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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.​​​​

    Sep. 18, 2023
    Ensuring that downstream contractors and suppliers have adequate insurance coverage is a crucial aspect of risk management in the construction industry. Brendan Bush outlines steps construction companies should take to ensure proper insurance coverage fortheir downstream partners.
    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.
    Apr. 10, 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.
    Mar. 27, 2023
    Rock, sand, and gravel are key to all types of construction, but quite often communities resist siting and permitting new gravel pits. David McCormack discusses how misinformation can lead to misconceptions about the availability of sand and gravel forfor the construction industry.
    Mar. 20, 2023
    When construction work doesn’t conform to the plans and specifications, what are the parties’ legal rights? Kevin Long discusses the issues that come up when things don’t go according to plan in construction projects.
    Mar. 13, 2023
    The need for reliable energy sources is generally acknowledged, but not everyone agrees which types of power are the best or where generation facilities should be located. Lawyers can help local governments and community members who want their opinions to matter during energy-project development.
    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.
    Dec. 14, 2022
    While Wisconsin statues prohibit certain types of clauses within construction contracts, they don’t specifically limit or prohibit indemnification clauses. Tyler Manley discusses the limits on indemnification clauses and the clauses that are prohibited inconstruction contracts in Wisconsin.
    Oct. 11, 2022
    A Wisconsin Supreme Court decision recently diminished a statutory mandate involving partial construction lien waivers. James Thiel discusses the decision and the lessons learned from the majority and dissent opinions.
    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. 26, 2022
    While much of the business world operates seamlessly across state borders, there are perils for contractors with projects in other states if they do not properly account for legal, statutory, and contract differences. Eric Meier discusses some of the key contract and legal considerations for construction companies moving into different markets.
    Jul. 29, 2022
    In February 2022, President Biden issued an Executive Order requiring all contractors and subcontractors enter into project labor agreements for all large-scale federal construction projects. Brian Zimmerman discusses the Executive Order’s requirements,implementation, and industry objections.
    Jul. 07, 2022
    By crossing out the words “to Date” and writing the word “Partial,” a subcontractor transformed a complete waiver of a construction lien into a partial one, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled.
    Jun. 01, 2022
    Given the current strong demand for new condominiums, attorneys for contractors and suppliers should be aware that condominium liens are subject to Wis. Stat. section 703.22. Brian R. Smigelski highlights several key provisions in this statute toconsider in protecting your client’s lien rights.
    May 10, 2022
    To effectively manage stormwater quantity and quality, we need to do so in the context of watersheds and hydrologic processes rather than as a series of discrete issues and programs.
    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.
    Mar. 14, 2022
    The Wisconsin Court of Appeals has held that statutes of repose and limitation bar a lawsuit filed by homeowners over the installation and repairs to stone cladding on their house.
    Feb. 21, 2022
    Public construction projects require considerations not encountered on private projects, including when handling disputes among the parties. Kevin Long outlines several key issues in handling a construction dispute that involves a public entity.
    Jan. 19, 2022
    On a blustery November day, members of the State Bar of Wisconsin Construction & Public Contract Law Section volunteered for a different sort of pro bono work: to build a fence for a family in need in Milwaukee. It was great way to take a break from the computer to do hands-on work, writes section advisor Mark Schmidt.
    Dec. 16, 2021
    Wisconsin construction may soon need to comply with two different federal regulations aimed at combating COVID-19. Patrick Whiting summarizes the two new sets of rules affecting contractors with 100 or more employees and contractors entering federal contracts.
    Nov. 30, 2021
    Until the pandemic’s effects are greatly alleviated, construction supply chains will likely remain ambivalent and unpredictable. Saul Glazer discusses what owners, contractors, and suppliers can do to address the pandemic’s impact on supply chains.
    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.
    Sep. 30, 2021
    Drones can be useful tools in construction. In this article, John Schulze outlines the laws that govern drone flying and offers advice for their use in construction.
