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    • September
      15
      2017
      Litigation Section Blog

      Filers Beware: Dangers Lurk in Commencing Civil Actions

      There are pitfalls and perils associated with properly commencing a civil action in Wisconsin. Michael Gill talks about those perils, and offers defenses to raise when defects exist.

    • September
      05
      2017
      Family Law Section Blog

      There’s No Limit to the Practical Use of Limited Scope Representation

      For solo and small firms, limited scope representation is a milestone for efficient, cost-effective representation, and is exceptionally practical in family law settings. James Bock discusses this recently enacted rule and its potential application in family law matters.

    • August
      24
      2017
      Labor & Employment Blog

      Ninth Circuit Finds Employer’s Lawyer Liable for FLSA Retaliation

      A recent case in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals shows just how broad the FLSA’s anti-retaliation provisions can be. Claire Roehre discusses the case, which involves retaliation by an employer’s attorney against an undocumented worker for bringing a lawsuit over numerous workplace violations.

    • August
      24
      2017
      Environmental Law Section Blog

      Wisconsin Highway Projects Face Biennial Budget Impasse and Federal Lawsuits

      Wisconsin’s biennial budget, now nearly two months past due, is delayed over transportation issues. Dennis Grzezinski discusses how federal lawsuits involving Wisconsin highway projects may raise questions about the state's management of transportation issues.

    • August
      17
      2017
      Agricultural Law and Rural Practice Blog

      Rural Revolution: Is the Future So Bright Ag Lawyers Should Wear Shades?

      Generational, technological, and policy changes ahead for agriculture in the U.S. mean attorneys serving rural clients are in a unique position to affect the future of rural America and agriculture worldwide. Nancy Trueblood talks about why the future is bright for lawyers in agriculture law

    • August
      16
      2017
      International Practice Section Blog

      The Many Paths to Practicing
      International Law

      International law is a fascinating and fast-growing legal field. What does it take to get into this practice area? While an attorney can certainly plan to focus on international matters from day one, involvement in international matters can be varied and may simply arise out of clients’ needs.

    • August
      08
      2017
      Business Law Section Blog

      The Department of Labor Fiduciary Rule is Here – Sort of

      After numerous delays, the U.S. Department of Labor has now partially implemented a new fiduciary rule for financial professionals providing investment services to retirement plans. Drew Parrish discusses the new fiduciary rule, its implementation status, and how the rule will apply.

    • August
      07
      2017
      Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

      Parking Garage Tragedy Yields Appellate Ruling on Concealment Exception to Statute of Repose

      In June 2010, a young man was killed when a 13-ton concrete panel fell onto him in Milwaukee. The case is the basis for a recent Court of Appeals decision regarding statute of repose’s concealment exception. Hugh Anderson discusses the case and the nature of the evidence presented to establish the exception.

    • August
      04
      2017
      Dispute Resolution Section Blog

      Twice is Nice: Why You Shouldn't Fear Mediation

      During mediation, if you suddenly learn new information about your case that makes you rethink its settlement value – that is a good thing, not something to be afraid of. Mediation, says Michael Pollack, is the better time than during trial to find out what’s harmful in your case.

    • August
      02
      2017
      Family Law Section Blog

      Lawyer-mediators Can Now Draft Agreements

      As of July 1, 2017, lawyers serving as mediators can draft, amend, and file legal documents for litigants going through a family law case. David Karp discusses this new amendment to the Supreme Court Rules and provides a sample acknowledgement that complies with the new amendment.

    • August
      01
      2017
      Family Law Section Blog

      Welcome to the Family Law Section Blog

      The new Family Law Section Blog will provide section members with valuable information concerning issues that are important to attorneys with a special interest in family law.

    • July
      18
      2017
      Environmental Law Section Blog

      The Dirt on PAHs: New DNR Guidance Proposed for Assessing Soil Contamination

      The Department of Natural Resources recently proposed new guidance for assessing residual contamination levels in soils. The proposed guidance offers an alternative method for assessing seven cPAH compounds using a cumulative risk approach, say Cheryl Heilman and Ned Witte.

    • July
      17
      2017
      Litigation Section Blog

      Is Everything Discoverable When Bad Faith Is Alleged Against Insurance Companies?

