrections to set the youth aids daily rates for care of a juvenile in a juvenile correctional facility or a treatment facility; providing an exemption from rule-making procedures; and making an appropriation.
      • Position: Active Support
      • Final Status: Failed to pass
      • Bill History
      • Bill Text
  • Budget

      • Budget (AB 75 - Elimination of No Probable Cause Hearings)
      • Relating to the elimination of administrative hearings on no probable cause findings regarding complaints alleging discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, and other applicable statutes; and the proposed elimination of five ALJ positions as they relate to the elimination of probable cause hearings in the Equal Rights Division.
      • Position: Active Opposition
      • Final Status: Failed to pass
      • Bill Text
      • Budget (AB 75 - Transportation: State Highway Program)
      • Relating to caps on attorney fees in appeals of eminent domain proceedings.
      • Position: Active Opposition
      • Final Status: Failed to pass
      • Bill Text
      • Budget (AB 75 - General Provisions)
      • Relating to changes to contributory negligence and joint and several liability.
      • Position: Active Support
      • Final Status: Failed to pass
      • Bill Text
      • Budget (AB 75 - Insurance)
      • Relating to repeal of anti-stacking provisions related to automobile insurance.
      • Position: Active Support
      • Final Status: Passed
      • Bill Text
      • Budget (AB 75 - Circuit Courts)
      • Relating to increase in court interpreter reimbursement.
      • Position: Active Support
      • Final Status: Passed
      • Bill Text
      • Budget (AB 75 - Administration: Office of Justice Assistance)
      • Relating to civil legal services for the indigent.
      • Position: Active Support
      • Final Status: Failed to pass
      • Bill Text
      • Budget (AB 75 - Caseload Standards: Public Defender Staff)
      • Relating to caseload standards for individual Public Defender staff attorneys.
      • Position: Active Support
      • Final Status: Failed to pass
      • Bill Text
      • Budget (AB 75 - District Attorneys)
      • Relating to support of reasonable caseload standards for prosecutors that will ensure effective representation of the public in criminal cases. The State Bar of Wisconsin supports General Purpose Revenue funding for additional staff necessary to maintain reasonable caseloads in District Attorney offices. Understaffing of District Attorney’s offices threatens the quality of justice in the criminal justice system by depriving the public of effective representation.
      • Position: Active Support
      • Final Status: Failed to pass
      • Bill Text
      • Budget (AB 75 - DOA Attorney Consolidation)
      • Relating to consolidation of state attorney positions into Department of Administration.
      • Position: Active Opposition
      • Final Status: Passed in part, failed in part
      • Bill Text
      • Budget (AB 75 - Eligibility for Appointed Counsel)
      • Relating to eligibility to receive appointed counsel.
      • Position: Active Support
      • Final Status: Failed but passed as separate legislation SB 263
      • Bill Text
      • Budget (AB 75 - Compensation Rates)
      • Relating to the reimbursement rate for private attorneys appointed by the State Public Defender.
      • Position: Active Support
      • Final Status: Failed to pass
      • Bill Text
  • Senate

      • Senate 40 (Impartial Justice Bill)
      • Companion Bill: Assembly Bill 65
      • Relating to public financing of campaigns for the office of justice of the supreme court, making appropriations, and providing penalties.
      • Position: Active Support
      • Final Status: 2009 Wisconsin Act 89, vetoed in part
      • Bill Text
      • Senate 127 (State Notification in Medical Malpractice Cases)
      • Companion Bill: Assembly Bill 179
      • Relating to notification to the state and certain public agencies regarding a medical malpractice claim and limits on liability.
      • Position: Active Support
      • Final Status: 2009 Wisconsin Act 278
      • Bill Text
      • Senate 259 (Homestead Exemption)
      • Relating to the homestead exemption and increases in the value of the exemption for various property that is exempt from execution.
      • Position: Active Support
      • Final Status: 2009 Wisconsin Act 80
      • Bill Text
      • Senate 263 (SPD Eligibility)
      • Companion Bill: Assembly Bill 395
      • Relating to criteria for determining indigency for purposes of representation by the State Public Defender and requiring the exercise of rule-making authority.
      • Position: Active Support
      • Final Status: 2009 Wisconsin Act 164
      • Bill Text
      • Senate 386 (Repeal of Auto Stacking and Other Provisions)
      • Companion Bill: Assembly Bill 525
      • Relating to automobile insurance coverage limits and proof of financial responsibility.
      • Position: Active Opposition
      • Final Status: Failed to pass
      • Bill Text
      • Senate 674 (Juvenile Court Jurisdiction)
      • Relating to the age at which a person who is alleged to have violated a civil law or municipal ordinance is subject to circuit court or municipal court jurisdiction rather than to juvenile court jurisdiction and prohibiting a juvenile who has committed a civil law or municipal ordinance violation from being placed in a juvenile detention facility.
      • Position: Active Support
      • Final Status: Failed to pass
      • Bill Text
      • Senate 636 (Prosecutor Funding (ADAs))
      • Companion Bill: AB 891
      • Relating to imposing a surcharge for certain forfeitures and making an appropriation.
      • Position: Active Support
      • Bill History
      • Bill Text