    Jul. 27, 2021
    Recent surges in material prices have caused many construction industry participants to question their rights and remedies under their contracts as well as change their future contracts to address substantial price increases. Brian Zimmerman discusses the recent price increases and the contract clauses implicated thereby.
    Jul. 27, 2021
    Recent surges in material prices have caused many construction industry participants to question their rights and remedies under their contracts as well as change their future contracts to address substantial price increases. Brian Zimmerman discusses the recent price increases and the contract clauses implicated thereby.
    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.
    May 25, 2021
    What’s the best method to calculate an equitable adjustment when a contractor encounters a differing site condition? Brian R. Smigelski outlines the hierarchy of methodologies utilized in Wisconsin.
    May 13, 2021
    A recent ruling provides a hard lesson for contractors about partial lien waivers. James Thiel discusses the case and the ruling, and the lesson learned.
    May 03, 2021
    The City of Madison’s bird-safe glass ordinance may fly in the face of the state of Wisconsin’s Uniform Commercial Building Code (Uniform Code). John Schulze discusses the ordinance and its challengers.
    Mar. 10, 2021
    Wisconsin’s energy market is shifting toward renewable energy – are renewable energy third-party financing arrangements the new third rail? Nathan Jurowski discusses the legislative and regulatory changes that could stimulate private investment in Wisconsin’s commercial and residential renewable energy and provide opportunities for local contractors.
    Feb. 26, 2021
    Residential construction contracts pose unique challenges for contract drafters in Wisconsin. Andrea Murdock offers advice on what to include in your residential construction contracts to avoid disputes and unnecessary costs.
    Feb. 10, 2021
    Construction attorneys need to be familiar with intellectual property principles and copyright matters associated with their clients’ businesses. In part 2 of this two-part series, Bryan Kroes discusses additional practical copyright considerations, including trademarks and patents.
    Feb. 09, 2021
    Construction attorneys should be familiar with intellectual property principles and copyright matters associated with their clients’ businesses. In part 1 of this two-part series, Bryan Kroes provides an introduction to copyright and how it intersects with construction projects.
    Jan. 22, 2021
    Most commercial contracts will contain an indemnity clause. But how are they being used? Turns out, you can use them not just for protection. Matthew McClean discusses the various uses of the clause – and case law surrounding its use.
    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. 08, 2020
    The amount of solar energy being constructed in Wisconsin is increasing, thanks primarily to two factors: the rapidly declining costs of manufacturing solar panels and the availability of federal tax incentives.
    Dec. 01, 2020
    The risks presented by unknown site conditions are difficult to identify and evaluate, and the costs to address them can be very substantial. Saul Glazer discusses the necessity of using DSC – differing site conditions – clauses in construction contracts.
    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.
    Oct. 09, 2020
    A recent rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor would make it easier to classify workers as independent contractors under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Lida Bannink discusses the proposed rule and its implications.
    Aug. 03, 2020
    A recent Wisconsin Supreme Court decision provides some clarity for Wis. Stat. section 895.447, but raises further questions on the enforceability of other common risk transfer and limitation clauses in construction contracts. Scott J. Thomsen talks aboutlessons to be learned from the decision and its impact on construction contracts.
    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. 19, 2020
    With the rise in residential and commercial development in rural areas, rural property owners may face an unplanned expense – building or repairing a fence. Jason Brasch explains what to know about Wisconsin’s fence laws.
    Jun. 10, 2020
    What happens when a subcontractor suffers an economic loss due to another subcontractor? Roy E. Wagner and Lauren Triebenbach discuss a recent court of appeals decision that says the economic loss doctrine bars negligence claims for solely economic lossessustained by one subcontractor as a result of another.
    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.
    Apr. 06, 2020
    To weather the indefinite storm of COVID-19, commercial construction contractors should consider internal and external preparedness best practices. Nathan Jurowski examines best practices for contractors to protect their employees, prepare for business interruption, and negotiate with clients in the face of supply chain disruption, suspension of work, and excusable delays.