      Bad faith litigation against insurance companies often involves discovery beyond what is permitted for typical breach of contract claims. Barbara O’Brien explores discovery issues that both plaintiff’s and defense counsel face when a bad faith claim is alleged against an insurance company.

    • July
      13
      2017
      Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

      Court of Appeals: Clear Communication Reduces Risk of Unnecessary Litigation

      Steven Mroczkowski discusses a recent ruling in District II Court of Appeals that is a reminder for attorneys to emphasize to clients the importance of clear communication during projects, and that a review of title records prior to filing a lien may be prudent when ownership is not abundantly clear.

    • June
      30
      2017
      Business Law Section Blog

      Round Three: Another Crack at Benefit Corporations

      The Wisconsin Legislature is considering adopting a new chapter of the Wisconsin statutes pertaining to benefit corporations. James DeCleene discusses the proposed legislation and how the Benefit Corporations Act, if adopted, would impact Wisconsin businesses.

    • June
      30
      2017
      Real Property Probate and Trust Law Blog

      Gun Trusts: Why Your Clients Need One

      Interest in gun trusts is on the rise. Philip Miller describes the origin of gun trusts in the National Firearms Act, addresses recent and pending legislation that may impact the usefulness of traditional gun trusts, and highlights the many reasons why a a firearm owner may still consider holding firearms in trust.

    • June
      22
      2017
      Real Property Probate and Trust Law Blog

      Condo Ownership: Testing the Limits of Wisconsin Laws

      Condominium ownership – owning a cubicle of air floating above the earth – is a peculiar creature of statutory law. William Pharis Horton talks about the state of condominium laws in Wisconsin and the need for updates. “For it to be of most effective use, the laws under which it exists must be kept current and relevant,” he writes.

    • June
      20
      2017
      Environmental Law Section Blog

      Implementing Wisconsin’s New Multi-Discharger Variance for Phosphorus

      The Department of Natural Resource’s newly approved multi-discharger variance for phosphorus provides another option for municipal publicly owned treatment plants and other point source dischargers. Vanessa D. Wishart outlines the new policy and its implementation.

    • June
      13
      2017
      Litigation Section Blog

      Sanctions for Failure to Admit - A Toothless Beast?

      Requests to admit are a frequently utilized tool in the litigation setting, but trial courts seem generally unwilling to impose sanctions for failure to admit. Are the standards in Wisconsin statutes too ambiguous – making threat of sanctions a toothless beast?

    • June
      06
      2017
      Environmental Law Section Blog

      Wisconsin Assembly Ponders Significant Changes to Chapter 88 Drainage Legislation

      The Wisconsin State Assembly has introduced legislation to amend or eliminate numerous sections of Chapter 88 and related statutes, providing the biggest updates to the drainage statutes in decades. The bill proposed by the Wisconsin State Assembly affects a wide range of areas from farming to conservation, say John Mitby and Elizabeth Spencer.

    • June
      01
      2017
      Business Law Section Blog

      Risk and Governance Issues for Midsize Companies

      While all companies address such key risk and governance concerns as cybersecurity and sustainability, other issues are more often overlooked. Joseph Masterson discusses several issues that should be given specific attention by midsize companies, whether public or private.

    • May
      31
      2017
      Real Property Probate and Trust Law Blog

      Trump’s Tax Plan is ‘Yuuugge’

      On April 26, 2017, President Donald Trump released the 2017 Tax Reform for Economic Growth and American Jobs plan. While brevity is the soul of wit, in tax reform, the devil is always in the details. Bradley Kalscheur compares the president’s proposal with a June 2016 House Republican proposal.

    • May
      16
      2017
      Business Law Section Blog

      You Snooze, You Lose: The Doctrine of Laches in Trademark Enforcement

      A recent, closely-watched decision by the United States District Court for the Northern District of California threw out trademark infringement claims against Silicon Valley giant Dropbox, Inc. based on the doctrine of laches. Henry Weiner says the decision serves as a useful warning against complacency and “gotcha” tactics in trademark enforcement for businesses, big and small.

