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  • 121 Teams Set to Compete in Wisconsin's High School Mock Trial Regional Competition

    Kristen Durst

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    Brookfield Academy High School Mock Trial

    2017 High School Mock Trial State Champs, Brookfield Academy. Team members include Anisha Guru, Skye McCoy, Srimayi Mylavarapu, Rachel Leclaire, Jason Tan, Najuf Malik, Ram GollaPudy, Alexandra Dortzbach, Claire McCoy, Ava Scheider, Razanne Saeed, and Shalini Gundamraj. Manjula Guru is the team’s teacher coach, and attorneys Jennifer Kent and Ken Dortzbach serve as attorney coaches.

    Jan. 24, 2018 - The State Bar of Wisconsin is gearing up for the 2018 Regional Mock Trial Competition, slated for Saturday, Feb. 10, beginning at 8 a.m. This year there are 121 teams competing. Almost all of the 11 regional tournaments will be held in local courthouses around the state (see the list of regions below for a breakdown of locations and competing schools.)

    Mock trial provides high school students with an opportunity to act as attorneys and witnesses in a court case developed by State Bar members. The students—in teams of six to 12—argue a criminal case before a panel of volunteer attorneys and judges in the regional competitions. The top 22 teams will advance to the semifinals in Madison March 9 and 10, and the two finalists appear before the Wisconsin Supreme Court in the final state–level competition March 11.

    Students this year will tackle the difficult issues presented in a fictional civil property damages case, Dig Deep Iron Mining Company v. Jessie Green. When Dig Deep Iron Mining Company Inc. comes to town to mine for iron, local activists protest saying the company is damaging the environment. When the company’s mining equipment is sabotaged, Dig Deep blames protestors.

    Since its inception in 1983, the Wisconsin High School Mock Trial Program has brought our legal system to life for thousands of students. Using facts and case materials developed by Wisconsin attorneys, students gain a deeper understanding of the court system as they develop their arguments, and build their cases.

    Attorneys who would like to volunteer should go to wisbar.org/mocktrial/pages/volunteer.aspx or contact Katie Wilcox 608–250–6191/ kwilcox@wisbar.org.

    Participating Schools:

    Appleton

    The Appleton area regionals are scheduled to take place at the Outagamie County Justice Center. Eleven teams from the region will be competing, including participants from the following schools:

    ·         Appleton West High School

    ·         Berlin High School

    ·         Oshkosh West High School

    ·         Kewaskum High School

    ·         West Bend High School

    ·         Xavier High School

    Eau Claire

    The regional tournament in the Eau Claire area will be held at the Eau Claire County Courthouse. Eleven teams from the Eau Claire region will be competing, including participants from the following schools:

    ·         Eau Claire Memorial High School

    ·         Eau Claire Regis High School

    ·         Ladysmith High School

    ·         River Falls High School

    ·         Somerset High School

    ·         Superior High School

    Green Bay

    The Green Bay area regionals will be held at the Brown County Courthouse. Eight teams from the region will be competing, including participants from the following schools:

    ·         Bay Port High School

    ·         De Pere High School

    ·         Green Bay East High School

    ·         New London High School

    ·         Roncalli Catholic High School

    ·         St. Mary Catholic High School

    ·         Sturgeon Bay High School

    Janesville

    The Janesville regional tournament will be held at the Rock County Courthouse. Seven teams from the Janesville region will be competing, including participants from the following schools:

    ·         Belleville High School

    ·         FJ Turner High School

    ·         Lake Geneva Badger High School

    ·         Mineral Point High School

    ·         New Glarus High School

    ·         River Valley High School

    Juneau

    The regional tournament for Juneau–area schools will take place at the Dodge County Justice Facility. Eight teams from the Juneau region will be competing, including participants from the following schools:

    ·         Beaver Dam High School

    ·         Dodgeland High School

    ·         Lodi High School

    ·         Mayville High School

    ·         Waterloo High School

    La Crosse

    The La Crosse area regionals will be held at the La Crosse County Facilities. Six teams from the region will be competing, including participants from the following schools:

    ·         Highland High School

    ·         La Crosse Central High School

    ·         La Cross Logan High School

    ·         Melrose–Mindoro High School

    ·         Prairie du Chien High School

    ·         Reedsburg High School

    Madison

    Madison area students are set to compete at the Dane County Courthouse. Twelve teams from the Madison region will be competing, including participants from the following schools:

    ·         Deforest High School

    ·         Madison West High School

    ·         Middleton High School

    ·         Oregon High School

    ·         Stoughton High School

    ·         Waunakee High School

    Milwaukee

    The Milwaukee area regional tournament will be held at the Federal Courthouse. Fourteen teams from the Milwaukee region will be competing, including participants from the following schools:

    ·         Audubon Technology and Communication High School

    ·         Bradley Tech High School

    ·         Marquette University High School

    ·         Milwaukee Academy of Science

    ·         Mukwonago High School

    ·         North Division High School

    ·         Pius Xi High School

    ·         Salam High School

    ·         Shorewood High School

    ·         St. Joan Antida High School

    ·         Whitefish Bay High School

    Racine

    Racine area students will compete at the Racine County Sheriff Law Enforcement Center. Fourteen teams from the region will be competing, including participants from the following schools:

    ·         Christian Life High School

    ·         Franklin High School

    ·         Lakeview Technology Academy

    ·         Nicolet High School

    ·         Oak Creek High School

    ·         St. Catherine’s High School

    ·         Waterford Union High School

    ·         Whitnall High School

    Waukesha

    The Waukesha tournament is set to take place at Waukesha County Courthouse. Fifteen teams from the Waukesha region will be competing, including participants from the following schools:

    ·         Brookfield Academy

    ·         Brookfield Central High School

    ·         Hartford Union High School

    ·         Kettle Moraine High School

    ·         Oconomowoc High School

    ·         Pewaukee High School

    ·         Waukesha South High School

    ·         Wauwatosa West High School

    Wausau

    Wausau area teams will compete at the Marathon County Courthouse. Fifteen teams from the Wausau ​region will be competing, including participants from the following schools:

    ·         DC Everest High School

    ·         Lakeland Union High School

    ·         Lincoln High School

    ·         Marshfield High School

    ·         Merrill High School

    ·         Phillips High School

    ·         Rhinelander High School

    ·         Stratford High School

    ·         Wausau West High School





  • Remind Farm Clients to ‘Always Stay Humble and Kind’

    Family farm planning often involves more than just financial and tax matters. Often, an understanding of the delicate nature of human relationships is just as or even more important than the “numbers.” Troy Schneider examines the quality of humility in family farm planning.

