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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.​​​​

    Mar. 20, 2023
    A gravel path that a sanitary district proposed to lay to allow it to repair its pipes qualified for an exemption from a county’s shoreland zoning ordinance, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals has ruled.
    Mar. 20, 2023
    Owners of property along navigable waterways in Wisconsin do not have a right to a certain water level along the property, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled.
    Mar. 15, 2023
    Water law is a complex area of law, touching on the areas of property law, environmental law, and public health and welfare. Here are several resources for attorneys who need to learn more about the challenges of water law in Wisconsin.
    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. 23, 2023
    Wisconsin passed some of the nation’s earliest and most comprehensive phosphorus regulations in 2010. Anya Janssen and Melissa Scanlan discuss Wisconsin’s phosphorus rules and offer an invitation to the statewide phosphorus conference on Feb. 7, 2023.
    Dec. 21, 2022
    The Great Lakes Compact is the binational agreement signed by the eight U.S. states and two Canadian provinces that border the Great Lakes. Law librarian Jenny Zook introduces resources helpful when researching the Compact, including guidance documents and legislative materials.
    Dec. 09, 2022
    To protect the nation's water supply, in 2021 Congress enacted the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. One goal of the Act is to ensure that Americans in disadvantaged communities receive priority for financial assistance for water infrastructure. This article discusses the interpretation of the term "disadvantaged communities" as used in the Act and analyzes Wisconsin's approach to funding water infrastructure. 95 Wis. Law. 8 (Dec. 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
    Jenny Zook introduces lawyers to general, Wisconsin, and federal resources concerning riparian rights: water rights related to ownership of land next to surface water.
    Oct. 27, 2022
    The 34th Annual Environmental Update from State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE demonstrates that environmental law is alive and well. Phillip Bower recaps the day’s presentations and themes.
    Oct. 12, 2022
    Indian water rights law is complex, meandering through federal Indian law and several relatively distinct but interrelated legal doctrines. The likelihood of more disputes about water quality and quantity makes it especially important for lawyers in Wisconsin, home to several Indian tribes, to understand the relevant legal doctrines and concepts.
    Oct. 12, 2022
    Many water quality problems exist because a substance that was unknown or seemed harmless decades ago now is recognized as a pollutant. In the 21st century, state legislators and regulators and nongovernmental entities have devised ways to prevent or minimize pollution that previously was unfettered.
    Oct. 12, 2022
    Regulation of PFAS has become a priority for municipalities, farms, manufacturers, and fire departments and firefighters, among others. Jenny Zook provides research tips for lawyers representing such clients.
    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. 24, 2022
    The impact of climate change extends beyond environmental law to all areas of legal practice. Sarah Cannon provides an overview of climate change’s impact on displacement and migration patterns, and addresses limitations on immigration relief available toclimate refugees.
    Jul. 29, 2022
    Understanding the backdrop of scarcity, the perceived stability surrounding property rights, and the value of water in a dry land will help Wisconsin lawyers learn from the western United States and their residents.
    Jul. 29, 2022
    Stormwater and flood management is a field that requires knowledge of laws and regulation at multiple levels of government. Carol Hassler provides a helpful resource list that includes quick links.
    Jul. 26, 2022
    The “zone-of-interests” inquiry historically conducted by Wisconsin courts to help decide whether a party has standing under Wis. Stat. ch. 227 has no statutory basis, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled.
    Jul. 26, 2022
    A letter from the state Department of Natural Resources informing a company that the agency could not issue the company a permit for existing equipment was not subject to judicial review, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled.
    Jul. 20, 2022
    With a new advisory regarding a PFAS compound from the Environmental Protection Agency, Wisconsin is finalizing an enforceable drinking water administrative rule – and it can be the task of environmental law attorneys to communicate these changes with thepublic. Bill Nelson discusses best practices for public health messaging regarding PFAS.
    Jun. 21, 2022
    Wisconsin has a long history of creating and protecting the public's right to access the state's navigable waters. Diane Milligan explains the basic process by which the Department of Natural Resources may approve petitions to abandon public access inunincorporated areas.
    Jun. 09, 2022
    Separate laws on groundwater and surface water withdrawal and the lack of a fully integrated regulatory scheme for high-capacity wells have more often led to conflict and uncertainty than to clarity. Wisconsin's groundwater management regime is developing but still has gaps.
