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News & Pubs Archives
For the first time in three years, judges, lawyers, and other legal professionals gathered in person last week in Lake Geneva for the State Bar of Wisconsin's Annual Meeting and Conference.
For Margaret Hickey, who’s spent her legal career practicing family and elder law, service to the profession has been a passion. She was sworn in last night as the State Bar’s 67th president.
At its last meeting of the fiscal year, the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors selected Kristen Hardy as chairperson of the board for FY 2023, heard remarks from Judge Randy Koschnick, Director of State Courts, and finalized other business.
The State Bar of Wisconsin condemns any threats or acts of violence against judges, who are crucial in maintaining our democracy.
On June 1, the State Bar of Wisconsin welcomed 170 new Wisconsin lawyers – graduates of the University of Wisconsin Law School. Among them are first-time lawyers in their families and those starting out their careers in service to the public and the profession. Welcome to the State Bar!
The State Bar of Wisconsin is sad to report the passing of Past State Bar President Michael Guerin on May 31, 2022. Colleagues say Guerin’s common touch made him a great lawyer and an uncommon leader.
Meet the 156 new Wisconsin lawyers, Class of 2022 graduates of the Marquette University Law School. Welcome to the practice of law!
It was a night of celebration as the Wisconsin Law Foundation celebrates two classes of new Fellows, members of the legal profession who show a commitment to the profession and community service. Congratulations!
The State Bar of Wisconsin's Board of Governors also discussed a rules petition filed with the Wisconsin Supreme Court that would change record retention rules for some eviction cases and heard remarks from former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson, a member of the State Bar.
Wausau attorney Dean Dietrich is the next president-elect of the State Bar of Wisconsin. Here are the results for the State Bar officer and Board of Governors' elections for 2022-23.
Welcome to 19 new Wisconsin lawyers who passed the Wisconsin Bar Exam in July 2021 and February 2022. Some are just beginning their careers in law, and others are finding new opportunities in Wisconsin. Congratulations!
Congratulations to Brookfield Central High School's mock trial team, headed to the national competition in May! In another successful year, all mock trial participants learned crucial skills that will help them no matter what career they choose.
Hoping to learn more about Wisconsin’s lawyer regulation system and the State Bar of Wisconsin’s structure and programming, a delegation from the Bar Council of the Maldives (BCM) visited the State Bar Center in Madison last week.
The State Bar of Wisconsin's Board of Governors also approved petitions to the Wisconsin Supreme Court that would allow CLE credit for diversity, equity, inclusion, and access programs and update SCR Chapter 68 regarding courthouse security.
Due to icy road conditions in the Madison area, the State Bar of Wisconsin building (State Bar Center) is closed today. However, the State Bar is still officially open as most team members are working remotely.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has issued an order, effective Jan. 1, 2022, establishing new continuing legal education (CLE) attendance and reporting requirements for lawyers who reactivate their State Bar of Wisconsin membership or who are
The State Bar's Board of Governors also supported a petition on court security, recognized the 2021 Wisconsin Legal Innovators, and heard remarks from Tim Samuelson, the new director of the Office of Lawyer Regulation.
Meet the 2022 State Bar of Wisconsin officer candidates who are nominees for State Bar president-elect, secretary, and Judicial Council representative. The candidates come from a wide variety of backgrounds and from across the state – get to know them before the election in April.
We are grateful to you, all of our members, who are collectively the State Bar of Wisconsin, proud and dedicated to delivering valued professional services to a dynamic and diverse society and promoting access to justice.
During her State of the Judiciary yesterday (Nov. 3), Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Annette Ziegler said the state’s justice system will build upon innovations forced by the pandemic to become more efficient.
Plans for a statue of the Hon. Vel Phillips, one of Wisconsin’s most prominent and influential attorneys over the last 100 years, moved a step closer to reality today with a combined $25,000 donation from the State Bar of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Law Foundation.
For the second year in a row, meeting the challenges posed by the virtual practice of law was the main topic of discussion at the Wisconsin Solo and Small Firm Conference hosted by the State Bar.
Adopting and implementing a plan to address the shortage of lawyers in Wisconsin’s rural counties was a top agenda item at the State Bar of Wisconsin’s first board meeting of the fiscal year, held Sept. 23 in Kenosha.
Fifty-six people sought help from volunteer Wisconsin attorneys at the State Bar of Wisconsin’s recent expungement clinic in Kenosha. Here’s why this help is important.
Page Turner shares the features and benefits of Mental Health Law in Wisconsin, a new publication from State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has issued an order with an interim rule on filing appellate court documents. E-filing is mandatory in the court of appeals, starting July 1, but mandatory e-filing to the Wisconsin Supreme Court is delayed.
The State Bar of Wisconsin‘s Annual Meeting & Conference last week brought judges, lawyers, and other legal professionals together to discuss a truly challenging year, what disruption has taught the legal profession, and other topics.
Cheryl Furstace Daniels has spent her entire career as a government lawyer, and now she’ll spend the next year governing the State Bar of Wisconsin. Daniels was sworn-in yesterday evening as the State Bar’s 66th president.
The board also discussed a proposed petition to add an anti-discrimination provision in the Wisconsin Rules of Professional Conduct, among other actions.
Spending half their law school years in a pandemic, 158 members of the Class of 2021 from Marquette University Law School celebrate their final steps to becoming a lawyer in Wisconsin. Congratulations, and welcome to the State Bar!
On May 17, the State Bar of Wisconsin welcomed 148 new Wisconsin lawyers – graduates of the University of Wisconsin Law School. All of them overcame the challenges of law school during a pandemic, and are just starting their legal careers.
Margaret Wrenn Hickey of Becker, Hickey & Poster S.C., Milwaukee, is the next president-elect of the State Bar of Wisconsin. Here are the results for the State Bar officer and Board of Governors' elections for 2021-22.
The State Bar of Wisconsin's Board of Governors last Friday discussed a proposal to require at least two of 30 CLE credits per reporting period on topics of racial bias and other issues that promote education on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
A member of the State Bar's Board of Governors voiced concerns about holding an upcoming board meeting in Kenosha. After discussion, the board will visit Kenosha as planned.
COVID-19 vaccine eligibility now includes court system professionals, including judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, victim witness coordinators, court clerks, and other individuals essential to in-person criminal court proceedings.
Page Turner shares the features and benefits of the State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE® Codebooks
A new form available through the Wisconsin Court System website makes it less burdensome for indigent individuals to obtain a waiver of court fees and costs by allowing their pro bono, legal aid, or public defender attorneys to submit a petition requestinng the fee waiver.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has approved a petition that gives law students earlier opportunities for practical, hands-on experience through a rule that lets law students represent clients under the supervision of an attorney.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court this week granted the State Bar of Wisconsin’s request to modify the “Emeritus” classification of State Bar membership.
The State Bar of Wisconsin's Board of Governors last Friday (Feb. 26) voted to support a petition pertaining to the retention of circuit court case files and court records.
Page Turner highlights the State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE® title, Collections and Bankruptcy in Wisconsin.
Attorneys can obtain up to 30 CLE credits "on-demand" through 2021, providing more stay-at-home options amidst the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.
A statue of the Hon. Vel Phillips, one of Wisconsin’s most prominent and influential attorneys over the last 100 years, could be placed on the state Capitol grounds later this year, should the State Capitol and Executive Residence Board approve a proposal.
The Jacob Blake case in Kenosha highlights the ongoing conflict with racial justice in Wisconsin and nationwide. It is a powerful reminder that Wisconsin needs broader criminal justice reform, and we call for the legal community, elected officials, and law enforcement to act now.
Dec. 28, 2020 – The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has outlined three tiers of population groups that should be within Phase 1 of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, and legal workers should be in the third tier, according to recent guidance from the CDC.
As leaders of the State Bar of Wisconsin, we denounce vicious personal attacks targeting Wisconsin Supreme Court justices and any judge for the decisions they are asked to make while upholding our Constitution and the rule of law.
Shirley Abrahamson, who served on the Wisconsin Supreme Court for 43 years before her retirement last year, passed away this past weekend after battling pancreatic cancer. She was 87.
The State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors today voted to support efforts to expand internet broadband access to ensure citizens in rural parts of the state have access to online legal tools, as well as access to attorneys who can help them.
Meet the 2021 State Bar of Wisconsin officer candidates, including two Milwaukee lawyers who are nominees for State Bar president-elect. The candidates represent a wide variety of backgrounds – get to know them before the election in April.
To say that 2020 has been a year of challenges is an understatement. We have been through a lot together, and it's never more important to say thank you, again, for all you do.
In the 2020 State of the Judiciary address last week, Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Patience Roggensack highlighted how Wisconsin courts have “overcome the challenges presented by COVID-19” to serve the people.
As expected, law practice amidst COVID-19 is a primary theme at the State Bar of Wisconsin Solo & Small Firm Conference (Oct. 28-30). Most of 2020, firms have navigated uncertainty and major change. And they still are working through it.
What does it mean to be intentional in assisting your colleagues? Find out from Waukesha attorney David Carlson. Carlson is the 2020 recipient of the John Lederer Distinguished Service Award from the State Bar of Wisconsin Solo, Small Firm, & General Prac
When homeowners constructed a 36x80x16-foot building on their Fond du Lac property, the neighbors complained that it violated the subdivision’s restrictions on structures other than "garages." Recently, a state appeals court ruled for the homeowners.
Circuit courts must revert to restrictions on in-person court proceedings if amending operational plans amidst COVID-19, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled (4-3) in an order that clarifies how circuit courts must manage changing circumstances.
The State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors took several actions at its virtual meeting on Sept. 25, including one to change the emeritus classification of membership that applies to attorneys ages 70 and over.
A state appeals court has ruled that a community organization that sought disclosure of a draft contract between the City of Waukesha and a professional baseball team is entitled to attorney fees in the public records litigation.
Neenah attorney Kathleen Brost, sworn in as the State Bar of Wisconsin's 65th president in a virtual celebration, says her focus continues to be on guiding the State Bar to assist members during a difficult time.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court (4-3) has resolved a case that temporarily blocked the mailing of absentee ballots, ruling that two Green Party candidates did not meet the requirements to be named on the Nov. 3 election ballot.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court (4-3) has temporarily blocked a Dane County public health order that prohibited public and private schools from providing in-person instruction, and required virtual learning until COVID-19 numbers decrease.
The November election will be here before you know it. Amidst COVID-19, many people will want to know how to vote via absentee ballot, and lawyers can help their communities understand the timelines and requirements for doing so.
A state appeals court has reversed a circuit court order expunging a defendant’s convictions, concluding he did not satisfy all conditions of his probation.
A state appeals court has rejected a claim that adult court jurisdiction was improper in the case against Morgan Geyser, who participated in the attempted murder of a 12-year-old classmate in 2014 when Geyser was also 12 years old.
State Bar of Wisconsin members receive a LexBlog 20 blog at no cost for six months, and then $39.99/month thereafter with no setup fee. That’s nearly $240 in savings!
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled in favor of healthcare providers who challenged a Wisconsin Department of Health Services’ (DHS) Medicaid recoupment policy, restricting DHS’s ability to recoup payments for imperfect records.
July 16, 2020 –The same day the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down three of Gov. Tony Evers’ partial vetoes to the 2019-2021 budget bill, a majority ruled that a separate challenge to partial vetoes in Gov. Scott Walker’s 2017-19 budget bill is barred.
In a per curiam opinion with four separate writings, a Wisconsin Supreme Court majority has ruled that Gov. Tony Evers violated his constitutional veto power when he partially vetoed provisions in the 2019-21 biennial budget bill.
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin has dismissed a lawsuit against State Bar of Wisconsin officers and all seven justices on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, a First Amendment challenge to the bar’s mandatory status.
After former Gov. Scott Walker’s 2018 election defeat, the legislature enacted – and Gov. Walker signed – two major laws impacting the power and authority of the legislative and executive branches. Today, the state supreme court largely upheld them.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled (4-1) that a police officer did not violate a driver’s constitutional rights by asking him to exit the vehicle and searching him before issuing him a traffic citation for failure to wear a seatbelt.
A unanimous Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled that Milwaukee sheriff’s deputies violated a driver’s Fourth Amendment rights when they seized his vehicle and conducted an inventory search before transferring it to an impound lot.
In a case of first impression, the Wisconsin Supreme Court majority (4-3) ruled that a judge violated a litigant’s due process rights by accepting a Facebook “friend” request from a litigant in a pending child custody case.
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.
You can combat racism with steps both large and small, say leaders in Wisconsin's legal community. Find out more about the steps you can take as a lawyer and as an individual, as well as in your firm or organization, to build and maintain momentum toward equal justice.
What can the State Bar of Wisconsin do to combat racial injustice, advance equal justice, and promote diversity and inclusion? The State Bar’s Board of Governors discussed the question yesterday at its last meeting of the fiscal year.
It is my great pleasure to welcome Daniel P. Tokaji as the new U.W. Law School Dean. I look forward to continuing our strong partnership with the law school as he leads its faculty and students into the future.
We must now work together to help rebuild the public’s trust and confidence in the rule of law while at the same time work to ensure that all Wisconsin residents have access to a fair and impartial system of justice.
The U.S. Supreme Court today denied a petition for writ of certiorari in a case challenging the mandatory status of the State Bar of Wisconsin.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court today issued orders concerning jury trials, suspension of statutory deadlines for non-criminal jury trials, remote hearings in trial and appellate courts, filing documents, court operations, and reopening courts.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court issued a 4-3 decision yesterday blocking an extension of a statewide safe-at-home order that was set to expire May 26, meaning the statewide order impacting individuals and businesses is no longer in effect.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has extended, through May 22, a temporary order allowing court reporters to take depositions remotely, outside the physical presence of a witness, in light of the existing public health emergency.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has unanimously upheld a jury verdict in favor of a physician facing a medical malpractice claim that alleged the doctor did not accurately trace a baby’s heart rate during child birth, causing injury.
Cheryl Daniels of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection in Madison is the next president-elect of the State Bar of Wisconsin. Here are results for State Bar officer and Board of Governors' elections for 2020-21.
April 23, 2020 – Current State Bar of Wisconsin membership cards, which serve as documentary evidence of an individual’s authorization to practice law in Wisconsin, will not expire until Sept. 30, 2020, under an order issued by the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
The Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature has challenged an emergency order that extends the statewide “safe-at-home” order issued by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) to May 26, 2020.
Time is running out to cast your electronic ballot for State Bar of Wisconsin leadership positions, including State Bar president-elect. The deadline is this Friday, April 24, at noon.
Establishing a constructive trust could be a remedy to hold life insurance proceeds for a decedent’s minor children, a Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled, but the circuit court must first examine the relevant facts to make that decision.
The State Bar of Wisconsin's Board of Governors today approved the organization's budget for fiscal year 2021 (July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021) at its special meeting, held via videoconference amidst the coronavirus public health emergency.
All in-person proceedings in appellate and circuit courts are suspended until further notice under a recent Wisconsin Supreme Court order, which also clarifies that judges may waive in-person requirements otherwise required in juvenile matters.
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.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court yesterday issued an order to allow notices of appearances, motions, and responses to motions filed in the Court of Appeals or the Wisconsin Supreme Court to be filed electronically by email through May 22.
In law practice, there are two distinct uses of videoconferencing: one involves court appearances, and the other involves conferences with clients and colleagues. These two distinct uses of videoconferencing require different ethical considerations.
The U.S. Supreme Court issued a 5-4 decision last night that blocks an extended deadline to mail absentee ballots in Wisconsin. Under the ruling, absentee ballots must be postmarked or otherwise hand-delivered delivered by April 7 (today) to be counted.
Yesterday, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers issued an executive order (No. 74) that suspended in-person voting for today's election until June 9, noting the public health emergency. Hours later, the Wisconsin Supreme Court (4-2) struck down the governor’s order.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has extended an order impacting appellate court operations and deadlines for appellate cases in Wisconsin.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services, at the direction of Gov. Tony Evers, today issued a 60-day emergency order that temporarily bans commercial and residential evictions and foreclosures in Wisconsin.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court today issued a temporary order until April 30, 2020, allowing court reporters to take depositions remotely, outside the physical presence of a witness, in light of the existing public health emergency.
The State Bar of Wisconsin’s new Coronavirus & the Law Blog is a repository of articles from attorneys that address the legal impact of the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the practice of law in Wisconsin and elsewhere. Visit often – the page will be updated frequently.
The State Bar's new Coronavirus & the Law elist provides an open forum for members to discuss the evolving issues related to coronavirus and COVID-19 and its impact on the practice of law in Wisconsin and elsewhere. Learn how to join.
At the request of the State Bar of Wisconsin, Gov. Tony Evers exempted "Legal Services" from the "Safer at Home" order issued this morning, identifying the profession as "essential business services."
An emergency rule now allows documents to be notarized remotely online but it does not apply to estate planning and other types of documents, such as wills and trusts.
The State Bar of Wisconsin is committed to providing you with the services and support you need to ensure the continued administration of justice.