    Troy R. Schneider

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    There is a popular country music song released a couple of years ago by singer Tim McGraw named "Humble and Kind." If you have never heard it, I urge you to go onto the internet and listen to it.

    You may be wondering what this song has to do with farm business planning.

    ‘Neohumility’

    In her article, “Neohumility/Humility and Business Leadership: Do they belong together?” Professor Pareena Lawrence examines the commonly accepted and newly emerging ideas of effective leadership, specifically the quality of humility.

    Troy R. Schneider com troy twohiglaw Troy R. Schneider, U.W. 1998, is a partner with Twohig, Rietbrock, Schneider & Halbach SC, Chilton, where he concentrates his practice in representing farm families and agribusinesses.

    Lawrence specifically discusses “neohumility,” a new view of humility -- that is, humility without weakness, and transformed to fit the business world. Lawrence characterizes neohumility as self-awareness, valuing others’ opinions, willingness to learn and change, sharing power, having the ability to hear the truth and admit mistakes, and working to create a culture of openness where dissent is encouraged in an environment of mutual trust and respect.

    Lawrence notes that leadership values are the beliefs and standards that drive an individual. A credible leader is aware of his or her values and they serve as a guide or moral compass in his or her decision making. Lawrence notes that leadership values only matter if the leader translates those values into action. A leader saying he or she stands for one thing and then doing the other only leads to hypocrisy.

    Three Dimensions of Humility

    Lawrence, quoting an article in the journal Human Relations in 2005, describes humility as having three distinct dimensions, which are:


    • Self-awareness: The ability to understand one’s strength and weakness, getting real and staying real, not believing your own hype, and the ability to recognize and admit one’s mistakes.

    • Openness: Recognizing one’s limitations, being open to new ideas and knowledge, willingness to listen and learn from others, and having the ability to change. Being open means to encourage dissent and value truth over cover-ups, being willing to ask for and utilize the help of others.

    • Transcendence: The acceptance of greater than the self. This leads one away from self-aggrandizement and self-benefiting behavior towards valuing and appreciating others and their opinions and ideas in the organization.1

    This concept of humility and leadership is awkward, and likely will be uncomfortable for most of your clients. Normally, when someone hears the word humility in the business setting it means that the person is weak, lacks confidence, or is a push-over. However, an effective leader can balance strength and humility.

    In his book, The One Minute Manager, Ken Blanchard states: “People with humility do not think less of themselves, they just think of themselves less.”

    Humility and Leadership in Farm Succession Planning

    The concept of humility and leadership is particularly relevant in the farm succession planning area.

    Often, farm succession planning involves conflicting pressures of equality, fairness, and harmony. Farm successors are at times impatient to gain control and farm parents can be reluctant to hand over the reins. The development of humility can help cut through the walls of family members’ egos and help them overcome conflicts with one another.

    Family farm planning is one of the most challenging, yet rewarding, areas a farm attorney can be involved in. It takes leadership and courage within the family, and the family farm’s attorney can play a key role in facilitating the process.

    Endnote

    1Morris, J. Andrew, Brotheridge, Céleste M., & Urbanski, John C. 2005, “Bringing Humility to Leadership: Antecedents and Consequences of Leader Humility,” Human Relations, 58(10): 1323-1350.




  • Young Defendant Cannot Get Modified Sentence to Address Expungement

    Joe Forward

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    Wisconsin Supreme Court

    Jan. 22, 2018 – In Wisconsin, expungement decisions must be made at the time of sentencing. Recently, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that a young defendant could not seek a sentencing modification to address expungement after the sentencing.

    Diamond Arberry filed a postconviction motion for relief after pleading no contest to felony and misdemeanor retail theft. Arberry, 18 years old at the time of the crime, attempted to steal merchandise from a Victoria’s Secret store in Fond Du Lac County. Three other charges were dismissed, including obstructing and resisting an officer.

    The judge accepted Arberry’s plea. She was sentenced to one year of confinement and two years of extended supervision on the felony count. On the misdemeanor count, the judge imposed two years of probation, with stayed sentences for jail time (one year) and extended supervision (two years). The judge did not address expungement eligibility.

    Under Wis. Stat. section 973.015, those who commit crimes while under the age of 25 may be eligible for expungement of the criminal record upon successful completion of the sentence, if the crime committed carried a maximum prison term of six years or less.

    However, the statute specifically says the court may order that the record be expunged “at the time of sentencing,” and the Wisconsin Supreme Court has held that the statute requires the sentencing court to make an expungement decision, or it is not available.

    That is, a young defendant who successfully completes a sentence cannot come back to the court later and request expungement if that determination was not made at the time of sentencing. The judge must decide expungement at the time of sentencing.

    Arberry sought postconviction relief, before completing her sentence, for an amended judgment of conviction. She wanted the court to determine that she was eligible for expungement. The circuit court denied the request. An appeals court affirmed.  

    In State v. Arberry, 2018 WI 7 (Jan. 19, 2018), the supreme court was unanimous in ruling that Arberry could not seek an amended judgment to address expungement.

    Arberry argued that expungement could be raised, postconviction, as a “time of sentencing issue” if unknowingly overlooked and relevant to the sentence. In that case, expungement would be a “new factor” that warranted a reopening of the sentence.

    The supreme court disagreed. 

    “The question before us is whether ‘at the time of sentencing’ means only at the time sentence is imposed or whether it also encompasses post-sentencing motions for sentence modification,” wrote Justice Annette Ziegler for the court. “We conclude that ‘at the time of sentencing’ means only at the time when the sentence is imposed.”

    Expungement Bills Pending

    Two different expungement bills are currently pending in the Wisconsin Legislature. Although SB 53 (passed the Senate in November) and AB 331 (still pending in the Assembly) are different in some respects, both would allow young defendants to seek expungement even if the court did not make an expungement decision “at the time of sentencing.” Thus, a defendant such as Arberry could still petition for expungement.

