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Select a topic from the drop-down list to view associated articles from WisBar News, Wisconsin Lawyer, InsideTrack, and Rotunda Report.​​​​

    May 21, 2024
    A case currently under review by the Wisconsin Supreme Court begs the question: Can a trial court accidentally find that a parent has waived their right to counsel by simply entering default judgment and uttering the word “egregious?” Jenni Spies Karas Courtney Roelandts discuss _State v. R.A.M._.
    May 15, 2024
    Preparation and specificity are two things young attorneys should keep uppermost in mind when arguing to judges and juries, according to two circuit court judges.
    May 01, 2024
    A selection of recent Wisconsin case verdicts are shared below.
    Apr. 04, 2024
    Evolution in wearables and connectivity is changing the criminal justice landscape and maintaining awareness can be the difference between conviction and acquittal, write Sara Waldschmidt and Joy Hammond.
    Apr. 03, 2024
    The Director of State Courts has approved a $15 increase to the circuit court filing fee (eFiling fee), pursuant to Wis. Stat. § 758.19(4m) and § 801.18(7), effective May 1, 2024.
    Mar. 27, 2024
    There is very little case law in Wisconsin analyzing claims for punitive damages. However, understanding the applicable statute, its history, and the small body of case law is important, writes Kristen Scheuerman.
    Mar. 07, 2024
    The Wisconsin Fair Dealership Law was enacted in 1974. Two Wisconsin lawyers sum up the law's evolution in the decades since.
    Mar. 07, 2024
    A creator of Wisconsin's 50-year-old fair dealership law shares a few memories regarding the law's origins.
    Mar. 07, 2024
    U.S. Attorneys bring and defend cases in federal district court on behalf of the federal government. This article highlights U.S. Attorneys' civil work, describing some of the matters handled in the Western District of Wisconsin.
    Mar. 07, 2024
    James Johnson and Jeanette Esbrook discuss the U.S. Supreme Court's use of precedent in reaching its determination regarding the admissions policies of Harvard College and the University of North Carolina and highlight a few equity efforts that remain for university admissions programs.
    Mar. 06, 2024
    Like other relatively minor traffic infractions such as rolling a stop sign or driving with a burnt-out tail lamp that might warrant just an oral warning, failing to use a turn signal could open the door to much more grave legal consequences.
    Feb. 21, 2024
    Grants of up to $2,600 are available for programs that help public understanding of the legal system. Past recipients include teen court programs across the state and programs that increase access to justice. Apply by April 5, 2024.
    Feb. 09, 2024
    The cy pres rule earmarks unspent funds from class action settlements for legal aid organizations, including half to the Wisconsin Trust Account Foundation. But these residual funds can go unawarded if lawyers and judges don’t know about the rule.
    Feb. 06, 2024
    The events of 2020 provoked quite a few changes in how we practice. How many of these changes have “stuck?” Katelyn P. Sandfort talks about the continuing impact of COVID-19 on the way we practice litigation.
    Jan. 17, 2024
    Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul discusses the annual State Crime Lab Report and a multistate lawsuit against Meta, the parent company of Facebook.
    Jan. 09, 2024
    Wisconsin law provides some protections against adverse employment actions for employees who have disabling illnesses or conditions that affect their work. A recent Wisconsin Court of Appeals case demonstrates that employers must act in good faith when employees request disability accommodations in the workplace.
    Jan. 09, 2024
    In law, as in life generally, resolving a disagreement often requires the willingness to give up some things in exchange for getting others. Lawyers who are great negotiators can help clients reach optimal results.
    Dec. 07, 2023
    Approximately 2.4 million funerals take place in the United States annually and the numbers are rising. Unfortunately, they also create more opportunities for motor vehicle accidents involving vehicles in a funeral procession. Megan McKenzie offers tips for defending claims and lawsuits from funeral procession accidents.
    Dec. 07, 2023
    Jeff Brown highlights the shortage of lawyers practicing criminal and juvenile law in rural counties – and the need is great. A Bayfield County judge and district attorney explain.
    Nov. 09, 2023
    Many legal scholars have criticized the doctrine of qualified immunity. Some say that it has no textual anchor in the language of 42 U.S.C. section 1983 – it is completely a judicial creation. Others emphasize the grave injustices that flow from the doctrine's application. The author suggests there is a state-law solution to what he views as a qualified immunity problem, at least in Wisconsin.
    Nov. 09, 2023
    A Wisconsin Trust Account Foundation study shows that the 12 civil legal aid providers who received 96% of legal aid funding in Wisconsin in 2021 had a combined economic impact of $176 million. That's an 8.4-to-1 return on the money received by the programs.
    Oct. 05, 2023
    By knowing the current law on damages determinations in patent infringement cases, lawyers can maximize the likelihood that patent-holder clients’ damages awards will not be reduced on appeal.
    Oct. 05, 2023
    Tim Pierce affirms that GALs are bound by the same disciplinary conflicts rules as are other lawyers.
    Oct. 05, 2023
    Aaron Earlywine says amid declines in trial practice, firms find different ways to train new lawyers.
    Oct. 05, 2023
    The State Bar's Professional Ethics Committee has issued Opinion EF-23-02, discussing GAL obligations under the Rules of Professional Conduct.
    Oct. 05, 2023
    Agricultural tourism immunity and barn weddings; two blogs presenting both the plaintiff and the defense perspectives.
    Oct. 04, 2023
    A recent case involving arbitration provides lessons for litigators in Wisconsin.
    Oct. 04, 2023
    Accurately assessing a case at the outset of representation is critical to both client satisfaction and your bottom line.
    Sep. 12, 2023
    The author reviews six significant Wisconsin federal court decisions from 2023 interpreting Wisconsin law. The decisions touch on a variety of subjects: personal jurisdiction, legal causation, bad faith, claim preclusion, contractual liability limitations, and exclusive remedies.
    Sep. 12, 2023
    The author discusses a few of the most significant Wisconsin cases in which the supreme court has grappled with the liability or immunity rule, distinctions between governmental entities and governmental employees, and discretionary versus ministerial duties.
    Sep. 11, 2023
    The court issued fewer 4-3 decisions but decided major issues during the 2022-23 term. As the court opens its 2023-24 term in September, we look back at the 45 substantive decisions issued in the 2022-23 term and ask a civil litigator and a former public defender for their insights.
    Aug. 21, 2023
    As tension hangs over the fall session of Wisconsin's legislature, these are the issues that the State Bar and its practice sections will be monitoring.
    Aug. 14, 2023
    If there is serious doubt about an opposing party’s competence, attorneys should protect their client by filing a motion and bringing the issue of incompetence before the circuit court, writes Comm. Barry Boline. Learn more about the procedure andand applicable statutes.
    Jul. 27, 2023
    A non-profit organization founded to support the DNR in its activities related to a state park has both capacity and standing the sue the agency, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals has ruled.
    Jul. 20, 2023
    Few people interact with the legal system unless they have experienced some type of traumatic event. To provide trauma-informed service to people involved in the justice system, lawyers must recognize trauma's existence and symptoms, be present, offer choices, and share knowledge.
    Jul. 19, 2023
    To give your client the best chance to win on appeal, attorneys must work to ensure that the court record is clear, says Wisconsin Appeals Court Judge Mary Lazar.
    Jul. 07, 2023
    Does the agricultural tourism immunity protect farms operating as a wedding venue? Last month, we explored arguments for the plaintiff. In this second part, Pamela Schmidt presents arguments for the defense.
    Jul. 05, 2023
    During trial, attorneys must focus on making a clear and concise record in the court for success in both trial and appellate courts. Nicholas Watt offers five tips on making an effective record during court proceedings.
    Jun. 21, 2023
    Digital recording has become essential to one of the judicial branch’s core functions: producing accurate court records.
    Jun. 09, 2023
    Does the agricultural tourism immunity protect farms operating as a wedding venue? Amy M. Risseuw explores the question for a plaintiff injured at a barn wedding. Next month, learn the arguments for the defense.
    Jun. 09, 2023
    Blogs selected for this column are published through the State Bar of Wisconsin's section blogs and WisLawNOW, the State Bar's aggregated community of Wisconsin legal bloggers.
    Jun. 08, 2023
    The Wisconsin Equal Justice Fund supports three organizations that provide direct civil legal services to people in need. Marta Meyers explains.
    May 10, 2023
    Plaintiffs in Wisconsin courts suing manufacturers for injuries caused by alleged product design defects must now meet both the reasonable-alternative-design requirements and the consumer-contemplation test. Here's what you need to know.
    May 10, 2023
    When do statements about people and events in the news cross the line from legitimate commentary and become libel or slander (collectively, defamation)? Ongoing litigation involving former football star Brett Favre might help clarify the law.
    May 10, 2023
    50-year member Gerry Mowris says the more things change, the more they remain the same. It's time to adequately fund the criminal justice system.
    Apr. 27, 2023
    Mediation submissions are often seen as a necessary chore, and there’s little guidance as to what should go into them. By keeping in mind the various members of the audience of your statement, and addressing a few critical topics, lawyers can set the stage for an efficient and effective mediation, writes David E. Jones.
    Apr. 24, 2023
    Civil legal aid not only helps ensure justice is served to all, but it can make courts more efficient and save taxpayers money, too. Lawmakers need to hear from you on this topic as they put together the biennial budget.
    Apr. 19, 2023
    On April 26, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case out of Minnesota concerning the government’s right to a windfall when taking private property – under the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause – to satisfy a debt owed to the government.
    Apr. 14, 2023
    Since Open AI released ChatGPT in November 2022, a wave of astonishment, intrigue, and concern has followed as the technology advances. The legal profession will ultimately benefit from its potential to scale efficiency and improve finished products, but it’s unlikely that robots will soon replace lawyers, says David S. Blinka.
    Apr. 11, 2023
    A member of two LLCs failed to state a claim for relief when he sued over an allegedly fraudulent real estate transaction to which he was not a party, the Wisconsin Supreme has held
    Apr. 10, 2023
    Acts passed during the Wisconsin Legislature's 2021-22 session are designed to make family law proceedings, particularly divorces and legal separations and related postjudgment actions, easier for litigants, lawyers, and court staff. Here's what you need to know.
    Apr. 05, 2023
    The State Bar of Wisconsin's Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) connects people seeking lawyers with lawyers seeking clients. Join now and get April, May, and June free in 2023.
    Apr. 05, 2023
    The law of defamation – and its related law of damages – is an area of practice renowned for its complexity. Finding resources to help clarify the definitions is just the first step in crafting a lawsuit or defense for your client.
    Mar. 20, 2023
    Claims by residents of a senior living facility for entrance fee refunds are subordinate to a perfected security interest in the property of the company that operates the facility, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has unanimously ruled.
    Mar. 01, 2023
    Wisconsin workers' compensation allows for two ways to establish liability: traumatic and occupational and both may use different dates of injury. Matthew Lein explains the significance of an occupational wear and tear injury and the date of injury to use.
    Feb. 17, 2023
    Wisconsin's criminal justice system is facing a watershed moment. Staff vacancies and turnover for prosecutors and defenders are pushing the system to a breaking point, and solutions must include adequate funding from the legislature.
    Feb. 15, 2023
    Much has changed in the past two decades in Wisconsin courts involving business litigation, yet there's no "manual for complex litigation" specific to Wisconsin. Here are resources for attorneys who need to to learn more about the challenges in complex litigation in Wisconsin state courts.
    Feb. 08, 2023
    State law required a transgender teen to show that publication of his name change petition could expose him to physical danger in order for the petition to remain confidential, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals has ruled.
    Jan. 17, 2023
    With the holidays behind us and a New Year just started, Heather Nelson and Kristen Scheuerman share helpful practice tips to ensure that, when it comes to compliance with the Medicare Secondary Payor Act in 2023, you and your clients are golden.
    Jan. 10, 2023
    Almost everyone has a cell phone, and many people use their phones even when doing so is not advisable. Cell phones hold a great deal of personal data that could be relevant in any legal proceeding. Civil litigators might find much relevant evidence in the phones of parties and others involved in their cases.
    Jan. 10, 2023
    This article examines how data breaches harm, how courts grapple with them, and how the Supreme Court's decision in Transunion v. Ramirez may shape what harms qualify as "concrete" under Article III.
    Jan. 10, 2023
    Explore the advantages and disadvantages of arbitration compared to litigation based on the goals of fair and efficient procedure, correct results, and minimizing adverse collateral consequences of the dispute resolution process; and the criteria that should govern the choice between those dispute resolution modes.
    Jan. 10, 2023
    Michael Cohen says lawyers who represent business clients will benefit from learning more about trending topics in business litigation and dispute resolution.
    Jan. 09, 2023
    The State Bar's fifteen practice sections that participate in the lobbying program are gearing up to make a big impact in the 2023 legislative session.
    Jan. 04, 2023
    Wisconsin has over 1,600 jury instructions, and all are now available online at no cost. Law librarian Carol Hassler discusses the basics of Wisconsin jury instructions, and how to stay on top of the latest updates.
    Jan. 04, 2023
    Is this a familiar scenario? A family member, friend, or client asks a legal question in an area of practice not familiar to you. Here are insider practice tips for 10 areas of practice in the Wisconsin Attorney's Desk Reference from State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE.
    Dec. 21, 2022
    Indigent Wisconsin civil litigants face an uphill battle in finding representation. Amanda R.R. Mayer discusses some of the challenges and opportunities for attorneys to help.
    Dec. 20, 2022
    Called the new LLCs, Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) are experiencing a surge of interest. Andrew Gunem discusses this new entity and its various pitfalls and possibilities.
    Dec. 15, 2022
    In this season of winter parties, does Wisconsin law hold liable those that provide alcohol to a person who subsequently injures others? Paul Curtis, discussing Wisconsin statutes and caselaw, says the general answer is “no.”
    Dec. 09, 2022
    People accused of engaging in assault or abuse, whether in a formal criminal complaint or on social media, often respond by saying that the accuser is lying. And sometimes the people accused elevate the response to a defamation suit. Lawyers can help victims understand what it means for the truth to be a defense if a victim is threatened with a defamation suit by the perpetrator, and can believe and support victims who do speak out. 95 Wis. Law. 16 (Dec. 2022)
    Nov. 11, 2022
    Illinois is among the states attempting to regulate business use and handling of biometric identifiers. Although Illinois has not attempted to regulate out-of-state biometric information, skilled lawyers have extended liability to businesses outside Illinois – including in Wisconsin. 95 Wis. Law. 16 (November 2022)
    Nov. 11, 2022
    Transnational marriage abandonment (TMA) occurs when an abuser abandons their victim-spouse in that victim-spouse’s country of origin, without means to return to the United States. Wisconsin lawyers should familiarize themselves with TMA and be prepared to use innovative legal strategies outlined here to empower survivors. 95 Wis. Law. 22 (November 2022)
    Nov. 11, 2022
    The special privileges associated with ownership of shoreland real estate are called riparian rights, and they are not absolute. Read about the categories of riparian rights and significant cases and statutes affecting Wisconsin's riparian-rights laws. 95 Wis. Law. 28 (November 2022)
    Nov. 11, 2022
    These forward thinkers are advancing the legal profession and serving the public. This year we honor Lifetime Innovator Michael Rust and other lawyers whose innovations focus on technology and access. 95 Wis. Law. 34 (November 2022)
    Nov. 11, 2022
    Jeffrey Goodman explains that the best jury consulting teams pair the wisdom and intuition of a trial lawyer's on-the-ground experience with the data of a behavioral social scientist to provide accurate insight about how people think and make decisions.
    Nov. 11, 2022
    A system that operates according to contradictory or nonexistent rules is inherently inefficient. The lack of standardized rules for some elements of civil procedure hampers legal-system participants in Wisconsin, but the problems could easily be rectified. Ryan Simatic offers some solutions.
    Nov. 11, 2022
    Jenny Zook introduces lawyers to general, Wisconsin, and federal resources concerning riparian rights: water rights related to ownership of land next to surface water.