    Jun. 01, 2022
    Ambiguity in a state law regulating public utilities has stalled the advent of solar energy installations in Wisconsin.
    May 11, 2022
    Environmental issues are inherently messy, and involve words often scary to lawyers: Biology. Chemistry. Organic Chemistry. When a client asks for help with an environmental issue, how do you process that inherent mess with legal theory? Bartlett Durandoffers this idea: think back to law school and refresh your “issue spotting” skills – because solutions may come from tort, regulation, property law, nuisance, or simple mediation.
    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.
    May 10, 2022
    You can find water law indexed under property law, environmental law, and public health and welfare. Jenny Zook provides tips to help direct your research.
    Apr. 27, 2022
    The regulation of PFOS and PFOA continues to be a hot button issue in Wisconsin. Two rules were adopted by the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board and advanced to the Legislature for review. Another rule that would have established groundwater standards forPFOS and PFOA failed to advance. Vanessa Wishart provides an update on each of these initiatives.
    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. 22, 2022
    Carbon capture – a climate change mitigation technology – is experiencing a surge in federal funding and private sector interest. Andrew Gunem discusses these developments and how Wisconsin can profit from this promising sector.
    Feb. 01, 2022
    As a follow-up to two recent articles in the Environmental Law Section Blog about environmental justice issues at the federal level, Tressie Kamp explores how Wisconsin lawyers might further principles of environmental justice, diversity, equity and inclusion in their own communities.
    Jan. 11, 2022
    In Milwaukee, the state legislature granted municipal governments the right to build new land along the coastline. These projects on lakebed fill must accommodate the public. Sarah Martinez gives details about a recent CLE program that discussed issuessurrounding lakebed fill projects.
    Dec. 28, 2021
    Dec. 28, 2021 – The decision of an administrative law judge (ALJ) that the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) failed to comply with state law in issuing permits for a frac sand facility was supported by substantial evidence, the Wisconsin Cou
    Dec. 22, 2021
    In this article from the Marquette University Law School Faculty Blog, David Strifling discusses real-time control (RTC) or “dynamic” stormwater management systems that can help reduce the magnitude of outflows during storms and relieving other stresses on our stormwater systems.
    Dec. 21, 2021
    Dec. 21, 2021 – Sovereign immunity does not bar a lawsuit filed by environmental groups against the Wisconsin Public Services Commission (PSC) and two of its commissioners, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Seventh Circuit has ruled.
    Nov. 15, 2021
    The Council of Environmental Quality (CEQ) proposed to restore the full breadth of reasonably foreseeable effects to be examined under the National Environmental Policy Act pursuant to the Biden Administration policy on climate resilience and environmental justice into the definitions of effects to accomplish the policies of the Biden Administration.
    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
    A national de-listing of the gray wolf from the Endangered Species list triggered a statutory wolf hunting season in Wisconsin. The lawsuits followed.
    Aug. 16, 2021
    In this article from the Marquette University Law School Faculty Blog, David Strifling, discusses an “unprecedented makeover in longstanding principles of state-level administrative law” that “shift[ed] power away from agencies and toward courts, the legislature, and the governor.”
    Jul. 20, 2021
    When oil and gas prices plummeted during the COVID-19 pandemic as countries went into lockdown, companies began invoking force majeure clauses to change obligations under their contracts. Katherine Plachta discusses the debate surrounding COVID-19 as a force majeure event.
    Jul. 14, 2021
    The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently held (4-2) that the state’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) erroneously interpreted the law in concluding that it had no authority to consider the environmental impacts of high-capacity wells.
    Jul. 07, 2021
    Companies are increasingly implementing Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) programs. Nadelle Grossman discusses the rise of these programs, the reasons to implement them, and ESG program legal requirements.
    Jun. 17, 2021
    Laws and policies can do double duty to lessen climate change and also help communities prepare for natural disasters. Betsy Lawton discusses two climate mitigation opportunities to provide public health co-benefits: use of sun and shade.