    • May
      15
      2017
      Litigation Section Blog

      Objections to Form, Foundation, and Instructions Not to Answer: Do You Know the Deposition Rules?

      Objections to both the form of the question and foundation, if made at the time, can be cured by the questioner. Thus, the rules indicate that those objections are waived if not made at a deposition, but such waiver often does not have much practical effect. In addition, lawyers should be cautious about instructing a deponent not to answer a question unless there is a claim of privilege at issue.

    • May
      10
      2017
      Business Law Section Blog

      Big Changes on the Horizon for Wisconsin Rulemaking Procedures

      The Wisconsin Legislature and Supreme Court are considering sweeping changes to the processes by which administrative rules are developed and interpreted in Wisconsin. Michael Lokensgard discusses the current rules and how they may change.

    • May
      04
      2017
      Real Property Probate and Trust Law Blog

      Feeding Wildlife in Wisconsin: DNR and Court of Appeals at Odds over Legality

      A recent unpublished Court of Appeals case involved a dismissal of a citation for feeding and baiting deer on grounds that it is illegal only when done for hunting. “The Wisconsin DNR takes the position that it is illegal in all chronic wasting disease-affected areas," writes John Priebe.

    • April
      25
      2017
      Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

      Right to Work in Wisconsin: Two Years Later Is It Old News?

      With many collective bargaining agreements typically three years long, many employers and unions will head to the bargaining table this year for the first time under Right to Work. Krista Ebbens answers questions about the issues employers face under Right to Work.

    • April
      20
      2017
      Environmental Law Section Blog

      Earth Day Reflections on Wisconsin’s Conservation History

      In light of recent calls for changes in environmental law and in honor of Earth Day 2017, Tressie Kamp reflects on unique components of Wisconsin’s conservation history and its impact on the practice of environmental law.

    • April
      19
      2017
      Environmental Law Section Blog

      Welcome to the Environmental Law Section Blog

      The Environmental Law Section welcomes you to its new blog, featuring monthly posts designed to deliver the latest news, practical advice, and valuable resources for environmental practitioners.

    • April
      12
      2017
      Litigation Section Blog

      Is Mandatory Mediation Losing Its Efficacy with Frequent Players?

      Is mediation in civil cases still effective? Jesse Blocher examines whether mediation is continuing to serve its original purpose. “Some may be surprised to learn of the disincentives that parties and lawyers who mediate frequently have when it comes to forging reasonable compromises at mediation,” he writes.

    • March
      29
      2017
      Business Law Section Blog

      Recent Law Reins in Delaware’s Infamous Escheats Law

      On Feb. 2, 2017, Delaware Governor John C. Carney Jr. signed Delaware Senate Bill 13 (SB 13) into law, substantially reforming Delaware’s infamous escheats law. Patricia Lane and Louis Wahl discuss SB 13 and its impact on the rights and compliance obligations of individuals and businesses subject to Delaware’s escheats law.

    • March
      28
      2017
      International Practice Section Blog

      Countering Human Trafficking in Tanzania

      Wisconsin lawyer Cynthia Hirsch recently traveled to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, with Lawyers Without Borders to participate as a trainer in a workshop designed to help Tanzanian prosecutors, judges and police officers sharpen their courtroom skills to better prosecute human trafficking cases.

    • March
      15
      2017
      Litigation Section Blog

      Requesting Electronic Medical Records in a ‘HITECH’ Age

      The HITECH Act, made law in 2009, provides for individuals to quickly access medical records at affordable costs. With the rising costs of litigation for plaintiffs and defendants, limiting and controlling the costs of medical records acquisition in personal injury cases can be a meaningful way to effectuate settlement and protect your client’s bottom line.

    • February
      24
      2017
      Labor & Employment Blog

      Happy Hour Not So Happy for Employers

      Employees traveling for work are entitled to worker's compensation benefits for injuries sustained while engaging in “reasonable recreation” without the activity being considered a “deviation” from employment. Attorney Aneet Kaur discusses a recent Court of Appeals decision finding injuries sustained by an employee, after a day of bar-hopping with his co-worker, compensable under the Worker’s Compensation Act.