    Mar. 31, 2020
    David McCormack of Axley Brynelson discusses new guidance from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency adding landscapers to the list of essential workers.
    Mar. 23, 2020
    Now is the time to plan – and act – for what will come at the end of the coronavirus outbreak. With project delays inevitable in the era of COVID-19, James Dash offers advice on what you can do now to avoid future lawsuits and to advance your business interests
    Mar. 20, 2020
    Now is the time to plan – and act – for what will come at the end of the coronavirus outbreak. With project delays inevitable in the era of COVID-19, James Dash offers advice on what you can do now to avoid future lawsuits and to advance your business interests.
    Mar. 03, 2020
    With the recent move of 3D construction printing out of the research labs and onto construction jobsites, there is a disconnect between the available technology and construction law. Bryan Kroes discusses the future of 3D printing and construction law.
    Feb. 04, 2020
    The estate of a career pipefitter who died from mesothelioma recently lost an appeal on claims that asbestos exposure caused his cancer and the exposure, in the course of his employment, violated the state’s safe place statute.
    Oct. 29, 2019
    Environmental issues that arise during construction projects can bring your clients projects to a halt. Sean Frye give tips on preparing and responding when the unexpected arises so your clients can keep their projects on track. “Knowing how to respond and being proactive saves the client time and money and keeps the project on track,” he writes.
    Aug. 27, 2019
    Gov. Tony Evers introduced a state budget that included significant public construction investment and the rollback of labor reforms. John Schulze discusses the proposed budget and its path through the Wisconsin Legislature.
    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.
    May 14, 2019
    Improperly classifying workers exposes an employer to significant fines and penalties. Andrea Murdock discusses various tests employers should use in determining whether to treat workers as independent contractors or employees.
    Apr. 03, 2019
    Most public construction contracts must be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder. However, the word “responsible” is often overlooked, and state agencies and local governments often feel compelled to award the work to the lowest bidder even if the contractor may be problematic. Cynthia Buchko discusses the “responsible bidder” legal standard in public contracting.
    Mar. 19, 2019
    There is a common belief that subcontractors and material suppliers do not have any lien rights arising from a public improvement project. But this is not accurate, says Brian Smigelski.
    Feb. 14, 2019
    Assistive technology is becoming more prevalent and accepted in the workplace. Eric Meier discusses some of the latest technology and legal considerations surrounding the employee data that is captured by wearable technology.
    Feb. 06, 2019
    While the personal property tax on machinery, tools, and patterns in Wisconsin was eliminated on Jan. 1, 2018, confusion still exists about what is or is not exempt. John Schulze discusses this new area of tax exemption and what it applies to, and gives tips on what to do if your client believes their property is taxed unfairly.
    Dec. 20, 2018
    What should you say when your client asks, “Can I recover attorney fees?” While rare, there are several circumstances where clients can recover fees in construction disputes. Lauren Triebenbach and Mark Schmidt outline different grounds for attorney fee recovery.
    Nov. 12, 2018
    Tenant buildouts can place fee owners and contractors at risk during construction projects. Saul Glazer discusses options for both contractors and fee owners to protect their respective interests.
    Nov. 07, 2018
    In early 2018, the Wisconsin Supreme Court expanded the scope of the Building Permit Rule to encompass all land included in a building permit application, not just the buildings themselves. Adam Voskuil discusses what led to that decision and its potential effects moving forward.
    Oct. 23, 2018
    With the advent of new construction delivery methods, the limits of protections from the Spearin Doctrine have been tested. Patrick Whiting discusses the intersection of the Spearin Doctrine and these new delivery methods.
    Oct. 03, 2018
    Join the State Bar of Wisconsin Construction and Public Contract Law and Labor and Employment Law sections on Nov. 14 in Pewaukee for a CLE event that explores the barriers women face in the workforce.
    Sep. 25, 2018
    When drafting construction contracts, it's good to pay attention to how disputes may be resolved. But how can you possibly know at the time of contracting which dispute resolution method is best? James Dash discusses what to consider when writing binding dispute resolution clauses.