    Jun. 07, 2021
    Rollbacks in 2020 of federal protection of waterways and wetlands under the Clean Water Act left millions of wetland acres in Wisconsin vulnerable to development. Michael Cain discusses a collaboration by Wisconsin’s Green Fire and The Nature Conservancy
    May 25, 2021
    Wisconsin's Public Trust Doctrine offers unique protections for Wisconsin's waterways. Andrew Morgan discusses the application of Wisconsin's Public Trust Doctrine to the state's surface waters.
    May 13, 2021
    Carbon farming ideas and infrastructure are cropping up at the state and federal level. Jane Landretti discusses how policies and private interests are sowing seeds for infrastructure that could transform how we think about incentives for agricultural practices that promote cover crops and healthy soils.
    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.
    Mar. 08, 2021
    The agricultural industry can expect big changes from the Biden Administration, says Christina Puhnaty. President Biden made direct promises to the agricultural industry to improve the lives of farmers and rural U.S. in general, and promised to partner with the agricultural industry to combat climate change.
    Feb. 04, 2021
    With flooding an increasing problem in Wisconsin, directing and controlling surface water drainage is important for property owners. Rick Manthe discusses the “reasonable use” rule, and the potential consequences of diverting surface water ontoneighboring properties.
    Dec. 14, 2020
    Residents and communities around Wisconsin are experiencing more flooding and heavy rainstorms, causing lost homes and lives and significant property damage. Andrea Gelatt explores the challenges from intense flooding and efforts to mitigate those risks.
    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.
    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. 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.
    Aug. 25, 2020
    Forests cover nearly half of Wisconsin’s landscape, and forest products play an important role in the state’s economy. Kassie Lang and Sara Fox discuss a history of the state’s forest products industry and legal mechanisms adopted in response to past challenges, and consider responses to the recent idling of one of the state’s largest mills.
    Jul. 15, 2020
    Environmental justice addresses race-based environmental disparities, taking into account the impact of environmental decision-making on minority and low-income communities, and striving to increase access to decision-making processes. Christa Westerbergdiscusses how environmental justice has been implemented in Wisconsin.
    May 13, 2020
    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced its intention to exercise civil enforcement discretion when regulated entities fail to meet legal requirements due to the coronavirus pandemic. Vanessa Wishart and Andrea Gelatt discuss thememorandum and its implications for regulated entities and the environment.
    Apr. 17, 2020
    The University of Notre Dame Journal on Emerging Technologies published Overcoming Legal and Institutional Barriers to the Implementation of Innovative Environmental Technologies, an article that addresses challenges to effective stormwater management. David Strifling, one of the article’s authors, provides an excerpt of the article.
    Apr. 07, 2020
    Wis. Admin. Code § NR 2.20 is not a new rule, and its validity has been challenged before. U.W. law student Hannah S. Richerson discusses why the issue bears repeating.
    Feb. 25, 2020
    The state Legislature is currently weighing several water quality proposals that would affect the processes for establishing certain types of water quality standards in Wisconsin. Leslie Freehill explores the details of three of these proposals.
    Dec. 19, 2019
    An environmental group recently lost a federal appeal to prohibit hunters from training dogs (using guns) on land the National Park Service donated for recreational uses, as well as off-road motorcycles, and military helicopter drill activities.
    Dec. 18, 2019
    The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources recently outlined its future priorities – including addressing clean drinking water in the state through rulemaking processes and analysis of emergent contaminants. Adam Voskuil outlines these priorities, as presented at a recent Environmental Law Update at the State Bar of Wisconsin.
    Nov. 18, 2019
    How would you rate Milwaukee’s record on becoming a water hub? Alan Borsuk discusses the progress of a 10-year-old idea that Milwaukee should become a world leader in water expertise. “One important aspect of that: Growth in water-related jobs and businesses has not been what was anticipated,” he writes.
    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.
    Sep. 19, 2019
    The Wisconsin Legislature recently enacted legislation that could impact the ability of the attorney general to enter into and execute agreements involving contamination from PFAS, a substance that does not easily break down. Rob Lee discusses PFAS contamination and the impact of legislation in Wisconsin.
    Sep. 05, 2019
    The EPA recently published a proposed rule to end the longstanding “once in, always in” requirement for sources subject to the most stringent hazardous air pollutants standards. James Bridges discusses the history of the policy, as well as what the future may hold for federal air toxics regulation.