Christopher Shattuck, Aviva Kaiser, and Tim Pierce provide five tips for protecting your clients and your firm while working remotely.
The State Bar of Wisconsin is requesting that attorneys be exempt from a "Safer at Home" order after Gov. Tony Evers announced today that he expects to issue the order for Wisconsin in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court issued three orders regarding Court operations and processes in response to the public health emergency.
From March 23 through April 3, the State Bar of Wisconsin is hosting a series of 10 virtual town hall meeting forums for practitioners to share how they’ve been coping with the abrupt disruptions caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Attorneys can obtain up to 30 continuing legal education (CLE) credits “on-demand” under a temporary order the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued today at the request of the State Bar of Wisconsin, providing more stay-at-home CLE options amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
Our primary goal is your safety, health and well-being, as well as that of our State Bar team. We are also focused on providing continued assistance and services to our members.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that claim preclusion did not bar a private landowner’s claim that a new agricultural field road the town agreed to build, under a condemnation petition, was not up to snuff.
The Wisconsin Court System has issued a press release on measures the court system is taking to address COVID-19 coronavirus.
Felony arrest records must be expunged from the state’s crime database because the subject was never charged and the arrests were improperly appended to unrelated ordinance violations, an appeals court has ruled.
A contract purporting to grant certain rights to a sports memorabilia collection is not enforceable, a state appeals court has ruled.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled, in a duty-to-defend issue of first impression, that a school district’s insurer did not breach its duty to defend a lawsuit against the school district and thus was not responsible for additional attorney fees.
The State Bar of Wisconsin's Board of Governors discussed an initial budget proposal for fiscal year 2021, set a dues rebate amount, and heard remarks from Justice Brian Hagedorn, the newest member of the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled (4-3) that a municipal court had jurisdiction over a drunk driving case charged as an ordinance violation even though the case should have been charged as drunk driving, second offense.
A prized 1938 vehicle worth millions vanished in Milwaukee in 2001, reappearing 14 years later in Europe. Recently, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that a replevin action by those claiming rightful ownership was not time-barred.
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.
A circuit court relied on inaccurate information when sentencing a criminal defendant to a 13-year prison term for armed robbery and reckless endangerment, but the error was harmless, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled.
A state appeals court has ruled that the man who escorted a drunk patron to the exit doors of a bar has immunity from the negligence lawsuit that followed when the patron fell down some stairs and suffered injuries to his head.
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.
It is with sadness that the State Bar of Wisconsin reports the passing of Past President Steven Levine on Jan. 4, 2020. Levine advocated for a diversity of thought and perspective within Wisconsin’s legal profession. Those who knew and worked with him say
In a case against the State Bar of Wisconsin, two lawyers have filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that the First Amendment does not allow compelled membership in the organization.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that the state transportation department could not order the removal of an interstate adjacent billboard before adopting formal administrative rules that barred the owner from a curing a defect.
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.
The two U.S. Senators representing Wisconsin, Sen. Ron Johnson and Sen. Tammy Baldwin, have announced four potential candidates to fill the judicial vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
Meet the 2020 State Bar of Wisconsin officer candidates, including two government lawyers who are nominees for State Bar president-elect. The candidates come from a wide variety of backgrounds and from across the state – get to know them before the election in April.
The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin has dismissed a lawsuit against the State Bar of Wisconsin. Two State Bar members filed the lawsuit, challenging rules that require all attorneys to be members of the State Bar.
The State Bar of Wisconsin's Board of Governors last Friday discussed but took no action on possible changes to the "emeritus" classification of State Bar membership. Currently, attorneys who reach age 70 can elect to take emeritus status.
Retail theft under $500 is a misdemeanor. Recently, the state supreme court ruled that a statute allowing multiple “thefts” to be aggregated applies to “retail theft” such that multiple misdemeanor retail thefts can be aggregated into a felony.
We know you don’t hear it enough, so we want to say it again: Thank you.
Brian Halverson was in jail when he admitted to a police officer, over the phone, that he stole and destroyed another inmate’s valuable documents. But the officer did not provide Miranda warnings before Halverson admitted the crime.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled that all circuit courts have original adult-court jurisdiction, regardless of county, once a juvenile is waived into adult court, a clarification of the so-called “once waived, always waived rule.”
In the annual State of the Judiciary Address, Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Patience Roggensack had a lot of activity to report, from state budget wins to successful pilot projects, from e-filing to research and statistics.
Microsoft received royalties through software licensing agreements with out-of-state hardware manufacturers whose products were used in Wisconsin. Recently, an appeals court rejected a claim that such royalties were taxable to Wisconsin.
A Wisconsin town had authority to deny a property owner’s request to divide Shoreland property despite a state statute that prohibits a town from enacting Shoreland zoning regulations, a state appeals court has ruled.
As the World Series heats up, attorney and technology guru Jeff Krause threw fastballs at the Wisconsin Solo and Small Firm Conference, explaining how the "Moneyball" concept can help law firms see things differently, with data.
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.
A three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has upheld a judgment in favor of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, which denied a prison inmate’s request to marry his former prison psychologist.
A panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled that a former Milwaukee street gang leader was wrongly designated a “career offender” which impacted his 35-year prison sentence, but the error was harmless.
An Oneida County man was convicted of operating while intoxicated (OWI), fourth offense, after police stopped him for riding a lawn mower on a public roadway from a tavern. Recently, a state appeals court upheld the OWI conviction.
A Wisconsin attorney has filed a lawsuit against the State Bar of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Supreme Court, alleging rules that require mandatory membership in the State Bar association violate a right to not associate.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled that the City of West Bend is not constitutionally liable for the tragic drowning death of a six-year-old girl in a public swimming pond the city owned and operated.
At its recent meeting in Delavan, the Board of Governors also voted to oppose a pending petition that would allow law licenses to be permanently revoked with no opportunity for reinstatement, and took other actions.
They come from law schools outside Wisconsin, across the country, and outside the U.S., and have the same goal: Becoming a Wisconsin lawyer. Join the State Bar of Wisconsin in celebrating these 53 new Wisconsin lawyers.
A Louisiana man became paralyzed in 2012 after falling from a defective Trek bicycle he was renting in Texas. Trek’s primary insurer settled the case, then sought indemnification from Taiwanese insurers under products liability policies.
Douglas Kammer, who served as president of the State Bar of Wisconsin in 2009-2010, passed away Sept. 11, 2019.
A state appeals court has ruled that a woman who voluntarily quit her job after she was injured does not qualify for some worker’s compensation benefits.
A state appeals court has ruled that a class action can proceed against a health care provider regarding fees the provider charged to obtain medical records despite fee exemptions that apply when attorneys request records on behalf of clients.
A three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently ruled that a plaintiff’s debt collection claims against a Wisconsin law firm were properly dismissed since he did not show money owed was consumer debt.
From government regulation to litigation and legislation, from social policy to cultural competency, a major theme of this year’s Health, Labor, and Employment Law (HLE) Institute was the uncertainty of change and future trends.
July 3, 2019 – What you do is important. What you do is profound. You guard the dignity and integrity of the rule of law and advocate for an accessible justice system.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has dismissed a petition asking the court to transition the State Bar of Wisconsin to a voluntary organization, noting the petition is duplicative of a rule petition that the court dismissed last year.
The U.S. Supreme Court today vacated (5-4) a Wisconsin Supreme Court decision that upheld the drunk driving conviction, seventh offense, of a Wisconsin man who was unconscious when police directed his blood drawn without a warrant.
A Wisconsin Supreme Court majority has overruled its prior 2016 decision, which struck down a 2011 law that gave the governor power to reject administrative rules promulgated by the state’s superintendent of public schools.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has upheld (4-3) legislation that passed during a December 2018 extraordinary session, as well as 82 gubernatorial appointees who were confirmed, concluding the session did not violate the state constitution.
From prize-winning authors, legal journalists, and law professors to seasoned lawyers and judges, from new lawyers and new friends to Lambeau Field, the three-day 2019 Annual Meeting and Conference closed today with a victory.
Jill Kastner was sworn in as the State Bar of Wisconsin's 64th president last evening in Green Bay at the organization's Annual Meeting and Conference, noting that her presidential year isn't a spotlight for her personal successes as a lawyer-leader.
Judge Randy Koschnick, the Wisconsin Director of State Courts, gave remarks and took questions at the State Bar of Wisconsin Board of Governors (board) meeting today and the board took several actions in its final meeting of the fiscal year.
On May 29, the State Bar of Wisconsin welcomed 110 new Wisconsin lawyers – graduates of the University of Wisconsin Law School. Among them are first-time lawyers in their families and fourth-generation lawyers. Welcome to the State Bar!
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled against a grandmother who wanted more visitation time with her granddaughter, concluding grandma did not overcome a presumption that favors parental decisions concerning their kids.
They are the 155 new Wisconsin lawyers, Class of 2019 graduates of the Marquette University Law School. Welcome to the practice of law!
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that police did not violate a driver’s Fourth Amendment rights by asking whether the driver had a concealed firearm in the vehicle and whether he had a permit to carry it.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has rejected a probationer’s argument that circuit courts have inherent authority to reduce the length of a probation term despite a statute that allows modification only under certain circumstances.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has announced the re-election of Chief Justice Patience D. Roggensack as the court’s chief justice. Chief Justice Roggensack, who has served as chief justice since May 1, 2015, will serve another two-year term.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled (5-1) that a woman’s lawsuit against a classifieds firearm website is barred. The suit alleges a gunman used the website to purchase a gun, then used the firearm in a mass shooting the next day.
Kathleen Brost of Legacy Privacy Trust Company, Neenah, is the next president-elect of the State Bar of Wisconsin. Find out results for State Bar officer and Board of Governors' elections.
The State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors today took action on numerous petitions that would change rules and procedures that apply to attorney discipline cases handled by the Office of Lawyer Regulation (OLR).
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.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has declared a statewide State of Emergency for flooding caused by rapid snowmelt and rain. For law offices impacted by flooding, the State Bar of Wisconsin has resources available to you and your clients.
A Wisconsin town’s sign ordinance did not violate a local union’s free speech rights, even though the ordinance prohibited the union from displaying its 12-foot inflatable rat, Scabby the Rat, to symbolize its protest against a local business.
A judge who became Facebook “friends” with a pending litigant before deciding the case created a risk of actual bias such that the case must be reversed and remanded for a rehearing before a different judge, a state appeals court has ruled.
The State Bar of Wisconsin's governing body recently discussed the Office of Lawyer Regulations' proposed changes to rules that regulate Wisconsin lawyers, discussed the proposed State Bar budget for fiscal year 2020, approved the Keller rebate amount, and approved a petition that would allow electronic voting in State Bar elections.
The City of Watertown must determine and allocate the cost of maintaining or constructing a large partition fence that separates property between adjoining farmland owners within the city, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled.
An employee embezzled $34 million from Koss Corporation over 10 years, drawing on Koss’s bank accounts at Park Bank. Recently, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled Park Bank is not liable despite claims it failed detect the fraud.
Each time the Village of Sister Bay – a tourist hotspot in Door County – puts on a summer concert alleged to be a nuisance, the timer to file a statutory notice of injury with the village restarts, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled.
A federal lawsuit filed by individuals in Ashland and Bayfield counties raises constitutional claims against Wisconsin’s criminal justice system, based on delays in providing legal representation while they languished in county jails.
The federal courts in Wisconsin have issued notices that all cases and proceedings will continue as scheduled, at least through Jan. 18.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has upheld a restitution order of about $8,500 payable to a burglary victim, rejecting the defendant’s argument that the circuit court improperly considered prior, unproven burglaries in determining that amount.
In a tragic case involving a young girl who drowned at summer camp, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled that the City of New Berlin does not have a governmental immunity defense to a negligence claim because an exception applies.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has upheld a conviction for operating while intoxicated (OWI), second offense, even though a circuit court ordered expunction of the defendant’s first OWI conviction, five years earlier, from his court record.
Two neurosurgeons will head back to circuit court to determine whether their contractual dispute must go to arbitration, now that the Wisconsin Supreme Court has reversed an appeals court decision that the dispute must be arbitrated
The Wisconsin Supreme Court added four new cases to its docket, all criminal-related cases. One involves jury instructions, another concerns involuntary medication. The two others relate to plea withdrawals and the right to counsel.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled (6-1) that police violated a defendant’s constitutional rights by entering her apartment without valid consent and without any other justified reason to enter without securing a warrant first.
The State Bar of Wisconsin's policy-making body also adopted a diversity and inclusion action plan and announced a slate of officer candidates for the 2019 elections.
The 2019 State Bar of Wisconsin officer candidates represent differing practice areas and backgrounds – and all are excellent leaders, says State Bar of Wisconsin President-elect Jill Kastner.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court may decide whether a police officer unlawfully extended a legal traffic stop for moving and seatbelt violations when he ordered the driver to exit the vehicle to conduct a search, which uncovered drugs.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has unanimously upheld a search warrant for the placement of a global positioning system (GPS) tracking device on a car, even though the warrant was not executed within five days under a state statute.
Courthouse News Service, which covers state and federal courts nationwide, recently lost a fight to compel a circuit court clerk in Illinois to release newly filed complaints to reporters the moment they are received by the clerk’s office.
A toll-free legal hotline is available to victims of Wisconsin’s recently declared federal disaster area in Crawford, Dane, Juneau, La Crosse, Marquette, Monroe, Richland, Sauk and Vernon counties.
An arbitrator awarded $10 million in damages to 174 employees in a class arbitration action for wage and hour violations originating in Wisconsin. But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit now says that award must be revisited.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently approved a petition to modify Wisconsin’s default judgment rule, which currently allows a plaintiff to move for a default judgment against a defendant who fails to timely answer a complaint.
Addressing the low hourly rate paid to private bar attorneys who take public defender cases is a priority for Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Patience Roggensack, who delivered the State of the Judiciary Address today.
In a unanimous decision, the Wisconsin Supreme Court recently applied a “cause theory” to limit coverage for damages that property owners sustained in the 2013 “Germann Road Fire,” a forest fire that burned more than 7,300 acres.
There has been more change in the legal profession in the last 15 years than the previous 50 years, according to some industry experts. Embrace change and innovation. Adapt or die. Those are clear messages from the 2018 Wisconsin Solo and Small Firm Conference.
Antoinette Lang, who tripped over electrical cords at a music festival, can proceed with her negligence claims against the sound company, now that a state appeals court has reversed a circuit court decision in favor of the defendants.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has decided to consider whether a circuit court should have suppressed the results of a blood sample where the defendant withdrew her consent to be tested before the lab analyzed the blood.
State law requires subsidized bus transportation for children attending private school, in some cases. Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld (2-1) a decision to deny such benefits to a private, religious school.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court is holding a public hearing tomorrow morning on a petition that would allow parties filing counterclaims or cross claims to move for a default judgment when an opposing party fails to timely reply.
An artisanal butter company based in Ohio recently lost a three-pronged constitutional challenge to Wisconsin’s butter-grading requirement, concluding the grading system requirements are rationally related to legitimate state interests.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled that two horseback riders injured while riding in Wisconsin cannot sue for negligence because of Wisconsin’s equine immunity statute, which recognizes the inherent risk involved.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently reversed a $6.7 million jury award against Milwaukee County, concluding the county is not required to pay for the actions of a jail corrections officer found to have raped a female inmate.
Equality and disparate incarceration were central themes in remarks that Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Dallet, the newest member of the court, presented at the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors’ meeting recently.
They come from across the U.S. and the world – and are ready to start the next step in their lives. The State Bar welcomes 69 new Wisconsin lawyers.
Improving the lives of Milwaukee youth tangled in the criminal justice system, examining “unsubstantiated” child abuse, and how the #MeToo movement marks a changing tide for employers, including lawyers. The September Wisconsin Lawyer explores these topics and much more.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently ruled that the City of Madison did not violate the due process rights of a public worker seeking backdated hours and wages for purposes of retirement benefits in the public system.
A federal appeals court recently remanded a case to determine whether 11 Milwaukee police officers are entitled to qualified immunity in a case involving a 22-year-old Milwaukee man, Derek Williams, who died while police were arresting him.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court held its first oral arguments of the term yesterday. It was the first set of cases for the court’s newest member, Justice Rebecca Dallet, while the court's most senior member, Justice Shirley Abrahamson, began the last year of a judicial career that spans five decades.
A state appeals court has ruled that a circuit court judge did not properly follow a statutory formula to determine attorney fees in a third-party liability lawsuit that settled after an injured employee received worker’s compensation from an insurer.
Heavy rainfall, which is expected to continue in the coming week, has caused widespread flooding across Wisconsin. For law firms and lawyers impacted by the floods, the State Bar of Wisconsin can provide guidance and assistance.