    Related Articles

    Drinking Ticket Downs Young Offender’s Chance at ExpungementWisBar News (July 12, 2017)

    Expungement Bill Gives Young Offenders More Opportunity for Second ChancesInsideTrack (June 7, 2017)

    Medical Professional Loses Challenge to Court’s Discretion on ExpungementWisBar News (Dec. 20, 2016)

    Wisconsin Supreme Court Sides with Young Defendant in Expungement CaseWisBar News (Dec. 18, 2014)

    Supreme Court: Expunction Decision Must Be Made at the Time of SentencingWisBar News (May 27, 2014)




  • Speaker’s Task Force on Foster Care’s Legislative Proposals Moving Forward Quickly

    Following the establishment of the Speaker’s Task Force on Foster Care, a new legislative package of 13 bills, called Foster Forward, was introduced. Megan DeVore talks about the Foster Forward bills and their potential to bring significant changes to the child welfare system in Wisconsin.

    Megan L. DeVore

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    As previously reported in Sarah Henery’s October article in this blog, the Speaker’s Task Force on Foster Care recently conducted a series of statewide hearings on issues related to foster care and foster children in the State of Wisconsin. Those hearings concluded in Green Bay on Oct. 25, 2017.

    Megan DeVore org mdevore lacrossecounty Megan DeVore, has been a corporation counsel for the County of La Crosse for 20 years.

    The Task Force in November introduced several bipartisan bills that address the issues facing the state’s child welfare system. The proposed legislation is referred to collectively as the “Foster Forward” package, which has the potential to move forward quickly. Additional information, including a Nov. 28, 2017, press release, about the package and the Task Force’s Interim Report, can be found on the Task Force website.

    Members of the Task Force have identified these primary areas of focus:

    • Prevention, including reduction of contact with the child welfare system, prevention of children’s removal from the home, increased support of families at risk of child welfare/protection intervention
    • Improvements to the child welfare system, including studies of caseloads and foster care licensing processes
    • Support for foster care providers
    • Support for foster youth

    So far, 13 bills have been introduced (listed in the Task Force’s Interim Report). The following proposals will be of particular interest to attorneys practicing in the child welfare area:


    • AB-775 /SB-652: Changes to the Continuing Need of Protection or Services as Grounds of Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) under Wis. Stat. section 48.415(2)(a)3. Current law has four required prongs, the last of which asks whether there is substantial likelihood that the parent will not meet the conditions established for the return of the child to the parental home within nine months following the fact-finding hearing.

      This proposal removes that requirement, unless the child has been placed outside the home for less than 15 of the last 22 months. If the child has been placed outside the home for less than 15 months, then there would be a requirement to prove that “that there is a substantial likelihood that the parent will not meet these conditions as of the date on which the child will have been placed outside the home for 15 of the most recent 22 months.”


    • AB-778 / SB-654: Changes to Appellate Procedure in TPRs. These proposals would require the parent pursuing an appeal to personally sign the notice of intent to pursue post-dispositional relief. It would also require that attorneys provide the appellate court with an affidavit in support of a motion to remand to the circuit court for post-judgment fact finding.

    • AB-784 / SB-657: Parent’s Right to Counsel. This bill would remove the prohibition on appointing attorneys to parents in CHIPS cases and would create a pilot program in five counties (Winnebago, Brown, Outagamie, Racine and Kenosha) that would grant attorneys to parents in CHIPS cases where the child has been placed outside the home, including referrals to the Public Defender’s office, if eligible.

    Other proposals include:

    • additional funding for the Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program,
    • funding to 2-1-1 Wisconsin, Inc., a statewide nonprofit community services information and referral resource,
    • the creation of a committee to study caseload issues in the child welfare system, and
    • assistance to foster homes through additional education and support and to former foster youth through tuition remission.

    The Children and the Law Section's Legislative Committee and full Board will continue to follow these developments; they plan to provide further updates and information in future newsletters.

    However, many of these bills have already had at least one hearing and may be moving through the legislative process fairly quickly, so we encourage you to review them on your own and participate in the process individually if you are so inclined.




  • Tip of the Month:
    Research Resources for Public Interest Attorneys

    In the January 2018 Tip of the Month, Susan Fisher shares resources and tips for electronic research for lawyers with limited access to commercial legal research platforms.

    Susan M. Fisher

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    As an attorney practicing in areas of public interest law, I have not always had the variety of search mechanisms available to me as other attorneys may have had access to.

    Susan M. Fisher Susan M. Fisher, St. Thomas 2006, is an assistant corporation counsel with Columbia County, Portage.

    Yet, like any other attorney, I still have the responsibility to effectively and efficiently conduct electronic research.

    With this in mind, here are several research tips I have learned along the way:

     

     

    • If you typically work on cases where you look at government websites (and really this is helpful to other sites as well), attempt to learn how the site recognizes and organizes its data. Once you know this, you may be better able to narrow or frame your search queries.

    • Use Google and become familiar with its search features. While discretion should be used to determine case strategy, a general Google search may provide relevant legal blogs, previously filed documents in similar cases, may show documents removed from pertinent sites because the site was reorganized, and more.

    • Use Google Scholar. It is a free mechanism available to perform searches for cases as well as providing some access to treatises. (I personally do not use this mechanism for searching treatises but like to use the case search function.)

    • Consider using the Wayback Machine, an internet archive, if you cannot find something that was previously on a website. This site periodically captures sites, essentially taking a snapshot on a given date, which may allow a researcher to review previously shown information. This can be particularly helpful when new policy is introduced on government-run websites.

    • Become familiar with what is provided freely on government websites. Statutes, administrative codes, local law such as ordinances, archived law, certain opinions, and certain congressional documents are available through government websites to the general public.

    • Become familiar with the services provided by the Wisconsin State Law Library.

    I anticipate the above list is not exhaustive of the (likely more) creative ways others have found to conduct research within limited means. With this, I invite other attorneys to share what they have discovered on the PILS elist to continue this discussion and to provide others with the opportunity to benefit from their experience.




  • Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Mitigation is a Local Issue

    State and federal disaster planning and response is important, but local actions before and after the event can be the difference between a catastrophe and a close call. Michael Polich discusses federal and state rules for local emergency planning in Wisconsin.

    Michael Polich

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    When disaster strikes, whether it be natural or human-made, the location of the accident is critically important. First responders come from local communities, where they follow local response plans, and the lasting effects are felt locally long after the disaster has been mitigated.

    State and federal disaster planning and response is important, but local actions before and after the event can be the difference between a catastrophe and a close call. The following briefly describes the federal and Wisconsin rules for local emergency planning.