    Jul. 11, 2018
    Did you know that 14 State Bar of Wisconsin sections are blogging? Recently, four different sections released four new blogs on Wisconsin’s new child relocation statute, considerations for mediation, and the civil procedure overhaul.
    Jun. 05, 2017
    A state appeals court has ruled that plaintiff entities and individuals lack standing to challenge city resolutions concerning Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) districts through declaratory action, but may do so by way of certiorari review.
    Apr. 11, 2017
    A construction company that severed a sewer line is not liable because it has immunity as a government contractor, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled.
    Oct. 10, 2016
    Whether or not you like the economic loss doctrine, in construction circumstances it appears here to stay – after a recent and well-reasoned decision in Milwaukee County Circuit Court regarding Wis. Stat. section 895.447.
    Jan. 26, 2016
    A criminal conviction in Wisconsin can lead to deportation for persons who are not U.S. citizens. But can judges consider a defendant’s immigration status as a factor in fashioning a sentence? The Wisconsin Supreme Court may soon decide.
    Nov. 09, 2015
    The Wisconsin Supreme Court may decide whether a hot air balloon business that donated free, tethered hot air balloon rides during a charity event is immune from a lawsuit by a person injured from a runaway hot air balloon.
    Sep. 15, 2015
    When an underlying complaint does not allege a covered insurance claim, courts must not look outside of the four corners of the complaint to determine whether there is a duty to defend, a state appeals court has ruled.
    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
    America’s Dairyland also prizes its lakes and rivers. But as high-capacity wells proliferate in Wisconsin, agriculture and other groundwater users are posing risks to the amount and health of the water, bringing to the legal forefront disagreements about access to the waters that lie beneath.
    Apr. 01, 2015
    April 1, 2015 – A properly perfected construction lien encumbers the affected real property, just as a mortgage or judgment lien does. But only if the lien is properly perfected. That’s why you need the Wisconsin Construction Lien Law Handbook.
    Mar. 17, 2015
    An insurer that covered a contractor's liability for “pollution” damages must cover a share of defense costs and settlement amounts from a natural gas explosion that caused property damage and bodily injury, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled.
    Dec. 01, 2014
    Projects to gain energy efficiency to reduce costs are top of mind for commercial building owners, but financing through traditional lending practices is hard to come by. Property Assessed Clean Energy programs are a new statutory financing mechanism that provides a new opportunity for general-practice attorneys to offer building-efficiency upgrade solutions for a variety of clients.
    Jul. 01, 2014
    Given the large scale and rapid growth of frac sand mining operations in Wisconsin, some conflict between mines and their neighbors probably is unavoidable, but mine owners can promote good relationships by adhering to existing health and environmental laws and regulations.
    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. 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. 17, 2014
    A general contractor’s employee was injured when he fell from scaffolding supplied by a subcontractor. The employee reached a settlement with the subcontractor, and now the general contractor must indemnify the subcontractor.
    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.
    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.
    Aug. 08, 2013
    A public utility that took easements on private land to build electrical transmission lines must acquire the entire property, because the easements left private landowners with an “uneconomic remnant,” the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled.
    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.
    Aug. 01, 2012
    2011 Wisconsin Act 167 changes the DNR’s permitting authority and requirements for navigable waterway permits. Effective Sept. 1, 2012, the new law eases requirements for private entities seeking to fill navigable waterways by shortening timelines, removing public participation requirements, and creating presumptive approvals. The changes have significant implications for the state’s administration of the public trust doctrine.
    Mar. 05, 2012
    March 5, 2012 – The Wisconsin Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether a law firm must disclose redacted portions of legal bills to a Juneau County newspaper under the state's open records laws. The case is one of four recently accepted for review during the current term.
    Feb. 27, 2012
    Feb. 27, 2012 – A corporation that paid $26.2 million for the design and construction of the Kalahari Resort and Conference Center in Wisconsin Dells was too late in filing claims that defective designs caused water damage at a significant cost.