Norris Culver admitted he was angry when he posted nude photos of his ex-girlfriend online without her consent, a violation of the state’s revenge porn statute. Recently, a state appeals court rejected his argument that the statute is unconstitutional.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s 2018-19 term is right around the corner, and the court recently accepted review of 21 civil cases, including one involving a continuing noise nuisance claim by a yacht club in the Village of Sister Bay.
Richard Arnold’s son accused Arnold of sexually assaulting him as a teenager and, in 2008, Arnold was sentenced to life in Wisconsin prison. Now that his son has recanted his testimony, Arnold will get a second chance to prove his innocence.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently accepted review of six criminal cases, including one to determine whether an expunged operating while intoxicated (OWI) conviction can be used to support a conviction for a second offense.
It’s called “candling,” using bright lights behind scratch-off cards to read numbers or symbols that might reveal a winning prize. Recently, a federal appeals court ruled that a Wisconsin-based company met the security standard for anti-candling.
Landowners in the Town of Hixton, in Jackson County, recently lost an appeal to stop a frac sand mine in the town. A state appeals court ruled that their complaint did not adequately state a claim for “anticipated private nuisance.”
A state appeals court recently clarified the elements necessary to succeed on a fraudulent transfer claim in Wisconsin, concluding the judgment creditor in the case failed to prove a transfer was made to an insider for an antecedent debt.
From health care cybersecurity to cannabis law, from #MeToo to protecting confidential employer data, the 2018 Health, Labor, and Employment Law Institute was action packed with big players and big information.
A state appeals court has ruled that the Board of Supervisors (Board) for Milwaukee County can compel the county executive to appear at Board meetings to provide information and answer questions, in addition to other rulings.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled that the Madison Metropolitan School District is not liable for damages to a former student who alleged a security assistant sexually abused her when she was an eighth grade student.
The state appeals court has asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to review a case involving the “forfeiture by wrongdoing” doctrine and whether out-of-court statements by a homicide victim can be used against the accused killer.
A 1938 Talbot Lago, worth more than $7 million, went missing 17 years ago. Milwaukee police learned the vehicle was shipped to Europe based on fraudulent documents. Recently, those claiming ownership moved one step closer to recovering it.
Kimberley Motley is the only foreign lawyer practicing in Afghanistan. Why does she do it? A new law affects divorcing parents who want to relocate with children. The new EU Privacy Law affects Wisconsin lawyers and clients, really. The July/August Wisconsin Lawyer looks at these and other matters.
A three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled that Wisconsin prison officials violated the constitutional rights of a transgender inmate by prohibiting her from taking hormones, reversing the lower court’s ruling.
Police found drugs while arresting a man on a bench warrant for an unpaid $298 municipal fine. Recently, the Wisconsin Supreme Court rejected the man’s argument that the warrant was invalid, requiring suppression of the drug evidence.
Terrance Egerson, accused of violating domestic abuse injunctions and stalking, stated that he wanted to represent himself after his lawyer withdrew. Recently, a state appeals court ruled that he did not clearly invoke a right of self-representation.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled that the City of Milwaukee violated the rights of employee-members of the public Employee Retirement System (ERS) by changing voting rules to the ERS Annuity and Pension Board (ERS Board).
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.
A drunk driver will be resentenced now that the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled (4-3) that a judge improperly increased his sentence for refusing a warrantless blood draw. Three dissenters called on the U.S. Supreme Court for review.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled (4-2) that a political science professor at Marquette University must be reinstated as a tenured professor and receive damages (including back pay) after he was suspended for a blog he posted in 2014.
Laws that prevent joint operation of funeral homes and cemeteries recently withstood a challenge at the state Supreme Court, with a 5-2 majority rejecting a cemetery owner’s facial challenge on equal protection and due process grounds.
A newspaper reporter requested records on “closed complaints” against a professor at U.W.-Oshkosh. The professor challenged the request, but a state appeals court recently ruled that nothing bars the records from being released.
The state Supreme Court has upheld the warrantless blood draw of a suspected drunk driver who was unconscious when the blood draw was performed.
The state Supreme Court has ruled (5-2) that an employer did not violate the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act (WFEA) when it fired an employee for conduct that violated workplace rules, even though the employer knew he had bipolar disorder.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has issued a final order regarding a petition to raise the hourly rate that lawyers are paid to take court-appointed cases, and the rate that private bar attorneys are paid to take State Public Defender appointments.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has rejected (5-2) facial and as-applied constitutional challenges to Wisconsin’s $750,000 cap on noneconomic damages for medical malpractice victims, reversing a court of appeals decision that struck the cap.
A state Supreme Court majority (4-3) has issued an order that says Tony Evers, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, is entitled to decline the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s representation and get his own lawyer in a pending case.
June 22, 2018 – The State Bar of Wisconsin’s 2018 Annual Meeting and Conference (AMC) in Lake Geneva was so hot fire alarms rang out yesterday as the rain came down outside, slightly delaying packed sessions. But the lawyers didn’t seem to mind.
Christopher Rogers, a third generation lawyer whose grandfather began practicing law in Wisconsin 100 years ago, in 1918, took the oath of office last evening to become the State Bar of Wisconsin’s 63rd president, starting July 1.
The State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors took a major step forward today in adopting policy positions on disparate and mass incarceration, setting a legislative priority as the State Bar leadership remains committed to the issue.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled (4-3) that the City of Madison’s construction of a pedestrian bridge over a major highway, blocking visibility of an existing billboard, was not a taking of property requiring just compensation.
Steven Delap twice eluded police on foot, but two officers finally chased him down and pushed open his residence door to arrest him. Recently, a unanimous Wisconsin Supreme Court found no constitutional violations.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled (4-3) that wine distribution agreements are not intoxicating liquor dealerships subject to special provisions under the Wisconsin Fair Dealership Law (WFDL).
The Wisconsin Legislature recently made sweeping changes to the rules of civil procedure that will affect your practice. Wonder how the fiscal and social costs of mass incarceration affect the state budget? Concerned about the compensation rate for private-bar lawyers appointed to represent indigent criminal defendants? The June Wisconsin Lawyer looks at these and other issues.
Owners of a vacation lake home in Hayward can rent it out to vacationers nightly or weekly, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled, despite a restricted covenant that prohibits “commercial activity” in the subdivision.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a dairy farm seeking to run a large-scale operation within the Town of Saratoga based on a building permit application the farm filed before the town rezoned the area to prohibit agricultural uses.
Deficiency for one is not deficiency for all, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled. That is, circuit courts may conclude that a lawyer’s deficient performance prejudiced only one of multiple convictions in a multiple-count trial, not all of them.
The State Bar welcomes 117 new Wisconsin lawyers, graduates of the U.W. Law School. They come from across state, the country, and the world – and are setting out to make it a better place.
When a circuit court dismisses a foreclosure action for borrower default, claim preclusion does not bar the lender from bringing a second foreclosure action for continuing default, the Wisconsin Supreme recently ruled in a unanimous (7-0) decision.
In two recent cases, the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the Wisconsin Court of Appeals rejected challenges related to lifetime global positioning system (GPS) tracking of sex offenders in Wisconsin, which apply to some sex offenders by statute.
A commercial real estate agent argued that he was entitled to a $72,000 commission under a seller's listing contract because he found a buyer, even though the sale fell through. Recently, the Wisconsin Supreme Court disagreed.
They are the 147 new Wisconsin lawyers, Class of 2018 graduates of the Marquette University Law School. As one proud father said, these new lawyers are proof that “our profession is in very good hands in the future.”
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.
This week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court raised the hourly rate paid to lawyers for court-appointed cases, from $70 to $100, but declined to take action regarding the $40 rate paid to private bar attorneys who take public defender cases.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled (5-2) that Wisconsin’s Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act does not control the outcome of a lawsuit alleging that a successor company is liable for the negligent handling of asbestos-containing products.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled that a business liability policy covering a convenience store did not cover a negligent supervision claim arising from a physical altercation between the store’s security guard and a store customer.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court could hear a case, on bypass from the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, to decide whether a grandmother is entitled to additional visitation time with her granddaughter, including an annual weeklong vacation.
Tired of hearing, "But we've always done it this way!" Learn how to challenge the status quo and put that bromide to rest in the May Wisconsin Lawyer. Disagree with your property tax assessment? Here's how to contest it.
Grover Ferguson was age 17 when he shot a Milwaukee woman three times, once in the face, during a 2015 carjacking. Recently, a federal appeals court upheld Ferguson’s 35-year prison sentence, which greatly exceeded federal guidelines.
The affidavits of three men who said two witnesses lied when they testified that David McAlister was involved in an armed robbery were not enough to grant McAlister’s request for a new trial, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled.
Jill M. Kastner, of Legal Action of Wisconsin Inc, Milwaukee, is the next president-elect of the State Bar of Wisconsin. Find out election results for State Bar officer and Board of Governors.
In 2012, Radcliffe Haughton opened fire in a Milwaukee suburban spa, killing his wife, Zina, and two other victims before killing himself. Zina’s daughter, Yasmeen Daniel, later sued the website Haughton used to purchase the firearm.
The life and work of Vel Phillips, who passed away April 17, 2018, leaves a legacy that has forever reshaped the civil and legal landscape in Wisconsin.
The State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors approved a 2019 budget and heard reports on court e-filing developments and a petition to increase the hourly pay rate for private bar attorneys who take public defender appointments.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled (5-2) that an attorney’s presentment of an original note secured by a mortgage in court was enough to establish that the bank was entitled to judgment of foreclosure based on “possession” of the note.
Explore the history behind Wisconsin's mass and disparate incarceration crisis. Read how to craft enforceable employee restrictive covenants. Learn the practical aspects of bringing a class action suit in Wisconsin state courts.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court (6-1) has upheld the conviction of a man who transported a loaded handgun in his car’s glove compartment without a concealed carry license.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has reversed a Wisconsin federal district court decision that halted, at the pleadings stage, a Wisconsin woman’s federal claims against a Watertown police officer who arrested her.
The Wisconsin circuit and appeals courts ruled that Robert Shugarts could not tap his underinsured motorist coverage because his claim was untimely. Recently, the Wisconsin Supreme Court unanimously reversed in favor of Shugarts.
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.
A defendant convicted of murdering his father at the age of 17 recently lost an appeal. A state appeals court rejected Dorian Torres’s argument that police violated the constitution when they entered his father’s home without a warrant.
A state appeals court recently ruled that a couple cannot proceed on negligent misdiagnosis claims against a physician because the lawsuit was not timely filed, applying Michigan’s statute of limitations under Wisconsin’s “borrowing statute.”
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled that a circuit court properly awarded attorney fees as an equitable remedy to a defendant who prevailed against a mortgage servicer that acted in bad faith and induced a mortgage default.
Between 2008 and 2014, the City of Milwaukee’s tax assessments on oil terminals located in the city were between $16 million and $23 million per year. Recently, the oil companies that challenged the assessments lost their appeal.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court may hear a case to determine whether Wisconsin law comports with recent decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court when it comes to sentencing juveniles to life in prison with no chance for parole.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court may decide whether a member of a liability company (LLC) has standing to sue another member of the LLC based on injuries to the LLC, rather than the individual member who is asserting the claim.
March 12, 2018 – In the mid-1990s, DNA samples pinned one unknown suspect with five different sexual assaults. More than a decade later, the DNA was matched to Rodney Washington, who was convicted. Recently, the convictions were overturned.
A who man signed guaranty on a $5 million mortgage loan secured by a sprawling Door County property recently won an appeal to the Wisconsin Supreme Court on the issue of a guarantor “credit” towards a money judgment against him.
The Dane County Board of Supervisors in 2016 voted against renewing a billboard lease near the airport in Madison, prompting a lawsuit for violations of the open meetings law. Recently, an appeals court said no such violation occurred.
A prosecutors' union argued that the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission (WERC) could not refuse to hold an annual union certification election for failure to file a petition for election. Recently, the state supreme court said it could.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has overturned the conviction of a Milwaukee police officer sentenced to 24 years in federal prison for sexually assaulting a woman who called 911 to report vandalism by her neighbors.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court today denied a petition that sought to change how the State Bar of Wisconsin uses mandatory dues.
The Wisconsin Appeals Court has ruled that an estate’s personal representative could not file an appeal notice challenging foreclosure confirmation on because the representative was not an attorney licensed to practice law.
The U.S. Senate’s Judiciary Committee today voted 11-10 on party lines to approve Milwaukee attorney and former circuit court judge Michael B. Brennan to fill a longstanding vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
While walking a public path, a woman was struck and killed by a tree branch cut by a tree trimming service. Recently, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled (4-2) that a recreational immunity statute does not bar an action against the tree company.
The print February Wisconsin Lawyer is hitting mailboxes now. But why wait? Find out how you and your practice stack up to other Wisconsin practices. Learn if you’re positioned to capitalize on state and national trends in the legal profession.
The State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors (board) today adopted a new policy on the pro rata amount members can withhold from annual State Bar dues tied to direct lobbying activities, previously known as the “Keller dues rebate amount.”
The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently ruled that the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission (WERC) did not violate the state’s public records law when it withheld requested voter names during a union certification election period.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has upheld domestic violence-related convictions, including aggravated and misdemeanor battery, despite the defendant’s argument that the court improperly admitted “other-acts” evidence.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently rejected an argument that the City of Milwaukee did not properly follow Wisconsin’s property tax assessment law when it used a mass appraisal method to value an income-producing property.
Under state law that governs restrictive covenants, a company cannot enforce an employment agreement against an employee who agreed not to poach other employees from the company, a Wisconsin Supreme Court majority (5-2) has ruled.
In a property dispute between brother and sister, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled (4-3) that the public trust doctrine does not allow the sister to erect and maintain a pier on flowage waters over submerged land the brother owns.
A driver charged and convicted for drunk driving, seventh offense, recently lost an appeal to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which ruled (4-3) that an officer did not violate the driver’s Fourth Amendment rights during a traffic stop.
Members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee today probed Milwaukee attorney Michael B. Brennan, who was nominated by President Donald Trump to fill an open seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
In Wisconsin, expungement decisions must be made at the time of sentencing. Recently, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that a young defendant could not seek a sentencing modification to address expungement after the sentencing.
Generally, parties in litigation are responsible for their own attorney’s fees, under the so-called “American Rule” that applies in Wisconsin. However, there’s an exception when a party is “wrongfully drawn into the litigation with a third party.”
The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently ruled that a criminal defendant waived his statutory right to be present at his own trial by engaging in manipulative and disruptive behavior, even though he did not expressly waive his right on record.
The January Wisconsin Lawyer explores the intersection of criminal and civil laws in a personal injury context, considers how to best help clients who survive domestic abuse, and examines a commercial court pilot project. Planning a smartphone purchase? A comparison chart makes your decision easier.
Charged with homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle and reckless homicide, Taran Raczka was prepared to argue that a seizure caused the accident that killed his co-worker. But the circuit court ruled the jury could not hear that evidence.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled (5-2) that a defendant cannot withdraw his guilty plea even though the trial court did not fully comply with the state statute that requires judges to advise defendants about immigration consequences.
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.
President Donald Trump has nominated Gordon P. Giampietro, an assistant general counsel at Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co., to fill a judicial vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.
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.
Gov. Scott Walker is seeking applicants for judicial appointment to the circuit court bench in Milwaukee and Rock counties.
The 2018 State Bar of Wisconsin officer candidates represent Wisconsin from Keshena to Mauston, to Madison and Milwaukee. They are “outstanding, diverse, and committed to the profession,” says State Bar President-elect Chris Rogers.
Brendan Dassey, who confessed to murder in 2005 and was featured in the popular Netflix docuseries “Making a Murderer,” recently lost an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals, sitting en banc, which upheld a Wisconsin state court decision.
An employee embezzled about $34 million from her employer through banking transactions. The employer sued the bank, asserting a violation of the Wisconsin Uniform Fiduciaries Act, but a state appeals court recently upheld dismissal of the case.
The print December Wisconsin Lawyer is hitting mailboxes now. But why wait?
Ginger Breitzman was convicted on various counts of physical child abuse and neglect against her 14-year-old son. But she was also convicted for hurling profanities at him, disorderly conduct, which she considered protected free speech.
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.
The fee for admission to practice law in Wisconsin pro hac vice would increase by $50 under a proposal that the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors unanimously supported at today’s meeting at the State Bar Center in Madison.
A cab owner leased his cab to a driver, who subleased it to another driver, who complained that he should be considered an “employee” of the cooperative that dispatched the cab to passengers and should thus receive the minimum wage.
A woman challenged the constitutionality of Chicago’s public nudity ordinance after receiving a ticket on “GoTopless Day 2014.” She was wearing body paint on her upper body, but no shirt. Recently, she lost an appeal.
State Bar of Wisconsin members, including lawyers and judges, work tirelessly to serve individuals and families, businesses, governments, communities, and the legal profession. Thank you. Your work matters. You make a difference.
Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Patience Roggensack delivered the annual State of the Judiciary Address this week, highlighting court efforts to combat the opioid epidemic that plagues Wisconsin and the country.