    Federal: FEMA and the Stafford Act

    At the federal level, the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (commonly referred to as the Stafford Act) lays out the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) disaster response strategy. FEMA established the national incident management system (NIMS) to help guide departments and agencies at all levels of government to work together seamlessly and manage incidents involving all threats and hazards.

    Michael Polich org mpolich glc Michael Polich, U.W. 2016, is a program specialist with the Great Lakes Commission in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he specializes in Great Lakes infrastructure and maritime policy.

    Under the Stafford Act, to receive Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) grants1 from FEMA, local governments must have a response plan in place. Working with FEMA and the state, local governments that develop these plans must give an opportunity for the public to comment during drafting and prior to approval, and plans must be updated every five years. Federal grants are available to state, local, and tribal agencies to develop these plans.2

    State: Wisconsin Emergency Management

    At the state level, the Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs deals with emergencies through the Division of Emergency Management (WEM). WEM’s controlling statues fall under Wis. Stat. chapter 323.

    The adjutant general of the Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs must develop a state plan for emergency management. The plan is prepared with input from the WEM administrator, the Department of Health Services, the Department of Administration, and FEMA.

    This plan specifies state and local emergency management standards (including personnel, equipment, and communication) and an incident command system, and establishes roles at the federal, state, and local levels.

    WEM coordinates disaster planning, response, and recovery efforts throughout the state by working with counties, tribes, and local governments. While disaster response, planning, and recovery is typically handled by individual units of government, disasters can affect multiple counties, tribes, and local governments at the same time. WEM helps in these situations by coordinating multi-agency efforts.

    Six Regions in Wisconsin

    The state is broken up into six regions for WEM to better work with counties, tribes, and local governments to understand their specific needs and concerns.

    Each county and tribe must have a Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC). LEPCs typically include local elected officials, members of emergency response agencies (fire, law enforcement, EMS, health, etc.), and representatives from transportation, public works, the media, community groups, environmental groups, and owners/operators of facilities.

    The LEPC must develop a plan for their jurisdiction in accordance with state and federal plans. Working with their LEPC, local governments (like cities, towns, and villages) may also make emergency response plans. In consultation with WEM, counties, tribes, and local governments may work together to better plan and respond to emergencies that could overwhelm their limited resources. For example, some counties have grouped together to provide a shared hazardous material spill response team across their region.

    The Local Response

    During emergencies, counties, tribes and local governments employ their emergency response plans. In executing their emergency response plans, counties, tribes, and local governments have the general authority to order, by ordinance or resolution, whatever is necessary and expedient for the health, safety, protection, and welfare of persons and property in their jurisdiction.

    Following an emergency, counties, tribes, and local governments are eligible for state and federal grants available for post-emergency cleanup and mitigation.

    While some disasters garner national attention, their impacts are primarily felt locally. With proper planning, response, and mitigation, local communities can deal with anything fate may have in store for them.

    Endnotes

    1 HMGP grants provide non-emergency funds to states, tribes, and local communities after a disaster declaration for various response and mitigation measures.

    2 Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grant programs (Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, Pre-Disaster Mitigation, and Flood Mitigation Assistance)




  • Might Your Clients Arbitrate Arbitrarily? A Lesson in Drafting Dispute Resolution Clauses

    When must a dispute be arbitrated, and who decides? Matthew McClean discusses lessons learned from a recent Wisconsin Court of Appeals case that went to arbitration to determine whether the case was properly in arbitration.

    Matthew R. McClean

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    Dispute resolution clauses are found in nearly every construction contract, and the pros and cons of the options have been well debated. A December 20, 2017 decision from the Wisconsin District II Court of Appeals adds a new wrinkle if you are considering these clauses, as the court addressed its own rhetorical question: “Who determines whether an arbitration provision applies?”

    The Case: Midwest v Great Lakes

    In Midwest Neurosciences Associates LLC v Great Lakes Neurosurgical Associates LLC1, Midwest brought suit against Great Lakes (one of its former members) and its president for an alleged violation of a non-compete provision in the parties’ operating agreement.

    Matthew R. McClean com mmcclean dkattorneys Matthew R. McClean, Marquette 2002, is shareholder at Davis & Kuelthau in Milwaukee, where he serves as the chair of the litigation team and has considerable experience in all aspects of construction law.

    A threshold issue was whether the mandatory arbitration clause in the operating agreement still applied, since the parties had subsequently signed a redemption agreement ending the membership relationship. The redemption agreement had no mandatory arbitration provision, but had a merger clause.

    Midwest sought to compel arbitration pursuant to the original operating agreement. The circuit court denied that request, and granted Great Lakes’ motion for declaratory judgment that the provision was inapplicable based on the subsequent agreement. Midwest appealed.

    Useful Reminders

    In analyzing the issue, the court of appeals made several useful reminders about the fundamental elements of arbitration:

    • arbitration under Wis. Stat. chapter 788 reflects the “sensible policy … to promote arbitration as a viable and valuable form of alternative dispute resolution” (¶ 10);
    • Wisconsin courts will only compel a party to arbitrate a dispute if it has agreed to do so (¶ 11);
    • when the courts determine that the parties have agreed to submit a dispute to arbitration, the courts will not consider the merits of the dispute, even if the dispute appears on its face to be frivolous (¶ 11); and
    • if a contract contains an arbitration clause, there is a strong presumption that a dispute under the contract should be submitted to arbitration and any doubts are resolved in favor of arbitration (¶ 11).

    Also this: “[w]hether a dispute must be arbitrated is ordinarily a question for the court, but parties may agree by contract to arbitrate arbitrarily.” (¶ 11).

    Trial Court Reversed

    The court of appeals ultimately reversed the trial court and found that the question of whether the redemption agreement superseded the operating agreement went to the merits of the dispute, which, as noted above, the courts could not address (¶ 18).

    The court of appeals also found significant that the parties’ arbitration clause adopted JAMS arbitration rules, which rules explicitly give the arbitrator “the authority to determine jurisdiction and arbitrability of issues as a preliminary matter.” (¶ 19).

    Thus, the parties had to go to arbitration to determine if the case was properly in arbitration. This seems rather circular and self-defeating.

    And didn’t the court itself acknowledge that whether a matter is appropriately submitted to arbitration, is “ordinarily a question for the court”?

    Substantive vs. Procedural Arbitrability

    Why then shouldn’t the trial court determine whether a party’s subsequent agreement effectively meant a matter can’t be arbitrated?