    Aug. 27, 2019
    Throw away your assumptions. Matthew Lynch, a former private practitioner who recently switched to government work, offers a few tips on communicating with government regulator
    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
    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. 12, 2019
    The 2018 Farm Bill's reforms, technology investments, and rural-to-urban diversification provisions will stir up new business for strapped farmers and emerging entrepreneurs. The bill also presents opportunity for Wisconsin lawyers who represent such clients.
    Jun. 10, 2019
    Recently proposed legislation could have significant impacts on the state’s regulation of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, otherwise known as PFAS. Arthur Harrington and Edward Witte discuss the details of the proposal.
    May 13, 2019
    "Big data" is everywhere, but lawyers may have little idea what it is or how it can help their practice. Barry Blonien discusses what big data is, and offers some thoughts on using it in your practice.
    Apr. 03, 2019
    Two recent developments in water quality trading at the federal and state level may change how trading occurs in Wisconsin. Vanessa Wishart discusses the developments and what they may mean for Wisconsin.
    Jan. 23, 2019
    The Safe Drinking Water Act regulates the public water systems that deliver water to the schools. Too often, this broad focus on public systems overlooks the potential contamination sources on private (or school) property, says David Strifling, such as lead service lines and indoor lead plumbing fittings.
    Dec. 20, 2018
    A family of chemicals known as Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances, or PFAS, is coming under growing regulatory focus as “emerging contaminants” under the scrutiny of the Environmental Protection Agency and state environmental agencies.
    Nov. 26, 2018
    Tribes are important players alongside the federal and state governments in setting and enforcing environmental standards. Robert Lundberg discusses a current complication of tribal Clean Water Act regulation.
    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.
    Sep. 12, 2018
    The Wisconsin Legislature recently directed the DNR to study whether Wisconsin assume permitting authority over federal wetlands. Ted Warpinski and Chris Meuler discuss the mechanics of assumed jurisdiction as well as its potential benefits and costs.
    Aug. 16, 2018
    This administration has made a number of significant changes to how the Environmental Protection Agency addresses scientific expertise and evidence. Steph Tai provides a brief summary of many of these changes.
    Jul. 24, 2018
    Legal and policy disputes surrounding groundwater are gaining in importance, says David Strifling, who reviews recent and pending cases involving groundwater disputes.
    Jul. 17, 2018
    Mining for metals such as copper, lead, iron, and zinc has played a major role in the history and development of several regions of Wisconsin. Cheryl Widder Heilman discusses recent changes to Wisconsin’s nonferrous metallic mining laws in 2017 Wisconsin Act 134.
    Jun. 26, 2018
    For the first time, opponents have challenged an approved diversion of Great Lakes water outside the Great Lakes basin. David Strifling discusses the challenge, and what it means for the Great Lakes Compact.
    Jun. 12, 2018
    Ozone pollution is a public health hazard and a complex problem for the states, power plants, and industrial facilities that are responsible for reducing ground-level ozone. Maggie Brown and Sarah Geers discuss what the 2015 ozone air quality standard means for Wisconsin
    May 22, 2018
    With one justice on the sidelines, the Wisconsin Supreme Court split 3-3 on a case involving whether a mining company could disturb Native American effigy mounds surrounded by land the company owns, leaving a lower court decision in place.
    Apr. 03, 2018
    The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled (5-2) that an appeal filed by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) must be heard by the District II Court of Appeals, based in Waukesha, rather than District IV, based in Dane County.
    Mar. 19, 2018
    In 2017 Wisconsin Act 67, the Legislature recently enacted new statutory standards regarding conditional use permits. Mary Beth Peranteau outlines these standards and the resulting burden of proof in conditional use permit proceedings.
    Dec. 19, 2017
    Land enlisted for timber growth before 1986 is exempt from property tax under state law, but a “severance tax” on timber applies to expired contracts unless the landowner is a sovereign Indian Tribe, a state appeals court recently ruled.
    Jun. 20, 2017
    As a result of a tense standoff with DNA wardens on his property, a Lafayette County man was convicted by a jury for resisting a law enforcement officer and intentionally pointing a firearm at an officer.
    May 31, 2017
    The Wisconsin Supreme Court has narrowly upheld the denial of a conditional use permit for non-metallic mineral mining submitted by a company that mines silica sand used in hydraulic fracturing, also known as sand fracking.