    Dec. 22, 2011
    Dec. 22, 2011 – In condemnation proceedings, the government is allowed to introduce evidence of environmental contamination and future remediation costs to reduce the just compensation it must pay to a property owner, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled.
    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. 28, 2011
    Sept. 28, 2011 – Surrounded by family and friends, 106 lawyers were admitted to practice in Wisconsin earlier today.
    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. 18, 2011
    July 20, 2011 – A mining company is proposing to construct an open-pit iron mine in Northern Wisconsin but has asked the Legislature to rewrite the state's mining laws. The potential for future mining in Wisconsin means lawyers should prepare for the issues that could arise.
    Jun. 21, 2011
    June 21, 2011 – A corporate client sued its attorney for professional negligence after the court dismissed the client's construction defect lawsuit. Recently, the District II Wisconsin Court of Appeals ruled that issue preclusion did not apply to bar the attorney’s cross-claim for attorney's fees.
    May 12, 2011
    May 12, 2011 – If a town violates the state’s competitive bidding statute, an unsuccessful bidder can recover bid preparation expenses regardless of whether the bidder first seeks injunctive relief to stop the work, a Wisconsin appeals court recently concluded.
    May 01, 2011
    Employers that hire independent contractors generally are not liable for injuries to the contractor's employees, unless the injury was caused by the hiring party's affirmative act of negligence or occurred while the employee was engaged in an extrahazardous activity. Tatera v. FMC Corp. makes clear that plaintiffs face high barriers to satisfying either of these prerequisites to recovery.
    Mar. 03, 2011
    March 3, 2011 – A party may not appeal non-final orders without seeking leave to appeal. Recently, a Wisconsin court of appeals clarified what happens when a party seeks to "piggyback" a non-final order against a party not named in a notice of appeal.
    Dec. 30, 2010
    Dec. 30, 2010 – In determining whether a defendant must fully replace a construction defect or simply repair it, application of the economic waste rule does not require the defendant to present evidence of the property's diminished value.
    Oct. 22, 2010
    Oct. 22, 2010 – In a highly intriguing case in which a homeowner suffered a loss due to heavy rains in 2008, the Wisconsin court of appeals defined, for the first time, how the term "surface water" impacts coverage under an insurance policy with a water damage exclusion clause.
    Oct. 08, 2010
    Oct. 8, 2010 – Governmental immunity applies to a subcontractor working on a city construction project if the subcontractor meets the requirements to be considered an agent of the city and the city retains ultimate responsibility for the project.
    Sep. 22, 2010
    Sept. 22, 2010 – A Wisconsin appeals court recently held that an insurance policy provision that excluded coverage for personal property in the "care, custody, or control" of the insured excluded coverage of a house burned by fire, but not the personal property inside.
    Oct. 06, 2009
    Every recession creates buying opportunities, such as acquiring a properly priced condominium project. Lawyers for prospective new owners of such projects can play key roles in reducing the buyer’s risk, increasing the project’s value, and setting the project on the right course economically. Here is a look at the significant legal issues.
    Aug. 31, 2009
    Aug. 31, 2009 – The Wisconsin Court of Appeals said vacant land reserved for development belongs to owners of finished condo units so that they pay the property taxes, not the developer. But a dissenting judge warns years may pass before first construction begins, leaving cities unable to collect taxes on the unimproved land.
    Aug. 07, 2009
    When the defects caused by cheap materials and poor construction methods threatened a low-income family’s home, health, and unity, attorney Kim Hurtado worked pro bono to find a legal resolution. Then she persuaded her staff and construction clients to donate labor and materials to restore the family’s home.
    Jul. 01, 2009
    July 1, 2009 – The case Shaw Development v. Southern Builders anticipates possible upcoming issues as the field of green construction increases in popularity.