    Perhaps the answer lies in recent analysis by the Wisconsin Supreme Court. In First Weber Group, Inc. v Synergy Real Estate Group, LLC2, Justice Annette Ziegler described a difference between substantive arbitrability and procedural arbitrability. Quoting secondary sources, she noted that “substantive arbitrability refers to whether the dispute involves a subject matter which the parties have contracted to submit to arbitration,” whereas “procedural arbitrability concerns issues such as whether certain procedures apply to a particular dispute, whether such procedures were followed or excused, and whether unexcused failure to follow procedure avoids the duty to arbitrate” (¶ 34).

    Justice Ziegler then noted “the distinction between substantive arbitrability and procedural arbitrability issues is important because issues of substantive arbitrability generally are decided by courts, whereas issues of procedural arbitrability generally are determined during the arbitration process” (¶ 35).

    The court found the issues of timeliness and estoppel were procedural matters to be decided by the arbitrator “unless the parties agreed otherwise” (¶35).

    Still Fuzzy

    The Midwest Neuroscience case was not framed in these terms. In fact, it never mentions the First Weber case. Had it been, would the result be the same?

    Whether a subsequent agreement is a substantive or procedural issue does not appear to be an easy question to answer. Does it fit under “unless the parties agree otherwise” from First Weber and stay a court decision?

    And where does one draw the line between “the subject matter which the parties have contracted to submit to arbitration” (i.e., substantive arbitrability) and the merits of the case itself?

    Whether the redemption agreement superseded the operating agreement and eliminated mandatory arbitration seems to fit squarely into whether the parties agreed to submit to arbitration, making it substantive. Judge Reilly’s concurrence at least acknowledged that contracting parties should be free to change their minds about the dispute forum (¶25), but took the issue no further.

    Ultimately, the case’s analysis is thin, and the failure to tackle the procedural/substantive distinction creates confusion. I know “who determines whether an arbitration provision applies” but I’m still fuzzy as to why.

    The Lesson: Draft Clauses Mindfully

    Be mindful in drafting a dispute resolution clause and be sure it provides the process and procedure that your client expects.

    Because arbitration is a result of agreement, and courts allow you to “arbitrate arbitrarily,” you have the ability to define what will and will not be determined by an arbitrator.

    This might include narrowing the scope of which types of disputes can be decided by arbitration, but also permits defining who has authority to decide whether arbitration is appropriate or not.

    Suffice it to say: if your client does not want a dispute to be decided in arbitration, you do not want to have to go to arbitration to seek that result.

    Endnotes

    1 2017 WL 6558706 (slip copy)(final publication decision pending)

    2 2015 WI 34, 361 Wis. 2d 496, 860 N.W.2d 498




  • Appeals Court Says Attorney’s Fees Part of Damages for Breach of Contract

    Joe Forward

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    Breach of Contract

    Jan. 16, 2018 – Generally, parties in litigation are responsible for their own attorney’s fees, under the so-called “American Rule” that applies in Wisconsin. However, there’s an exception when a party is “wrongfully drawn into the litigation with a third party.”

    Recently, in Talmer Bank v. Jacobsen, 2017AP752 (Jan. 10, 2018), a three-judge panel for the District II Court of Appeals ruled that Felimon and Teresa Gomez (Gomez) are entitled to attorney’s fees because they were drawn into litigation with Talmer Bank.

    Talmer Bank held a mortgage on real property that Thomas and Deborah Jacobsen (Jacobsen) owned in the Town of Lyons. Gomez leased the property from Jacobsen to run their business. The land contract required Jacobsen to pay the mortgage.

    Gomez paid rent to Jacobsen but was unaware that Jacobsen failed to make 15 mortgage payments to Talmer Bank, which initiated a foreclosure action. Jacobsen failed to answer, and the circuit court awarded a default judgment of foreclosure.

    Gomez answered, and filed a cross-claim against Jacobsen, alleging that Jacobsen breached the land contract by failing to make mortgage payments and forced Gomez to hire counsel to protect their interests. Ultimately, Gomez retained title to the property.

    But it pursued the cross-claim against Jacobsen, seeking attorney’s fees. Jacobsen conceded the breach but argued that the American Rule barred Gomez from receiving attorney’s fees. Gomez argued such fees were proper under a third-party litigation exception. The circuit court ruled in favor of Jacobsen, but the appeals court reversed.

    The three-judge panel noted that the “third-party litigation exception” applied in favor of Gomez because the breach of contract was a “wrongful act.”

    “Contrary to the circuit court’s holding, the third-party litigation exception is not limited to fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, or something similar,” wrote Judge Joel Hagedorn. “Our supreme court has unequivocally declared that ‘a breach of contract' as well as tort may be a basis for allowing [a] plaintiff to recover reasonable third-party litigation expenses.”

    The panel rejected Jacobsen’s assertion that allowing attorney’s fees for breach of contract would “allow the exception to swallow the rule.”

    “[A]pplying the exception to breach of contract will not allow attorney fees to be recovered in every breach of contract action, only in cases where a party’s breach of contract forced another party into litigation with a third party,” Hagedorn wrote.

    “This is a limited exception narrowly tailored to those situations where, as here, attorney fees are rightly considered part of the damages flowing from the defendant’s breach of contract.”




  • It's a New Year: Let’s Expand the Focus on Diversity

    Law firms benefit from a diverse group of lawyers. Lara Czajkowski Higgins discusses the need to broaden the definition of “diversity,” the need to expand diversity efforts to support staff, and the many benefits of doing so.

    Lara Czajkowski Higgins

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    It is 2018. As business owners, this is a time to evaluate the previous year, consider what was successful and what needs improvement, and to make a commitment to change.

    In my firm, the new year has prompted an upgrade to the computer system, an evaluation of the Information Security Policy, an analysis of the most and least profitable practice areas, and an assessment of bookkeeping practices.

    Lara Czajkowski Higgins com lara prairieduchienlaw Lara Czajkowski Higgins, Villanova 2001, is a partner at Czajkowski Higgins & Tisdale S.C., Prairie du Chien, where she conducts a general practice focusing on insurance defense, municipal law, business and corporate matters, and real estate.

    The new year evaluation has also included significant discussion about our firm’s diversity. But what exactly does that mean and why is that important? Your firm should be having that same discussion.

    Definitions of Diversity

    First, let’s consider: What makes a law firm diverse?