    • February
      15
      2017
      Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

      Prevailing Wage Law and Mineral Aggregates and Material Processing

      To properly apply prevailing wage rates and hours, lawyers need to understand the nuances of mineral aggregates and material processing in state highway projects. Carrie Cox provides a starting point and guidance to ensure employers comply with the law.

    • February
      15
      2017
      Litigation Section Blog

      The Current State of Medical Malpractice Litigation in Wisconsin

      Medical malpractice filings are significantly down in Wisconsin compared with past years, according to a review of recent data. Patricia Epstein Putney explores just why this is the case – and whether this is likely to change.

    • February
      15
      2017
      Labor & Employment Blog

      Employers and Social Media in the Workplace

      Social media in the workplace can raise thorny questions and expose employers to liability in a number of scenarios. Timothy Edwards outlines the important questions that employers must confront when their employees are allowed to access social media while at work.

    • February
      15
      2017
      International Practice Section Blog

      Immigration Order Update: The Chaos Is Not Over

      When President Trump signed the Executive Order banning immigration from seven countries on Jan. 27, uncertainty, inconsistency, and lack of agency coordination followed. Immigration attorney Joseph Rivas discusses the various responses of government agencies, and the lawsuits filed in federal courts.

    • February
      14
      2017
      Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

      Changes to Wisconsin’s Prevailing Wage Rate Now in Effect

      Companies working on public projects need to remain vigilant regarding changes to Wisconsin’s revised Prevailing Wage Law. Carrie Cox identifies the changes to the law now in effect.

    • February
      14
      2017
      Business Law Section Blog

      Business Court Docket Pilot Program on the Horizon in Wisconsin

      The Wisconsin Supreme Court has approved a pilot program to create a dedicated trial court judicial docket for large business and commercial cases in the state of Wisconsin. Brick Murphy discusses the program and support from the Business Law Section.

    • February
      06
      2017
      Business Law Section Blog

      The 2016 Consumer Review Fairness Act and Non-Disparagement Clauses in Form Contracts

      The Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016 takes effect March 14, 2017. The act prohibits non-disparagement provisions in form contracts that are imposed on an individual without a meaningful opportunity to negotiate. Emory Ireland and Maximilian Traut discuss what businesses need to know about the act.

    • February
      02
      2017
      Labor & Employment Blog

      How Should Employers Respond to Trump’s Muslim Ban?

      Donald Trump’s Jan. 27 Executive Order suspends the issuing of immigration visas and other immigration benefits to citizens of several Middle Eastern countries, affecting employees of U.S. businesses and employees' family members. How should companies and their human resources staff respond to the impact of this Executive Order?

    • January
      05
      2017
      International Practice Section Blog

      Anticipating the Trump Administration’s Impact on Immigration Law

      Benjamin Kurten discusses possible impacts from the Trump administration on immigration law in the near future. “While it remains to be seen what changes the Trump administration will ultimately accomplish, one thing is clear – change is coming and everyone should prepare,” Kurten writes.

    • December
      20
      2016
      International Practice Section Blog

      Practical Tips on Compliance Reviews for Clients with Overseas Operations

      Conducting a compliance review for clients with overseas operations provides an added level safeguard and comfort and brings a whole new level of understanding to local operations from a risk and compliance perspective. Matthew Koch provides practical tips for conducting a compliance review of foreign operations.

    • December
      15
      2016
      Litigation Section Blog

      Worker's Comp Refresher for the Casual Practitioner

      Beth Osowski gives a quick update and refresher for lawyers who occasionally face worker’s compensation questions and who practice in the areas of personal injury, employment law, Social Security Disability, or general practice.

    • December
      14
      2016
      Business Law Section Blog

      Cybersecurity Risks: The Latest Guidance from Bank Examiners

      Recent guidance from bank regulators makes clear that cybersecurity risk assessments will be an increasing area of focus. Matt Rowe summarizes the latest guidance and how bank management teams can use it to mitigate cybersecurity risk at their institutions.

    • December
      13
      2016
      Dispute Resolution Section Blog

      Converting Calls to Mediation Clients

      You spend money advertising to make the phone ring – but what do you do when the phone actually rings? Lisa Derr discusses the key components to successfully converting that caller into a paying client.