    Sep. 21, 2022
    When your litigation practice often involves work with opposing parties, little things that aggravate can add up. Amy Risseeuw, “asking for a friend,” discusses what defense lawyers do that drives plaintiff’s counsel crazy – and suggests that bettercommunications can make a big difference.
    Sep. 07, 2022
    Determining which interactions with the criminal justice system can legally be considered in employment and licensing decisions can be a challenge for employers and employees. This article summarizes the status of Wisconsin law regarding arrest and conviction record discrimination. 95 Wis. Law 14 (Sept. 2022)
    Sep. 07, 2022
    Health care institutions, individual providers, and associated professionals, such as pharmacists, must proceed carefully when considering the effects on their professional duties and responsibilities of the U.S. Supreme Court’s overruling of Roe v. Wade. 95 Wis. Law. 20 (Sept. 2022)
    Sep. 07, 2022
    Wisconsin's navigable waters are one of the state's most valuable resources. The public trust doctrine plays a significant role in ensuring that they are managed in the public interest for all state residents and U.S. citizens. 95 Wis. Law. 26 (Sept. 2022)
    Sep. 07, 2022
    Wisconsin's navigable waters, lakebeds, riverbeds, and shorelines are subject to the state's public trust doctrine. Michael Cain explains the doctrine and how tools developed by the state are used to protect these public riches. 95 Wis. Law. 34 (Sept. 2022)
    Sep. 07, 2022
    Elana Olson points to legal resources about the public trust doctrine, which arises from language that has been in the Wisconsin Constitution since statehood in 1848. 95 Wis. Law. 47 (Sept. 2022)
    Aug. 17, 2022
    Can you agree in advance to pay any award of attorney's fees assessed against your client?
    Jul. 26, 2022
    Qualified interpreters are an integral piece of ensuring access to justice for Wisconsin’s population with limited English proficiency. Megan L. Sprecher explains the interpreter qualification categories and interpreter procedures for circuit andappellate courts.
    Jun. 28, 2022
    The shift to online proceedings in early 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic created a more difficult court environment for those without access to reliable technology. Jessica Brown discusses the digital divide and offers recommendations for helping clients who have limited access to technology.
    Jun. 13, 2022
    Great litigators don’t just happen. Maybe there are fewer trials now, but that doesn’t mean a new lawyer can’t get a lot of experience. Heather L. Nelson discusses the many ways to develop future trial attorneys.
    May 10, 2022
    On easements, whose rights take precedence – utility companies or private landowners? A recent decision by the Wisconsin Supreme Court effectively cements judicial interpretation of the statute and precedent in a clear and meaningful way.
    May 10, 2022
    Ralph Weber explains how anchoring – specifically, the enduring effects of exposure to an initial number on later decisions – can help or hinder your work as a lawyer.
    May 04, 2022
    A selection of recent Wisconsin case verdicts are shared below.
    Apr. 13, 2022
    Wisconsin has the third highest number of natural lakes of U.S. states but keeping these and other water resources clean and equitably available for all users is a challenge that increases by the day. This overview presents the basics of Wisconsin's water laws and the issues that are catalysts for disputes about water use, which we will explore in a series of articles in 2022.
    Apr. 13, 2022
    Like all new lawyers, Jim Shellow needed guidance and support during the early years of his practice. In the nearly six decades since, he has become a formidable criminal defense attorney, thanks to his mentor.
    Apr. 07, 2022
    A federal district court properly denied a plaintiff’s motion to remand her class-action lawsuit over medical records to state court after it had been removed to federal court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled.
    Mar. 24, 2022
    Two recent appeals court decisions draw attention to the presumption of openness in Wisconsin’s public record laws. Nelson W. Phillips details the cases decisions and the decisions.
    Mar. 22, 2022
    A company that refused to hire a man for a lighting specialist position after it learned he’d been convicted of domestic abuse did not engage in employment discrimination, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled.
    Mar. 02, 2022
    The Wisconsin Equal Justice Conference returns Thursday, March 10. Find out more about this 6.5 CLE credit event, which is happening both on Zoom and in person.
    Feb. 09, 2022
    Rick Niess believes the commercial court pilot project is flawed. He offers ideas on how to reform the current business court.
    Feb. 03, 2022
    Are you an attorney of a diverse background who is interested in litigation? The State Bar of Wisconsin Litigation Section offers one-year sponsored memberships for attorneys with historically underrepresented backgrounds. Jacqueline Nuckels provides the details.
    Jan. 25, 2022
    A recent Wisconsin Supreme Court decision in a lawsuit over charges for medical records renders moot a circuit court’s class certification in a similar lawsuit, the supreme court has ruled.
    Dec. 16, 2021
    A medical records software company is not subject to statutory limits on fees for reproducing medical records, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled.
    Dec. 15, 2021
    As Wisconsin's legal community pressed on through the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, they continued to produce top-notch content. Here's the top articles of 2021.
    Dec. 15, 2021
    A selection of recent Wisconsin case verdicts are shared below.
    Dec. 09, 2021
    In its 2020-21 term, the Wisconsin Supreme Court's 31 civil law opinions touched on issues including voting, the 2020 elections, COVID-19 regulations, contracts, taxation, torts, eminent domain, and municipal law. The court's 21 criminal law opinions dealt with issues including the Second, Fourth, and Sixth Amendments, use of evidence at trial, guilty pleas, and chapter 980 commitments. Here is a summary of all supreme court decisions from last term.
    Dec. 09, 2021
    This article reviews eight Wisconsin federal court decisions from 2021 interpreting Wisconsin law. The decisions touch on a variety of subjects, including tort law, advertising law, civil procedure, insurance law, contract law, corporate law, and intellectual property.
    Dec. 09, 2021
    Justin Wallace explains what insurance bad faith is and provides tips to recognize "bad-faith" practices.
    Dec. 07, 2021
    There are significant negative consequences from our unconscious assumptions. Lisa Derr provides seven steps to begin changing our unconscious bias and incorrect assumptions.
    Dec. 06, 2021
    Private landowners may be asked to allow the public to use their land for snowmobiling and other recreational activities. Lindsey Kohls provides an overview of the protections for and risks to private landowners who let others engage in recreational activities on their property.
    Nov. 23, 2021
    Nine recent Wisconsin Court of Appeals cases discuss insurance coverage. Monte Weiss and Kristen Scheuerman provide a summary of the cases.
    Nov. 19, 2021
    State law does not allow the Town of Mentor to intervene as a matter of right in a case concerning the placement of a sexually violent person inside its boundaries, the Court of Appeals District IV has ruled.
    Nov. 12, 2021
    The DTSA has provided trade secret owners with a federal private cause of action and enhanced protections that reach beyond state lines. Still, it has fallen short on its promise of national uniformity. This progress report examines whether the DTSA has lived up to its proponents’ aspirations and how it has affected trade secret litigation nationally and in Wisconsin.
    Nov. 12, 2021
    "Victory" in a case in which one party is ordered to pay another isn't complete until the money changes hands. Teresa Kobelt provides tips for helping clients collect on money judgments.
    Nov. 08, 2021
    The ultimate hammer in the contractor’s bucket is to stop work. For the owner, it is to bar a contractor from a job. But there are significant potential downsides to taking such actions. Jim Dash identifies the risks of terminating a contract from either side.
    Oct. 21, 2021
    As the human toll from climate change is becoming more and more apparent, human rights arguments are being increasingly used in climate change litigation. Arwen Bleksley discusses the increasing number of climate change litigation cases that use human rights as bases for their arguments.
    Oct. 20, 2021
    The intersection of Wisconsin’s workers’ compensation and safety regulations is more common than you may think. However, less common are those who possess the knowledge to handle the interaction of the two and determine who gets what. Matthew Lein gives the background on the intersection and examples that may help attorneys handle such a situation.
    Sep. 03, 2021
    While family law attorneys have access to discovery tools like basic interrogatories and requests for documents that are commonly used by civil litigators, there are other tools out there that can bolster a case. Jeff Raymond outlines the pros and cons ofthree tools typically underemployed in family law litigation.
    Sep. 03, 2021
    Property can change hands multiple times soon after a sale. Ryan M. Billings discusses a recent court of appeals decision that clarifies the circumstances under which a subsequent owner can sue the original seller for fraud.
    Sep. 01, 2021
    Challenges to the executive branch's authority to act during COVID-19 continued this term, and other high-profile cases were election-related. This article includes insights from a civil litigator and former public defender, with holdings and votes on every case.
    Aug. 27, 2021
    While an errata sheet can be used to correct transcription errors, an errata sheet is not a panacea for a poorly given deposition. Erik Monson discusses case law and challenges surrounding use of errata sheets in making substantive changes to a depositiontranscript.
    Aug. 23, 2021
    COVID-19 has brought many changes to the way mediations are conducted. Brent Smith discusses what mediation might look like, post-pandemic.
    Aug. 17, 2021
    What happens when the State removes access to your clients’ property? That property’s value and use can be drastically and negatively impacted by the removal of access. Ryan Simatic discusses the remedy, inverse condemnation, and how it can be used to compensate property owners.
    Jul. 16, 2021
    The Wisconsin Supreme Court's original jurisdiction is broad, allowing it to hear matters without them going through lower courts first. Skylar Reese Croy argues this benefits state residents.
    Jun. 04, 2021
    Damage caused by defects that a home's seller knew about but did not disclose can be a nasty surprise. Sellers, buyers, real estate agents, home inspectors, and contractors all have responsibilities to look closely and carefully at any property whose purchase they are involved with.
    Jun. 04, 2021
    Claims alleging injury from vaccines must be brought in specialized federal tribunals. Learn about the current legal treatment of vaccine injury claims, including claims related to COVID-19 vaccines, and the statutory processes applicable to them.
    May 19, 2021
    From religious freedom and freedom of speech to the Fourth Amendment and eminent domain, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to release all decisions by next month.
    May 14, 2021
    Joint accounts at financial institutions might be used to transfer assets at death in ways that account creators did not intend. Learn how to determine whether a joint account holder interfered with a decedent's estate planning goals by inappropriate use of the joint account.
    May 14, 2021
    The U.S. Census is conducted every 10 years and, like clockwork, redistricting battles follow. Here is a brief history of redistricting in Wisconsin and what to expect once the 2020 census data is in.
    Apr. 23, 2021
    The intersection of Wisconsin workers' compensation and third-party liability is more common than you may think. Matthew Lein discusses background on third-party negligence claims and how third-party awards are split.
    Apr. 12, 2021
    In 2020, issues of how elections are conducted riveted public attention. The author summarizes the litigated issues that occurred in Wisconsin in 2020 and early 2021 and identifies key targets of challenges to voting laws and elections going forward.
    Apr. 07, 2021
    The State Bar's Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) helps you expand your practice and bring new clients to your practice. Join now and get April, May, and June 2021 free.
    Apr. 05, 2021
    Boilerplate objections in response to written discovery requests in civil cases cause undue delay, excessive costs, and needless consumption of time, say Ralph Tease and David Blinka. Wisconsin courts should not hesitate to sanction those who use boilerplate objections to evade discovery obligations.
    Mar. 30, 2021
    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled that city of Madison and U.W. police officers are entitled to qualified immunity for excessive force claims brought by a man arrested after a U.W.-Madison Badger Football game.
    Mar. 12, 2021
    Civil legal aid is low or no-cost civil legal assistance for those that can't afford an attorney. To ensure that all people have access to justice and to help recover from COVID-19 impacts, Wisconsin should increase investment in civil legal aid.
    Mar. 10, 2021
    This article addresses donation-based crowdfunding campaigns, which may provide financial resources for individuals who might otherwise be unable to afford legal services. The ethics rules do not disallow lawyers to crowdfund, but lawyers must proceed cautiously.
    Feb. 17, 2021
    The nationwide opioid litigation has and will reap billions of dollars in settlements funds, much like the tobacco litigation settlements of the 1990s.
    Feb. 04, 2021
    Volunteering as a lawyer can help someone in need of help. But what else is involved? James Troupis discusses the lessons you learn when volunteering as a lawyer.
    Feb. 03, 2021
    Wisconsin Jury Instructions, previously available for purchase, are now available free online through the Wisconsin State Law Library. Lawyers and the public now have open access to the criminal, civil, and children's jury instructions.
    Jan. 29, 2021
    In Nelson v. Loessin, a Wisconsin appeals court recently ruled that it is improper to force individuals with potential claims against defendants to litigate these claims in the same suit. Christina Davis Sommers discusses Loessin’s reasoning and and the case’s implications.
    Jan. 20, 2021
    Can you threaten criminal prosecution to gain an advantage in a civil matter? The newly released Wisconsin Formal Ethics Opinion EF-21-01 provides insights into this ethical dilemma.
    Jan. 12, 2021
    With the promise of the mass distribution of effective vaccines on the horizon, we hope that jury trials – many canceled due to the pandemic – can be resumed in 2021. In anticipation (and optimism) that we are finally turning the corner on COVID-19, Edward Robinson discusses Wisconsin’s five-sixths rule requirement in civil jury cases.
    Jan. 11, 2021
    Attorney fee requests might seem to rest solely on each case's facts, but some unsettled legal considerations remain. Learn both the basics and possibilities for creative arguments here.
    Jan. 11, 2021
    John Kucinski asks, "Where does responsibility to address the problem of excessive use of force by law enforcement lie?"
    Jan. 11, 2021
    A recent survey shows nearly one-third of employees would sue their employer if they contracted COVID-19 at work as a result of a coworker being sick. Erica Reib looks at COVID-related employment claims to date.
    Dec. 22, 2020
    A recent Court of Appeals decision confirms the high standard for reversing an arbitration decision. Kevin Long discusses the decision’s takeaway – it is important to provide an arbitrator the opportunity to cure.
    Dec. 02, 2020
    Businesses nationwide, including Wisconsin, have filed nearly 2,000 lawsuits that seek coverage for business losses based on COVID-19 and government shutdown orders.
    Dec. 02, 2020
    Learn about the State Bar's new Pro Bono Portal and get a tutorial on how to use it from State Bar Pro Bono Coordinator Jeff Brown.
    Nov. 17, 2020
    This summer, the U.S. Supreme Court decided a criminal case that could have ripple effects in many other areas of practice, including environmental law. Robert Lundberg discusses McGirt v. Oklahoma and why it is relevant for environmental practitioners.
    Nov. 10, 2020
    Talked about but never seen, like the metaphorical unicorn: Is that how it is for diverse litigators in Wisconsin? Eric Andrews says it is time for the metaphor to change.
    Nov. 10, 2020
    A recent Wisconsin Court of Appeals decision reminds construction attorneys that clients working for municipal entities can have a layer of legal protection based on municipal immunity. Patrick Whiting discusses the details and implications of the decision.
    Nov. 04, 2020
    Wisconsin is seeing more record high water levels in the Great Lakes and local groundwater. Caleb Tomaszewski says Wisconsin attorneys should be aware of this issue, as high water levels will be at the center of future legal challenges.
    Oct. 21, 2020
    Court system and community collaboration keep courthouses running safely in Wisconsin, and innovation shines amid COVID-19.
    Oct. 07, 2020
    The preservation of electronically stored information can be expensive, time-consuming, and amenable to spoliation claims and accusations of unethical conduct. Here is a refresher of lawyer's obligations under Wisconsin's proportionality standard, and tips for efficient preservation practices that are proportional to the needs of a given case.
    Oct. 07, 2020
    Remote hearings offer survivors of violence a new tool for accessing the justice system. The authors provide tips to help clients prepare for their hearings.
    Sep. 08, 2020
    Ratification of the Marsy's Law amendment of the Wisconsin Constitution might have made fewer changes to increase crime victims' rights and left more unresolved issues than the amendment's proponents promised and its opponents feared. This article discusses what Marsy's Law means for crime victims in Wisconsin.
    Sep. 08, 2020
    As the need for civil legal services rises due to COVID-19 issues, Deanne Koll urges lawyers to increase efforts to support civil legal services.
    Aug. 25, 2020
    Civil litigation often involves complex ideas, especially in patent law. Former Judge James Troupis offers a plea on behalf of all judges: As with a jury, consider what the court needs to understand the case.