    Diversity can be found in many forms. Gender diversity. Racial diversity. Diversity of background and experience. Geographical diversity. Diversity of language, interests, and cultures. Diversity of the staff members, not just the lawyers.

    Much has been written on gender and racial diversity, and the benefits and challenges thereof.1 I suggest, however, that when evaluating the diversity of a law firm, we need to look even deeper. This more in-depth approach is particularly necessary for firms located in rural communities, where the pool of potential lawyers and employees is more homogeneous.

    Many Practical Benefits

    There are many practical benefits to a diverse law office.2

    Diversity of lawyers, staff members, and practice areas enable you to acquire clients. Each firm member is an ambassador for the firm. The firm members may participate in different community groups, mingle in different social circles, and live in different communities.

    The more diverse the firm’s members, the broader the reach to potential clients. In contrast, if all lawyers or staff members are members of the same country club, or church, or civic group, then the firm’s exposure to potential clients is limited to those same groups.

    Diversity of practice areas is obviously beneficial, as the more types of work a firm can handle, the more potential clients it can serve. Diversity of practice areas also allows the firm to represent clients in cases where the legal issues require expertise in multiple practice areas.

    The Strength of Many Perspectives

    A diverse firm also broadens your firm’s expertise. A firm with lawyers with different backgrounds, who have attended different universities, worked in different fields, and been employed in the public verses private sector, is a firm that has many different perspectives.

    When legal issues arise, or strategy discussions ensue, a diverse firm can pull from its collective knowledge and experiences and identify the best course of action for its clients.

    Support staff can also assist in this process. For example, as a firm that represents individuals in divorce actions in a farming community, we have regularly benefited from employing a paralegal who owned and worked her own beef cattle operation. We have likewise benefited from employing a paralegal who rides motorcycles, as she is able to provide insight when the firm defends cases involving motorcycle accidents.

    By having staff members with real world experience in a variety of areas, the lawyers working on these cases are able to ask better questions, identify hidden issues, and ultimately provide higher quality representation.

    Diversity can be found in many forms. Gender diversity. Racial diversity. Diversity of background and experience. Geographical diversity. Diversity of language, interests, and cultures. Diversity of the staff members, not just the lawyers.

     

    A More Attractive Firm

    A diverse firm is also able to attract more diverse employees.

    In a world where we are able to connect to just about anyone around the globe, people are used to interacting with others from different countries, cultures, and walks of life. People who appreciate and enjoy diversity will be drawn to an employer that reflects and embraces that diversity.

    Moreover, potential employees want a work environment in which they will be comfortable, challenged, and appreciated for the unique perspective each individual has to offer. When a firm implements and values a diverse firm culture, it makes itself more appealing to potential employees looking for that type of culture.

    First Steps

    Acknowledging the benefits of and aspiring to create a more diverse firm culture are the first steps towards creating that environment. Once a firm recognizes the importance of diversity and commits to making considerations about diversity a focus in recruiting and hiring, it must then establish practices to retain that diversity.3

    Endnotes

    1 See Tracy Jan, The Legal Profession is Diversifying, but Not at the Top, Washington Post, Nov. 27, 2017; Liane Jackson, Program Helps Law Firms See Progress in Gender Diversity – But is it Enough? ABA Journal, Oct. 2017; Michael Sander, Tara Klamrowski, and Rachel Sander, Gender Analytics: Using Litigation Data to Evaluate Law Firm Diversity, Patentlyo.com, Sept. 6, 2017; Daniella Isaacson, Big Law and Gender Diversity: On the Up or Stuck at Midlevel?, Law.com, July 24, 2017; Claire Zillman, Law Firms’ Gender Diversity Programs Aren’t Keeping Women in the Industry, Fortune, April 19, 2017; American Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession, A Current Glance at Women in the Law, January 2017.

    2 Diversity is beneficial to the legal profession on a theoretical as well as practical level. This blog focuses on the practical benefits of diversity, as an analysis of diversity on a theoretical level is outside the scope of this post.

    3 Retention is a topic that has received much attention and is ripe for another blog. See Catherine Roberts, How to Improve Gender Diversity in Law Firms, Legal Insight, Sept. 7, 2017; Renwei Chung, 3 Things Law Firms Must Understand to Increase Gender Diversity, Above The Law, June 30, 2017; Robyn Forman Pollack, 6 Factors Every Law Firm’s Gender Diversity Initiative Needs, Law360 June 14, 2016; Andrea S. Kramer and Alton B. Harris, How to Increase Gender Diversity in Law Firms and Legal Departments, Legal Executive Institute, Jan. 27, 2016.




  • Final Order 17-11: Judicial Education

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    Wisconsin Supreme Court Notices

    Final Order 17-11: Amendments to SCRs 32.001, 32.02, and 32.04 Relating to Continuing Education for Wisconsin Judiciary

    The court, on its own motion, has determined that it is appropriate to amend Supreme Court Rules 32.001, 32.02, and 32.04 pertaining to continuing education for appellate court judges and justices.

    ORDER ISSUED: Dec. 21, 2017

    DISPOSITION: Supreme Court Rules are amended per the motion, effective Dec. 21, 2017.

    Quick Reference for Official Notices

    Visit the Official Notices page for a quick reference for locating recent official notices of Wisconsin Supreme Court orders adopting, amending, or repealing rules, statutes, or policies related to Supreme Court rules and State Bar of Wisconsin rules and bylaws. SCR 10.12 allows the State Bar to provide these notices to members through print or electronic media, including the Wisconsin Lawyer magazine, WisBar InsideTrack, or WisBar.org.

    For a comprehensive collection of all official notices, including pending rule petitions, court orders, and other material such as audio of public hearings, visit the Wisconsin Court System’s website or use the quick links on this page. Refer to the Publication Plan for more information on how the State Bar delivers notices to its members.

    Quick Links to Wisconsin Court System




  • Final Order 17-03: Class Actions

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    Wisconsin Supreme Court Notices

    Final Order 17-03: Amendments to Wis. Stats. 803.08 and 426.110 Relating to Class Actions

    The Wisconsin Judicial Council petitioned the court to repeal and replace Wis. Stat. § 803.08 (Class Actions), and create Wis. Stat. § 426.110(4m) (Class actions; injunctions; declaratory relief), repeal Wis. Stat. § 426.110(5) through (13), and amend Wis. Stat. § 426.110(16). The amendments are intended to align Wis. Stats. §§ 803.08 and 426.110 with the federal class action rule, Fed. R. Civ. P. 23.