    • November
      21
      2016
      International Practice Section Blog

      Audit Your Brands – An Essential Part of International Legal Advising

      In our constantly changing global marketplace, your client's branding needs are constantly evolving too. Help your clients stay ahead of the competition by encouraging them to conduct regular trademark audits to ensure proper protection of their valuable trademark assets.

    • November
      14
      2016
      International Practice Section Blog

      Cost Savings for U.S. Manufacturers via the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill

      The Miscellaneous Tariff Bill eliminates or reduces duties assessed on certain imported raw materials and intermediate products. MTB duty savings can eliminate import taxes, cutting production costs enhancing the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers. Interested importers should not miss the Dec. 14, 2016, deadline to take advantage of the cost savings opportunities.

    • November
      11
      2016
      Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

      Pithy and Instructive Indemnification Guidance for Contractors and Insurers

      You are a construction contractor who has been tendered the defense of an action pursuant to an indemnity clause in your contract. The recent pithy and instructive Aug. 9, 2016 Court of Appeals decision in Karen Colleran v. Erik C. Wildes is asharp warning; it illustrates the pitfalls if you and your insurer fail to respond correctly.

    • November
      09
      2016
      Business Law Section Blog

      The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016:
      A New Federal Civil Cause of Action for Trade Secret Theft

      The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016, which establishes a new federal civil cause of action for trade secret theft, represents one of the most significant events in trade secret reform in years. This new law toughens and modernizes trade secret law in numerous respects, and provides an additional tool for businesses and their legal counsel to protect trade secrets.

    • November
      08
      2016
      Business Law Section Blog

      Welcome to the Business Law Blog

      The Business Law Section has established a new blog to provide its members with valuable information on issues important to attorneys engaged in business law.

    • October
      28
      2016
      Litigation Section Blog

      UIM Practitioners Beware – “Duplicate Payments” May Reduce the Claimant’s Benefits

      Attorneys handling UIM cases need to be aware of duplicate payments provisions in addition to reducing clauses and anti-stacking provisions. The Wisconsin Court of Appeals has recently upheld the application of a duplicate payments provision permitting a UIM carrier to reduce UIM benefits by workers’ compensation awards and Social Security Disability benefits.

    • September
      13
      2016
      Litigation Section Blog

      To Sue or Not to Sue? A Case for Alternative Dispute Resolution

      In the realm of personal injury litigation, pre-suit mediation can be an effective and efficient method to bring the right case to early resolution. Christine Bremer Muggli outlines advantages for both sides in a claim for personal injuries following a motor vehicle accident as an example of an effective use of alternative dispute resolution.

    • September
      08
      2016
      Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

      The Construction Statute of Repose: More Hammer or Nail Today?

      Can the statute of repose still be used to bar cases from moving forward to trial as the law intended, or has the law lost its force? Matthew McClean discusses recent appellate cases applying Wisconsin’s construction statute of repose.

    • August
      31
      2016
      Labor & Employment Blog

      Affordable Care Act Update – How to Buy Group Health Insurance in 2016

      The Affordable Care Act requires applicable large employers to provide health insurance coverage statements to employees and file annual information returns with the IRS. The details should be used to inform a large employer’s group health plan purchase or renewal strategy.

    • August
      25
      2016
      International Practice Section Blog

      Changes to U.S. Visa Waiver Program Will Affect Some International Travelers

      The Visa Waiver Program is a U.S. government program that allows citizens of specific countries to travel to the U.S. for tourism, business, or while in transit, for up to 90 days without having to obtain a visa. Attorney Benjamin Kurten discusses changesto the program as of April 1, 2016, that may impact you or your clients.

    • August
      23
      2016
      Litigation Section Blog

      Professionalism and the Art of Civility

      The very core of our professionalism should be to espouse civility in every matter that we handle. The essence of what litigators do is resolving conflict, writes attorney Emile Banks Jr. Representing clients zealously must not include treating opposing counsel with discourtesy or disrespect.

    • August
      19
      2016
      Dispute Resolution Section Blog

      Achieving Success with Interest-based Home Buying

      What happens when you apply interest-based bargaining techniques to the typically distributive process of buying a home? Michael Rust shares his experience.