    Aug. 19, 2020
    Several high-profile cases involved clashes between the executive and legislative branches during the Wisconsin Supreme Court's 2019-20 term.
    Aug. 05, 2020
    Knowing the pitfalls and opportunities in advance can help you and your client have a less stressful experience, and enable the court to function efficiently under these new circumstances.
    Jul. 27, 2020
    Advocates familiar with different interpretation approaches – and which jurists favor them – can gain a distinct advantage when crafting their positions.
    Jul. 21, 2020
    The Wisconsin Supreme Court in recent business-dispute decisions has indicated that judges have the ability to be more demanding of claimant’s counsel when considering motions to dismiss for a failure to state a claim. Alexander (Sandie) Pendleton comments on these developments, and the related developments as to the incorporation-by-reference doctrine, and the economic loss doctrine.
    Jul. 10, 2020
    Are waivers your clients using worth anything more than the paper it is printed on? Erik Monson discusses liability waivers in Wisconsin, and offers advice on drafting an enforceable liability waiver.
    Jul. 08, 2020
    With the ongoing economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, construction lien rights have become more vital than ever to businesses in the construction industry. Steven Slawinski provides a refresher course on the basics of construction liens on privately owned construction projects in Wisconsin.
    Jun. 18, 2020
    A criminal defendant sued his criminal defense lawyer for legal malpractice, claiming the lawyer failed to raise an affirmative defense. Recently, the Wisconsin Supreme Court rejected his claim because he could not prove his innocence.
    Jun. 17, 2020
    A selection of recent Wisconsin case verdicts are shared below.
    Jun. 15, 2020
    Owners of corporations and limited liability companies can have statutory and contractual obligations to indemnify officers, directors, managers, and members for legal fees incurred in defending litigation. Ryan M. Billings discusses equity holders’ exposure to legal fees when a company brings suit against its former officers, directors, managers, or members.
    Jun. 03, 2020
    Remote hearings will continue and jury trials are still suspended, but counties now have guidance and discretion to reopen their courts from the Wisconsin Courts COVID-19 Task Force and recent Wisconsin Supreme Court orders.
    Jun. 03, 2020
    A selection of recent Wisconsin case verdicts are shared below.
    Jun. 03, 2020
    The authors identify practice areas in which cases related to the COVID-19 outbreak have been or are likely to be brought, including employment, consumer, personal injury, and insurance law.
    Jun. 03, 2020
    John Finerty Jr. says Wis. Stat. section 803.07 should allow for the mandatory discharge of third-party holders of funds from litigation over disputed fund ownership and distribution.
    May 13, 2020
    From voir dire to depositions, lawyers make statements and ask questions in the litigation process knowing that they are improper, under the guise of “zealous advocacy.” The profession would benefit from putting an end to this practice, says Tom Donnelly.
    May 06, 2020
    In the age of the coronavirus, the State Bar's Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) is a great way to expand your practice and bring new clients to your (virtual) doorstep. Join now and get May and June free.
    May 04, 2020
    Carefully crafted, an integration clause with non-reliance and tort disclaimer language may avoid common law and statutory misrepresentation claims. Scott J. Thomsen discusses a recent Wisconsin Supreme Court decision and highlights how current standard form construction contract language may not sufficiently protect the contracting parties.
    May 01, 2020
    Businesses negatively affected by COVID-19 might attempt to avoid contractual obligations, but not every contract can or should be negated. Clients should consider both the relevant contract-law issues and the potential harm to future business relationships.
    Apr. 22, 2020
    What does it mean to reasonably investigate factual claims before filing, under Federal rules and state statute? Jonathan Cook discusses the issue and case law, providing key takeaways for Wisconsin attorneys practicing civil litigation.
    Apr. 15, 2020
    In this article, mediator and former Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Richard Sankovitz provides tips on conducting mediations remotely.
    Apr. 07, 2020
    Despite constitutional, statutory, and case law civil-rights protections, sex discrimination and sexual harassment continue to occur regularly in workplaces. This article discusses the causes of action, remedies, and defenses available for sex discrimination claims in Wisconsin.
    Apr. 07, 2020
    Aaron Loudenslager says lawyers should be prepared for the court to independently determine whether there is no genuine issue of material fact with regard to each party's separate motion for summary judgment.
    Mar. 26, 2020
    While injury rates in distribution centers are reported higher than those in almost every industry sector in the country, the nature of many distribution center injuries makes it difficult to file workers’ compensation claims. Matthew C. Lein provides an overview of this growing problem and the issues that apply.
    Feb. 27, 2020
    The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s recent decision in Marx v. Morris raises a number of questions surrounding limited liability companies. In this second of two articles, Drew Parrish and Robb Leach explore more questions in the wake of the Marx decision.
    Feb. 26, 2020
    In Marx v. Morris, the Wisconsin Supreme Court handed down one of the more notable Wisconsin business decisions in recent years. In this first of two articles, Drew Parrish and Robb Leach explore their top questions in the wake of the Marx decision.
    Feb. 19, 2020
    Some states, such as Utah, are already experimenting in the "regulatory sandbox" to find innovative solutions to access to justice.
    Feb. 14, 2020
    The 2019-2020 Legislative session is rapidly drawing to a close. Learn more about where priority bills for the State Bar and its Sections are at in the last days of the process.
    Feb. 11, 2020
    Chad Post gives tips on the remedies available in civil court to a victim of nonconsensual pornography.
    Feb. 10, 2020
    As litigators, we have experienced the good, the bad, and the ugly at depositions. Barbara O’Brien offers a few suggestions for a good deposition from our own Wisconsin litigators.
    Jan. 10, 2020
    The maker of acrylic skylights for Jeep Wrangler vehicles sued Dow Chemical Company, alleging Dow Chemical made misrepresentations about an adhesive product. Recently, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled the case can proceed.
    Jan. 09, 2020
    Two U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal recently upheld a literal interpretation of the federal removal statute, allowing home-state defendants to remove cases from state to federal court because they did so before they were served.
    Dec. 04, 2019
    Established by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 2017, the three-year Business Court Pilot Project has resolved nearly 80 cases on a dedicated commercial docket.
    Nov. 20, 2019
    What it means to navigate the legal system in Wisconsin as a self-represented litigant, with little or no assistance from a lawyer.
    Nov. 12, 2019
    Commentary from the Wisconsin Supreme Court in a recent case brings attention to pleading standards in Wisconsin. Sarah Zylstra discusses the recent comments that were issued in a per curiam decision in Cattau v. National Insurance Services of Wisconsin, Inc. “The comments indicate that a plaintiff must plead facts that satisfy each element of a cause of action in order to survive a motion to dismiss,” she writes.
    Oct. 23, 2019
    A circuit court awarded all reasonable costs of collection to one law firm, zero to another, despite a statute that provides for division in third-party liability lawsuits. An appeals court affirmed.
    Oct. 17, 2019
    Whether you are assisting or defending against an inmate’s civil rights claims against corrections staff, know that the case may sink if the inmate has not exhausted administrative remedies. Nelson Phillips discusses the issue and relevant case law.
    Oct. 06, 2019
    How to "think like a judge," and other helpful tips from Wisconsin Appeals Court Judge Michael Fitzpatrick.
    Sep. 16, 2019
    Adversarial, collaborative, cooperative, or mediation? Choosing the method in family law matters depends on your client’s situation. Margaret Hickey discusses what to consider when selecting an approach to resolving family law cases.
    Sep. 09, 2019
    For many years, Wisconsin's pleading standard for litigation appeared to differ from the federal-court standard, but in 2019 the Wisconsin Supreme Court announced the standards are essentially the same. In Cattau, the court clarified this decades-long misunderstanding.
    Sep. 03, 2019
    Mediation may seem like a traffic jam, but with the right mediation tools situations can successfully merge into a solution. James Mathie lists a few ways lawyers can set up a mediation for success.
    Aug. 21, 2019
    The Circuit Courts of Appeal are split on whether the Clean Water Act regulates pollutants that travel through groundwater before reaching navigable waters. Ameya Gehi delves into key case law and examine both the historical and future impact of this spli
    Aug. 15, 2019
    Proper preparation can help you maximize results for your clients during their mediation session. Jill Sopha shares her favorite tips for advocates in mediation.
    Aug. 07, 2019
    The Wisconsin Supreme Court issued 54 authored decisions in the 2018-19 term. This article provides statistics and analysis, as well as insights from civil and criminal lawyers, with the holdings and votes in all 54 decisions.
    Jul. 26, 2019
    In the 21st century, figuring out "who done it" often necessitates determining the identity of the person who most often used a particular electronic device. Learn the basics here.
    Jun. 25, 2019
    What type of personal service is required in Wisconsin when proceeding with a contempt motion in family law cases? David A. Karp discusses the relevant statutory provisions and case law.
    Jun. 24, 2019
    As we head into another summer ozone season, EPA's final nonattainment designations for Wisconsin counties remain in effect, and remain in dispute. Katie Nekola discusses the status of Clean Wisconsin v. United States Environmental Protection Agency and what it means for Wisconsin.
    Jun. 21, 2019
    Independent contractor misclassification is a growing issue in Wisconsin, and can lead to complications when a worker is injured on the job. Matthew Lein discusses the potential consequences of misclassifying workers in Wisconsin.
    Jun. 19, 2019
    Business clients count on their lawyers for advice about avoiding or handling disputes before or when they arise. For fast and accurate guidance and solutions, turn to Business Litigation and Dispute Resolution in Wisconsin from State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE®, newly revised and expanded for 2019.
    Jun. 17, 2019
    When the way lawyers comport themselves reflects on the profession, it is important for lawyers to behave with the same civility in depositions as in the courtroom. Tom Donnelly proposes a way to end bad behavior in depositions via courts’ scheduling orders that contain specific provisions on civil behavior.
    Jun. 12, 2019
    Katherine Carpenter says Wisconsin now has a "blended system" that uses monitored digital audio reporting to produce the verbatim records of court proceedings.
    May 16, 2019
    Your task as litigator is to get the best possible jury to hear your client’s case. But how do you do that? Jacqueline Chada Nuckels discusses how to get the most out of voir dire.
    May 15, 2019
    Having a lawyer can make the difference between having a home and being evicted, says incoming State Bar President Jill Kastner. She is calling for volunteers to help improve access to justice in Wisconsin.
    May 07, 2019
    A recent Court of Appeals case drove home a point: That choice of law provisions matter. Steve Mroczkowski discusses the case, which also proves the importance of front-end negotiations.
    Apr. 25, 2019
    When working an eviction defense case – especially ones involving nonpayment – finding the defense tactic can seem an impossible task. Yu Ha Kim discusses one such case – and show she found a tactic that she hopes will work.
    Apr. 03, 2019
    Pro bono assistance “is part of what it means to be a member of the bar, to be a part of a profession that has as its chief goal the preservation of justice and the rights and liberties of the people of the state,” says Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly.
    Apr. 03, 2019
    The Legal Services Corporation's Basic Field Grants provide funding to support delivery of high-quality civil legal services and access to justice to low-income people, Native Americans, and agricultural workers during 2020. Applications are available the week of April 8, 2019.
    Mar. 28, 2019
    Dispute resolution is a useful tool in resolving professional liability cases. Perry Granof explores various dispute resolution procedures, including their efficacy and advantages and disadvantages.
    Mar. 27, 2019
    The Wisconsin Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that a legal malpractice claim for alleged negligent administration of an estate was properly dismissed while clarifying the law when third-party, non-clients bring malpractice claims.
    Mar. 15, 2019
    Wisconsin now has a limit on the number of written interrogatories. Ralph Tease and David Blinka share their thoughts on the impact of this new limitation, and what it may mean in civil litigation.
    Mar. 12, 2019
    Lawyers should prepare for the possible legalization of marijuana in Wisconsin, including advising clients considering a marijuana-based business about potential sources of liability and the scope in which they can operate their business legally.
    Mar. 12, 2019
    Rebecca Rapp says the legal system needs champions and sponsors like Veronica to close the justice gap and to get any clients at all.
    Mar. 06, 2019
    Lawyers have many different tools to negotiate the best possible outcomes for clients. But Marquette University Law School Professor Andrea Kupfer-Schneider says five skills in particular will help lawyers achieve negotiating success.
    Jan. 31, 2019
    Certain legal disputes may be better handled by two neutral parties working together to help the case reach a resolution via co-mediation. Roy Wagner discusses when two heads are better than one.
    Jan. 09, 2019
    State court threshold issues can lead to victory or defeat in litigation without the parties going through extensive discovery or the court or jury resolving the merits of a case. This article helps civil litigation lawyers understand how threshold requirements can end an opposing party’s lawsuit and protect clients from costly litigation.
    Jan. 08, 2019
    In 2018, the statute of limitation for tort claims of legal malpractice was shortened from six to three years. However, this change may not reduce the potential exposure period for legal mistakes, says Amy Risseeuw.
    Dec. 13, 2018
    This article highlights 10 significant Wisconsin Supreme Court decisions from the 2017-2018 term, during which the court issued 59 substantive decisions covering a wide range of subjects.
    Dec. 13, 2018
    This article looks at nine significant Wisconsin federal court decisions interpreting Wisconsin law in late 2017 and 2018 on a variety of subjects, including tort, contract, corporate, fair dealership, and insurance law and more.
    Nov. 13, 2018
    Changes to the Medicaid Secondary Payer Act are driving the need for parties of injury claims to adopt practices mindful of Medicaid recovery rights and processes. Lawyers must implement best practices to meet competing needs of aggressive collection efforts and client interests.
    Nov. 07, 2018
    Are you worried about competition from nonlawyer providers and self-help legal resources and websites? With Wisconsin Civil Litigation Forms Manual, you can focus on what you do best – providing contextualized knowledge – without spending time and client funds on vital but repetitive procedures.
    Oct. 31, 2018
    When valuing a case, lawyers should look beyond the legal issues to consider the client's personal costs and benefits of litigating. Jill Sopha discusses BATNA, or Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement, a formula to calculate the value of litigating a case.
    Oct. 30, 2018
    When something happens involving our clients' beloved pets, we often have to be reminded that pets aren’t human but are defined as property in Wisconsin. Just what does that mean legally, when pets cause injury or are hurt?
    Oct. 29, 2018
    Feb. 1, 2011, marked a change in Wisconsin products liability law, including for the liability of a seller or distributor in a products liability case. Michael Gill and Craig Steger discuss the tactics and considerations for both plaintiffs and defendants when handling products liability claims against sellers and distributors in Wisconsin.
    Sep. 05, 2018
    A recent Pulitzer Prize-winning book about Milwaukee housing and eviction has sparked a national dialogue about the right to counsel in eviction cases, and pilot projects are addressing the needs of indigent clients in cases impacting basic human rights.
    Aug. 15, 2018
    Presentation technology can make your trial presentation engaging and impactful. Kristin Scheuerman gives tips from a trial consultant to help you bring your evidence to life.
    Jul. 20, 2018
    Divorced parents sometimes desire to move with their children to locations farther from the home of the former spouse. Learn which proposed relocations are subject to a recently revised Wisconsin statute and how to comply with the law's procedural provisions.
    Jul. 20, 2018
    Signs, social media, elections, and wedding cakes: all can convey facts or opinions and all have played a role in seminal U.S. Supreme Court First Amendment pronouncements in the 21st century.
    Jul. 20, 2018
    Marcia Vandercook and Jean Bousquet say the new format for orders and other documents filed with the circuit court that require a judge's or other court official's signature lessens confusion for filers and introduces uniformity for courts.
    Jul. 20, 2018
    Hon. Eugene Gasiorkiewicz and William Gleisner say the legislature's significant, substantial changes to Wisconsin's civil procedure rules are without precedent in process and speed and unnecessarily hamper litigation in the state's courts.
    Jul. 18, 2018
    The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently ended its practice of deferring to state agencies' conclusions of law. But fractured opinions will leave practitioners to decipher the code.