Two parties entered a commercial lease agreement with an option-to-purchase. Recently, a state appeals court upheld the option despite an argument that the parties disagreed on how the property would be valued if the option was exercised.
The print November Wisconsin Lawyer is hitting mailboxes now. Why wait? Read about lawyers’ creative ideas, the muddled law on blood draws in drunk-driving cases, challenging a state agency regulation, why a police officer became a lawyer, and more.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently ruled that Milwaukee police did not violate the constitutional rights of a passenger in a vehicle that was parked illegally when officers swooped in and seized the vehicle’s occupants.
Can an unconscious person suspected of driving drunk consent to a blood draw based on implied consent? That is an issue the Wisconsin Supreme Court may decide, recently accepting review of an implied consent case, and 10 other cases.
Robert Zernzach deposited $200,000 into a P.O.D. (payable on death) bank account, naming two beneficiaries on the bank account agreement. Recently, a state appeals court ruled that a handwritten note did not change the P.O.D. beneficiary.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court held a public hearing yesterday on a petition that seeks to change how the State Bar of Wisconsin uses mandatory dues.
Strategies for countering cybersecurity and workplace threats are the focus of day one of the 2017 Wisconsin Solo and Small Firm Conference, hosted in Wisconsin Dells this week.
A man challenged a divorce decree, as well as property and maintenance awards, arguing that he and the petitioner were never validly married despite evidence that a Hmong marriage took place at a Thai refugee camp in 1980.
The last in a line of successive companies that acquired auto loan debt portfolios failed to establish ownership of a specific debt with sufficient evidence for summary judgment against the individual debtors, a state appeals court has ruled.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently overruled a prior decision that said a petitioner lacked standing to apply for asylum because the petitioner did not suffer an injury-in-fact when denied the opportunity to apply.
State law requires towns to impose liens on landowners who fail to pitch in for the costs of maintaining or repairing shared partition fences that divide agricultural land. Recently, a state appeals court ruled that the fencing law applies to cities, too.
A West Allis police officer used her squad car to block an intersection with a police checkpoint, hoping to intercept an armed robbery suspect. It worked. Recently, a state appeals court rejected the defendant’s Fourth Amendment challenge.
Two members of the local Tea Party in the Town of Campbell placed banners like “Honk to Impeach Obama” on a pedestrian overpass on Interstate-90. Recently, a federal appeals court upheld a town ordinance that banned such displays.
The U.S. Supreme Court today heard oral arguments in Gill v. Whitford, a case that challenges Wisconsin electoral maps on partisan gerrymandering grounds. Any decision is expected to have far-reaching implications on the redistricting process.
Gov. Scott Walker is seeking applicants for judicial appointment to the circuit court bench in Monroe County.
A landowner who won his adverse possession claim against a neighbor, after a jury trial, recently won again at the appeals court stage.
The State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors last Friday registered its opposition to a petition pending before the Wisconsin Supreme Court that would create a hybrid State Bar organization by funding it with mandatory and voluntary dues.
They come from as far away as China, Brazil, and Dallas and Denver. They are 56 new Wisconsin lawyers, more than prepared to start the next phase of their careers.
A state appeals court has ruled that Wisconsin’s “right-to-work” law, enacted in 2015, does not amount to an unconstitutional taking of property from labor organizations, reversing a circuit court decision that previously struck down the law.
With sadness, the State Bar of Wisconsin reports the passing of Past President Gregory B. Conway, on Sept. 15, 2017.
A criminal defendant argued that his lawyer did not tell him that pleading guilty to armed robbery would impact his eligibility for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Recently, a state appeals court upheld the plea.
A state appeals court has ruled that three individuals who collected unemployment insurance payments can keep them even though they were ineligible because prior agency interpretations concerning their eligibility were incorrect.
U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Elena Kagan visited Madison last Friday to share insights and stories in a Q&A format with U.W. Law School Dean Margaret Raymond and those in attendance at U.W. Memorial Union’s Shannon Hall.
The Wisconsin Court of Appeals has certified an appeal for bypass to the Wisconsin Supreme Court to determine if circuit courts can waive a DNA surcharge that state law imposes on defendants convicted of misdemeanors or felonies.
So-called “anti-combination” laws that prohibit joint ownership and operation of a cemetery and a funeral home withstood a constitutional challenge recently, as a state appeals court has ruled the law has a rational basis.
The September Wisconsin Lawyer, hitting mailboxes soon, is a special focus issue that highlights consumer protection in Wisconsin, how lawyers can help (and get paid), and the legal protections available to you and your clients.
The Texas and Louisiana Gulf coasts continue to experience the devastation of Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath, and will for a long time. As the devastation unfolds, watching families in crisis is difficult. But lawyers can help.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled that Cynthia Archer, a former aide to Gov. Scott Walker, cannot pursue claims against six Milwaukee prosecutors and investigators who targeted her in a John Doe probe.
A police officer observed a man walking away from a truck that crashed into a ditch, and stopped him. Recently, a state appeals court rejected the man’s claim that subsequent evidence of operating while intoxicated should have been suppressed.
A convenience store worker punched a customer, who then sued the convenience store owner. Now, the Wisconsin Supreme Court will decide whether the incident is a covered claim under the convenience store owner’s insurance policy.
It’s easy to see why Tommy Thompson served four terms as Wisconsin’s Governor and rose to Secretary of Health and Human Services under President George W. Bush: Energy, charisma, and political acumen.
A state appeals court recently upheld the search of a man who was walking on the interstate to retrieve gas for his vehicle despite the man’s argument that the officer did not have reasonable suspicion to believe he possessed a weapon.
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.
A sheriff’s deputy ran a man’s license plates in “high crime” area in Kenosha and learned the vehicle’s registration was suspended for emissions violations. Recently, the state supreme court ruled the subsequent stop and search, which uncovered drugs, waslegal.
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.
The state supreme court recently ruled (6-1) that a driver who hit a bicyclist did not give voluntary consent to a blood test because police misrepresented the consequences of refusing the test and thus obtained consent by coercion.
Ernesto Villamil was driving with a revoked license when her rear-ended another vehicle, killing the other driver. Recently, a state supreme court majority rejected his claim that the crime should be classified as a misdemeanor, not a felony.
Keeping the farm in the family for future generations requires creative solutions for complex estate and business issues. Keeping the law firm going when you’re no longer around also requires thinking beyond the obvious. Effective estate and succession solutions demand advance planning – and follow-through.
A man convicted of operating while intoxicated (OWI), third offense, argued that a blood test should have been suppressed because he did not freely give consent. Recently, the Wisconsin Supreme Court (5-2) upheld the conviction, but with differing views on application of the state's implied consent law.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled (5-2) that police did not need a warrant to impound a man’s vehicle, resulting in evidence of a bank robbery, because the vehicle was blocking access to storage units and could have been vandalized.
Homeowners who refused to allow an interior inspection of their home for property tax assessment purposes did not relinquish a right to challenge the resulting property tax assessment, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled.
A mother who allowed her husband to sexually assault her 12-year-old daughter recently lost her appeal to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which rejected the mother’s claim that multiple charges amounted to unconstitutional double jeopardy.
A company that appointed a registered agent for service of process in Wisconsin did not trigger personal jurisdiction to be sued in Wisconsin, the state supreme court has ruled, reversing an appeals court decision on the issue.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently reversed an appeals court decision that granted a new murder trial to Raymond Nieves, concluding a joint trial did not violate his rights despite a jailhouse informant’s testimony about the co-defendant.
A three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit yesterday upheld Wisconsin’s right-to-work law, concluding it was nearly identical to the Indiana right-to-work law the Seventh Circuit upheld in 2014.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled (5-2) that a 17-year-old offender who received a drinking ticket while on probation is not eligible for expungement of his convictions, meaning he can never clear them from his record.
An employee with two medical conditions, only one related to her work at Walmart, won’t get worker’s compensation for her permanent partial disability that resulted from a surgical procedure, under a recent Wisconsin Supreme Court decision.
A state appeals court has ruled that Wisconsin $750,000 cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice actions is facially unconstitutional because it imposes illogical burdens on catastrophically injured patients.
July 6, 2017 – Golf professionals (Golf Pros) that oversee public golf courses in Madison hit a nice approach in their lawsuit against the city, which declined to renew their contracts, winning an argument that the city is subject to the Wisconsin Fair Dealership Law (WFDL).
A criminal defendant properly served a subpoena on a witness by leaving the subpoena at the witness’s abode, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has concluded, reversing a state appeals court decision that the subpoena was improperly served.
Persons aggrieved by highway orders must file a challenge within 30 days of receiving a “final determination.” Recently, the Wisconsin Supreme Court revived a petition that challenged a highway order. But a majority could not agree when the 30-day clock starts ticking.
Attorneys who work on OWI cases, specifically 10-day hearings that challenge administrative license suspensions based on the results of chemical tests, should be aware of procedural changes applicable to law enforcement appearances.
The state supreme court will hold a public hearing on a petition requesting increased pay for court-appointed lawyers and a declaration of unreasonableness concerning rates paid to attorneys who take public defender cases.
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.
Ken Goldstein knows something about election polling. He works ABC’s News Decision Desk, which calls presidential races. Then there’s Wes Moore, whose words and societal contributions can inspire the most cynical among us. Both were featured speakers at the State Bar’s Annual Meeting & Conference in Wisconsin Dells, where nearly 500 lawyers, judges, exhibitors, and others convened from Wisconsin and beyond.
Oshkosh bankruptcy lawyer Paul Swanson hasn’t lost much of his youthful energy. Almost 40 years into law practice, adventure does not elude him, and he’s bound for his newest adventure as 62nd president of the State Bar of Wisconsin.
The State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors convened in Wisconsin Dells today, the last meeting of the fiscal year, and registered support for an independent agency that would assist the work of county prosecutors in Wisconsin.
A man suffering from paranoid schizophrenia will continue to be the subject of a Waukesha County involuntary commitment order because he was determined to be “a proper subject for treatment” under Wis. Stat. section 51.20(1).
Would you be able to recognize a threat of violence in your workplace? Not every threat is in-your-face obvious. But some are. What would you do in a threatening situation? At the least, experts say, learn to read the situation and have a plan in place – before you need it.
Dennis Teague never committed a crime. But employers or others might think he did, when looking at criminal history reports issued by the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ), because a criminal once used his name as an alias.
A transgender student in Kenosha can use the boys’ bathroom for the remainder of the school year, as a federal appeals court has ruled the student demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits of his case against the school district.
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.
The State Bar of Wisconsin welcomes 82 new Wisconsin lawyers on May 31, graduates of the U.W. Law School, ready for the challenges of working in the legal profession.
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.
An insurer must pay about $685,000 in interest under a statute that requires insurers to promptly pay insurance claims or pay interest, unless the insurer provides reasonable proof to establish the insurer is not responsible for payment.
A coalition of legal experts filed a petition (17-06) today asking the state supreme court to remedy what it views as a constitutional crisis caused by the nation’s lowest pay rate for lawyers taking appointments from the State Public Defender (SPD).
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has added 11 cases to its docket, including ones involving the concealed carry statute, one involving the recreational immunity statute, and another involving disorderly conduct and free speech.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court and the State Bar of Wisconsin welcomed 148 new Wisconsin lawyers – alumni of Marquette University Law School.
Lee Gaethke alleged that he slipped and fell on ice while walking on motel property in Kenosha. Recently, a state appeals court ruled that the jury had enough evidence to support a negligence finding under Wisconsin’s safe place statute.
The Wisconsin Federal Nominating Commission seeks qualified candidates for a vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently ruled that a former Walgreens employee is entitled to unemployment benefits, concluding the Labor Industry Review Commission (LIRC) incorrectly ruled that she did not qualify based on substantial fault.
An attorney with written authorization to obtain a client’s medical records for a case is exempt from paying certain fees that may apply to third-party medical record requests from health care providers, the state supreme court has ruled.
Advances in assistive reproductive technology are giving new parentage options to individuals who are in same-sex marriages, are dealing with infertility, or both. But Wisconsin law is not keeping pace. Which leads one to ask: Who is the “parent” when a surrogacy agreement falls apart?
The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently rejected a man’s claim that he could not be punished on two counts of hit and run causing two deaths because he only committed one crime, fleeing from the scene of the accident.
A construction worker fell through a hole at a building his employer was renovating. Recently, the Wisconsin Supreme Court relied on the caveat emptor doctrine to conclude that a previous long-term tenant bears no liability for the injuries.
The Wisconsin Federal Nominating Commission is extending the deadline for additional candidates for a vacancy in the position of U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin.
A criminal defendant forfeited his constitutional right to counsel, under the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, when he failed to cooperate with three lawyers appointed to represent him, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled.
Christopher E. Rogers, with Habush Habush & Rottier S.C., Madison, is the next president-elect of the State Bar of Wisconsin. Find out election results for State Bar officer, Board of Governors, and Divisions.
A man charged with drunk driving argued that his attorney was deficient for failing to object when the prosecutor told the jury that the defendant refused a breathalyzer test. The state supreme court recently rejected the argument.
The board also approved a voluntary paralegal certification program and approved the budget for 2018, which includes a $4 dues increase.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court today dismissed (5-2) a petition filed by 54 retired judges that would have established a rule requiring recusal or disqualification of a judge who received a significant campaign contribution from a party to the case, or the pparty’s attorney. A 5-2 majority also voted down a motion to hold a public hearing.
Thirty-nine attorneys took the oath to become Wisconsin lawyers, passing the bar exam in February. Here are a few of their stories.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has rejected claims that a deterrence program that increased surveillance on repeat violent offenders was discriminatory and violated the constitutional rights of a person selected to participate.
A 1969 easement allowed the Wisconsin Public Service Corp. to erect and maintain “wood pole structures” on private property for electric transmission lines. Recently, the Wisconsin Supreme Court rejected a challenge to the easement.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled that a former corrections officer convicted of sexually assaulting a child won’t receive a new trial, rejecting the argument that defendant received ineffective assistance of counsel.
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.
Police arrested Brian Harris after finding him in a vacant residence with copper piping and the tools to remove it. In jail, a detective asked Harris if he wanted to make a statement. Harris said, “They caught me man, I got nothing else to say.”
Allowing use of a police officer’s recorded statements from a dashcam at a suppression hearing did not violate a criminal defendant’s right to confront witnesses even though the police officer died before the hearing, the state supreme court has ruled.
Circuit court judges can appoint “referees” to handle aspects of big cases. Recently, the state supreme court ruled that a referee appointed to handle aspects of a big case in Milwaukee was improperly vested with too much power.
The Wisconsin Federal Nominating Commission seeks qualified candidates for a vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. The deadline to submit an application for a potential appointment is April 29, 2017.
The Wisconsin Federal Nominating Commission is seeking additional candidates for a vacancy in the position of U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin.
A state appeals court in Milwaukee has ruled that Wisconsin Bell Inc., also known as AT&T Wisconsin, violated state laws that prohibit employment discrimination based on disability when the company terminated an employee diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Twenty-four young lawyers, nominated by legal professionals statewide, attended the fifth annual State Bar of Wisconsin Leadership Development Summit in Green Bay on March 24.
Outstanding Mentor and Young Lawyer: ‘Be the Mentor You Seek’
With great sadness, the State Bar of Wisconsin has learned that attorney Sara H. Quirt-Sann, 43, is among four victims killed yesterday in shootings that occurred in three separate locations near Wausau, including a law firm in Schofield.
Brian Dutcher announced on Facebook in June 2015 that he planned to assassinate then-U.S. President Barack Obama. Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld Dutcher’s conviction for threatening the President.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently split 3-3 in a fiduciary duty case involving two business partners, meaning one partner will get $499,000 in compensatory damages from the other but will not receive punitive damages.
Even if an employer has a zero tolerance policy on missing work without notice, an employee who is fired may still qualify for unemployment benefits, a state appeals court has ruled, because state law sets a floor on eligibility.
What do these topics have in common? The March Wisconsin Lawyer profiles lawyers making a difference in the public interest sector, looks at the progress made in serving low-income residents, and reviews how the Daubert standard for admitting evidence has fared since its inception.
A man committed to an institution in 2005 as sexually violent person cannot receive a hearing to determine if he should be discharged, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled, because he did not meet the standard required to obtain a new hearing.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently ruled that state law trumps local law on the regulation of weapons, meaning the City of Madison's transit authority could not bar concealed carry-license holders from bring weapons on city buses.
A motorcyclist suspected of drunk driving after hitting a deer was unconscious when a deputy sheriff initiated a warrantless blood draw. Recently, a state supreme court majority ruled the blood draw was legally justified, for different reasons.
Convicted of murder in the early 1980s, Jeffrey Denny filed a postconviction motion in 2014, claiming he was entitled to forensic DNA testing of evidence from the crime scene. Recently, the state supreme court said he was not.
A grandmother tripped on a doorstep while rushing to stop her grandson from jumping off the high dive at city-owned swimming pool. Recently, a state appeals court ruled that the city was entitled to recreational immunity from any lawsuit.