    Apr. 20, 2017
    In light of recent calls for changes in environmental law and in honor of Earth Day 2017, Tressie Kamp reflects on unique components of Wisconsin’s conservation history and its impact on the practice of environmental law.
    Jan. 01, 2017
    Wisconsin has attempted to balance public and private interests in the thousands of miles of land abutting lakes and other waterways through the legislative mandate of shoreland zoning. Understanding shoreland zoning today requires reading statutory changes from the three most recent legislative sessions in context with existing DNR rules and local zoning ordinances. Here is a summary of many of the current standards and rules.
    Sep. 07, 2016
    From brownfields to manure to Lyme disease, you can find answers to environmental questions with these various internet resources.
    Mar. 01, 2016
    Natalie Betz helps lawyers understand the basic science behind modern biotechnology to better serve their biotechnology clients.
    Nov. 01, 2015
    Wisconsin’s bioscience industry is booming, creating opportunity, not just for the scientists that conduct bench research, but for lawyers, too. Read how lawyers serving the biotech arena are making an impact, what they’re doing, and how they got to where they are. There are many entry points to the field, and you don’t have to be a scientist to participate.
    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.
    May 29, 2015
    The City of Green Bay’s decision to rescind a conditional use permit for a renewable biomass energy facility was not based on substantial evidence, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled, meaning the city improperly rescinded the permit.
    Jan. 02, 2015
    The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled that dairy farmers are only slightly covered for damages caused by liquid manure, used as a fertilizer, which seeped into and contaminated water wells owned by neighbors.
    Dec. 23, 2014
    Permits that allow the lethal removal of wolves by landowners in Wisconsin are no longer valid, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, responding to a federal court decision that protects wolves in the region.
    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.
    Nov. 05, 2014
    Nov. 5, 2014 – The Great Lakes Region, at about 20 percent the world’s surface fresh water, stands to play an important role in the world’s global water market. Jenny Zook suggests this future demand for water is an opportunity for lawyers to effect policy and help safeguard Wisconsin’s natural resource. Here are some resources to get you started.
    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.
    Apr. 30, 2014
    A clean water advocacy group that relied on an attorney general letter to challenge a permit allowing pollution discharges into the Fox River recently lost its appeal, as a state appeals court ruled that the attorney general letter was incorrect.
    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. 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. 01, 2014
    Following Rock-Koshkonong Lake District v. Wisconsin DNR, the bedrock principles of the public trust doctrine in Wisconsin – the civil right of the public to use and enjoy navigable waters, and the broad rule of standing to protect that right – remain firmly intact.
    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. 11, 2013
    Dairy farmers who used manure to fertilize their fields are covered by insurance for any liability in the pollution of neighboring aquifers and water wells, a state appeals court has ruled, reversing a circuit court ruling against the farmers.
    Oct. 29, 2013
    A Wisconsin village that includes tribal land held in trust by the U.S. government cannot assess municipal taxes against the Indian tribe, a federal appeals court has ruled, and the village cannot make the United States pay either.
    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. 18, 2013
    Private property values, business income, and local tax revenue are factors the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) must consider when deciding if a lake’s water level, regulated by a dam, should be allowed to rise.
    Mar. 20, 2013
    March 20, 2013 – A new mining law relaxes environmental standards for permitting and operation of a mining site in Wisconsin. But advocates for an iron ore mine up north face an uphill battle. In this article, Madison lawyer Elizabeth Wheeler explains the new law.
    Feb. 22, 2013
    Lawyers within different U.S. Justice Department sections did not waive the attorney work product privilege by sharing information on a Wisconsin PCB clean-up case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently ruled.
    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.
    Jul. 18, 2012
    July 18, 2012 – Greenwashing describes vague unsubstantiated or misleading environmental marketing claims. In this video, David Gilles and Matthew Kemp discuss Wisconsin's standards for labeling recycled, recyclable, and degradable products and the requirements for substantiating the energy savings created by certain products.
    Jun. 01, 2012
    Businesses and consumers eager to sell or buy environmentally friendly products should know that not every representation accurately conveys the "greenness" of the product.
    Mar. 21, 2012
    March 21, 2012 – In this video, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Deputy Secretary Matt Moroney briefly explains legislative changes and other updates to shoreland zoning, wetland reforms, and pier regulation. In addition, Moroney discusses the "hot topic" issues the department will tackle in the foreseeable future.