    Apr. 26, 2018
    Lawyers who represent farmers or farm lenders are often surprised to learn of the unique liens that can arise by operation of law and without Uniform Commercial Code requirements. Troy Schneider describes three of these liens and their legal requirements.
    Apr. 01, 2018
    The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently amended Wisconsin's class action statute to align it with its federal counterpart. This article highlights the revised statute's key requirements and concepts.
    Mar. 07, 2018
    Under a pending bill, attorneys could voluntarily agree to accept email service of discovery requests, responses, and other papers required to be served on counsel.
    Mar. 07, 2018
    With tips to help you with discovery, voir dire, peremptory challenges, and more, Wisconsin Trial Practice helps you show up for trial prepared, organized, and confident.
    Mar. 01, 2018
    Trials rarely happen anymore. Wood Foster says the long-term consequences of this trend is damaging for the public and the legal profession.
    Jan. 17, 2018
    A new tax code provision that disallows deductions for settlements subject to nondisclosure agreements may be significant for both sides of a sexual harassment claim.
    Jan. 02, 2018
    Menards CEO John Menard Jr. recently fought off an appeal in the long-running dispute between his business and his ex-fiancée, Minnesota lawyer Debra Sands, who sued Menard Inc. and affiliates on the grounds of unjust enrichment.
    Jan. 01, 2018
    A personal injury hypothetical highlights the civil law issues that criminal defense lawyers should consider and how those issues can affect the criminal case. It also addresses the considerations for civil lawyers when confronting a matter with an ongoing, parallel criminal case that arises from the facts of the civil dispute.
    Jan. 01, 2018
    Domestic abuse and violence survivors may seek representation in many types of cases in which the abusive power and control dynamic has a direct effect. These clients might have special needs during legal representation, whether or not the case involves the alleged abuser.
    Jan. 01, 2018
    A commercial court pilot project in Waukesha County and several Green Bay-area counties speeds up litigation, says Judge Michael Aprahamian, and judges are gaining increased expertise in business law.
    Dec. 15, 2017
    Litigators, would you choose the same field and profession again, given a chance to do something else? Patricia Epstein Putney recently conducted an informal survey of her peers … and found some interesting answers.
    Dec. 05, 2017
    The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently upheld an actual damages award, attorney fees, and double costs in favor of an estate that filed a small claims action against the decedent’s niece for civil theft of funds from the estate.
    Dec. 01, 2017
    This article highlights 10 significant Wisconsin Supreme Court decisions from the 2016-2017 term, during which the court issued 50 decisions covering a wide range of subjects.
    Nov. 01, 2017
    Jim Rogers argues the results of many judicial decisions have encroached on the right of injured plaintiffs to obtain remedies when they are harmed by negligent acts.
    Oct. 13, 2017
    Managing a client's expectations may be one of the most important tasks litigation attorneys have. Michael Laufenberg gives tips to avoid that cringe-worthy moment when with your client at a verdict reading.
    Oct. 01, 2017
    The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s 2016 decision in Roberts v. T.H.E. Ins. Co. shows that the justices disagree on the limits of the recreational liability statute, but overall their standards still favor injured parties, especially in situations in which waivers are deficient, in substance or process. The author discusses challenges practitioners face following Roberts and offers practice tips.
    Sep. 15, 2017
    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.
    Sep. 01, 2017
    Every year, many Wisconsin residents contact the state with complaints about negative consumer experiences. This article sketches out the state’s consumer protection apparatus, identifies the most common types of complaints, and suggests best practices for consumers to work out disagreements with businesses.
    Sep. 01, 2017
    The sheer scope and complexity of consumer law is daunting for consumers and practitioners. Consumer protection provisions are scattered among many different statutes and administrative code chapters, but the responsibility for enforcing them rests among several administrative agencies, often with overlapping jurisdiction. Here is an overview of Wisconsin consumer protection laws, and the regulatory agencies responsible for them.
    Sep. 01, 2017
    Our justice system needs competent lawyers willing to pursue consumer law claims for individuals who have been victimized by predatory economic practices. Here is a look at a consumer law practice, federal and state consumer protection laws, and how lawyers can obtain an award of attorney fees based on the fee-shifting provisions in consumer protection statutes.
    Sep. 01, 2017
    Mary Fons provides an introduction to timeshares, describes a typical hard-sell sales presentation, and reviews effective statutory remedies lawyers can use to obtain relief for those defrauded.
    Aug. 16, 2017
    Judicial preferences may vary, but here are three common dos (and don’ts) for any courtroom.
    Aug. 14, 2017
    A state appeals court recently ruled that the nonfamily beneficiaries in a will are entitled to attorney fees and costs because they prevailed on an appealable contested matter, despite an argument that the parties had reached a settlement.
    Aug. 01, 2017
    The state supreme court recently ruled (4-3) that a manufacturer failed to present sufficient evidence on its conspiracy to breach a fiduciary duty and trade secret misappropriation claims relating to an employee working for two companies.
    Jun. 21, 2017
    Learn quickly which details matter most when evaluating the viability of potential litigation with PINNACLE’s newly revised The Law of Damages in Wisconsin.
    Jun. 07, 2017
    Need to keep current with the ever-changing landscape of e-discovery? Here are a few resources, including several blogs worth monitoring.
    May 17, 2017
    Writing is a skill that you can always continue to sharpen. Marquette University law professor Melissa Greipp shares drafting techniques and practical editing tips to take your brief writing to the next level.
    Mar. 01, 2017
    While Wisconsin’s adoption of the Daubert standard for admission of expert testimony has not led to a sea change in the law, lawyers should prepare to make a detailed record in the trial court showing why the expert opinions they hope to offer into evidence are reliable and comply with Daubert.
    Mar. 01, 2017
    Lara Czajkowski Higgins talks to three circuit court judges about handling pro se litigants in the courtroom and relays their advice to lawyers when facing pro se opposition.
    Jan. 10, 2017
    An obstetrician found liable for negligence in the delivery of a child argued that the testimony of an expert who testified on the standard of medical care should have been excluded as unreliable. Recently, the state supreme court disagreed.
    Jan. 01, 2017
    Lawyers have an ethical obligation to understand core principles surrounding the preservation and production of electronically stored information, including steps that can be taken to preserve confidential and privileged data. The author outlines some of the most relevant rules of professional conduct and ethics opinions for litigators dealing with 21st-century technology.
    Dec. 01, 2016
    The article highlights nine significant Wisconsin Supreme Court decisions from the 2015-2016 term, during which the court issued more than 40 decisions covering a wide range of subjects.
    Dec. 01, 2016
    This article looks at nine significant Wisconsin federal court decisions interpreting Wisconsin law in 2015-2016, encompassing common-law claims and statutory interpretations.
    Nov. 16, 2016
    E-filers can now submit certain proposed orders in PDF format, streamlining the filing process.
    Nov. 11, 2016
    Repeat drunk drivers have an automatic right to appeal denied motions to suppress evidence after pleading guilty or no contest to the offense, but first-timers (civil offenders) don’t have that same right, a state appeals court recently ruled.
    Nov. 02, 2016
    The Wisconsin Supreme Court has repealed the 158-year-old Deadman’s Statute under a package of evidence rule changes sought by the Judicial Council.
    Sep. 13, 2016
    Federal law prohibits merchants from including credit card expiration dates and full credit card numbers on receipts. But a lawsuit alleging violations by the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin may not proceed, on immunity grounds.
    Sep. 07, 2016
    Learn how social media can help your case, and what attorneys must do to find it, obtain it, and use it to their advantage.
    Sep. 01, 2016
    As privately operated drones are increasingly hovering over our country’s cities and farms, governments are responding by passing laws to regulate their operation in the interests of public safety and privacy. This article addresses the patchwork of laws that have arisen at various levels to govern the private use of drones.
    Aug. 16, 2016
    A circuit court ordered a woman to pay more than $50,000 to her uncle’s estate after a jury determined she stole money from him while serving as his caretaker. Recently, a state appeals court cut that award to about $6,000.
    May 18, 2016
    Savvy business lawyers turn to the experienced attorney-authors of State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE’s Business Litigation in Wisconsin, newly revised and expanded for 2016.
    May 01, 2016
    The Hon. Gerald P. Ptacek and Marcia Vandercook explain the supreme court’s new rules, effective July 1, 2016, to protect sensitive information in court records.
    Apr. 20, 2016
    What do you do when you’re lost in a mire of discovery? How do you wade through it all and still be prepared in time? Learn how to focus on discovery to win at trial from veteran litigator Lester Pines.
    Mar. 16, 2016
    March 16, 2016 – The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) has grant funds available to provide civil legal services to eligible clients during calendar year 2017.
    Mar. 01, 2016
    One practice area lawyers cannot afford to ignore is bankruptcy. Because of bankruptcy courts’ broad jurisdiction, a wide variety of cases can be implicated, including evictions, foreclosures, the validity of and right to payment from trusts, consumer protection laws, defamation, and domestic support arrears.
    Feb. 03, 2016
    You obtained a judgment for the client, but the work isn’t over. In this article, attorney Jennifer Limbach explains postjudgment collections law and strategy.
    Feb. 03, 2016
    The book Wisconsin Jury Instructions assists judges and attorneys with instructing jurors who must reach verdicts during trials. An electronic version is newly available through Fastcase, a legal research service.
    Jan. 20, 2016
    Jan. 20, 2016 – The Appellate Practice Section’s new pro bono Appellate Help Desk fielded 70 requests in its first weeks of operation, providing help to pro se litigants with civil cases in the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. Here’s how you can get involved.
    Jan. 06, 2016
    Jan. 6, 2016 – Ongoing innovations in technology continue to prompt changes in discovery practice and procedure in Wisconsin. Keep informed with the latest update to PINNACLE’s Wisconsin Discovery Law and Practice – which includes such developments as those addressed in the following “sample interrogatories.”
    Dec. 16, 2015
    Dec. 16, 2015 – With every case, there are the facts and the law – and there are people. Wisconsin Trial Practice, newly supplemented for 2015-16, will help you effectively work with the people you encounter in the courtroom – jurors, witnesses, judges – to maximize your chances of winning your clients’ case.
    Dec. 01, 2015
    The article highlights nine significant Wisconsin Supreme Court decisions from the 2014-2015 term, during which the court issued 53 decisions covering a wide range of subjects.
    Dec. 01, 2015
    The article looks at eight significant Wisconsin federal court decisions interpreting Wisconsin law in 2014-2015, encompassing common-law claims and statutory interpretations.
    Nov. 01, 2015
    The problem of shaky or flawed forensic science evidence is about much more than wrongful conviction of the innocent. It also means that the system fails to identify the truly guilty. Criminal cases are increasingly science-dependent, and the traditional forensic sciences have played a critical role in the way we dispense justice. To make forensic science evidence more reliable, a wide range of reforms must take place.
    Oct. 01, 2015
    Michael J. Cerjak, Jesse B. Blocher, and Andrew S. Wier say new litigators need to plan ahead, figure out what’s important, make your points, and be efficient. Here’s how.
    Oct. 01, 2015
    A sincere "I'm sorry" can't undo an error, but Alan Tuerkheimer says it can keep an honest mistake from becoming a lawsuit.
    Sep. 02, 2015
    Sept. 2, 2015 – Fewer cases are going to trial and that means young lawyers are no longer getting the experience they need for future litigation. Young lawyers should proactively seek mentoring opportunities and do some self-learning to help build that experience, says Jesse Blocher.
    Sep. 01, 2015
    Defending a corporation and its board in shareholder litigation can be the equivalent of playing one football game on two (or more) different fields. Exclusive-venue provisions help corporations reduce the costs of lawsuits by restricting the number of forums. While such provisions have largely been a Delaware phenomenon, they also may benefit companies incorporated in Wisconsin.
    Sep. 01, 2015
    Jesse Blocher, Michael Cerjak, and Andrew Wier tell how lawyers can gain civil trial experience, even as fewer civil cases are brought to trial.
    Sep. 01, 2015
    A lawyer's first trial can be a nerve-racking experience. Once you get the opportunity to represent a client at trial, what should you do to prepare? Start with finding a good mentor who does trial work, then really get to know your evidence, says Andrew Wier.
    Sep. 01, 2015
    Fewer cases are going to trial and that means young lawyers are no longer getting the experience they need for future litigation. Young lawyers should proactively seek mentoring opportunities and do some self-learning to help build that experience, says Jesse Blocher.
    Aug. 12, 2015
    A state appeals court has rejected a physician’s claim that another physician’s testimony about her standard of prenatal and delivery care should have been excluded at trial, concluding the testimony met the standard governing admissibility of expert test imony met the standard governing admissibility of expert testimony.
    Jul. 15, 2015
    July 15, 2015 – In general, parties to litigation must pay their own expenses, including attorney fees, even if they win. This “pay-your-own-way” rule can create some uncertainties between parties, especially parties to construction contracts, says Milwaukee attorney James Braza.
    Jul. 01, 2015
    Summer is here. For many, it's the best time of the year. But as lawyers know all too well, summertime is also a high season of liability risks. In this article, learn about some of the legal issues that spring to life when summertime is in full swing.
    Jun. 01, 2015
    The business judgment rule – that directors are not liable for an honest mistake of business judgment – is both a rule of substantive law and often the source of procedural burdens that shareholders challenging a board of directors’ decision must overcome. The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently reinforced the doctrine, making clear that shareholder-plaintiffs must be ready from the moment they file to present plausible evidence of their right to relief.
    May 20, 2015
    May 20, 2015 – Lawyers often begin negotiations by demanding too much upfront, causing both sides to stall out before reaching an agreeable result. By better understanding how to bargain and developing a plan of movement, you can avoid this dead end, says attorney and mediator J. Anderson Little.
    May 14, 2015
    Ralph Armstrong spent almost 30 years in prison before a new trial was ordered in his murder-rape case, which was later dismissed. Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled that Armstrong can pursue his civil lawsuit against the prosecutor and crime lab techs, accused of destroying evidence in bad faith.
    May 06, 2015
    May 6, 2015 – Aside from criminal penalties for providing alcohol to underage persons, social hosts can face civil liability for the negligent actions of intoxicated underage persons. In this article, Racine attorney Mark Hinkston explains the laws on underage drinking liability.
    May 01, 2015
    Recent cases have led attorneys and courts to focus on obstreperous conduct during the discovery process. This article identifies the intersection between the discovery rules and the rules of professional responsibility and then focuses specifically on how professional responsibility applies to the deposition process – from noticing the deposition, to preparing the witness, to taking and defending the deposition, to post-deposition practices.
    Apr. 15, 2015
    April 15, 2015 – Do you have a deposition soon? In this article, author, attorney, and law professor Shane Read reveals a few tips on deposing and representing witnesses in depositions.
    Apr. 01, 2015
    Lawyers representing any of the parties in worker’s compensation, insurance, or personal injury matters must ensure that the recovery rights, if any, of Medicare Advantage Plans are identified and protected during claim processing or litigation.
    Mar. 18, 2015
    March 18, 2015 – Travel season brings rest and relaxation, but also the potential for tourist scams. In this article, consumer attorneys Ivan Hannibal and Mary Catherine Fons explain the typical timeshare scam, and the legal claims available to help remedy bad situations.
    Mar. 18, 2015
    March 18, 2015 – A budget proposal aims to reduce the number of indigent defense cases appointed to private bar attorneys by keeping more “conflict” cases in house. In this article, Waukesha criminal defense lawyer Anthony Cotton raises some concerns.
    Mar. 01, 2015
    Nothing can take the adversariness out of litigation but you can avoid the cat-and-mouse tactics of burying a party in discovery requests. Preparing and using an e-discovery plan can help keep the focus on the underlying legal dispute instead of on wading through unnecessary bytes of data.
    Feb. 01, 2015
    Doug Abrams shares judges’ suggestions for writing briefs that will help your case.
    Jan. 14, 2015
    Currently, the interest rate that applies to judgments equals one percent plus the prime rate in effect at the time of the judgment. Prior to 2012, the interest rate on judgments was 12 percent. Recently, a state appeals court said the old interest rate applies to a 2013 judgment because the plaintiff made his offer of settlement in 2008.