    ORDER ISSUED: Dec. 21, 2017

    DISPOSITION: Petition granted and rules revised as requested by petitioner, effective July 1, 2018.

    Quick Reference for Official Notices

    Visit the Official Notices page for a quick reference for locating recent official notices of Wisconsin Supreme Court orders adopting, amending, or repealing rules, statutes, or policies related to Supreme Court rules and State Bar of Wisconsin rules and bylaws. SCR 10.12 allows the State Bar to provide these notices to members through print or electronic media, including the Wisconsin Lawyer magazine, WisBar InsideTrack, or WisBar.org.

    For a comprehensive collection of all official notices, including pending rule petitions, court orders, and other material such as audio of public hearings, visit the Wisconsin Court System’s website or use the quick links on this page. Refer to the Publication Plan for more information on how the State Bar delivers notices to its members.

    Quick Links to Wisconsin Court System




  • Admitted in Odd-Numbered Year? CLE Reporting Deadline is Feb. 1

    Admitted to practice law in an odd-numbered year? If so, be sure to complete your CLE credits and report them to the Board of Bar Examiners by Feb. 1.
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    Jan. 17, 2018 – If you were admitted to practice law in an odd-numbered year, the continuing legal education (CLE) reporting deadline is just two-weeks away – Feb. 1.

    Lawyers admitted to practice law in Wisconsin must obtain at least 30 continuing legal education (CLE) credits every two years. Lawyers admitted to practice in an odd-numbered year who wish to maintain an active law license in Wisconsin must complete the CLE credits by Jan. 31, 2018, and file their CLE report to the Board of Bar Examiners (BBE) no later than Feb. 1, 2018. Failing to do so will result in late fees and other potential penalties.

    Don’t Panic – There’s Still Time to Earn CLE Credits

    Still looking for CLE credits? Check out the State Bar of Wisconsin’s calendar of CLE events for upcoming programs.

    While the reporting period for those admitted to practice law in odd-numbered years up to 2015 officially ended Dec. 31, 2017, the rules allow an additional month to obtain and report CLE activity for the reporting period.

    Admitted in 2017?

    If you were admitted to practice law in Wisconsin this year (2017), you are exempt from CLE attendance and reporting requirements for the current reporting period (Jan. 1, 2016 - Dec. 31, 2017). If you earned credits in 2017, you can carry over up to 15 credits to your next reporting period.

    File Your CLE Report with Board of Bar Examiners

    The BBE encourages attorneys to electronically file their CLE reports (see the instructions for filing a CLE report). Attorneys can find all forms and related information on the BBE’s CLE reporting page.

    Attorneys should note that myCLE Tracker on WisBar.org allows them to track their CLE attendance, but the tracker does not report the CLE to the BBE.

    Need More Information?

    For a guide to earning and reporting your CLE credits, see “The Wisconsin Lawyer's Guide to Earning, Tracking, and Reporting CLE,” in the October 2017 issue of Wisconsin Lawyer magazine.

    Questions about CLE Requirements or Reporting?

    Contact the Board of Bar Examiners by gov bbe wicourts email or by phone at (608) 266-9760.




  • Ethical Dilemmas
    Can Law Firm's Conflict Be 'Unimputed' after Firing Associate?

    Can the conflict bell be unrung after a new associate is hired? A Florida firm's case highlights the importance of timely and adequate conflicts screening measures when hiring new associates.
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    Jan. 17, 2018 – A new associate can bring in conflicts with current clients of the associate's new firm. Can those conflicts be undone once that associate is fired from the firm?

    Question

    A law firm hires a new associate who, at his previous firm, did substantial work for a particular client. The law firm represents clients who are suing the associate’s former client on different, but related, matters.

    Because of the new associate’s previous experience, the law firm assigns the associate to work on matters against his former client. When the firm representing this client learns of the associate’s position at his new law firm, they file disqualification motions.

    After the trial court grants the disqualification, the law firm fires the new associate and now argues that it no longer has a conflict.

    May the law firm stay on the case?

    Answer

    The question is a simplified version of the facts of a Florida case, Canta v Phillips Morris1.

    A Florida law firm was representing the plaintiffs in one of a series of tobacco liability cases against Phillip Morris. While at his previous law firm, the associate billed over 1,500 hours on matters defending Phillip Morris, including 365 hours on closely related matters.

    While the associate claimed that he informed the firm that he had done substantial work representing Phillip Morris, the principal of his new firm claimed that he had no knowledge that the associate had ever represented Phillip Morris in the past. Once the law firms representing Phillip Morris became aware that the associate was now representing the plaintiffs in this matter, they moved to disqualify the firm on the grounds that the associate’s conflict was imputed to the entire firm.

    Nine months after being disqualified in one case and four months after an appellate court affirmed a disqualification order in another case, the law firm fired the associate.

    Three days later, the firm filed a motion asking for reconsideration of the disqualification orders and citing Florida’s Rule 1.10(c), which provides2:

    (c) Representing Interests Adverse to Clients of Formerly Associated Lawyer. When a lawyer has terminated an association with a firm, the firm is not prohibited from thereafter representing a person with interests materially adverse to those of a client represented by the formerly associated lawyer unless:

    (1) the matter is the same or substantially related to that in which the formerly associated lawyer represented the client; and

    (2) any lawyer remaining in the firm has information protected by rules 4-1.6 and 4-1.9(b) and (c) that is material to the matter.

    Thus, the firm was arguing that it could remove the imputation of the associate’s conflict by disassociating the source of the conflict from the firm.

    Unsurprisingly, the Florida Court of Appeals did not buy that argument:

    Not only did the Ferraro Firm fail to initiate an inquiry and a screening process when Lima joined the firm in 2015, there is no indication that the firm removed Lima from work on Engle-progeny cases for a year after PM detailed the kinds of client confidences Lima's work had included before he switched sides. The preamble states that, "In order to be effective, screening measures must be implemented as soon as practicable after a lawyer or law firm knows or reasonably should know that there is a need for screening."

    Neither Rule 4-1.10(c) nor the comments to the Rule directly address the firm's ability to continue in a matter "representing a person with interests materially adverse to those of a client represented by the formerly associated lawyer" after the formerly associated lawyer has been terminated precisely because his presence resulted in disqualification in other "substantially related" matters. "Unimputing" a conflict seems as implausible as unringing a bell, unscrambling an omelette, or pushing toothpaste back into the tube.