Federal immigration agencies can request that local law enforcement hold individuals for 48 hours after taken into custody, if subject to deportation. Recently, the state supreme court ruled those immigration hold requests are exempt from public records law.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court, in a 6-1 decision, recently ruled against a convicted felon who was forced to pay a mandatory $250 DNA surcharge, even though the surcharge was discretionary when she committed the felony crime.
Sentencing courts can consider the facts underlying a previously expunged record in making sentencing decisions, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled, rejecting the claim that information underlying an expunged record is off limits.
Defendants have a constitutional right to confront the witnesses against them. But the Wisconsin Supreme Court recently ruled that this right was not violated when a medical examiner testified about a toxicology report she did not generate.
The Wisconsin Federal Nominating Commission, charged with making recommendations for vacancies in federal judgeships and U.S. attorney positions, is accepting applications for U.S. attorney positions in the Eastern and Western districts.
Last Friday was an extremely busy and productive day for the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors, which convened at the State Bar Center in Madison to discuss and consider various proposals, including one from 54 retired judges.
Larry Martin, currently Associate Executive Director of the State Bar of Wisconsin, will be the organization’s next Executive Director.
The State Bar of Wisconsin's 52-member Board of Governors urged respect for the independent judiciary today in a unified statement that addresses recent comments by U.S. President Donald Trump.
The February Wisconsin Lawyer™ looks at national and global practice trends as well as trends in the Badger state.
A woman with ties to a terrorist group that has targeted the Ethiopian government recently lost her case to stay in the U.S. but her removal to Ethiopia is on hold until there’s proof she won’t be tortured there, a federal appeals court has ruled.
A bus driver fired for failing to secure a passenger’s wheelchair, in violation of a company policy, recently won her appeal for unemployment benefits.
It is a criminal offense for a correctional officer to have “sexual contact or sexual intercourse with an individual who is confined in a correctional institution.” Recently, a state appeals court ruled that the law applies to individuals confined to their homes.
The 2017 State Bar of Wisconsin officer candidates represent areas inside and outside of Wisconsin, from Minoqua to Milwaukee, from Madison and Mount Vernon, Virginia. It’s not too late to run for election on these positions, the State Bar Board of The 2017 State Bar of Wisconsin officer candidates represent areas inside and outside of Wisconsin, from Minoqua to Milwaukee, and from Madison to Mount Vernon, Virginia.
A circuit court dismissed an eminent domain case, concluding the private property owners seeking just compensation named the wrong defendant. Recently, a state appeals court reversed, invoking the doctrine of apparent authority.
A man convicted for drunk driving challenged evidence obtained from a blood draw conducted by an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) in jail. Recently, the state supreme court upheld the conviction, reversing a lower appeals court decision.
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a Wisconsin-based employment case involving Epic Systems Corp., the giant health care software company that required employees to sign arbitration agreements as a condition of continued employment.
Yesterday, 54 retired Wisconsin judges formally asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to establish a rule requiring recusal or disqualification of a sitting judge who has received a significant campaign contribution from a party to the case.
The January Wisconsin Lawyer simplifies the complexities of shoreland zoning today, outlines relevant professional conduct rules and ethics opinions for litigators dealing with technology, and riffs on the Broadway musical biography “Hamilton” to deliver Hamilton’s legal writing lessons. Planning a smartphone purchase? A comparison chart makes your decision easier.
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.
A state appeals court has ruled that prospective tenants in Eau Claire presented insufficient evidence to prove a landlord discriminated against them on the basis of race and family status in refusing to consider them as tenants.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court, in a 5-2 decision, has denied the Democratic Party of Wisconsin’s public records request for video recordings held by the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ), reversing lower court decisions.
A company that owned 72 residential apartment units in the City of Racine claimed the city imposed excessive property taxes. Recently, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled the company is entitled to a refund for excessive taxation.
A young nurse who pled guilty to possessing methamphetamine will not be eligible for expungement of her criminal record despite her argument that the sentencing court did not adequately explain why the expungement request was denied.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court will hear eight cases in January, including an appeal by a young man who argues that his criminal record should be expunged even though he was cited for underage drinking while on probation.
Jeremy Myers really wants someone to pay for violating a federal law that requires merchants to block out the last five digits of a credit card number on receipts. But a federal appeals court has ruled against Myers for the second time in three months.
The December Wisconsin Lawyer™ is packed with analysis of recent top court decisions and tips to make the most of business development opportunities, including marketing to millennials and reinventing law firm business models. And, if you’ve put off your holiday shopping, we’ve got some great gift ideas.
No published Wisconsin case has addressed whether an intentional trespass claim is subject to a three-year or six-year statute of limitations period for intentional torts. Recently, a state appeals court ruled that a three-year period applies.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, which covers Wisconsin, has ruled that student-athletes are not employees entitled to a minimum wage under the Fair Labor Standards Act, rejecting claims by former student-athletes.
A state appeals court has ruled that, under the public trust doctrine, a waterfront property owner can install a dock on flowage waters even though another property owner claims title to the submerged land over which the water flows.
Gov. Scott Walker is seeking applicants for judicial appointment to the circuit court bench in both Burnett and Polk counties.
At the request of the Board of Bar Examiners (BBE), the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors (board) today voted to support rule changes that will clarify procedures for the rule on conditional admission to practice law in Wisconsin.
Police initiated a traffic stop for a broken tail light about 100 feet from the driver’s home. He pulled into his garage. Police entered the garage without a warrant to stop him. Recently, the state supreme court found no constitutional violation.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has rejected a line of published tax court decisions that invalidated Internal Revenue Service (IRS) levies when the IRS failed to prove that the taxpayer received proper notice of intent to levy.
Thank you, members of the State Bar of Wisconsin. We have both been privileged to serve the best people in Wisconsin – the generous, smart, feisty, learned, funny, and challenging people who make up our legal profession.
The City of Milwaukee conceded that it wrongfully charged special tax assessments against a residential apartment complex. But a state appeals court has ruled that a six-year statute of limitations may bar refund claims for certain years.
The 50/50 shareholders of a failed business owed more than $450,000 in debt obligations. Both settled separately with the lending bank. Recently, an appeals court ruled that one owner was not entitled to equitable contribution from the other.
Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Patience Roggensack made judicial salaries a focal point of her State of the Judiciary address today, saying increased salaries will help the state “attract and retain highly skilled and knowledgeable judges.”
A Milwaukee police officer wanted a dirt bike for his son. Recently, a state appeals court upheld a decision to terminate the officer for falsifying a document that allowed him to take possession of an unclaimed dirt bike from police inventory.
Could artificial intelligence help make legal research easier and less frustrating? How could you create a legal help desk when the people who need it are scattered statewide? How would you set up a law practice that appeals to talented lawyers who wish to work outside the typical law firm model?
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.
The estate of a woman killed by a tree branch while walking with her son recently won an appeal against the tree trimming company that caused the branch to fall, overcoming an argument the company had recreational immunity from the lawsuit.
Lawyers could get continuing legal education (CLE) credit for attending courses that enhance awareness about substance abuse, mental illness, and stress management, under a proposal recently filed by the Board of Bar Examiners (BBE).
A man convicted for attempted burglary – and suspected but not convicted for prior break-ins at the same home – must pay the victim for the security system she installed to stop the burglaries, an appeals court has ruled.
A woman charged with drug possession, drug paraphernalia, and bail jumping argued that she is immune from prosecution for crimes committed while “aiding” her friend, who overdosed on drugs. Recently, an appeals court agreed in part.
A private school in Milwaukee that receives public subsidies under the state’s school choice program asked the court to invalidate a settlement agreement that required the school to pay a surety bond. Recently, a state appeals court said no.
A county’s “social host ordinance” banning underage drinking at private residences did not strictly comply with a state law that regulates underage drinking. Thus, a parent fined for “hosting” an underage drinking party recently won his appeal.
Circuit courts could have a dedicated docket for large claim business and commercial cases in the near future, under a proposal recently submitted by a committee created by Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Patience Roggensack.
A former Wisconsin health care clinic manager alleging that colleagues defamed him and tortiously interfered with his at-will employment recently lost at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, which applied Wisconsin tort law.
Think of your Outlook email inbox like a hospital emergency room that you are managing. If you have 400 or 4,000 people milling around with different health problems needing different levels of attention, somebody is going to die.
Humility, integrity and service are the messages to lawyers and judges who attended a night of celebration as 64 new Fellows were inducted into the Fellows of the Wisconsin Law Foundation in Milwaukee.
Common law generally prohibits the purchase of a life insurance policy on a stranger’s life. But recently, a federal appeals court applied Wisconsin law to rule that an life insurer must pay $6 million to the bank-owner of a policy on the life of a stranger.
The State Bar of Wisconsin issued an alert on Oct. 7 to inform members of a potential scam involving automated clearinghouse (ACH) transactions. These were not scams after all, but members are still encouraged to remain vigilant.
The Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission (WERC) exceeded its authority when refusing to hold union recertification elections for the unions representing state prosecutors and other workers, a state appeals court has ruled.
A taxi company with operations in Milwaukee argued that a new ordinance removing caps on the number of taxi permits available is a taking of private property requiring just compensation. A federal appeals court recently disagreed.
Lawyers possess high-value data on clients, employees, firms, and third parties that cyber bad guys want. This special focus issue on cybersecurity gives guidance on how to prevent, detect, and respond if you experience a data breach.
The State Bar of Wisconsin has been notified that several members were recently the target of attempted theft by an automated clearing house (ACH) withdrawal. ACH is an electronic network used to process credit and debit transactions.
A state appeals court has ruled that the mother of a child pornography victim cannot receive restitution from a defendant despite the mother’s argument that he caused her family financial losses by viewing illegal images of her daughter on the internet.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently released a table of 36 pending cases to be decided in the 2016-17 term. More cases will likely be added. A few of the high-profile cases involve open records and public law enforcement officials.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has renewed a Wisconsin woman’s claim for disability insurance benefits, concluding that an administrative law judge erred when making a credibility determination.
Passengers seriously injured in a multi-car accident are not covered by an insured driver’s underinsured motorist policy because a policy exclusion barred coverage when the insured driver was at-fault, a state appeals court has ruled.
The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that U.S. Soccer’s governing body properly authorize the promotional use of player images without consent from the labor organization that represents the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team.
John Menard Jr., CEO of the home improvement giant Menard Inc., and affiliates recently fended off an appeal from Menard’s ex-fiancé, a Minnesota lawyer who claimed she was not paid for legal services valued in the millions of dollars.
The State Bar of Wisconsin is soliciting applications for the position of executive director to succeed its current executive director, George Brown, who announced his upcoming retirement after 16 years in that position.
After passing the Wisconsin Bar Exam administered in July, 41 new Wisconsin lawyers were admitted to the State Bar of Wisconsin at yesterday's swearing-in ceremony, including a Jamaican attorney with the goal of becoming a U.S. attorney.
Mediators could draft and file court documents, such as marital settlement agreements, after the parties have completed mediation, under a proposal the State Bar’s Board of Governors supports. In this article, learn about the latest board actions and discussions.
Are you a lawyer who regularly engages in debt collection activities on behalf of clients? If so, be aware that your legal pleadings are subject to the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, under a recent decision from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
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.
The September Wisconsin Lawyer looks in-depth at the patchwork of laws governing the private use of drones, considers the effect of a client’s age and behavior when creating or challenging wills, outlines major sources of law concerning e-transaction of real estate conveyances, and more.
A state appeals court has remanded a case to determine whether a conviction for fleeing an officer was “likely to result” in a defendant’s deportation such that a failure to inform him of immigration consequences allows a plea withdrawal.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court kicked off the 2016-17 term this morning with an oral argument in which the defendant argued that police violated his constitutional rights by entering his garage without a warrant, leading to his arrest.
In a case claiming violations of the False Claims Act, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently concluded that allegations of fraudulent medical billing were sufficient to survive a motion to dismiss, but other fraud allegations were not.
Anton Dorsey argued “other-acts evidence” was improperly admitted as evidence to support domestic abuse charges against him. Recently, a state appeals court ruled the evidence was admissible, noting the expanded “greater latitude rule.”
A state appeals court has clarified what it means to “release” confidential health care records in violation of state law, rejecting a patient’s claim that a health care provider’s employees violated the law when accessing his medical records.
Aug. 29, 2016 – A state appeals court recently reversed a man’s conviction for prohibited alcohol concentration (PAC), concluding that the trial judge could not decide the issue on directed verdict. That is, the jury was required to decide.
Aug. 26, 2016 – A man who pleaded guilty to selling a large amount of methamphetamine with his girlfriend in northwestern Wisconsin recently lost his federal appeal, despite his argument that the judge improperly calculated the quantity he sold.
Sitting en banc, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled (6-3) in favor of a prison inmate who claims his prison doctors violated the Eighth Amendment by failing to properly treat an Achilles tendon tear for more than two years.
A labor union that displayed a large inflatable rat and a fat cat to voice displeasure with an employer in the Wisconsin town of Grand Chute must go back to square one in its free speech case.
A nonsolicitation of employees agreement, which prohibited an employee from encouraging other employees to leave their jobs, is unenforceable under the state’s no compete law, a state appeals court has ruled.
Attorneys got the latest updates this week at the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Health, Labor & Employment Law Institute. Learn why data is so important to the health care system, and get some other tips from speakers at the HLE in Wisconsin Dells.
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.
Woodman’s Food Market sued Clorox Company for price discrimination when Clorox started selling larger bulk products to wholesale stores only. Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit rejected Woodman’s federal claim.
The circuit court in Fond du Lac County granted a motion to suppress blood test evidence in an operating while intoxicated (OWI) case, concluding that police coerced the driver to provide the sample. Recently, a state appeals court reversed.
A federal district judge in Wisconsin who talked about urban decay, social unrest, and personal experiences before sentencing a heroin dealer to 84 months in prison committed procedural error, a federal appeals court panel has ruled.
A state appeals court has ruled that a circuit court’s dismissal order was “final” even though the parties had not resolved a claim for contractual attorney fees, concluding the appeals court has jurisdiction to hear the appeal.
The July/August Wisconsin Lawyer looks in-depth at changes to the rules governing lawyers’ handling of trust property and presents Justice Prosser’s candid reflections on his career and the supreme court, and much more.
A woman convicted of welfare fraud 30 years ago will never get her childcare certification back, the Wisconsin Supreme Court recently ruled, a 5-2 majority upholding a 2009 law that bans childcare certifications if convicted for certain crimes.
Thirteen employers and law students were recognized July 20 as participants in the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Diversity Clerkship Program. The program offers employers and students a unique opportunity to share experiences and to promote diversity in thelegal profession.
Attorney Daniel Kelly is Gov. Scott Walker’s pick to replace Justice David Prosser on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, the governor announced last Friday. Justice Prosser, reelected to a 10-year term in 2011, retires effective July 31, 2016.
A Wisconsin Supreme Court majority (5-2) recently sided with an insurance company that retained damages received on a subrogation claim, despite a motorcycle accident victim’s argument that subrogation damages should go to him.
A majority of Wisconsin Supreme Court justices could not agree on whether a victim alleging sexual assault should be barred from testifying if she refuses to release her mental health treatment records for in camera inspection, or whether criminal defendant.
The G. Lane Ware Leadership Academy, a new State Bar of Wisconsin program, aims to give lawyers skills, strategies, and resources to become effective leaders in the profession and community. Apply by Aug. 15, 2016, to be included in its inaugural class.
Aman Singh committed three nonviolent crimes between 2008 and 2011, a period in which the Wisconsin Legislature twice shifted its stance on whether to allow prison inmates to be released early from prison for good behavior.
A woman with seventh, eighth, and ninth operating while intoxicated (OWI) charges pending against her challenged a first-offense OWI she received in 1992, arguing the circuit court back then lacked subject matter jurisdiction.
Lands’ End, the clothing and apparel store, won a significant judgment against the City of Dodgeville. Recently, the Wisconsin Supreme Court decided how much interest applies to the judgment under a judgment interest statute.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled that physical evidence obtained after the illegal interrogation of a murder suspect was not “fruit of the poisonous tree” because police would have inevitably discovered the evidence.
Leopoldo Salas Gayton, convicted for homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle, argued that a judge improperly considered his immigration status as a factor at sentencing. Recently, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled the judge did not.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently upheld a former girls’ high school basketball coach’s conviction for using a “computerized communications system” to facilitate sexual contact with a player, despite his argument that he did not use a computerized comm
Four people acquired real estate as tenants-in-common. One of them accumulated personal debt, including tax debt. Recently, the Wisconsin Supreme Court decided which judgment creditor would receive property sale proceeds, and how much.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court, in a 5-2 decision, has ruled that minor unnamed plaintiffs alleging that their physician touched their genitals inappropriately during medical exams cannot maintain the lawsuit because of the statute of limitations.