    Dec. 01, 2014
    The article highlights nine significant Wisconsin Supreme Court decisions from the 2013-14 term, during which the court issued more than 50 substantive decisions.
    Dec. 01, 2014
    The article looks at 10 significant Wisconsin federal court decisions interpreting Wisconsin law in 2014, encompassing common-law claims and statutory interpretations.
    Nov. 26, 2014
    Class counsel attorneys’ fees averaging $538 per hour was excessive compensation, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled in an appeal from a class action settlement involving makers and distributors of dietary supplements.
    Nov. 05, 2014
    Nov. 5, 2014 – New limited-scope representation rules take effect Jan. 1, 2015, providing more guidance to lawyers, especially in the areas of limited court appearances and ghostwriting. The guidance should give lawyers new opportunities to serve the public.
    Sep. 03, 2014
    Sept. 3, 2014 – The State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE Wisconsin Civil Litigation Forms Manual is the ideal litigation-preparation companion. Recently updated, it’s the next best thing to having at your side a team of experienced litigators.
    Sep. 01, 2014
    Bullying in school is particularly hard to combat, because children generally do not have the option of avoiding the problem by changing locations. Read how schools, parents, and communities are fighting back against bullying.
    Aug. 26, 2014
    As incoming freshmen all over the state are getting ready to leave home for the first time and start classes, the State Bar of Wisconsin is issuing helpful reminders to new adults.
    Jul. 16, 2014
    July 16, 2014 – In this article, Madison attorney Tyler Wilkinson discusses a new law that lets health providers apologize for apparent medical mistakes without fear that the apology will be used against them, while noting the benefits of apologies in such cases.
    Jul. 16, 2014
    July 16, 2014 – Originally recorded atthe2014 Litigation, Dispute Resolution & Appellate Practice Institutein May, these sessions offer you the chance to watch replays of Institute presentations.
    Jun. 18, 2014
    June 18, 2014 – A recent settlement validates the rights of disabled individuals who request accommodations to take the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT). Learn about the settlement and the State Bar of Wisconsin’s involvement in the process.
    May 08, 2014
    Wisconsin lawyers have more in common than their work with clients and ability to compose legal briefs, many also possess a desire to give back and help grow and cultivate the legal profession.
    Apr. 22, 2014
    Now that the state Senate and Assembly have adjourned, the State Bar takes an inside look at the 2013-2014 legislative session.
    Apr. 16, 2014
    April 16, 2014 – This three-volume treatise, written by a diverse group of Wisconsin attorneys and published by State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE®, is the definitive, black letter, resource for pleading and proving damages in Wisconsin courts.
    Apr. 11, 2014
    The State Bar of Wisconsin National Mock Trial planning team is calling on attorneys, judges and experienced teachers and coaches from around the state to step up to the bench and volunteer to serve on a judging panel during the 2014 National High School Mock Trial Championship on May 9 and 10 in Madison.
    Mar. 28, 2014
    Attorneys are encouraged to volunteer to serve on newly created Legislative Council study committees. These special study committees provide a unique opportunity for legislators and members of the public to work collaboratively and deliberatively in the development of legislative solutions to complex issues.
    Mar. 26, 2014
    Want to help high school students have the experience of a lifetime? Volunteer to serve as a member of a judging panel or general volunteer during the 2014 National High School Mock Trial Championship in Madison from May 6 to 10.
    Mar. 19, 2014
    March 19, 2014 – For the past 30 years, jury trials have steadily declined in both federal and state courts. Why is this happening, and how does it impact lawyers and the justice system? This article explores the “disappearing jury trial” with perspectives from two trial attorneys.
    Mar. 11, 2014
    Rhinelander High School captured its 17th high school mock trial state title yesterday after defeating Shorewood High School in a very close final round judged by six members of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The team will now advance to the National High School Mock Trial Tournament, May 8-10 in Madison.
    Mar. 05, 2014
    March 5, 2014 – Find the experience and topics you need to hone your skills and advance your career at the State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE® 2014 Litigation, Dispute Resolution, and Appellate Practice Institute on May 22 and 23.
    Feb. 24, 2014
    The Wisconsin Judicial Code would specifically authorize judges to give litigants, including self-represented litigants, information or use techniques to simplify legal proceedings, under a petition that received a public hearing today at the state supreme court.
    Feb. 17, 2014
    Help the State Bar of Wisconsin send a bill to the governor’s desk, which would return first-time, nonviolent 17-year-old offenders to juvenile court jurisdiction.
    Feb. 14, 2014
    Students from 16 Wisconsin high schools recently advanced to the State Bar of Wisconsin’s 31st Annual High School Mock Trial State Tournament, a two-day event that starts March 9 at the Dane County Courthouse in Madison.
    Feb. 05, 2014
    Feb. 5, 2014 – The Wisconsin Records Management Committee updated or introduced 13 general, civil, and small claims forms. Forms became effective Nov. 21, 2013.
    Jan. 10, 2014
    More teams have signed up to participate in the Wisconsin High School Mock Trial Program than in previous years. This year, 111 teams will compete in the mock trial regional tournaments.
    Jan. 01, 2014
    The Wisconsin Rules of Evidence remain the guideposts for admitting electronically stored information at summary judgment and trial. This article addresses threshold questions of relevance, authenticity, and the application of the hearsay doctrine tocomputer systems.
    Dec. 18, 2013
    Dec. 18, 2013 – The Wisconsin Records Management Committee updated or introduced 29 civil, criminal, juvenile, and small claims forms. Forms became effective Sept. 12, 2013.
    Dec. 10, 2013
    Want to refine your courtroom skills and delivery? Looking at procedure and performance from a different perspective, like that of a judge, can be very helpful, and the State Bar of Wisconsin has a perfect opportunity to do just that. You can take the bench while volunteering as a judge at the National High School Mock Trial Championship in Madison from May 8 to 10.
    Nov. 26, 2013
    With several donations coming in over the past few weeks, the State Bar of Wisconsin’s National Mock Trial program is well on its way to achieving its ultimate fundraising goal of $200,000. To date, the State Bar has raised $138,000.
    Nov. 20, 2013
    Nov. 20, 2013 – Find what you need – and prove what you must – with updates to two trusted civil-litigation resources from State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE: Wisconsin Discovery Law and Practice and Wisconsin Trial Practice.
    Nov. 01, 2013
    Business litigators must tap their quantitative skills when bringing or defending suits involving lost-profits damages, to ensure clients recover or pay a legally and financially appropriate amount. The authors explain some of the issues to consider when seeking recovery of these damages.
    Oct. 24, 2013
    After a strong start, the State Bar of Wisconsin's fundraising thermometer for the 2014 National Mock Trial Championship rests at $83,000, which is less than 50 percent of the necessary $200,000. Despite the stagnant funds, Wisconsin's National Mock Trial Executive Committee remains hopeful that they will reach their goal.
    Sep. 01, 2013
    Explain the process. Listen to the witness. Keep your cool. Kara Burgos, Andrew Hebl, and Eric Ryberg present these and other tips for successfully deposing witnesses.
    Sep. 01, 2013
    Matthew Lynch says two 2013 Wisconsin cases exemplify the types of lawsuits plaintiffs will increasingly bring, and the pressures legislators may face to enact statutory protections for associational privacy on the Internet.
    Aug. 21, 2013
    Aug. 21, 2013 – Tune in to special encore webcast CLE/EPR programs from the spring 2013 State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE® Litigation, Dispute Resolution & Appellate Practice and the Real Estate & Business Law institutes in August and September. Earn up to 19 CLE credits and 3 EPR credits. Institute attendees can view these webcasts at no additional charge.
    Aug. 12, 2013
    The Wisconsin Supreme Court largely wrapped up its 2012-13 term, issuing 31 opinions in July. In total, the court issued 98 opinions this term. This article highlights some of the major decisions of the term, both criminal and civil.
    Jul. 24, 2013
    Now that the State Bar of Wisconsin has introduced its new Our Courts Wisconsin program, groups are lining up to request that one or more of the presentations come to their city or county.
    Jul. 24, 2013
    The State Bar of Wisconsin is set to host the National Mock Trial competition next spring, and organizers of the event are pleased to announce that they have received the largest donation to date – $25,000 – from the Wisconsin Law Foundation.
    Jul. 24, 2013
    In response to the recent electrical fire at the Milwaukee County Courthouse, several judges and staff members have been working around-the-clock to provide residents with much needed court system services.
    Jun. 26, 2013
    Assembly Bill 40 – more commonly referred to as the “budget bill” – passed through both legislative houses last week with only a few technical changes to the governor’s original proposal. Now the bill heads to Gov. Walker, so he can sign the bill into law.
    Jun. 19, 2013
    June 19, 2013 – Chances are, you or your clients will see a liability waiver form this summer, as recreational activities commence. In this article, business lawyer Timothy Fenner explains whether and to what extent those provisions are enforceable.
    Jun. 19, 2013
    June 19, 2013 – A provision now included within the state budget bill would trigger retroactive enforcement of tort reform provisions related to risk contribution theory. This article explains how the changes would potentially impact pending litigation.
    Jun. 10, 2013
    With the clock ticking and funds to be raised, Wisconsin’s National Mock Trial Fundraising Committee is launching a major donor campaign to support their efforts.
    May 20, 2013
    May 20, 2013 – Nationally recognized government scholar Charles Franklin drew a large audience when he presented “Divided Wisconsin: What Unites and Divides the Citizens of the State?” last week at the State Bar PINNACLE Institute.
    May 17, 2013
    May 17, 2013 – Renowned civil rights attorney Morris Dees reminds lawyers they hold the key to the gates of justice, and everyone deserves a seat at the table. Dees spoke yesterday to attendees at the State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE® Litigation, Dispute Resolution, and Appellate Practice Institute, which concludes today.
    May 16, 2013
    May 16, 2013 – In Brooten v. Hickok Rehabilitation Services, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals held void a waiver agreement that had been signed by an individual who joined a health club, who subsequently was seriously injured when a weight bench he was using collapsed under him.
    May 15, 2013
    May 15, 2013 – Under a proposed bill pending in the Wisconsin Legislature, courts would use a different standard to determine whether a doctor adequately advised a patient about alternative treatment options, while giving doctors more protection from liability.
    May 15, 2013
    May 15, 2013 – Plaintiffs’ lawyer granted big oil defendants extra time to file a late answer and avoid default; plaintiffs still prevail in challenge to summary judgment.
    May 01, 2013
    May 1, 2013 – Court reins in statutory immunity; giving a horse’s lead rope to another qualifies as “providing an equine.”
    Apr. 17, 2013
    April 17, 2013 – In this article, Madison lawyer Mike Riley explains that Wisconsin’s adoption of the Daubert standard for expert witnesses has not impacted state cases in a major way, with advice on how and when Daubert motions should be filed.
    Apr. 05, 2013
    In the April issue of Wisconsin Lawyer magazine, available online and in mailboxes soon, two Madison-based lawyers explain how federal immigration policy may impact the estimated 8,900 undocumented children living in Wisconsin.
    Apr. 03, 2013
    April 3, 2013 – If you need guidance on pleading damages, meeting evidentiary burdens, or evaluating the sufficiency of your evidence, you need the State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE® The Law of Damages in Wisconsin.
    Apr. 03, 2013
    April 3, 2013 – This article highlights the state of funding for civil legal services in Wisconsin, while noting that increased state funding can reduce the number of pro se litigants in Wisconsin courts, leading to fairer results and increased efficiency in the courts.
    Apr. 01, 2013
    Many courts and litigation attorneys view nontraditional settlement agreements like Mary Carter and loan receipt agreements with mistrust. But such agreements, when properly structured, can promote more efficient settlement of certain lawsuits.
    Mar. 20, 2013
    March 20, 2013 – Morris Dees, who has litigated against the most powerful hate groups in America as the Southern Poverty Law Center’s chief trial counsel, is a featured speaker at the upcoming Litigation, Dispute Resolution, and Appellate Practice Institute.
    Mar. 01, 2013
    State Public Defender Kelli Thompson reflects on 50 years of Gideon v. Wainwright, requiring states to provide legal representation to indigent defendants facing serious offenses.
    Jan. 24, 2013
    A business that sued several telecommunications companies alleging the companies together engaged in deceptive billing practices has cleared another major hurdle.
    Jan. 16, 2013
    Jan. 16, 2013 – The Wisconsin Records Management Committee updated or introduced 25 civil, criminal, guardianship, juvenile, and probate forms. Forms became effective Nov. 16, 2012.
    Jan. 07, 2013
    Jan. 7, 2013 – An employee of Menard Inc. was considered a "permissive user" of a customer's truck while loading lumber onto it with a fork lift, meaning the customer's auto insurer must now defend and possibly indemnify Menard, a state appeals court has ruled.
    Jan. 03, 2013
    In its first decision of 2013, the Wisconsin Supreme Court clarified the process for filing claims against state employees and made recommendations to avoid unnecessary litigation in the future while reversing two lower courts decisions in the case.
    Jan. 02, 2013
    Jan. 2, 2013 – Many websites allow individuals to post reviews about products and services. If those reviews are not true, businesses can sue, and these types of cases are on the rise. This article explains the recent developments in this area with insight from Milwaukee lawyer Donald Daugherty.
    Dec. 19, 2012
    Dec. 19, 2012 – Twenty-six sessions from the State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE Litigation, Dispute Resolution & Appellate Practice, Real Estate & Business Law, and Health, Labor & Employment Law institutes will be available as webcast seminars in January. Institute webcasts are free for institute attendees and are included in the cost of the Ultimate Pass.
    Dec. 19, 2012
    Dec. 19, 2012 – Master procedures, develop winning strategies, present solid arguments, and make your clients whole … with trusted civil-litigation resources from State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE®.
    Nov. 01, 2012
    In Miller and Casper, the Wisconsin Supreme Court reinforced Wisconsin's traditional support of allowing litigants their day in court by discouraging granting of default judgments when a defendant fails to serve a timely answer or moves for leave to file a late answer.
    Nov. 01, 2012
    The article looks at nine significant Wisconsin federal court decisions interpreting Wisconsin law in 2011-12, encompassing common-law claims and statutory interpretations.
    Nov. 01, 2012
    The article highlights 12 significant decisions issued by the Wisconsin Supreme Court during its 2011-12 term.
    Oct. 03, 2012
    Oct. 3, 2012 – State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE has updated its Wisconsin Guide to Citation – a companion guide to The Bluebook, designed for attorneys citing Wisconsin-specific sources. The newly released seventh edition of the Guide has been revised to reflect the latest changes in the 19th edition of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, which makes it a perfect – and necessary – companion to The Bluebook.
    Oct. 01, 2012
    Many Wisconsin statutes make it possible for prevailing parties to recover attorney fees from the opposing side. Recent changes, however, presumptively cap reasonable attorney fees at not more than three times the damages awarded and list factors a court must assess when making the award. Here is a look at how courts may interpret and apply the law.
    Oct. 01, 2012
    Discovery of electronically stored information can be expensive and time-consuming. Author Tim Edwards has some advice for attorneys facing these costs.
    Oct. 01, 2012
    Wisconsin courts have not expressly addressed cost shifting involving discovery of electronically stored information. Recent rule amendments provide an ad hoc balancing test, which should be supported by common-sense efforts to reach agreements with opposing counsel in these situations.
    Aug. 15, 2012
    Aug. 15, 2012 – Seventeen sessions from State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE Litigation, Dispute Resolution & Appellate Practice and the Real Estate & Business Law June institutes are now available as webcast seminars. More sessions will be announced as they become available.
    Aug. 15, 2012
    Aug. 15, 2012 – Seventeen sessions from State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE Litigation, Dispute Resolution & Appellate Practice and the Real Estate & Business Law June institutes are now available as webcast seminars. More sessions will be announced as they become available.
    Aug. 15, 2012
    Aug. 15, 2012 – The key to successful negotiation is understanding what the other side wants or needs. In this video, Madison attorney Ralph M. Cagle discusses how emotions drive negotiation behavior and can definitely affect the outcome.