    Mar. 19, 2012
    March 21, 2012 – In March 2011, the legislature suspended the Public Service Commission's wind siting rules for the uniform local regulation of wind power, Wis. Admin. Code chapter PSC 128. With the close of the 2011-2012 legislative session on March 15, 2012, those rules have now gone into effect.
    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.
    Mar. 01, 2012
    March 1, 2012 – A Milwaukee man will have another shot to argue that he didn’t own the floating barge that sank in the Menomonee River in 2006 and should not be responsible for the hefty fine levied against him, the Wisconsin Supreme Court recently determined.
    Feb. 08, 2012
    Feb. 8, 2012 – A Wisconsin town that adopted an ordinance to regulate nonmetallic mining did not need county approval, the Wisconsin Supreme Court recently ruled.
    Feb. 01, 2012
    Feb. 1, 2012 – Attorneys who engage in real estate development, land use, environmental, municipal, or general practice or who represent a land-use-related industry will want to attend the State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE™ Current Issues in Land Use Law seminar on March 15 in Madison, offered simultaneously via webcast.
    Jan. 02, 2012
    Jan. 4, 2012 – Assembly Bill 426, introduced Dec. 14, 2011, makes sweeping changes that would affect permit applicants, local governments, neighboring property owners, citizens' groups, and the state itself. Elizabeth Wheeler of Clean Wisconsin explains that these changes span a range of issues, from permit fees and tax revenues to permitting timelines and environmental standards as applied to iron mining.
    Dec. 01, 2011
    Dec. 7, 2011 – Wisconsin attorney Charles "Chuttie" Senn is assisting devastated communities like Joplin, Mo., as a full-time deployable field counsel for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    Sep. 09, 2011
    Sept. 9, 2011 – The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently heard oral argument on whether state law preempts local zoning authority to regulate new and expanded livestock operations.
    Aug. 30, 2011
    Aug. 30, 2011 – Noting that federal and state agencies are already mounting efforts to halt the migration of invasive Asian carp into Lake Michigan, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently rejected Wisconsin and other states' request for a preliminary injunction.
    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.
    Jul. 08, 2011
    July 8, 2011 – The high capacity well that sparked heavy litigation between the Village of East Troy and conservancy groups protecting Lake Beulah will remain in operation.
    Jun. 28, 2011
    June 28, 2011 – Environmental groups recently lost their challenge to Wisconsin's implementation of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules that relate to permits for plant modifications.
    Jun. 14, 2011
    June 14, 2011 – The District III Wisconsin Court of Appeals recently ruled that a litigant and 145 other plaintiffs failed to state a claim when seeking damages for future medical monitoring expenses as a result of dangerous chemical releases in Wausau.
    Jun. 10, 2011
    June 10, 2011 – Gov. Scott Walker's catch phrase "open for business" was the underlying theme of presentations today by secretaries of the Department of Transportation, the Department of Natural Resources, and a representative for the Department of Commerce.
    Apr. 15, 2011
    April 20, 2011 — In March 2011, the Wisconsin Legislature's Joint Committee for the Review of Administrative Rules, in an unusual step, suspended proposed PSC rules for the uniform local regulation of wind power. Attorney Edward Marion summarizes the provisions of 2009 Wisconsin Act 40 limiting local control over wind energy systems, discusses the draft PSC rules, and sketches out the current state/local scheme for regulating wind energy systems.
    Apr. 04, 2011
    April 4, 2011 – The Wisconsin Supreme Court has granted review in eight new cases, including a medical malpractice suit in which a patient is arguing the doctor did not provide enough information to make an informed decision about treatment.
    Apr. 01, 2011
    April 1, 2011 – Landowners who withdraw land from the managed forest land (MFL) program must pay a withdrawal tax that goes to the municipality in which the land is located. Recently, a state appeals court decided what happens when MFL program land changes hands.
    Aug. 27, 2010
    Aug. 27, 2010 – A Wisconsin appeals court ended a long-running dispute between the Village of East Troy (Village) and the Lake Beulah Management District (District) by ruling that the District did not have authority to enact an ordinance restricting the transfer of groundwater.