Employees who work for the City of Milwaukee, including law enforcement and Milwaukee public school teachers, can now live outside the city limits without fear of being fired, under a recent ruling from the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
June 20, 2016 – If you were looking for answers on what’s happening in the current race for U.S. President, Amy Walter certainly provided some to close out the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Annual Meeting and Conference in Green Bay last Friday.
If you heard attorney Paul Clement’s presentation yesterday on “The Roberts Court” at the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Annual Meeting and Conference (AMC), you are smarter now and understand why he is one of the nation’s top advocates.
June 16, 2016 – Last evening, exactly 34 years to the day after Fran Deisinger took the attorney’s oath to become a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin, he took the oath to lead the organization as its 61st president, a one-year term beginning July 1.
The 52-member Board of Governors also approved the concept of a voluntary paralegal certification program that the State Bar would develop and administer, approved new strategic priorities, and took other actions at its final board meeting of the fiscal year.
A circuit court properly denied a plea withdrawal motion without an evidentiary hearing, even though the defendant argued that he did not enter to plea knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled today.
A convicted murderer will not get a new trial despite his challenge to an “intelligence analyst” who mapped his location based on cell phone data. Defendant Robert Cameron had argued that the witness was not properly screened as an expert.
The U.S Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently rejected the appeal of a woman convicted and sentenced for defrauding numerous victims with fake profiles on dating websites, a scheme that resulted in $2.2 million in identifiable losses.
Cyber thieves are increasingly targeting lawyers with fraudulent emails that purport to be from bar associations, lawyer disciplinary boards, or other official entities that lawyers may interact with in their capacity as legal professionals.
A state appeals court has ruled against Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clark Jr., who challenged a county budget that did not provide enough money for him to hire new law enforcement personnel that he deemed necessary to fulfill his duties.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled (5-2) that the state properly joined intimidation charges to a sexual assault case that was not opened yet when the defendant made repeated threats to his girlfriend, a witness, from a jailhouse phone.
The State Bar of Wisconsin recently welcomed 90 new Wisconsin lawyers, graduates of the U.W. Law School.
Epic Systems, a Wisconsin-based health care software company, can’t force certain employees to bring their wage and hour claims individually through arbitration, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled last week.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently ruled that a woman involved in a car accident with a state employee cannot move forward with her lawsuit because she delivered notice of claim to the attorney general by personal service, not certified mail.
Criminal defense lawyers representing defendants accused of sexually violent crimes are not required to inform their clients that pleading guilty could result in the possibility of civil commitment, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled (4-2).
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled that a district attorney cannot stop the Wisconsin Department of Justice from releasing public records about him to a local newspaper, concluding district attorneys don’t have a statutory right to block such records from being released.
The State Bar Welcomes the 126 graduates of Marquette University Law School who took the Attorney’s Oath and signed the Supreme Court Roll on May 23, 2016.
After 16 years as executive director of the State Bar of Wisconsin, George Brown has announced that he will retire on June 30, 2017. By the time he retires next year, Brown will have served almost 30 years in various State Bar roles.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court (4-3) recently struck down a 2011 law that gave the governor power to reject rules promulgated by the superintendent of public schools and effectively clipped the superintendent’s rulemaking authority.
Daniel Schmidt had an extramarital affair with Kimberly Rose. He was later convicted for killing Rose and Rose’s brother. Recently, a state appeals court upheld the convictions, despite Schmidt’s objection to testimony provided by his wife.
Lawyers support the arts in myriad ways – from crafting contracts to creating estate plans and protecting copyrights to creating art themselves: the May Wisconsin Lawyer magazine looks at how lawyers improve our society through the arts. It also explains new rules to protect sensitive information in court records, and provides resources when hanging out your own shingle and more.
Federal law does not prohibit police departments, upon request, from releasing unredacted copies of “accident” reports, a state appeals court has ruled. But federal law may prohibit the release of unredacted “incident” reports.
A commercial truck manufacturer must pay double damages of $200,000 and another $200,000 in attorney fees for violating Wisconsin’s lemon law, a state appeals court has ruled, rejecting an “accord and satisfaction” argument.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court, by a 5-2 majority, recently ruled that a condominium policy violated Wisconsin law by restricting a new condo owner's access to condo amenities, like a golf course, if the prior condo owner's assessments remained unpaid after foreclosure.
New Wisconsin lawyers took the Attorney’s Oath May 2, 2016, after passing the bar exam in February. The State Bar of Wisconsin welcomes its new members!
Gov. Scott Walker is seeking applications for appointment to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The application deadline is May 19, 2016.
The State Bar’s Board of Governors discussed whether to set up a paralegal certification program, approved a budget for fiscal year 2017, passed new vision and mission statements, and set the 2020 Annual Meeting and Conference date and location.
A package approved by the Wisconsin Supreme Court is designed to encourage more pro bono work and increase access to justice.
Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David T. Prosser, who has served on the court for 18 years, announced today that he is retiring with five years remaining on his term, which ends in 2021. Prosser was re-elected to a 10-year term in 2011.
The Government, Nonresident, Senior, and Young Lawyers divisions announce incoming officers and directors.
Paul Swanson of Steinhilber, Swanson, Mares, Marone & McDermott, Oshkosh, is the next president-elect of the State Bar of Wisconsin.
A former Walgreens worker denied unemployment insurance benefits on the grounds of “substantial fault” recently won her appeal.
A state appeals court will have to decide whether a state statute retroactively deprives a victim of lead paint poisoning from asserting a vested property right, now that the Wisconsin Supreme Court has reached a stalemate on the issue.
April 14, 2016 – Changes to real estate laws preempt municipal ordinances, concerns about the enforceability of arbitration provisions in nursing-home admission contracts, and limits on teachers’ First Amendment rights: The April issue of Wisconsin Lawyer magazine takes an in-depth look at these and other issues.
Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke must release unredacted immigration forms the office received from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) pursuant to an open records request, a state appeals court has ruled.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court (4-2) has upheld the conviction of a defendant who argued that he was incompetent to stand trial or be sentenced for a charge of second-degree sexual assault, reversing an appeals court decision.
After her son and daughter-in-law divorced, Carol Meister, who lives in Ohio, filed a motion seeking court-ordered rights to visit her four grandchildren. Recently, the Wisconsin Supreme Court clarified the standard to determine such rights.
A state appeals court has ruled that Raymond Nieves is entitled to a new trial in a murder case because the trial court improperly denied a pretrial severance motion and improperly admitted unreliable and prejudicial hearsay testimony.
Small steps, taken where you are, can start you on the path to leadership, says Dr. Artika Tyner.
Young lawyers nominated by legal professionals statewide are attending today’s fourth annual State Bar of Wisconsin Leadership Development Summit in Madison.
The state supreme court has ruled that a woman injured by a runaway hot air balloon can pursue negligence claims against the operator even though she signed a liability waiver and despite the state’s recreational immunity statute.
The year 1982 was the last time the Milwaukee Brewers made the World Series (and lost). The same year, a man named Christopher Mohr was brutally murdered. Now, one of the convicted killers won his first fight towards a new trial.
Jason Guidry received a 25-year prison term, pleading guilty to crimes prohibiting drug dealing and prostituting women. Recently, the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Guidry’s claim that a police dog sniff was illegal.
After his conviction, a court granted Todd Tobatto a new trial because his lawyer did not request removal of a particular juror during voir dire. A state appeals court recently reversed, concluding the juror did not show subjective bias.
A state appeals court has upheld the conviction of a man charged with leaving the scene after striking or nearly striking a bicyclist with his vehicle, rejecting the man’s argument that the evidence did not support the jury’s verdict.
A state appeals court reversed and remanded a case to determine whether an insurer, under a condo owner’s insurance policy, must defend and possibly indemnify an insured accused of negligence in the drug overdose death of a guest.
Lois Noone held a power of attorney for her mother. She hired an attorney, who was ultimately paid $25,000, to defend an action by five siblings, who wanted the court to review certain decisions that Noone made on her mother’s behalf.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that the state did not breach a plea agreement by recommending “consecutive” sentences where the plea agreement was silent on the issue of “concurrent” or “consecutive” sentences.
A police department and a county facing allegations that they were negligent in a sexual assault investigation, allowing a perpetrator to continue the assaults, has immunity from the negligence lawsuit, a state appeals court has ruled.
A police officer found Jamal Pinkard on the ground after responding to reports of a shooting, a gunshot wound to his chest. The officer asked who did it, and Pinkard responded with a first name, Anthony, and two nicknames, “Lil Ant” and “2-1.”
March 9, 2016 – What do starting a brewery and food and beverage laws have in common? Two things. Regulations, a lot of them, and the biotechnology industry. Among other content, the March Wisconsin Lawyer explores opportunities for lawyers in these and other areas of the law.
A group challenging a rule that prohibits people from traveling on city buses with weapons, even concealed guns carried legally, will have its case heard by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which recently added eight new cases to its docket.
A probiotic supplier supplied the wrong probiotic to a company that uses probiotic ingredients in health supplement pills, forcing a product recall. But the supplier’s error is not covered by insurance, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled.
Workers who spent time putting on (donning) and taking off (doffing) required clothes and gear before and after shifts will be paid for it, under a recent Wisconsin Supreme Court decision that affirmed a judgment for the workers’ union.
One man’s criminal “alias” is another man’s legal name. But the state justice department doesn’t need to include “innocence letters” with requested criminal history reports that detail the other man’s crimes, a state appeals court has ruled.
In a tangled case, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled that a settlement did not extinguish an auto insurer’s duty to defend hardware store chain owner Menard Inc. in a lawsuit commenced against Menard by an injured customer.
A state appeals court has ruled (2-1) against Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin (PPW), which challenged provisions of an abortion-related law passed in 2011, but allayed some of PPW’s fears about criminal penalties and civil liability.
State v. Parisi, 2016 WI 10 (Feb. 24, 2016), that a warrantless blood draw by police was constitutional because it was supported by exigent circumstances.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court today adopted a petition that will require parties to file cases electronically (e-file) – starting at $20 per case, per party – after a public hearing that primarily addressed funding for a mandatory e-filing system.
Still grappling with surrogate expert testimony, the state appeals court is asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court to decide whether a toxicology report and supporting testimony can be admitted if the toxicology report’s author doesn’t testify.
Students from 16 Wisconsin high schools advance to the State Bar of Wisconsin’s 33rd Annual High School Mock Trial semifinal event on Saturday, March 12, at the Dane County Courthouse in Madison.
Believing someone could be injured inside, police officers searched a Kenosha man’s home without a warrant, including a locked room that contained a marijuana plant. Recently, a Wisconsin Supreme Court majority (4-3) upheld the search.
Are you positioned to turn pressures on the legal profession into opportunities for growth? Learn which practice areas are trending hot, hotter, and red hot, and which are cooling down from a global, national, and state perspective.
Two men who were civilly committed as sexually violent want to be released, and filed a discharge petition. Now the Wisconsin Supreme Court may hear their challenge to a 2013 law that changed the standard for review of such petitions.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has asked the co-chairs of the Wisconsin Joint Legislative Council to study how to improve access to civil legal services for people who cannot afford a lawyer, the court noted in a press release last week.
A business with direct access to a busy rural state highway recently lost its state supreme court fight to obtain more compensation from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT), which eliminated the business’s direct access.
In 2005, Michael Belleau was civilly committed as a “sexually violent person,” after serving prison time for sexually assaulting children. When released in 2010, Wisconsin law required him to wear a GPS monitoring device for the rest of his life. Recently, a federal appeals court upheld the state law, reversing a lower court.
Jan. 29, 2016 – The State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors today set the amount of nonchargeable dues that members can recoup for FY 2017, and discussed the possibility of developing a voluntary certification program for paralegals in the state.
A lawful permanent resident of the U.S. who pled guilty to drug charges more than a decade ago can withdraw her pleas and enter new ones because she did not receive proper warnings about the immigration consequences of pleading guilty.
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.
TV, radio, and real life events have piqued the nation’s interest in legal cases and the justice system, especially in the last year. Now, Wisconsin high school students will get firsthand experience in dealing with the intricacies of presenting a court case.
An Australian newspaper in 2010 published an allegedly untrue statement about a man who now lives in Shorewood, Wisconsin. It said he faced prosecution in the U.S. “for allegedly producing a revolver at his daughter’s wedding.”
Mentor, professor, veteran, and former president of the State Bar of Wisconsin, James D. Ghiardi touched many lives as a Wisconsin lawyer and Marquette Law School professor.
Brian Harris argued it was a violation of his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination to allow statements he made to police to be used at trial, even though he made the statements without receiving any Miranda warnings.
A Wisconsin Supreme Court majority recently ruled that a warrantless police stop in a private parking garage was legal because police had reasonable suspicion to make the stop and the garage was not a constitutionally protected area.
A jury convicted James Eady Jr. for robbing a Milwaukee bank. Recently, Eady lost his appeal, despite his argument that the state failed to prove he robbed a “chartered” bank.
The trial judge in a “shaken baby” case did not commit any error when he excluded state law witnesses that were not timely disclosed to the defense, even though the prosecutor disclosed the names before trial, a state appeals court has ruled.
Jan. 8, 2016 – Concerns about courthouse security, treatment courts’ struggle with the heroin epidemic, and complex jurisdictional issues between tribal and local governments: the January Wisconsin Lawyer magazine tackles these weighty issues as well as some lighter fare.
A prison inmate who appealed orders to involuntary commit him and treat him with psychotropic drugs recently lost his appeal to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which rejected his constitutional challenge to the involuntary commitment statute.
A state department of justice (DOJ) employee demoted after questioning whether the DOJ could legally use taxpayer funds for the attorney general’s security detail at a Republican National Convention did not have whistleblower law protection.
A bank is liable for a misrepresentation that induced a homebuyer to buy a foreclosure home with undisclosed water and mold damage, even though the sale contract said the buyer was purchasing the home “as is,” a state appeals court has ruled.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently raised the threshold for deducting de minimus capital expenditures, from $500 to $2,500. But solo and small firms that want to take advantage of this in 2016 may need to to take action before the end of this year.
A state appeals recently upheld a home foreclosure judgment, concluding that the circuit court properly admitted certain documents evidencing amounts due and owing under the business records exception to the hearsay rule.
Rene Von Schleinitz died in 1972. His will provided for a trust to hold land with “improvements,” including cottages on Cedar Lake in West Bend. Recently, a state appeals court ruled that “improvements” did not include septic and well systems serving a cocottage built and owned by Von Schleinitz’s daughter and her husband.
A state appeals court has ruled that Eric Soderlund failed to state a free speech retaliation claim against a Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) official, affirming an order dismissing the case on DOJ’s motion for judgment on the pleadings.
Holiday gift ideas, an annual review of significant Wisconsin Supreme Court and Wisconsin federal court decisions, and how employers can reduce risks associated with inappropriate social media use: The December Wisconsin Lawyer is a real 'stocking stuffer.'
The officer who arrested Glenn Zamzow for operating while intoxicated (OWI) died before Zamzow’s suppression hearing. Recently, a state appeals court ruled that the trial court properly considered an audio recording of the officer despite Zamzow's constit
Cory Herrmann accidentally dropped a switchblade while showing it to a friend in his own home, piercing his femoral artery. Recently, a state appeals court reversed his conviction for possessing a switchblade, citing his right to bear arms.
Personal injury attorneys who order a client’s health care records with the client’s permission are not exempt from paying certification and retrieval fees under the health-records-fee statute, a state appeals court has ruled, reversing a lower court.
The State Bar of Wisconsin’s 52-member Board of Governors voted unanimously to support an amended petition that would mandate electronic filing (e-filing) in circuit courts and discussed the possibility of allowing the sale of State Bar legal forms to the public, among other topics at its meeting today in Madison.
Christopher Allen hit a tree while driving drunk, killing one passenger and injuring another. Recently, a state appeals court ruled that a sentencing court properly considered facts relating to a prior record of conviction that was later expunged.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has denied a motion to reconsider its July 2015 decision to end a “John Doe” probe into alleged illegal campaign coordination between Gov. Scott Walker’s recall campaign and outside advocacy groups.
On the heels of “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” – events designed to attract holiday shoppers – today is #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back, by celebrating generosity and donating to organizations that make a difference in your community.
Nov. 30, 2015 – The State Bar is launching a new, statewide program that teaches students and adults about responsible credit use and other fundamentals of financial literacy.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled that a state trooper legally stopped a vehicle for littering, which led to a drunk driving arrest, despite the defendant’s argument that troopers can’t make traffic stops for non-traffic offenses.
A provision of state law that prohibits medical doctors from performing abortions at clinics without admitting privileges at a hospital within a 30-mile radius is unconstitutional, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled.
Nov. 25, 2015 – We are fortunate and have much to be thankful for this year. This special day is a good time to reflect on all that has happened and all that is yet to come.
Property owners who said the American Transmission Company (ATC) did not have a valid easement to update and maintain power lines recently won at the state appeals court, which ruled that the easement only covered wood poles, not steel.