    Jul. 01, 2012
    Marriages and marriage-like relationships between same-sex individuals are becoming more common, but the widespread lack of legal sanction for same-sex marriage means that gay and lesbian individuals must act cautiously when separating their relationship bonds.
    Jul. 01, 2012
    Here is an in-depth look at the concealed carry law's provisions, how it applies in various property contexts, and practical ramifications and potential legal issues arising from the law's enactment.
    Jun. 29, 2012
    July 5, 2012 – In this video, Christine Bremer Muggli, Wausau, discusses what to do when opposing counsel takes a "Rambo" approach and interferes with questions during a deposition or a cross-examination.
    Jun. 22, 2012
    June 22, 2012 – Pharmacia Corporation, a large pharmaceutical company, gamed Wisconsin's Medicaid system and must pay approximately $9 million in damages, the Wisconsin Supreme Court affirmed today.
    Jun. 12, 2012
    June 12, 2012 – William Ginsberg, who represented Monica Lewinsky in the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal and has tried more than 250 cases in 21 states, says lawyers play a crucial role in preserving the nation's democracy and must help fight to preserve it.
    May 07, 2012
    May 16, 2012 – Treating a child with prayer in lieu of medical care is protected under certain circumstances. The Wisconsin Supreme Court may soon decide whether the parents of a child who died when they used prayer instead of medical treatment are guilty of reckless homicide.
    May 01, 2012
    Worker's compensation carriers can seek to compel settlement of a plaintiff's bodily injury lawsuit over the injured-plaintiff's objections. In its decisions, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals emphasized the circuit court's authority to resolve settlement-related disagreements between insurers and injured parties.
    May 01, 2012
    Three misdemeanor statutes may be used against people who make intentionally false statements in political campaigns. The statutes prohibit false representations affecting elections, criminal defamation, and giving false information for publication. Learn how the Wisconsin statutes have been used – and misused – over the past two decades.
    May 01, 2012
    In the ADAAA, Congress amended federal disability-discrimination law to restore a breadth of coverage under the ADA. Federal courts have since made initial findings of disability in a broad spectrum of discrimination cases in which they once would have refused to do so. Here is a look at the key changes.
    Apr. 16, 2012
    April 18, 2012 – Local mediation guru Howard Bellman, with more than 45 years of experience, and practice management advisor Jim Calloway are just two of the many speakers slated for the Litigation, Dispute Resolution, and Appellate Practice Institute.
    Apr. 04, 2012
    April 4, 2012 – In this video, Fond du Lac attorney Matthew Parmentier gives advice to municipalities and municipal lawyers dealing with potential nuisance ordinance violations. Specifically, he discusses initial review of the case, client preparation, prosecuting and settling cases, and enforcing judgments once obtained.
    Apr. 01, 2012
    Evidence stored on computers and other electronic devices plays a role in an increasing number of client matters. Learn the steps you and a computer forensics examiner should take to quickly and completely capture such information.
    Apr. 01, 2012
    Persons who violate DATCP orders regulating methods of business competition and trade practices, face stiff civil penalties under Wis. Stat. section 100.20(5), including twice the amount of any pecuniary loss. Determining what is a pecuniary loss is critical.
    Mar. 30, 2012
    April 4, 2012 – With support from the State Bar's Children and the Law Section, a bill expanding access to juvenile records recently passed the Wisconsin Legislature. In this article, Milwaukee Assistant District Attorney Mary M. Sowinski explains why the change was encouraged, and what it does.
    Mar. 21, 2012
    March 21, 2012 – The State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE® Litigation, Dispute Resolution & Appellate Practice Institute and the Real Estate and Business Law Institute plenary speakers address the importance of jury trials, how information technology continues to change the practice of law, and understanding what clients are experiencing in today's business environment. Both institutes are in Wisconsin Dells at the Chula Vista.
    Mar. 19, 2012
    March 21, 2012 – Defendants now may be able to remove more cases from state to federal court, and at later times during the course of a case. Those cases will be streamlined by not including state law claims that do not qualify under the supplementary jurisdiction statute. In cases involving foreign persons, or corporations or insurers with significant foreign operations, close examination will be needed to determine if federal jurisdiction exists.
    Mar. 19, 2012
    March 21, 2012 – A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision forecloses the argument that pre-dispute arbitration agreements in nursing home admission contracts are void as against public policy. In this article, lawyers discuss the risks and benefits of arbitration agreements in the nursing home context.
    Mar. 07, 2012
    March 7, 2012 – There are a number of websites and services that provide expert witness information for a cost, but sometimes you need to find information on experts for free. If you are researching an unfamiliar expert, you may want to run a free preliminary search or two before running a paid search. This article provides a summary of some of the more useful free online resources.
    Mar. 05, 2012
    March 7, 2012 – In this article, Madison attorney Saul Glazer explains how a new law will impact employers and employees when it comes to employment discrimination claims, including the impact on women who file unequal pay claims.
    Mar. 05, 2012
    March 7, 2012 – A proposed bill would let circuit court judges rely on hearsay to determine whether a felony charge should stick. In general, prosecutors support the bill, but defense attorneys oppose it. This article explains why.
    Mar. 01, 2012
    In Casper, the Wisconsin Supreme Court overruled existing state law to allow injured litigants to bring direct suits in Wisconsin courts against out-of-state insurance companies for a loss or injury that occurred in Wisconsin. The court also clarified considerations in seeking default judgments and confirmed that corporate officers may be held personally liable for their negligent acts.
    Feb. 02, 2012
    Feb. 2, 2012 – A defendant who used a peremptory strike during jury selection to remove the circuit court judge's daughter-in-law from the jury pool won't get a new trial, the Wisconsin Supreme Court recently concluded.
    Feb. 01, 2012
    Notorious trials draw scorn for jurors who decide the fate of criminal defendants. But jurors often are restricted in their deliberations; they are not told of their traditional power to decide both the facts and the justness of the law as applied in a particular case.
    Feb. 01, 2012
    Unavailable witnesses or ones with holes in their memories need not be barriers to the admission into evidence of documents more than 20 years old. These documents may be admitted using the ancient-document evidence rule instead.
    Feb. 01, 2012
    Whether you represent plaintiffs or defendants in personal injury cases, understanding doctors' concerns, and refining your communications with them, will improve the doctor-lawyer relationship.
    Jan. 13, 2012
    Jan. 18, 2012 – Municipalities and municipal groups are pushing a bill that would eliminate municipal liability for "discretionary" decisions regarding roadway and other construction and maintenance. In this article, municipal and personal injury attorneys debate the impact of the bill.
    Jan. 04, 2012
    Jan. 4, 2012 – The Wisconsin Records Management Committee recently updated or introduced 23 civil, criminal, juvenile, and small claims forms.
    Jan. 04, 2012
    Jan. 4, 2012 – The Wisconsin Judicial Benchbook series is among the best sellers of the State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE publications. The 2011 revisions and supplements for each of the five criminal and traffic, civil, family, juvenile, and probate, guardianship and mental health volumes include statutory amendments and case law developments occurring since the 2010 supplements.
    Dec. 19, 2011
    Dec. 19, 2011 – A former S.C. Johnson & Son Inc. tax employee who claims he was fired for reporting an alleged tax fraud scheme has overcome the defendants' motion to dismiss the federal claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).
    Nov. 29, 2011
    Nov. 29, 2011 – A state appeals court refused to dismiss medical malpractice case based on a statute that demands claim notices against state employees, agents, or officers be sent to the attorney general at his or her "office in the capitol" by certified mail.
    Nov. 11, 2011
    Nov. 16, 2011 – A bill passed in both the Wisconsin Assembly and the Senate and awaiting Gov. Walker's consideration would preempt Wisconsin courts from adopting a unitary duty of care to trespassers. Currently, possessors of real property have no duty to trespassers, besides refraining from willful, wanton, or reckless conduct causing injury or death without justification.
    Nov. 11, 2011
    Nov. 16, 2011 – Interest on civil court judgments in Wisconsin is currently 12 percent. But both houses of the Wisconsin Legislature have passed a bill that would change judgment interest rates in civil cases to the prime rate plus 1 percent, currently 4.25 percent.
    Nov. 01, 2011
    The U.S. Supreme Court has placed obstacles in the path of plaintiffs' litigators attempting to put together class action lawsuits. Learn about the Court's decision in Wal-Mart Inc. v. Dukes and the similarities and differences between the federal rule the Court relied on and Wisconsin's class-action statute.
    Nov. 01, 2011
    The author highlights 10 significant decisions issued by the Wisconsin Supreme Court during its 2010-11 term.
    Nov. 01, 2011
    Federal court interpretations of Wisconsin law are of persuasive value to, but not binding on, Wisconsin courts, yet, they affect how Wisconsin law develops and is argued. Here is a look at eight significant Wisconsin federal court decisions interpreting Wisconsin law in 2010 and 2011, encompassing common law claims and statutory interpretations.
    Oct. 24, 2011
    Oct. 24, 2011 – A healthcare provider that admitted some negligence in the death of a patient – and accepted responsibility for funeral expenses – could not escape paying the plaintiff’s costs although a jury awarded zero dollars in damages for pain and suffering.
    Oct. 01, 2011
    The statutes concerning automobile insurance have seesawed during the past few years. A new law, effective Nov. 1, creates more restrictions to recovery. To competently represent car owners and anyone who could be injured in an accident, attorneys need to understand the new law.
    Sep. 30, 2011
    Oct. 5, 2011 – Gov. Scott Walker called the Wisconsin Legislature into special session on Sept. 29 to consider a number of bills, including four tort reform measures. Learn what's in store for this special session.
    Sep. 19, 2011
    Sept. 21, 2011 – Wisconsin lawmakers are currently considering legislation that would change Wisconsin's self-defense law in the context of home intrusions. But opponents, like the State Bar of Wisconsin's Criminal Law Section, warn of unintended consequences that could result.
    Sep. 01, 2011
    By making clear that objections to an attorney’s involvement in a case on conflict grounds can be raised by nonclient parties as well as by clients, a recent Wisconsin decision has increased the burden on lawyers to conduct thorough conflict-of-interest checks.
    Sep. 01, 2011
    Wisconsin's class-action statute is vague and provides insufficient guidance for the state's courts and attorneys.
    Aug. 17, 2011
    Aug. 17, 2011 – Turn to the State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE™ Wisconsin Civil Procedure Before Trial for practical information that combines accurate substantive information with essential how-to guidance. This in-depth resource offers valuable insights and a careful analysis of the issues.
    Aug. 11, 2011
    Aug. 17, 2011 – The number of pro se litigants is increasing in Wisconsin courts. More clients can't afford full representation from lawyers. In the near future, lawyers who wish to offer "unbundled" legal services to Wisconsin residents could have more guidance in doing so.
    Aug. 01, 2011
    Losing one's parental rights is a serious matter, which is why representation by counsel and appearance and participation by parents is required in termination of parental rights litigation. But defense counsel face an ethical dilemma when a court denies a motion to withdraw because a parent’s conduct makes it impossible for counsel to provide adequate representation. To continue representation violates professional conduct rules. To not continue representation violates statutory law. It's a "Catch 22."
    Aug. 01, 2011
    In part two of this two-part article on women lawyers balancing work and life, the author discusses the advantages to law firms of embracing the move to greater diversity of employees and clients.
    Aug. 01, 2011
    Damages in construction defect cases are generally measured by the cost to repair the defect. But in cases posing economic waste – in which a repair requires significant reconstruction or, despite a high cost, would not improve the property’s value – the measure is the decrease in property value caused by the defect. The inherent vagueness of the economic-waste doctrine often complicates determining which measure should be used in a given case.
    Jul. 15, 2011
    To recover for an injury caused by a defective product, plaintiffs now must prove a manufacturer rejected a reasonable alternative design that would have reduced the foreseeable danger. In this video, available online with the July 2011 Wisconsin Lawyer, coauthor Jessica Ozalp explains that the adoption of this new test of defectiveness is among the biggest changes to Wisconsin’s products liability law.
    Jul. 01, 2011
    Wisconsin’s products liability law has undergone a sea change. Changes to Wis. Stat. chapter 895 adopt a new test of defectiveness, leaving behind the analysis of consumer expectations in strict liability claims and substituting the reasonable-alternative-design standard. Plaintiffs now must meet more stringent requirements to recover for an injury caused by defective products.
    Jun. 10, 2011
    July 6, 2011 – Love it or hate it, the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion will dramatically affect class action litigation in Wisconsin and across the country. Attorney Michael Leffel explains the Court resolved an important circuit split and held that the Federal Arbitration Act preempts certain state laws and court rulings that have been used to invalidate class action waivers in arbitration agreements.
    Jun. 01, 2011
    The same technology boom that necessitated Wisconsin's electronic discovery rules provides the tools for attorneys and clients to avoid potential traps and fulfill duties created by the new rules, in conjunction with federal court guidance.
    May 12, 2011
    May 18, 2011 – A legislative budget committee recently voted to eliminate state funding for indigent civil legal needs in 2011-13, and voted to modify a provision Gov. Walker proposed in the budget bill to provide pay progression for assistant district attorneys, among other actions.
    May 12, 2011
    July 20, 2011 – To recover from an injury caused by a defective product, plaintiffs now must prove a manufacturer rejected a reasonable alternative design that would have reduced the foreseeable danger. In this video, Jessica Ozalp explains that this new test of defectiveness is among the biggest changes to Wisconsin's products liability law.
    Apr. 15, 2011
    June 1, 2011 — There are many issues related to the effective use of technology in the courtroom. In this video, Milwaukee attorneys Ronald G. Pezze and Barbara A. O'Brien offer some insight on available technologies and what lawyers need to know about using them.
    Mar. 01, 2011
    The legislature changed Wisconsin’s rules of evidence regarding lay and expert witness testimony. For all actions filed on or after Feb. 1, the Daubert reliability standard now applies. This primer discusses the Daubert evidence rules and focuses on the new foundational elements.
    Feb. 01, 2011
    Lawyers should take special care to advise clients in a timely and meaningful way, faithfully follow client instructions, and document their actions when negotiating settlements, particularly when a demand and offer fall within the client’s stated acceptable range – that is, the client’s red zone.
    Feb. 01, 2011
    In seeking evidence when representing clients, attorneys must search where the evidence lies – and today, that often means searching online sources. The authors present practical recommendations and recent legal developments to help lawyers and clients understand how the use of social networking sites can affect a case.
    Dec. 13, 2010
    Dec. 13, 2010 – Wisconsin statute does not mandate an award of double damages when a private landowner’s property is destroyed by a forest fire that occurred through negligence, the District IV Wisconsin appeals court recently held.
    Nov. 29, 2010
    Nov. 29, 2010 – A trial court judge must sua sponte remove immediate family members from the panel of potential jurors in cases in which the judge is presiding, the District II Wisconsin appeals court recently held in State v. Sellhausen, 2010AP445-CR (Nov. 24, 2010).
    Nov. 23, 2010
    Nov. 23, 2010 – In a consolidated appeal involving 10 appeals and 13 lawsuits, the District I Wisconsin appeals court has affirmed circuit court rulings that denied insurance coverage to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee stemming from allegations of child sexual abuse by former priests.
    Nov. 01, 2010
    Given the volume of electronic data that is used as evidence in civil and criminal proceedings, it is only a matter of time before a Wisconsin court confronts the spoliation of electronically stored information. As Wisconsin prepares to implement its new e-discovery rules, it is important that attorneys and courts have a standard to follow in cases involving spoliation of e-evidence.
    Oct. 20, 2010
    Oct. 20, 2010 – State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE™ codebooks put relevant law at your fingertips, in your briefcase, or at your desk. Each codebook contains the critical statutes, regulations, and other materials for specific areas of law, in easily managed paperbound volumes. Discounted member prices range from $4.50 to $23.75.