    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.
    May 18, 2010
    May 18, 2010 – On review to the District 4 court of appeals, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) survived all but one Sierra Club challenge to an air pollution permit for operations at a coal-fired power plant.
    Apr. 20, 2010
    April 20, 2010 - In the recent case of Curt Anderson et al. v. Department of Natural Resources, 2008AP3235 (April 13, 2010), the appeals court held that public hearing "review" of a permit reissuance under Wis. Stat. section 283.63 is not restricted to issues raised previously during the 30-day public comment period.
    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.
    Dec. 04, 2009
    The Working Lands Initiative is a cooperative state and local government and private effort to save farmland, protect the environment, and minimize land-use conflicts. A new law provides enhanced tax credits for farmers whose land is protected for agricultural use and who adopt sound environmental practices. The law provides new opportunities for public-private partnerships, and encourages a renewed community focus on farmland preservation and land-use planning.
    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 – On April 17, 2009, the Obama EPA Administration took the first step in creating a comprehensive regulatory program aimed at climate change by releasing a proposed finding that greenhouse gases (GHG) in the atmosphere endanger public health and welfare (the Endangerment Finding).
    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
    May 06, 2009
    May 6, 2009 – On April 17, 2009, the Obama EPA Administration took the first step in creating a comprehensive regulatory program aimed at climate change by releasing a proposed finding that greenhouse gases (GHG) in the atmosphere endanger public health and welfare (the Endangerment Finding).
    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
    Given the number of current climate laws or initiatives in Wisconsin and other states aimed at regulating greenhouse-gas emissions and developing “green technologies,” and the high probability of sweeping federal government action within the next few years, lawyers should stay at the forefront of this rising legal practice area.
    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.
    Feb. 08, 2007
    Wisconsin's livestock facility siting rule provides consistency across the state for farmers seeking permits to site new or expanding livestock operations. Still, lawyers should continue to closely review locally implemented permitting programs for consistency with the new rule.
    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. 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.
    Apr. 17, 2006
    On April 5, 2006, Circuit Court Judge John Anderson (Bayfield County) decided a case brought by the State of Wisconsin and twelve private landowners against William Zawistowski, claiming that his Sawyer County cranberry marshes were causing a nuisance by discharging phosphorus into nearby Musky Bay. After a two week trial, the Judge found that there was no nuisance, and ruled for Mr. Zawistowski.
    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 17, 2005
    Winning entry of the 2005 Environmental Law Section Student Writing Competition.
    Apr. 01, 2005
    Qualified farmers may participate in the EPA's new two-year study of air pollutant emissions from certain types of farms. The study results will lead to the development of standards for measuring and regulating emissions from live-stock operations. Help your farming clients decide whether they should participate, but do it soon - study enrollment ends July 1, 2005.
    Sep. 01, 2004
    Sep. 01, 2004
    Representatives from the Wisconsin Departments of Natural Resources and Justice and the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District and experienced environmental law practitioners will share their perspectives in a comprehensive treatment of the latest issues in environmental law during the 16th Annual Environmental Law Update.
    Sep. 01, 2004
    By reducing regulatory burdens and accelerating navigable waters and air permit approvals, the Jobs Creation Act should help Wisconsin businesses fulfill the Act's intended goal of creating more jobs while still protecting air and water resources.
    Sep. 01, 2004
    Attend the Webcast seminar, Ensuring Life Goes On - The Advisor's Guide to Understanding and Managing Life Insurance, on Sept. 16, 12:30 - 5 p.m. (CDT). This seminar, featuring a multidisciplinary approach to breaking down the complexities of life insurance, will provide a clear and practical understanding of life insurance. Experienced panelists will present an overview of life insurance products, give examples of case studies illustrating the proper and improper uses of life insurance, explain how lif
    Aug. 01, 2004
    Mar. 01, 2004
    Jul. 01, 2003
    This column summarizes all decisions of the Wisconsin Supreme Court except those involving lawyer or judicial discipline.
    Jul. 01, 2002
    Recently passed legislation is offered in response to member requests for more, although highly abbreviated, information on new Wisconsin laws.
    Mar. 01, 2002
    A conservation easement preserves open spaces and other environmentally significant resources while providing income, property, and estate tax savings to the landowner.
    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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