    As the case makes clear, the conflict bell cannot be unrung, which highlights the importance of effective conflicts checking systems and timely and adequate screening measures, when appropriate.

    In Case You Missed It: Read Past Ethical Dilemmas

    Ethical Dilemmas appears monthly in InsideTrack. Check out these topics from recent issues:

    Lawyer Who Swaps Defendant with Look-alike Found in Contempt, Dec. 20, 2017
    A defense lawyer successfully tests the ability of a witness to identify a defendant by using a substitute that looks like the defendant. But what were the consequences for the lawyer?

    Can I Donate Old Client Files of Historical Significance? Nov. 15, 2017
    A lawyer's obligation of client confidentiality has no end, according to a recent ethics opinion. Wisconsin's ethics rules – and those of other states – agree that a lawyer may not voluntarily give closed files of historical significance to a historical society, university, or any third party.

    Endnotes

    1 2017 BL 462444, Fla. Dist. Ct. App., 3d Dist., No. 3D17-1959, Dec. 27, 2017.

    2 Florida’s Rule is substantively identical to Wisconsin’s SCR 20:1.10(b).




  • On Family Law
    No Tax Deductions for Maintenance: Harmful to Both Parties

    There are many unknowns about who will benefit from the new tax bill just passed by Congress. What it does for sure is hurt individuals getting divorced in maintenance situations.

    Gregg M. Herman

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    Jan. 17, 2018 – Effective Jan. 1, 2019, maintenance will no longer be deductible for divorces granted after that date. The effect will be less money for both parties because income will be able to be shifted from a payor at higher tax rate to a payee at a lower one.

    Gregg Hermancom gherman loebherman Gregg Herman is a family law attorney with Loeb & Herman S.C. His primary office is in Milwaukee. Gregg is the co-editor of the System Book for Family Law, published by the State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE® and is a former chair of the State Bar and American Bar Association family law sections. Follow Gregg’s opinions on his family law blog.

    In theory, at least, the tax code is to be used to promote societally beneficial matters. For example, contributions to a charity are tax deductible in order to promote charitable contributions. Mortgage interest is deductible (slightly limited under the new law) to promote home ownership. The current tax code views deductible maintenance as socially beneficial to support and assist people going through the economic trauma of a divorce. The new law does not.

    There is precedent for Congress amending the tax code in a manner that harms divorcing couples. In the Divorce Tax Reform Act of 1986, Congress changed the terms of the deductibility of family support such that family support is rarely, if ever, used anymore. Family support accomplished two things:

    First, it was more realistic. When a recipient of both child support and maintenance goes to the grocery store, that person doesn’t buy food for himself separately from food for the children. Similarly, when a recipient of support pays for shelter, there was no differentiation between the portion of the rent or mortgage for the children and for the parent. Thus, family support, which combines child support and maintenance, made a great deal of sense.

    Second, family support allowed the shift of income from a higher tax rate to a lower one, which encouraged payors to produce more income and thereby pay more support. There was a price paid by the U.S. and state treasuries, but the benefit to children of having increased support outweighed the minimal additional cost. Family support was not eliminated, but it was made so difficult that most lawyers are reluctant to utilize it. The net effect is that payments usually differentiate between child support and maintenance, frequently resulting in a worse result for both parties.

    Similarly, after Jan. 1, 2019, the pain will be equalized between the parties (the court is required to take tax consequences into account when making support orders). Recently, I tested a scenario where a payor earns $300,000 a year, and the payee earns $50,000 a year. To equalize income without deductibility resulted in both parties having approximately $500 per month less, after tax, as net disposable income. In other words, the parties would have $1,000 a month less to spend, with the U.S. and state treasuries benefitting as a result.

    Why did Congress make these changes? Well, there is a common agreement that the new tax law will substantially add to the deficit, by some estimates to the tune of $1 trillion dollars or more. Congress needed to find someplace to minimize this increase to the deficit.

    As with the Divorce Reform Act, where there was no one lobbying for the children, divorcing couples do not have an effective lobbying organization to assert their cause. The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) strongly opposed the measure, but it was unable to sway decision-makers

    There is one year for Congress to change this law. Absent a groundswell of politically connected organizations, lobbyists, and of course, money, there is no reason for Congress to correct this. The net effect will harm both parties going through a divorce.




  • West's Jury Verdicts, Bench Decisions, Settlements, and Arbitration Awards

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    Jan. 17, 2018 – As a service to its members, the State Bar of Wisconsin has entered into an alliance agreement with West, a Thomson Reuters business, to provide award information on Wisconsin civil jury trials, bench trials, settlements, and arbitrations. West's editorial staff selects a few key Wisconsin cases from Westlaw's® West's Jury Verdicts – Wisconsin Reports to highlight in each issue of WisBar InsideTrack.

    State Bar members can:

    • Request a full case summary, free of charge
    • Submit their own case results for online publication in Westlaw’s® West's Jury Verdicts – Wisconsin Reports, free of charge
    • Order a paid online subscription to Westlaw’s® West's Jury Verdicts – Wisconsin Reports
    • Contact West: com west.juryverdicts thomsonreuters thomsonreuters west.juryverdicts com or (800) 689-9378
    For State Bar members submitting their own results for publication, West will:
    • Send each submitter a pdf of his/her published case as it appears online in Westlaw’s® West's Jury Verdicts – Wisconsin Reports, free of charge
    • Consider featuring the case in the State Bar’s WisBar InsideTrack publication

    This Edition’s Featured Cases:

    Lenz v. City of Milwaukee (Wis. Cir. Ct. - Milwaukee County)

    Vehicle Negligence - Settlement: $205,770
    Jury Awards $205K for Police Vehicle Right Turn MVA

    Trevino v. Burnett (Wis. Cir. Ct. - Racine County)

    Premises Liability - Verdict: Defense
    Snow Plowing Not Cause of Parking Lot Trip, Fall

    Watson v. Allstate Prop. & Cas. Ins. (Wis. Cir. Ct. - Milwaukee County)

    Vehicle Negligence - Verdict: Defense
    Defense Verdict for W. Beloit Rd. MVA

    © 2018 Thomson Reuters/West. All rights reserved. Users may download and print extracts of content from this Web site for their own personal and noncommercial use only. Republication or redistribution of Thomson Reuters/West content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Thomson Reuters/West.