    Oct. 07, 2010
    The author highlights 13 significant decisions issued by the Wisconsin Supreme Court during its 2009-10 term. Several of the decisions hinged on perceptions of whether certain evidence is in the record, and several cases involved legislative attempts to respond to the state’s fiscal crisis by moving or reducing statutory compensation funds.
    Sep. 21, 2010
    Sept. 21, 2010 – Under federal law, a state prison guard or employee cannot open lawyer-prisoner communications outside the presence of the prisoner, a three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently held.
    Sep. 08, 2010
    Wisconsin’s rules of evidence governing the admission of domestic and foreign business records allow for the admission of certified business records through self-authenticating declarations in certain circumstances. Learn how applying the rules can save parties substantial expense and inconvenience.
    Sep. 08, 2010
    A national study of our nation’s crime labs and the scientific validity of several commonly used forensic science disciplines questions the basis for several different forensic science disciplines. Attorneys must continue to press trial courts to be more active gatekeepers by challenging the underlying premise of forensic evidence, because oftentimes science does not support analysts’ testimony.
    Sep. 08, 2010
    Wisconsin’s criminal justice system and Wisconsin residents would be better served if judges could choose between indeterminate and determinate sentences, depending on the seriousness of the offense and the offender’s history and likely ability to be rehabilitated.
    Aug. 19, 2010
    Aug. 19, 2010 – An attorney violates the attorney-client relationship if that attorney agrees to arbitration and forgoes a jury trial without the client's consent, the appeals court recently held.
    Aug. 10, 2010
    In its 2010 landmark decision in Padilla v. Kentucky, the U.S. Supreme Court held that defense counsel have an affirmative Sixth Amendment duty to advise noncitizen clients of the potential immigration consequences of their pleas. The decision overturned Wisconsin and federal court precedent and substantially affects Wisconsin prosecutors and defense counsel and their clients.
    Jul. 02, 2010
    The 2010 court of appeals decision in Williams v. Housing Authority of City of Milwaukee makes clear that administrative agencies must strictly apply the legal residuum rule and base adverse decisions on substantial evidence. It further held that agency decisions may not rely solely on uncorroborated hearsay evidence and determined that an agency may not rely on a default municipal ordinance conviction as evidence or admissions of the allegations in the underlying citation.
    Jul. 02, 2010
    Wisconsin’s new e-discovery rules provide a protocol for preserving and producing e-documents, create a safe harbor for electronically stored information lost solely as a result of routine computer operations, and more. The authors discuss the rules’ impact on attorneys’ discovery duties.
    Jun. 29, 2010
    June 29, 2010 – In a 21-year-old case with questions of first impression, the Wisconsin Supreme Court recently held (4-3) that an excess insurer has a duty to defend the insured where the excess policy’s "follow form" provision creates a duty to defend.
    Jun. 04, 2010
    A recent empirical study in Waukesha County looked at why divorce litigants might choose to represent themselves and whether pro se representation affects the incidence and amount of spousal maintenance in divorce. The results suggest how pro se trends affect family law practitioners in the 21st century.
    May 28, 2010
    May 28, 2010 - In Pagoudis v. Korkos, 2009AP2965 (May 26, 2010), the appeals court held that a patient must have contact with a doctor subsequent to a negligent act to invoke the "concealment" exception to the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims.
    May 13, 2010
    May 13, 2010 - A private entity is not subject to a 120-day statutory notice requirement when filing an antitrust claim against a governmental body, the appeals court recently held.
    May 05, 2010
    The myriad disability laws and regulations potentially applicable to people with allergies have made it difficult to determine if food allergy sufferers are entitled to protection and accommodations in public places, including schools and workplaces. The 2008 Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act, which expands the class of individuals entitled to protections, should help clarify the recipe of rights for allergic individuals.
    May 05, 2010
    When directors and majority shareholders in control of closely-held corporations commit unlawful or oppressive acts, the minority shareholders have various remedies. In Notz v. Everett Smith Group Ltd., the Wisconsin Supreme Court held that a minority shareholder could pursue such remedies following a merger that forced him out.
    May 04, 2010
    May 4, 2010 - The Wisconsin Supreme Court last week approved a petition by a 4-3 vote to create and amend statutes relating to electronically stored information (e-discovery), effective Jan. 1, 2011.
    Apr. 06, 2010
    Many Wisconsin counties have developed programs to provide legal information or assistance to low-income residents who have been unable to obtain more formal legal representation. A U.W. Law School survey of existing programs looks at issues and opportunities related to self-help options, and what the Wisconsin Access to Justice Commission can do to bridge the justice gap of unmet legal needs in Wisconsin.
    Apr. 06, 2010
    April 6, 2010 – In Racine County v. Oracular Milwaukee, Inc., the Wisconsin Supreme Court affirmed a court of appeals decision that Racine County was not required to present expert testimony to prove its breach of contract claims against computer consultant Oracular at summary judgment.
    Mar. 04, 2010
    Adverse-possession disputes are emotionally charged matters that are pervasive in Wisconsin. Recent cases heard by the Wisconsin Court of Appeals highlight some of the many complications of adverse possession and provide insight into how to prove and defend adverse-possession claims and how to avoid a dispute in the first place.
    Feb. 09, 2010
    In Farmers Automobile Insurance Ass’n v. Union Pacific Railway Co., the Wisconsin Supreme Court set forth the standard for vacating or modifying insurance policy appraisal provisions used to set value for claimed losses. The court also tackled discovery and standard of review issues.
    Feb. 09, 2010
    Most lawyers have heard of electronic discovery and are aware of changes to the federal rules of civil procedure, and proposed changes to Wisconsin’s rules, to accommodate the collection and use of electronic evidence. But most lawyers do not know how to effectively present electronic evidence to a jury – they risk confusing the jury with jargon, impeaching their experts, or boring the jury to sleep during their expert’s key testimony. Don’t let this happen to you.
    Jan. 27, 2010
    Jan. 27, 2010 – The Wisconsin Court of Appeals found an Internet posting is like a book or TV broadcast so that a defamation cause of action begins to accrue with its first appearance. Under the new rule, the court dismissed a defamation claim against sports announcer Bob Uecker and the Brewers baseball team.
    Dec. 04, 2009
    The common interest privilege encourages and promotes efficiency in litigation by allowing parties with common interests to disclose information without waiving the attorney-client privilege. Learn what practical and strategic issues clients should consider before entering into a joint litigation agreement with other parties.
    Dec. 04, 2009
    The Wisconsin Court of Appeals is a unified court, meaning that published opinions of the courts of appeal are binding on all four districts; yet conflicts sometimes exist. Learn how to determine which decision is controlling when two decisions are factually analogous but reach different legal conclusions.
    Dec. 04, 2009
    The new amendments to the Wisconsin Rules of Civil Procedure recognize the significance of electronically stored information in the discovery process. These amendments, which are effective, encourage early participation by the court and the parties in addressing discovery issues pertaining to electronically stored information, including agreements regarding the form of production and the accompanying costs.
    Dec. 03, 2009
    Dec. 3, 2009 – Federal District Judge Barbara Crabb expressed doubts that counsel could adequately represent the class of all out-of-state law school graduates who seek a Wisconsin law license on the same terms as graduates of in-state law schools.
    Dec. 02, 2009
    Dec. 2, 2009 – The Wisconsin Court of Appeals instructs trial courts to consider the facts of each case and the harm caused to the opponent when a party seeks to withdraw an earlier assertion of the Fifth Amendment.
    Sep. 30, 2009
    Sept. 30, 2009 – The Wisconsin Court of Appeals upheld sanctions against GEICO Indemnity Co. although no objection was made at the time the insurance company disregarded the circuit court’s instruction to present a representative for mediation.
    Sep. 01, 2009
    Sept. 1, 2009 – Despite uncertainty as to how it should analyze the unforseeability of harm posed by a security guard’s misuse of photographs taken to make employee badges, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals declared that Securitas Security Services was not negligent as a matter of law.
    Aug. 07, 2009
    Tenants whose landlords are in foreclosure might lose their security deposits and any prepaid rent, face eviction with 24 hours’ notice, and grapple with prospective landlords who refuse to rent to them because they were removed from a residential property because of a mortgage foreclosure. Wisconsin’s new Residential Tenants in Foreclosure Act and recent federal legislation now offer some protections to residential tenants.
    Aug. 07, 2009
    The use of class and collective lawsuits in employment-related litigation is on the rise as employees seek proper pay and fair treatment while employers seek to defend their policies and practices. Here’s a look at the differences between the two types of group litigation, reasons for the increase, and why the trend is expected to continue.
    Aug. 07, 2009
    Aug. 7, 2009 – Justices analyzed the damages awarded under Wisconsin’s consumer protection law to find what relief is available to a consumer who sues over a defective leased vehicle, but then decides to buy it while the lawsuit is pending.
    Aug. 06, 2009
    Aug. 6, 2009 – The Wisconsin Supreme Court held that a civil litigant has no right to a jury trial unless a statute expressly provides one, or the cause of action dates back to common law at the time of the state constitution’s adoption. Dissenters said this unsettles the status of many jury trials.
    Jul. 29, 2009
    July 29, 2009 – An attorney who advised that a client could ignore a stipulation in the client’s divorce judgment is liable for aiding and abetting the violation of a court order. But dissenting justices argue the stipulation lacks such force when it exceeds the court’s subject matter jurisdiction.
    Jul. 22, 2009
    July 22, 2009 – The Wisconsin Supreme Court said that intentional violations of a consent decree governing conditions at the Milwaukee County Jail ceased before the circuit court held county officials in contempt. Accordingly, the contempt statutes do not authorize sanctions.
    Jul. 21, 2009
    July 21, 2009 – The Wisconsin Supreme Court clarified that an unforeseeable harm of a defendant’s act is best considered “no breach” of the duty each person owes to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances, rather than finding the defendant owed no duty to the injured plaintiff. Justices then debated the standard for “duty.”
    Jul. 17, 2009
    July 17, 2009 – The Wisconsin Supreme Court finding that Facilities Director Barry Fox had a definite obligation to ensure railings protected Richard Umansky while he worked on an elevated platform at Camp Randall Stadium clears the way for a negligence suit that otherwise would have been barred by immunity granted public employees.
    Jul. 16, 2009
    July 16, 2009 – A party with legitimate reason to destroy relevant evidence may do so by giving notice to a party opponent of a claim and an opportunity to inspect the evidence, the Wisconsin Supreme Court agreed. But the justice were divided on applying this principle to the facts of a case.
    Jul. 14, 2009
    July 14, 2009 – Justices agree that lead in lead paint cannot be a design defect. But the court divided over whether the question is properly resolved according to Wisconsin’s continued reliance upon Restatement (Second) of Torts or whether it is time to embrace the third Restatement.
    Jul. 13, 2009
    July 13, 2009 – Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen issued a formal opinion today concluding that Wisconsin attorneys who have had their law licenses suspended or revoked for any reason are not statutorily entitled to permanent notary public commissions.
    Jul. 08, 2009
    July 8, 2009 – The Wisconsin Supreme Court clarified the standard by which a trial court may permit withdrawal of an admission made in discovery.
    Jul. 07, 2009
    July 7, 2009 – The Wisconsin Supreme Court held that the time to file a wrongful death action arising from medical malpractice is within three years of the negligent treatment, not of the patient’s death. Dissenters argued this diminishes death as a necessary precondition.
    Jul. 01, 2009
    July 1, 2009 -- The Wisconsin Records Management Committee updated 17 and introduced three civil, criminal, general, and juvenile forms. All forms were effective April 2. 
    Jul. 01, 2009
    July 1, 2009 – Some circuit court filing fees across Wisconsin have increased effective July 1 as part of the new budget drafted by the Legislature and approved by the governor. A schedule of the fees is publicly available from the courts system.
    Jun. 23, 2009
    June 23, 2009 – The Wisconsin Supreme Court requires an explicit statement in a circuit court order declaring that it has either dismissed or adjudicated an entire matter before a party can appeal it. This rule extends to orders addressing attorney fees, statutory damages, and costs.
    Jun. 10, 2009
    The right to counsel in civil cases is necessary to make equal justice under law a reality and to improve the performance of the justice system so that everyone benefits. It’s time for a serious discussion about this issue, here’s a beginning.
    Jun. 10, 2009
    Wisconsin’s recreational immunity laws took an interesting tumble when the supreme court ruled in Noffke v. Bakke that cheerleading is a contact sport for purposes of immunizing participants from negligence actions.
    May 07, 2009
    The State Bar Professional Ethics Committee issued Formal Opinion E-09-02, outlining a prosecutor’s obligations when dealing with unrepresented persons.
    May 07, 2009
    The rules of evidence allow lay witnesses to testify about direct knowledge in the form of an opinion or inference, so long as the proper foundation is offered. Here’s a fresh look at lay opinion evidence and its effectiveness in trial advocacy.
    May 06, 2009
    May 6, 2009 – Last year’s rampant flooding in Wisconsin pointed out a need that this program is designed to meet. Attend an afternoon of free training from 12:30 to 4:10 p.m. on May 21 in Madison to educate lawyers about common legal issues faced by victims of a natural disaster. Hear legal services professionals from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), representatives from the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, as well as private practitioners discuss how disasters af
    Apr. 15, 2009
    April 15, 2009 – The next time you plan to attend a State Bar seminar, you can add it to your electronic calendar when you register by using WisBar’s new “Add to My Calendar” feature. Once you have registered, click the “Add to My Calendar” hyperlink. You will receive an email notification of your event with instructions on how to save the event to your electronic calendar. The feature works for Outlook and Google users.
    Apr. 15, 2009
    Apirl 15, 2009 – Did you know that the State Bar of Wisconsin is the official record keeper for agencies that regulate the practice of law in Wisconsin? That means, when your State Bar member record is out of date or incorrect, it affects more than just the Bar. It could affect communications from the Wisconsin Office of Lawyer Regulation, Board of Bar Examiners, and Wisconsin Supreme Court.
    Apr. 15, 2009
    April 15, 2009 – Today, our country is experiencing one of the most troubling economic periods since the Great Depression, and the legal profession is not immune from the effects. These difficult times make finding cost-effective ways to connect with paying clients more important than ever.
    Apr. 15, 2009
    April 15, 2009 – The State Bar Practice411™ Breakfast & Business: Eggs, Ethics and Answers series will be presented on April 22 in Platteville and June 17 in Pembine. Pembine program information is not yet available. Pembine is conveniently located about an hour and a half from Rhinelander, Green Bay, and Marinette, and about a half hour from Iron Mountain, Mich. Both seminars, presented in two sessions, will begin with a hot breakfast at 8:15 a.m. and conclude at 11:15 a.m.
    Apr. 01, 2009
    Below v. Norton applies the economic loss doctrine in Wisconsin to bar common-law intentional misrepresentation claims in both residential and noncommercial real estate transactions. Until Below is legislatively overturned, buyers who want to preserve common-law tort claims in any real estate transaction must do so by contract.
    Mar. 18, 2009
    March 18, 2009, – Today, our country is experiencing one of the most troubling economic periods since the Great Depression, and the legal profession is not immune from the effects. These difficult times make finding cost-effective resources to connect with paying clients more important than ever.
    Mar. 05, 2009
    The State Bar Professional Ethics Committee issued Formal Opinion E-09-01, outlining a lawyer’s responsibilities when a client gives a third party a “lien” on settlement proceeds. 
    Mar. 05, 2009
    Effective July 1, 2008, revised Wis. Stat. section 887.26 changed the rules on conducting depositions outside Wisconsin. Such depositions now will be done in the same manner as if conducted in Wisconsin. 
    Mar. 05, 2009
    If a limited liability company faces litigation, its nonlawyer members risk violating the unauthorized-practice-of-law statute if they try to represent the entity and face losing limited liability protection for the LLC’s liabilities. As more businesses form as LLCs, and as more litigation involving LLCs ensues, lawyers must develop strategies to both serve their clients and deal ethically with nonlawyer "representatives."
    Mar. 04, 2009
    March 4, 2009 – The Wisconsin Records Management Committee updated or introduced, effective Jan. 8, 2009, more than 50 civil, family, guardianship, and probate forms.