    • August
      08
      2016
      Construction & Public Contract Law Section Blog

      Welcome to the Construction and Public Contract Law Section Blog

      The Construction and Public Contract Law Section has established this blog to provide its members with valuable information concerning issues that are important to attorneys engaged in construction or public contracting law.

    • July
      27
      2016
      International Practice Section Blog

      Wisconsin Lawyer Trains Liberian Lawyers to Counter Human Trafficking

      Wisconsin lawyer Cynthia Hirsch recently traveled to Monrovia, Liberia, with Lawyers Without Borders to participate as a trainer in a workshop designed to help Liberian prosecutors, defenders, and judges sharpen their litigation skills to better implementLiberia’s new anti-human trafficking law.

    • July
      26
      2016
      International Practice Section Blog

      Welcome to the New
      International Practice Section Blog

      We’re excited to announce the launch of a new blog for the International Practice Section! Designed to deliver the latest news, it will give practical advice and valuable resources that focus on issues relating to International Law.

    • July
      13
      2016
      Litigation Section Blog

      HITECH: Low-cost Electronic Medical Records

      Under 42 U.S.C. § 17935(e)(1), your client has a right to direct that his or her personal health information be sent to you in an electronic format, and you can save them a bundle because the charges are limited to reasonable and cost-based fees. 45 CFR 164.524(c)(4).

    • June
      28
      2016
      Taxation Law Section Blog

      Wisconsin Legislature Eases Sales Tax Burden on Nonprofits

      In April, the Wisconsin Legislature increased the sales tax exemptions for nonprofits by increasing the casual sales dollar limits and occurrences. These increased limits will apply to sales on Jan. 1, 2017.

    • June
      22
      2016
      Taxation Law Section Blog

      The Taxation Section Blog: Welcome!

      This blog is designed to deliver the latest news, practical advice, and valuable resources that focus on tax matters.

    • June
      08
      2016
      Litigation Section Blog

      Email Preservation at the State Department: Electronic Discovery Lessons for Litigators

      This week the U.S. State Department’s Inspector General released an 80-plus page report detailing the systemic weaknesses in the department’s email preservation system. Although less a system and more an ad hoc employee-driven free-for-all, there are many electronic discovery lessons to learn and warnings to heed for litigators, writes Stephanie Melnick.

    • May
      03
      2016
      Litigation Section Blog

      Welcome to the
      New Litigation Section Blog

      The Litigation Section has established this blog to provide its members with valuable information concerning issues that are important to attorneys engaged in civil litigation or who have an interest in civil litigation.

    • March
      18
      2016
      Labor & Employment Blog

      Wisconsin Lays the Groundwork for Donning and Doffing Compensation

      In this post, Julie A. Lewis discusses the recent Wisconsin Supreme Court decision in United Food & Commercial Workers Union, Local 1473 v. Hormel Foods Corp. regarding the compensability under Wisconsin law of employee time spent donning and doffing sanitary clothing and personal equipment.

    • February
      29
      2016
      Labor & Employment Blog

      Eligibility for Health Insurance Can Be Tied to Participation in a Wellness Plan

      A federal district court judge sitting in the Western District of Wisconsin recently held that employers may condition eligibility for employer-sponsored health insurance upon participation in a wellness plan under the Americans With Disabilities Act’s “safe-harbor” provision in some circumstances, writes Meg Vergeront.

    • February
      24
      2016
      Labor & Employment Blog

      Federal Court Rejects NLRB’s Recently Adopted Solicitation Standard, Criticizes NLRB’s Reasoning

      Although the Conagra Foods, Inc. decision floated under the radar due to other noteworthy decisions around the same time, most management-side labor-relations lawyers – myself included – viewed the decision as part of an insidious attack on the ability ofcompanies to prohibit and/or curb a species of workplace chatter that is disruptive and threatens productivity and security.

    • November
      18
      2015
      Labor & Employment Blog

      Breaking the Chain of the Cat’s Paw Theory

      In Woods v. City of Berwyn, the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit finds facts sufficient to break the cat’s paw chain of discrimination liability and, in doing so, provides hints to plaintiff and defense counsel regarding how this proximate cause theory may be analyzed.

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