A three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled that investigators exceeded the scope of a suspect’s consent to search a commercial and residential building that burned down five years ago in Milwaukee, effectively reversing a federal false information conviction.
In a dispute between the Town of Hoard and Clark County, a state appeals court has ruled that the county must pay the town an ordinance-imposed fee for the cost of fire protection relating to a county-owned medical center within the town.
The chief justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court this week vowed to work with other branches of government to ensure adequate funding of the judicial system and indicated that mandatory e-filing in circuit courts is on its way soon.
A municipality had the power to finish roads and levy special assessments against those benefitting after a developer defaulted on its obligation to build the roads, a state appeals court has ruled, handing a win to the Town of Omro.
Nov. 9, 2015 – Legal innovators are forging a path into the future of law practice, while Wisconsin’s bioscience industry is already a new frontier for lawyers.
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.
Criminals serving prison sentences under enhanced penalties for repeat misdemeanor offenses can petition circuit courts for adjusted sentences after serving 75 percent of the prison term, a state appeals court has ruled.
A married same-sex couple attempting to challenge Wisconsin’s gender-specific “parent presumption” will have to wait for a future court to determine whether the presumption applies in same-sex marriage situations, an appeals court has ruled.
Lishou Wang, a Chinese citizen, is trying to avoid deportation on the grounds that he was persecuted for resisting China’s decades-old population control policy before coming to the U.S. Recently, a federal appeals court kept his case alive.
Two men who were sentenced to life in prison after committing crimes as juveniles recently lost an appeal for new sentences, despite their argument that a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision prohibits mandatory life sentences against juveniles.
Oct. 30, 2015 – Tabitha A. Scruggs was convicted for burglary, and the court imposed a $250 DNA surcharge on her at her sentencing. Scruggs filed a motion asking for the $250 DNA surcharge to be vacated, as she felt it was punitive and violated the ex post facto clauses of the U.S. and Wisconsin Constitutions.
Oct. 28, 2015 – At her sentencing hearing for possession of heroin, Courtney Sobonya requested expungement of her criminal record. She was 23 when she was charged with five drug-related crimes, and pleaded guilty to heroin possession.
Oct. 26, 2015 – While most verbal harassment may not rise to the level “cruel and unusual punishment” in a prison setting, some may, and courts need to consider all the facts when evaluating such cases.
Oct. 20, 2015 – In a case of unintended consequences, an insurance policy endorsement on pollution was found ambiguous and summary judgment was reversed for an insurance company seeking not to provide coverage to its insured.
A law firm is not subject to state tax on hard photocopies of medical records purchased on behalf of a client, the state’s Tax Appeals Commission has ruled.
A state appeals court has ruled that a former commercial tenant can avoid liability for injuries that occurred on property the tenant recently vacated because the tenant was considered a “vendor” under Wisconsin law.
A state appeals court has upheld a child pornography conviction, rejecting defendant David Gant's claim that police violated his constitutional rights by holding his computers in police inventory for 10 months after closing an investigation into his wife's death.
Oct. 13, 2015 – Learn about efforts to contain zombie properties, managing the threat of whistleblower claims, and what might be in store for taxing online commerce.
Rockie Douglas was arrested and jailed while on probation, but refused to tell his probation agent about his “whereabouts and activities” relating to the arrest. Recently, a state appeals court ruled that Douglas’s probation was improperly revoked.
Gov. Scott Walker today appointed Wisconsin Appeals Court Judge Rebecca Bradley to fill a judicial vacancy on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
A state appeals court has ruled that “commuting” a defendant’s sentence to address plea hearing violations does not remove a defendant’s right to withdraw his or her plea, despite the state’s argument in favor of this alternative standard.
A state appeals court recently used the “incorporation-by-reference” doctrine to end, for now, a lawsuit by a former forensic scientist who alleged that a supervisor within the Wisconsin Department of Justice retaliated against him.
Oct. 2, 2015 – It was a night of celebration and a night of remembrance, as 42 new Fellows were inducted into the Wisconsin Law Foundation at a dinner Sept. 30 in Madison.
They deserve the celebration and congratulations: They are the 54 newest lawyers in Wisconsin.
A man named Douglas believes he could be the father of a baby born into a marriage. A circuit court dismissed his paternity action, but a state appeals court recently ruled that dismissal does not automatically mean “dismissal with prejudice.”
Governor Scott Walker is seeking applicants for appointment to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The appointee will fill the vacancy created when Supreme Court Justice N. Patrick Crooks passed away on Sept. 21, 2015.
The State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors (board) supports a petition to authorize and facilitate the use of electronic appellate records, as well as the continued authority of circuit courts to transfer certain civil actions to tribal court.
A state appeals court has ruled that a law barring registered sex offenders from photographing minors in public without consent from parents is unconstitutionally overbroad, reversing convictions against a registered sex offender.
Gladys Vogel and her grandson, Steven Baumgard, jointly purchased a new Toyota Corolla for $22,500. But Vogel put down the lion’s share, $20,000. Police later impounded the car. Recently, a state appeals court overturned a forfeiture order against Vogel, concluding that forfeiture against her would be constitutionally excessive.
Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice N. Patrick Crooks passed away yesterday in his chambers at the State Capitol in Madison. He was 77. Friends and colleagues will remember him as a hardworking and thoughtful decision-maker.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court may hear a case to decide whether circuit courts can rely on Correctional Offender Management Profiling for Alternative Sanctions (COMPAS) assessments when sentencing criminal defendants.
A federal appeals court has ordered a new trial for Michael Kingsley, who was tasered while awaiting trial at a Wisconsin jail. Kingsley took his excessive force case to the U.S. Supreme Court, which decided in his favor this summer.
Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice N. Patrick Crooks, who has served 38 years as a judge and almost two decades as a supreme court justice, announced today that he will not seek reelection when his term ends on July 31, 2016.
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.
A state appeals court has ruled that a homicide defendant did not have an expectation of privacy in text messages that he sent to the victim’s phone, which allowed police to obtain a warrant for more text messages sent between the parties.
Sept. 8, 2015 – Does your client want to use land in a way that is not authorized as a matter of right? Or is your client the neighbor who is trying to stop this use of land? Whatever side you “land” on, the September Wisconsin Lawyer has the skinny.
Traveling for Labor Day weekend? Does your airline fare come with a free in-flight drink? If so, you may be interested in this case involving two travelers who filed a class action after discovering an airline stopped honoring in-flight drink vouchers.
A state appeals court has ruled that a man who violated his probation, triggering a two-year prison sentence, cannot get credit for "good time" earned while in jail.
A landowner who bought property burdened by a private roadway easement wanted it moved, and was almost successful. But recently, a state appeals court ruled that the trial court did not have the power to alter the existing easement.
The U.S. Government paid Craig Patrick almost $7 million for uncovering a Medicare fraud scheme involving $75 million in false billings. Recently, a federal appeals court ruled that Patrick can’t claim the award as a capital gain.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently ruled that a detective and two forensic odontologists are immune from suit, despite allegations that they conspired to pin Robert Lee Stinson with a murder he did not commit.
Non-U.S. citizens who are not authorized to be in the U.S. but have substantial connections with the country are protected by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which grants the right to bear arms, a federal appeals court has ruled.
According to one litigator, lawyers in depositions should heed Packer Coach Vince Lombardi’s advice: “When you get into the end zone, act like you have been there before.” That is, when a witness admits something significant, don’t draw attention to it.
A state appeals court has reversed a judgment in favor of a woman injured while trying to protect her chocolate labrador from a pit bull, concluding that the trial court erred when it gave a jury instruction on the “emergency doctrine,” which can relieve a person from contributory negligence liability if responding to an emergency.
The mother of a 22-year-old Wisconsin man from Walworth County can continue her federal case, which alleges that police used excessive force in violation of her son’s Fourth Amendment rights when an officer shot and killed him in his home.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court will hear a case to examine whether the governor can nix rules promulgated by the state school superintendent, whether a Wisconsin Department of Justice employee was fired in violation of a state whistleblower law, and what gra ndparents must show to get grandchild visitation rights.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit says the U.S. Marshal Service must do a better job searching for a former federal prison warden, Robert Werlinger, who is named as a defendant in a lawsuit by a prison inmate.
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.
A state appeals court has ruled that the City of Madison’s Transit and Parking Commission can enforce an agency rule that prohibits weapons on city buses, even weapons carried legally by people with concealed carry permits.
A state appeals court has ruled that Vilas County District Attorney Albert Moustakis did not have standing, under Wisconsin public records law, to challenge the public release of records that pertained to complaints against him.
The City of La Crosse passed an ordinance requiring landlords to participate in an inspection and registration program, and to give tenants proper notice regarding city inspections. Recently, a state appeals court struck the ordinance’s provisions on noti ce to tenants, concluding they are preempted by state law.-->
Dale Kreil argued that Milwaukee County violated his Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures when a sheriff executed an outdated writ of restitution that allowed deputies to remove him from his residence.
Oscar Thomas has maintained that he killed his ex-wife accidentally while applying pressure to her neck during consensual sex. Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled that Thomas can continue to make his case.
Mark Tetzlaff owes about $260,000 in student loan debt, including debt incurred while pursuing a law degree. Recently, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled that Tetzlaff’s student loan debt cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled that Milwaukee police officers “seized” Dontray Smith without reasonable suspicion, reversing his conviction and prison sentence for possessing a firearm as a felon.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit last month denied the City of Milwaukee’s request to force a federal district judge off lawsuits by plaintiffs alleging police officers conducted unconstitutional strip searches and body cavity searches.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled that it was harmless error for a trial court to give jury instructions that described a theory of culpability that was not presented to the jury, upholding a conviction for felony-murder in a fatal robbery.
Donna Carini was injured at her employer’s company picnic, and sued her employer for negligence. Recently, a state appeals court ruled that Carini’s employer was immune from suit based on Wisconsin’s recreational immunity statute.
A state appeals court has upheld a City of Milwaukee ordinance that requires city employees to be residents of the city, rejecting claims that the city’s ordinance is trumped by a state law, enacted in 2013, that abolished local residency requirements for workers as a matter of “statewide concern.”
Police stopped a motorist for a seat belt violation, and thought he looked nervous. The driver passed a field sobriety test for possible drug use and police released him, but then asked to search his truck. He consented. Recently, the state supreme court upheld the search, which uncovered drugs and guns near a child.
July 22, 2015 – In this issue, learn about the legal implications of a diminishing resource in Wisconsin: groundwater. Also, get an update on adverse possession law, and explore an important question in trusts and estate matters: who is your client? Finally, don’t miss 10 questions with the Brewers’ general counsel, and other insights and columns.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled that a conspiracy conviction under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) counted as a prior drug-related crime, allowing an increased penalty for cocaine possession.
The state supreme court has rejected claims that a sentencing judge was objectively biased in sentencing a man convicted of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle, although the judge noted that she lost a sister to a drunk driver in 1976.
The state supreme court has ended the secret John Doe proceedings reportedly initiated in 2012 to determine whether Gov. Scott Walker’s recall campaign, and other recall campaigns, illegally coordinated with outside advocacy groups.
Mistakenly believing that Richard Houghton was violating the law while driving with a missing front license plate and a dangling air freshener and GPS system slightly obstructing his view, police made a traffic stop and uncovered marijuana in a subsequent vehicle search. Recently, the state supreme court upheld the search.
July 15, 2015 – Early-bird tuition and special room rates expire soon for the August Health, Labor, and Employment Law Institute in Wisconsin Dells.
A state appeals court has ruled that a spouse waived her right to invoke a presumption restricting child custody based on domestic abuse when she stipulated to joint custody of minor children in the original divorce proceedings with her husband.
A real estate company will get a broker’s commission of $378,000 even though the procured buyer could not consummate the sale, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled, because the seller had an “enforceable contract” against the buyer.
Hatem Shata, an Egyptian national, argued that his lawyer gave him bad advice when he said a guilty plea would trigger a “strong chance” of deportation instead of telling him deportation was a certainty. Recently, the state supreme court ruled that counsel’s advice was not deficient, rejecting Shata’s request for a plea withdrawal.
A jury awarded the injured plaintiffs $1 million in a truck driver negligence case. Recently, the state supreme court declined the trucker driver’s appeal, rejecting the claim that a jury instruction on trucker negligence was incorrect and misled the jury.
A man who was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for killing his mother and father won’t get a new trial, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled, despite the man’s claim that a new trial was warranted in the interests of justice.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has rejected a claim that new wind energy rules are invalid because the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) did not obtain a “housing impact report” before promulgating the new rules.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled that a three-year statute of limitations did not necessarily bar survival and wrongful death claims arising from benzene exposure, concluding such claims can accrue after a decedent’s death.
June 30, 2015 – Award-winning writer, actor, and TV personality Mo Rocca closed out the State Bar’s 2015 Annual Meeting and Conference with a bang last Friday, delivering his quirky insight on entertainment, news, and offbeat topics.
A defendant’s right to counsel when charged with a crime and the law of waiver of that right came under review by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in State v. Delebreau, 2015 WI 55 (June 16, 2015) providing the court an opportunity to clarify previous rulings.
June 26, 2015 – If we want more justice in America, we need to get closer to the injustices that are happening in our communities. “We cannot create justice from a distance,” said Alabama-based public interest attorney Bryan Stevenson, who kicked off ththe State Bar of Wisconsin’s Annual Meeting and Conference yesterday.
Madison attorney and former U.W. Law School Professor Ralph Cagle marched into office as the State Bar’s 60th president last night in the presence of friends, family, and colleagues.
June 24, 2015 – At its board meeting today in Lake Geneva, the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors unanimously voted to support a petition requiring 50 percent of “residual” class action settlement funds to be directed to the Wisconsin Trust Account Foundation to fund civil legal services for low-income individuals.
Do you know a risk taker? A trailblazer? The State Bar wants to hear about the innovators and the ideas that are bringing positive change to Wisconsin’s legal landscape. Nominate a Wisconsin Legal Innovator who breaks with tradition to do it better, differently.
A Racine newspaper will have to pay its own attorney fees and won’t get damages or costs incurred in its public records lawsuit against the City of Racine Board of Police and Fire Commissioners, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled.
State law requires custodial interrogations of juveniles to be recorded except under limited circumstances. Recently, the state supreme court upheld a minor’s homicide conviction even though his confession was not recorded by police.
The Wisconsin Department of Revenue’s tax liens against property trumped a money judgment against a landowner, a state appeals court has ruled, allowing the DOR to garnish a portion of proceeds from a land sale.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled that amending a judgment of conviction for driving with a prohibited alcohol concentration (PAC) or forcing a plea withdrawal would violate defendant Andrew Chamblis’s constitutional right to due process of law.
Marquette University Law School Dean Joseph Kearney today announced his personal support for a proposal to change the term of office for Wisconsin Supreme Court justices to a single, 16-year term, a plan developed and approved by the State Bar of Wisconsin.
A state appeals court has ruled that writings created by employees during a public school district investigation are not subject to disclosure as public records, denying a local newspaper’s request that the “notes” be released.
June 8, 2015 – In the June Wisconsin Lawyer, learn about Walter H. White Jr., a lawyer and champion for diversity in the legal profession. Also, don’t miss features on developments concerning the “business judgment rule,” and the “salaried minimum wage.”
Under state law, insurers must promptly pay covered claims for sum certain amounts within 30 days of written notice, or start paying interest. Recently, a state appeals court upheld an interest award on claims by a hit-and-run victim, a cop.
June 3, 2015 – The time of learning is just beginning for 110 new lawyers. The U.W. Law School class of 2015 took the Attorney’s Oath and signed the Supreme Court Roll to join the State Bar of Wisconsin.
Police were illegally questioning Mastella Jackson before she incriminated herself in her husband’s murder by stabbing. But it was error to suppress a bloody knife found at Jackson’s home, a state appeals court has ruled.
Gov. Scott Walker is seeking applicants for judicial appointments to the Eau Claire County Circuit Court and the District II Court of Appeals.
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.
More fact-finding is necessary to determine whether a Waupaca County police officer who shot a suicidal man is immune from a federal lawsuit alleging excessive force, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has added seven new cases to its docket, including one to examine whether a party is entitled to judgment interest at the rate in effect when a judgment was entered, or at the time a settlement offer was made.
A state appeals court recently ruled that hearsay evidence could be used to determine whether to charge David Hull of sexual assault, despite Hull’s argument that the statute, applied to him, was an unconstitutional ex post facto law.
A defendant who committed a misdemeanor crime before a new law required persons convicted of misdemeanors to submit DNA samples doesn’t have to pay the $200 DNA surcharge associated with the law, a state appeals court has ruled.
Follow your dreams, remember the kindnesses, join your local bar association, and do pro bono work. These are the words of advice to 120 new lawyers welcomed into the State Bar of Wisconsin at the swearing-in ceremony Monday in Madison.
In a unanimous decision, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has upheld a right of first refusal contact in a farmland case, despite one party’s claim that the contract was indefinite and could be terminated after a reasonable time.