    Jan. 23, 2009
    Jan. 23, 2009 – Former State Bar President Steve Levine has filed a petition asking the supreme court to review an arbitrator’s decision concerning costs associated with the State Bar of Wisconsin’s attorney public image campaign. The arbitrator determined that those costs were properly treated when the State Bar established fiscal year 2009 dues.
    Jan. 23, 2009
    Jan 23, 2009 – The State Bar’s Alternate Dispute Resolution Section requests authorization to file a non-party brief as amicus curiae in the case of West Central Education Association and School District of Baldwin-Woodville, pending before the Wisconsin Supreme Court. At issue is whether a grievance was timely filed under the terms of a collective bargaining agreement that was specifically put before the arbitrator for his determination.
    Dec. 04, 2008
    A recent analysis of mock trial data determined that in assessing damages, factors other than political leaning are more useful in predicting if a juror will award large or small damage amounts. Read what social-political attitudes are more predictive of juror behavior than party affiliation.
    Dec. 04, 2008
    By clarifying and expanding key terms, Congress intends the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 to restore the ADA as a clear and comprehensive national mandate for eliminating discrimination against a broadly defined class of disabled individuals. Read how the Act alters the scope of the ADA in the workplace, effective Jan. 1, 2009.
    Nov. 13, 2008
    The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 prohibits health insurance and employment discrimination based on a person’s genetic information. Although the Act allows use of genetic testing and information for specific, limited purposes, questions remain whether government and research institutions can safely regulate genetic tests and safeguard large databases of genetic information. The Act’s health insurance provisions become effective in May 2009 and the employment provisions in November 20
    Oct. 08, 2008
    Wisconsin’s Deceptive Trade Practices Act prohibits untrue, deceptive, or misleading representations in the sale of goods and services to the public. Although the law was enacted almost a century ago to target false print advertising, it effectively affords remedies for wrongful trade practices in the modern age. The Wisconsin Supreme Court has recently decided several important issues arising out of the Act’s application in the ever-changing business and consumer world.
    Oct. 08, 2008
    For many years, Daniel W. Hildebrand contributed to Wisconsin legal literature by annually describing those Wisconsin appellate decisions that he viewed to be most significant. Attorney Hildebrand passed away in late 2007; these authors, both former supreme court clerks, are attempting to pick up the Hildebrand torch.
    Jul. 10, 2008
    On July 1, a rule setting out procedures for filing circuit court cases electronically takes effect. E-filing will debut county by county as circuit court judges and clerks implement the procedures. Here’s what you need to know to take full advantage of this process when it becomes available in your county.
    Jul. 08, 2008
    On July 1, 2008, a new rule took effect that regulates and encourages the expanded use of video technology in Wisconsin circuit courts while protecting litigants’ rights. Here’s how it works.
    Jun. 06, 2008
    The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently declined to extend liability to persons who, despite being aware of an underage drinking party on their property, did not actually provide the alcohol that led to a tragic car accident. If such an expansion of liability is to occur, the court said it should come from the legislature. The author explores the history of social host liability for underage drinking in Wisconsin and the current state of the law after the supreme court’s Nichols decision.
    May 14, 2008
    Understanding the causes of and sincerely and directly acknowledging a party’s feelings of anger and resentment, both before and during a mediation, can help the lawyers and mediator move a case toward resolution. Here’s how.
    Mar. 10, 2008
    A Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau report shows that the state cut prosecutor positions at a time of increased crime statewide. Increased caseloads and a lack of pay progression caused more than half the assistant district attorneys to leave the profession within the last six years. The high turnover and prosecutor shortage have now developed into an unmanageable crisis in our criminal justice system as crime victims and law enforcement officers are underserved.
    Mar. 10, 2008
    Every business engaged in Internet commerce or using a Web site to collect personal information – not just those businesses subject to financial services industry regulations – must comply with the Federal Trade Commission rules governing the use and protection of personal information. Failure to comply can be very costly.
    Dec. 04, 2007
    When the American dream of home ownership turns into a financial nightmare, the realities of foreclosure can intersect with many legal practice areas, including bankruptcy, family law, probate, employment law, worker’s compensation, business law, and real estate and property law. Lawyers who understand the foreclosure process can help clients facing difficult circumstances.
    Dec. 04, 2007
    Consumers who are facing a mortgage foreclosure or who have been stung by a mortgage rescue scam can contact these entities for help
    Dec. 04, 2007
    Although Wisconsin’s housing market did not overheat in recent years as the housing markets did in California, Nevada, and other areas, it is a mistake to view the meltdown and related mortgage foreclosures as someone else’s problem. The authors explain the factors on Main Street and Wall Street that led to the subprime mortgage meltdown and survey the resulting litigation fallout in Wisconsin and elsewhere.
    Nov. 06, 2007
    The rise in family responsibility and caregiver discrimination claims attests to the struggle to balance family and work life amid the changing demographics of the American workplace. Because these claims likely will increase, lawyers need to recognize potential claims and advise their business clients appropriately.
    Sep. 07, 2007
    The legislature has given foster parents certain rights when seeking to continue to care for a child. Attorneys representing foster parents need to understand the issues their clients face when a foster child is removed to another foster placement or returned to a biological parent. The author discusses issues affecting foster parents in such situations, including notice, standing, procedure, and discovery.
    Aug. 01, 2007
    The key element of any successful mediation preparation is readying the plaintiff. While mediation preparation should be tailored to address the specific needs of each case and client, the author lays out five main areas of preparation that attorneys should address with every personal injury plaintiff.
    Jul. 01, 2007
    In 2006, the Wisconsin Supreme Court examined in detail the Good Samaritan law and issued an opinion in which it defined the terms of Wisconsin’s Good Samaritan statute. The court did not modify long-standing law, but in clarifying the law’s terms, the court also clarified its application.
    Jul. 01, 2007
    In 2006, the Wisconsin Supreme Court examined in detail the Good Samaritan law and issued an opinion in which it defined the terms of Wisconsin’s Good Samaritan statute. The court did not modify long-standing law, but in clarifying the law’s terms, the court also clarified its application.
    Jun. 05, 2007
    In his annual feature, the author highlights what he believes are the most significant Wisconsin Supreme Court and Court of Appeals decisions from 2006.
    Jun. 05, 2007
    Space does not permit a more complete discussion, but the holdings of these other informative cases are summarized below.
    May 05, 2007
    Lessons from recent DNA exoneration cases suggest that although false confession-based wrongful convictions often begin with police interrogation, they involve a breakdown of the entire justice system. This article presents an overview of research conducted by the Wisconsin Criminal Justice Study Commission about the causes of false confessions and possible ways to prevent false confession-based wrongful convictions.
    Mar. 27, 2007
    On March 16, more than 200 Wisconsin lawyers, judges, advocates, and concerned citizens attended the Wisconsin Equal Justice Conference to discuss the present and future state of Wisconsin's civil justice system. The all-day conference, held in Milwaukee, was organized by the State Bar Legal Assistance Committee and hosted by Marquette University Law School.
    Feb. 08, 2007
    The Wisconsin Supreme Court has repealed and recreated SCR Chapter 20 - the Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorneys. The court also set public hearings on March 21 regarding the use of electronic signatures by court officials and electronic filing in the circuit courts. The court also set public hearings on April 12 regarding multi-jurisdictional practice and State Bar classes of membership relative to U.S. administrative law judges.
    Feb. 08, 2007
    Creditors now can declare consumers in default and repossess motorvehicles without court intervention. The enactment in April 2006 of 2005 Wis. Act 255 puts creditors firmly in the driver's seat and leaves consumers waving goodbye to their vehicles and consumer protections.
    Nov. 29, 2006
    On Dec. 1, 2006, amendments to the federal rules took effect, making electronic information explicitly subject to discovery and providing mechanisms to address difficulties posed by electronic discovery. Can amendments to state rules be far behind?
    Nov. 29, 2006
    It takes a lot of hands to work the mission of the State Bar of Wisconsin.
    Nov. 01, 2006
    Knowing when and how to persuade jurors during voir dire requires a balance of open-ended and advocacy-focused questions, proper timing, and letting the jurors talk.
    Sep. 30, 2006
    About one in six Wisconsin divorce cases requires division of Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) benefits, and most family law practitioners will encounter the WRS plan at some time.
    Sep. 30, 2006
    The impact of an improper pension division can be devastating for clients, because they may lose out on the pension benefits altogether, and for family law practitioners, because they may face a minefield of malpractice claims and disciplinary actions. Learn how federal and state laws intersect with pension plans so you can protect your clients' economic future and avoid malpractice issues.
    Sep. 25, 2006
    More than 5,300 lawyers, judges, law office support staff, and court personnel subscribe to the State Bar's CaseLaw Express. This free weekly email service keeps members abreast of recent cases that have been added to WisBar's case law archives. Recently redesigned, the new format is easier to scan, saving subscribers valuable time.
    Aug. 30, 2006
    The author discusses two Wisconsin Court of Appeals decisions that provide guidance on how to handle disclosure issues involving surveillance videotapes during discovery and at trial, and when the issues are likely to arise.
    Jul. 01, 2006
    Missteps that can occur throughout the life of a lawsuit may serve to waive an issue and thus doom an appeal. Here's an overview of - the top 10 waiver missteps.
    Jun. 01, 2006
    Wis. Stat. section 174.02 covers much more than its popular dog bite moniker implies but much less than its sweeping terms and strict liability label suggest. Attempts to obtain and limit statutory double damage awards are likely to dominate the dog debate because that is where uncertainty and money intersect.
    Jun. 01, 2006
    Wis. Stat. section 174.02 covers much more than its popular dog bite moniker implies but much less than its sweeping terms and strict liability label suggest. Attempts to obtain and limit statutory double damage awards are likely to dominate the dog debate because that is where uncertainty and money intersect.
    Mar. 01, 2006
    Attorneys need to understand in what form and when a party aggrieved by an adverse municipal court judgment may appeal for circuit court review, because severe consequences can flow from decisions made and strategies used at the outset of a client's municipal court case.
    Mar. 01, 2006
    Wisconsin's counterclaim statute says counterclaims may be brought, but the supreme court in A.B.C.G. said counterclaims must be brought for certain claims. A rule change to clarify when a counterclaim is compulsory would help litigants avoid the soup of uncertainty.
    Feb. 01, 2006
    The repeal of Wis. Stat. section 814.025 restores full judicial discretion, equity, and fair play when attorneys seek and resist sanctions for frivolous claims.
    Feb. 01, 2006
    The armor of personal immunity generally shields people doing business as a "corporation" from corporate obligations. But the protection may be pierced, and personal liability imposed, under certain circumstances.
    Nov. 01, 2005
    In three cases decided in July 2005, the Wisconsin Supreme Court revisited the economic loss doctrine, carving out exceptions to its application on three discrete issues. The authors say that, even with these three new cases, there remains no more clarity for consumers and their lawyers than before, which leaves the door open to still more litigation.
    Oct. 01, 2005
    The author looks at issues of fairness and advocacy when lawyers deal with unrepresented people and discusses the related Ethics 2000 Committee recommendations that are pending before the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
    Sep. 01, 2005
    The Wisconsin Supreme Court's decision in Gottsacker v. Monnier sets a clear rule of law that material conflicts of interest do not preclude a member of a Wisconsin limited liability company (LLC) from voting his or her interest in the LLC.1 The question is how to apply this rule to conflict of interest transactions for corporations and LLCs. The answer may lie in the questions from the bench during the Jan. 14, 2005, supreme court oral argument.
    Sep. 01, 2005
    In Gottsacker v. Monnier, the first limited liability company case to reach the Wisconsin Supreme Court, the court included in its decision a lengthy discussion of how LLCs work, touching on the technical details and policies behind the law. The decision offers guidance and practical advice to attorneys drafting LLC agreements for their business clients.
    Aug. 01, 2005
    The Wisconsin Supreme Court in Atkins v. Swimwest invalidated yet another waiver-of-liability agreement. Atkins unfortunately does not clarify this area of the law, and while it may still be possible to create enforceable exculpatory agreements, there remain numerous traps for nonvigilant drafters.
    Aug. 01, 2005
    In a recent case, the Wisconsin Supreme Court determined that punitive damages may be available against drunk drivers who cause injury while engaged in aggravated conduct that disregards the rights of the plaintiff. In a recent case, the Wisconsin Supreme Court determined that punitive damages may be available against drunk drivers who cause injury while engaged in aggravated conduct that disregards the rights of the plaintiff. Sound straightforward? Guess again.
    Aug. 01, 2005
    On July 7, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ordered all custodial interrogations of juveniles in future cases be electronically recorded when feasible, and without exception when questioning occurs at a place of detention. The decision would make any unrecorded interrogations and any written confessions of a juvenile that are not accompanied by recorded interrogations inadmissible as evidence in court.
    Jul. 01, 2005
    Wisconsin's congressional delegation worked together to write provisions protecting employee benefit plans that are part of the Bankruptcy Abuse and Consumer Protection Act of 2005.
    Jul. 01, 2005
    The bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer PRotection Act of 2005 makes more than 150 significant amendments to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, changing the protections offered to credit consumers.
    May 01, 2005
    Recent court decisions seem to indicate that there is a concerted effort to rethink the economic loss doctrine. Is the Wisconsin Supreme Court ready to articulate an economic loss doctrine with a well-defined and logical reach?
    May 01, 2005
    Money paid by a property owner to a contractor on a construction project constitutes a trust fund until all legitimate claims for labor and materials are paid. Misappropriation of the funds is theft by contractor.
    Apr. 01, 2005
    The author provides practical information to help attorneys who represent entities covered by HIPAA and those who litigate matters involving individuals' health conditions understand the HIPAA Privacy Rules and when the state rules supersede them.
    Jul. 01, 2004
    The Evidence: More than Just the Rules seminar on July 22 in Waukesha will use an actual case to show how attorneys developed their evidence from the beginning and how they used it in their case. Gain a clear understanding of abstract rules and how to deal with a wide variety of evidentiary issues that arise in litigation.
    Jun. 01, 2004
    There are many situations in which attorneys must cross-examine a witness without the benefit of discovery. In this second article of a three-part series, read how to treat direct examination of a witness as "discovery" through various techniques, such as selective note taking and focused listening to what your opponent asks, what the witness answers, and how the parties communicate in tone, cadence, and volume.
    Jun. 01, 2004
    Improve your cross-examination skills at the State Bar CLE Winning Your Case With Killer Cross-examination Techniques seminar on June 23 in Waukesha.
    Oct. 01, 2003
    Wisconsin has a long history of providing open access to court records and documents, yet it has not specifically prohibited confidential settlements. Does the state's open records law general policy of open access to court records adequately protect the public? Or does Wisconsin need a sunshine in litigation act?
    Jun. 01, 2003
    In his annual feature, the author highlights what he believes are significant Wisconsin Supreme Court and Court of Appeals decisions for the year 2002.
    Feb. 01, 2003
    The brief is the appellate lawyer's most important tool, because it is the one time when the attention of each deciding judge is independently focused on the lawyer's position in the case. A former appellate judge explains why it is critical that brief writers respect the judges' limited time, and provides tips on how to get - and keep - their attention and interest in your position.
    Jun. 01, 2002
    Despite protections afforded attorney work product under Wisconsin law, attorneys litigating matters in Wisconsin courts must be mindful of the potential discoverability of the substance of all communications with and all work product reviewed by testifying experts.
    Mar. 01, 2002
    Wisconsin law gives little direct guidance to plaintiffs and defendants on determining whether insurance policy exclusion clauses will operate to exclude toxic mold claims. With the rise in toxic mold litigation, perhaps one or more appellate decisions will assist lawyers in advising their clients on the probability of coverage.
    Mar. 01, 2002
    Wisconsin law gives little direct guidance to plaintiffs and defendants on determining whether insurance policy exclusion clauses will operate to exclude toxic mold claims. With the rise in toxic mold litigation, perhaps one or more appellate decisions will assist lawyers in advising their clients on the probability of coverage.

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