    Jun. 10, 2009
    "Going green" is an increasingly popular building protocol, with more governmental units offering tax or capital incentives to more developers in more municipalities. Lawyers well-versed in the green building protocol can help clients articulate their motivation for going green, identify the opportunities and benefits, and suggest creative solutions to minimize the significant risks inherent in green development.
    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.
    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
    Some drafters continue to use archaic language in contracts, often with the belief that such “formal” language lends weight or credence to the document. But today’s parties to contracts and other readers who need to interpret these documents find archaic language to be unclear, wordy, and downright irritating, sometimes even sexist. Here are some ideas to bring your contracts into the 21st century. 
    Mar. 05, 2009
    Wisconsin now carefully defines marina condominiums and prohibits their development as a matter of public policy.
    Feb. 10, 2009
    Recent appellate opinions have clarified Wisconsin’s open government laws as applied to economic development issues. By following the public records and open meetings laws, and by understanding when the very limited exceptions may apply, the public, local governments, and developers can all reap the benefits of economic development.
    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.
    Aug. 05, 2008
    Generally speaking, the terms and provisions of the standardized commercial offer to purchase form create a contract with broad representations, limited contingencies, and unlimited remedies. Here are some of the issues parties should consider when using the commercial offer to purchase form.
    Jun. 06, 2008
    Large and complex construction claims cases often involve 20 or more parties, millions of dollars in claims, complicated factual and legal issues, intricate insurance coverage questions, a host of conflicting motivations and perspectives, and often occur while construction is ongoing. Here are some broad lessons learned from mediating complex multiparty cases.
    Sep. 07, 2007
    The U.S. Supreme Court decision in Kelo v. City of New London prompted several states, including Wisconsin, to pass legislation regulating how and when private property may be condemned for economic development. Here’s a look at the probable impact of Wisconsin’s new legislation on the use of eminent domain for private development projects.
    May 05, 2007
    Contamination legal liability policies represent an important hedging option for environmental contamination risk that business lawyers should consider for their clients that face environmental risk situations. Learn about potential uses of these new insurance policies, legal pitfalls for unwary clients, and areas that lawyers should address in negotiations leading to the purchase of these products.
    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
    New Wisconsin residential construction laws require consumers to afford contractors a right to cure construction defects before filing suit; fine-tune existing construction lien laws; and mandate licensing and continuing education requirements for residential contractors.
    Aug. 01, 2006
    "Green building" - the incorporation of construction practices and standards that maximize human health and economic return and minimize negative environmental consequences - will have wide-ranging impacts on many clients.
    May 01, 2006
    Developer-funded tax incremental financing eliminates a municipality's risk that the tax incremental district will fail and offers developers a means of increasing project costs paid by the municipality. Lawyers can help their developer and municipal clients identify when financial and development conditions are right to structure these.
    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
    In Everson v. Lorenz, the Wisconsin Supreme Court restated that insurance policies are not "one-size-fits-all" documents, providing coverage for every type of damage. Everson makes clear that misrepresentations in the sale of real property are not accidents, and thus are not occurrences, so that misrepresentations fall outside the scope of coverage provided by occurrence based insurance policies.
    Sep. 01, 2005
    New Green Tier legislation promotes and rewards environmental performance while providing regulatory flexibility on everything from land development to manufacturing. Help your business, industry, or municipal clients determine if participating in this voluntary program is right for them.
    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.
    Oct. 01, 2003
    With an increase in home improvement projects, consumer complaints about contractors have risen. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection's code governs the conduct of home improvement contractors. Attorneys for contractors and homeowners should be familiar with the code, because violations invite government investigation, criminal prosecution, and civil liability.
    Jun. 01, 2002
    In his annual feature, the author highlights what he believes are significant Wisconsin Supreme Court and Court of Appeals decisions for the year 2001.
    Jun. 01, 2002
    Skillful drafting of the complaint can trigger or avoid insurance coverage in garden-variety construction claims.
    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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    A private property owner who prematurely constructed a road through protected wetlands must remove the road and restore the wetland, a state appeals court has ruled, reversing a circuit court decision to deny injunctive relief.

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