May 20, 2015 – From a Wisconsin Supreme Court justice to a U.S. Congressman, from government lawyers to small town practitioners, the State Bar celebrates the 50-year members.
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.
Convicted of murder, General Grant Wilson appealed to argue that it was error for the trial court to exclude evidence supporting his theory of defense: that another man set him up. Recently, the Wisconsin Supreme Court said it wasn’t an error.
May 11, 2015 – The May Wisconsin Lawyer includes a cover article on Indian Law in Wisconsin, with wildlife photos from an Oneida Tribe member. There’s also features on challenges involving marital waste in divorce cases and the ethical and discovery rules at play in depositions. Finally, don’t miss this issue’s insights and columns, including one on “creative disruption” from ABA President William C. Hubbard.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has appointed Judge Lisa Neubauer to serve as chief judge of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, effective Aug. 2, 2015. Judge Neubauer replaces outgoing Chief Judge Richard Brown, who is retiring.
A professional trustee who allegedly invested trust funds in his own company isn’t covered under a professional liability insurance policy covering trustee errors, a state appeals court has ruled, so the insurer did not breach a duty to defend.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently upheld the arrest and subsequent blood draw of a man whose wife called police to report her husband was possibly suicidal and drunk, although police did not observe any traffic violations.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has upheld a restrictive covenant agreement, despite an employee’s argument that it was unenforceable as a condition of continued employment and thus lacked sufficient consideration to support a contract.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has clarified that when a defendant asserts competency to pursue postconviction relief but defense counsel disagrees, the state must prove the defendant is competent by a preponderance of the evidence.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled that Ho-Chunk Nation can offer electronic poker at its Madison gaming facility, reversing a prior decision that said electronic poker is illegal under Ho-Chunk’s agreement with the state.
Nineteen new Wisconsin lawyers were admitted to the State Bar of Wisconsin – each earning their law degree outside Wisconsin and having passed the Wisconsin bar exam.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has added five cases to its docket, including one OWI-related case to determine whether police can make a traffic stop based on a reasonable suspicion that an auto occupant committed a non-traffic offense.
The due process rights of two defendants accused of driving with drugs in their systems were not violated even though blood samples were destroyed before they could independently test them, the Wisconsin Supreme Court recently ruled.
The State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors supports a petition that would allow Wisconsin attorneys to obtain continuing legal education (CLE) credit for doing pro bono work to foster practical learning and increase pro bono service.
April 24, 2015 – Francis W. Deisinger of Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren S.C., Milwaukee, is the next president-elect of the State Bar of Wisconsin.
Less than four months into his first term, Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel today told the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors about his transition to office and his vision of service as the state’s chief attorney.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled that an expert witness could testify about a driver’s blood alcohol level based on lab tests performed by an analyst who was unavailable to testify, despite the defendant’s right to confront witnesses.
A judge for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin won’t block the justices of the Wisconsin Supreme Court from selecting a new chief justice under a voter-approved constitutional amendment that recently passed.
An Illinois man who broke his collarbone while boarding a chairlift at Devil’s Head Ski Resort in Merrimac, Wisconsin, can’t sue the ski resort in Illinois federal district court because the court lacks personal jurisdiction over the ski resort.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled that U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) does not have standing to challenge a rule implementing a provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
The Wisconsin Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee has rejected a proposal to eliminate the Wisconsin Judicial Council and change how the Wisconsin Judicial Commission is funded. The committee also voted on the governor's court budget proposal.
A company that sold travel club memberships to Wisconsin consumers must pay more than $4.6 million in restitution and fines for misrepresentations and a failure to disclose certain information on solicitations, a state appeals court has ruled.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has affirmed a decision to deny disability benefits to a Wisconsin woman who said she could not work because of severe neck and head pain, noting her travel and daily running routine.
A day after Wisconsin voters adopted a constitutional amendment to change how the chief justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court is selected, current Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson and voters filed a lawsuit that would delay the constitutional amendment from taking effect until her term expires or the seat becomes vacant.
In a case of first impression, the Wisconsin Supreme Court may decide whether circuit court judges can order the civil commitment of prison inmates for involuntary medication treatment without first finding the inmate is dangerous.
April 7, 2015 – Maternity leave policies and technology allow more women to succeed as both lawyers and mothers, but challenges remain. In the April Wisconsin Lawyer, available online and in mailboxes soon, several Wisconsin lawyer-moms discuss how they get it done.
Wisconsin regulations require employers to pay employees for meal breaks lasting less than 30 minutes. One company wasn’t paying for 20-minute meal breaks, but workers won’t get back pay, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled.
April 3, 2015 – The Wisconsin Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of a man accused of sexually assaulting his minor stepdaughter repeatedly over a five-year period, despite lower court rulings that said the defendant deserved a new trial.
In this tribute, Wisconsin lawyer Michael Remington writes about Bob Kastenmeier as an uncommon politician and a modest man who leaves no greater legacy than his example.
A man who allegedly used a cell phone to facilitate a child sex crime will get a new trial because the jury received improper instructions.
A state appeals court has ruled that a “business auto policy” covers a paving company’s liability for a motorcycle accident involving a stationary trailer, but the company is not covered for the accident under a “commercial general liability policy.”
The state transportation department knew that a land developer did not intend to “dedicate” a right-of-way for a state highway project but took the land without paying, based on a drafting error in a certified survey map. Now the state must pay the property owner just compensation, plus attorney’s fees, costs, and interest.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently ruled that an arbitration panel, not a court, must decide whether a real estate company timely made a request to arbitrate issues on costs and attorney’s fees against another real estate company.
Wisconsin can now enforce a state law that requires Wisconsin voters to show photo identification to vote, since the U.S. Supreme Court won’t hear the case challenging the voter ID law on the grounds that it unconstitutionally burdens voters.
March 20, 2015 – Twenty-four young lawyers, nominated by legal professionals statewide, are attending the third State Bar Leadership Development Summit in Milwaukee today.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently ruled that the case against Brian Kempainen, accused of sexually assaulting his stepdaughter many years ago, can proceed despite Kempainen’s due process argument for dismissal.
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.
A state appeals court has ruled that the City of Milwaukee is not immune from a lawsuit by city residents severely injured in a gas leak explosion.
Charles Adams captured nude video of a prostitute he hired without her consent, claiming he did it to shield himself against criminal allegations if the woman overdosed on drugs or accused him of battery. But a state appeals court didn’t buy it.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has upheld Felton Cobb’s eviction for allegedly smoking marijuana in his federally subsidized apartment despite his argument that he wasn’t smoking pot and the housing authority did not give him a chance to remedy the alleged breach.
In a case involving the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled that protections on religious freedom won’t protect a $55 million transfer that diminished the Archdiocese's bankruptcy estate.
March 10, 2015 – In the March issue of Wisconsin Lawyer magazine, learn about Wisconsin’s “mass incarceration” problem and reforms that could address human and fiscal costs. Also, get primed to practice before the Public Service Commission and learn how to prepare an e-discovery plan that keeps the litigation focus on the underlying legal dispute.
A scrap metal company that supplied wastewater containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) to a water treatment company isn’t covered by an insurance policy containing a pollution exclusion clause, a state appeals court has ruled.
Elasticity clauses in insurance policies mandate that the policy must conform to the law of the state in which the policy is issued, accounting for any conflicts with state law. For Rhiannan Wolf, though, the elasticity clause doesn’t help her.
Police did not obtain a warrant before using a drug dog to sniff around Gary Scull’s front door. Recently, the Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld Scull’s conviction for drug dealing, rejecting his claim that all evidence should be suppressed.
A man accused of killing the mother of his children with an ice pick was not allowed to testify in his own defense at the first-degree murder trial. Recently, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that Eddie Anthony forfeited his right to testify.
A state appeals court has ruled that a debt settlement company must pay back the $4.2 million in fees that it charged individuals to settle their debts.
The former family owners of a dude ranch in Mauston, northwest of Wisconsin Dells, must pay the unpaid tax and tax avoidance penalties for selling the ranch through a sham transaction, a three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled.
An attorney sued by a former client is not covered under a legal malpractice insurance policy because the attorney did not timely notify the insurer of the claims, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled in a decision released today.
Nelson Fortes waived his right to withdraw a guilty plea because he proceeded with sentencing despite a mutual misunderstanding about the deal, a state appeals court has ruled while rejecting his ineffective assistance of counsel claim.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled that it was error for the district court to admit into evidence, as an excited utterance, a nine-year-old child’s voicemail indicating the criminal defendant physically assaulted her mother.
Portions of a law that gives Gov. Scott Walker power to reject rules promulgated by the state Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) is unconstitutional, a state appeals court has ruled in a lawsuit by school teachers.
Circuit courts must order mortgagee banks to sell foreclosed and abandoned property, known as “walkaway” foreclosures, within a reasonable time after obtaining a foreclosure judgment, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled.
A state appeals court has clarified that a police officer had no vested right to lifetime reimbursements for health plan deductibles because deductible reimbursements expired when the applicable collective bargaining agreement expired.
Attorney and civil rights leader Vel Phillips, the state’s first woman and African-American elected Wisconsin Secretary of State, is the subject of a newly released documentary film that chronicles her life, career, and activism.
A Milwaukee ordinance that prospectively eliminated Medicare Part B premium reimbursements in retirement for county attorneys and health care workers did not violate the workers’ vested contract rights, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled.
A state appeals court has ruled that the City of Cedarburg cannot prevent short-term rentals in a single-family residential district, concluding that Cedarburg’s ordinances did not clearly restrict such rentals in that zoning area.
Feb. 9, 2015 – Are you positioned to turn pressures on the legal profession into opportunities for growth? In this month’s Wisconsin Lawyer, learn about the hot practice areas, as well as emerging firm management and business development trends.
A panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has affirmed the conviction of a Wisconsin man who failed to disclose a prior conviction for misdemeanor domestic violence on a federal form before purchasing a hunting rifle.
The Wisconsin’s Department of Justice (DOJ) did not violate a state whistleblower law by demoting an employee who voiced her concern that DOJ agents would be used, at a cost to taxpayers, to protect Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen while he attended the Republican National Convention, a state appeals court has ruled.
Last year, a Wisconsin Supreme Court majority (5-2) ruled that a trial court committed harmless error when it refused to let a defendant testify at trial. Now, the U.S. Supreme Court could decide whether the harmless error analysis is permitted when a defendant has been completely deprived of a constitutional right to testify.
Neenah Foundry Co. filed for reorganization in federal bankruptcy court, and the plan was confirmed in 2010. But the company cannot reduce its unemployment insurance contribution rates as a “new” employer, a state appeals court has ruled.
Jan. 30, 2015 – The State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors backed a petition for mandatory e-filing, discussed a petition on e-banking for trust accounts, created a standing committee on diversity and inclusion, and supported updates and changes to Wisconsin’s ethics rules, among other actions at today’s board meeting in Madison.
Wisconsin Capitol Police issued Michael Crute a citation for singing in the State Capitol without a permit. Recently, a state appeals court concluded that the rule requiring permits for sing-alongs is unconstitutional under the First Amendment.
Donald Peter was “exposed” to asbestos decades before the exposure manifested itself through mesothelioma. Recently, a state appeals court ruled that Peter’s claims for “damages” would be too late under the state’s statute of repose, but can continue since the defendant was not engaged in improvements to real property.
Danny Alexander wanted to be resentenced, arguing that he was compelled to make incriminating statements to his probation officer and the sentencing judge relied on them to sentence him. Recently, the state supreme court disagreed.
A state appeals court has certified criminal cases to decide the point at which deportation becomes “likely” enough to allow a defendant to withdraw a plea on the basis that they were not informed of the immigration consequences of the plea.
Despite a conclusive genetic test, a state appeals court has ruled that the court correctly disregarded the genetic test and properly dismissed a potential father’s action to establish paternity because dismissal was in the child’s best interest.
A defendant who requested a substitution of judge in the criminal case against him will get a new trial because the judge, who granted the substitution, ultimately presided over the trial, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled that the Daubert standard, which tests whether an expert is qualified to testify, did not apply in the discharge proceedings commenced by two defendants involuntarily committed as sexually violent.
Wisconsin courts do not have personal jurisdiction over an out-of-state car dealer even though the car dealer advertised cars on a third-party website accessible by Wisconsin residents, a state appeals court has ruled.
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.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has added three cases to its docket, including two cases that may impact a defense counsel’s obligation to advise criminal defendants on the immigration consequences of plea deals.
Governor Scott Walker is seeking applicants for judicial appointment to the St. Croix County Circuit Court. The deadline to submit applications is Monday, Feb. 2, 2015.
A state appeals court has ruled that Bobbie Bowen violated the conditions of his bail when he broke into his ex-girlfriend’s home, despite Bowen’s argument that he did not come face-to-face with her and thus made no “contact.”
The field of smartphones is so full of thoroughbreds and budget-friendly dark horses alike, it’s hard to know where to put your money. The January Wisconsin Lawyer magazine compares phones and features to help lawyers make purchasing decisions in a world of smartphone chaos.
In 2009, Leonard Bronk borrowed $95,000 against his home and established five college savings accounts to benefit his grandchildren. Recently, a federal appeals court said the college savings accounts are shielded in bankruptcy because of a Wisconsin statute that allows resident debtors to shield certain property.
In a case of first impression, a state appeals court has ruled that an undocumented worker can recover attorney’s fees for successfully pursuing a claim that her former employer violated the Wisconsin Family Medical Leave Act by firing her.
Jan. 5, 2014 – Starting Jan. 20, 2015, State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE will host a series of lunchtime business skills “roundtables” for law firm owners and managers on the third Tuesday of each month at the State Bar Center.
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.
Commercial general liability insurance policies do not cover the damage caused by septage used as farm fertilizer, the state supreme court has ruled, classifying “septage” as a “pollutant” that isn’t covered under pollution exclusions.
George Kontos was allowing his daughter’s family to live rent free at a home he owned when the daughter’s dogs attacked a visitor. Kontos did not live there. Recently, the state supreme court held that Kontos is not liable for the victim’s injuries.
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.
A Wisconsin Supreme Court majority (5-2) has concluded that Milwaukee County had legal authority to prospectively reduce pension amounts that accrue while employees are still working, a loss for health care workers and its union.
Dec. 19, 2014 – Kevin J. Lyons, Davis & Kuelthau S.C., and Francis W. Deisinger, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren S.C., both of Milwaukee, have accepted nominations to run for 2015 State Bar president-elect.
Governor Scott Walker is seeking applicants for judicial appointment to the Sauk County Circuit Court. The deadline to submit applications is Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled that Kearney Hemp’s criminal conviction should have been expunged automatically once he completed the conditions of his probation and he was not required to take additional steps to clear his record.
Service of process was fundamentally defective because the plaintiff sent pleadings to the wrong address, a state appeals court has ruled, rejecting the argument that the typographical error was only a technical defect.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has added 10 cases to its docket, including one to determine whether a commercial real estate brokerage firm will get a $378,000 commission on a $6.3 million deal, even though the deal fell through.
A commercial property owner sought $400,000 in just compensation because the Wisconsin Department of Transportation relocated a road, diminishing the property’s value. Recently, the state supreme court sided against the property owner.
The bank seeking to foreclose on owner-occupied, single family homes after a six-month redemption period was not required to publish a notice of foreclosure sale during the redemption period, a state appeals court has ruled.
Dec. 8, 2014 – Top state and federal court decisions. A feature on creative financing for energy upgrades to existing buildings. A Q&A with the Hon. James D. Peterson, new to the federal district bench. Don’t miss the December Wisconsin Lawyer.
Mandatory e-filing and a proposed rule requiring redaction of certain “protected information” in court documents were among the discussion topics at the State Bar of Wisconsin Board of Governors' meeting today in Madison.
Ramon Gonzalez was required to show the jury his platinum teeth during his trial for battery against a fellow jail inmate. Recently, the state Supreme Court rejected Gonzalez’s argument that this violated his right against self-incrimination.
Dec. 2, 2014 – On the heels of “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” – days conceived to attract holiday shoppers, today is #GivingTuesday, a global day to celebrate generosity and to give back to those organizations that are making a difference in your community.
A man who reached a plea agreement in his armed robbery case can now withdraw the plea, a Wisconsin Supreme Court majority (4-3) has ruled, because the man was misinformed about the sentence he faced if convicted.
Nov. 26, 2014 – On behalf of the State Bar leadership, management and staff, thank you for the contributions you make to the legal profession, your communities, and the State Bar. Enjoy and have a Happy Thanksgiving.
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.
Blaire Frett received an underage drinking ticket in 2012 but pled to an amended charge of littering. She paid the fine and later moved the circuit court to expunge her record. Recently, an appeals court said the record could not be expunged.
Oshkosh police responded to a complaint that someone was smoking marijuana at an apartment complex. Recently, a state appeals court ruled that police did not violate the suspect’s Fourth Amendment rights despite entering without a warrant.
By a 95-0 vote, the U.S. Senate yesterday confirmed Pamela Pepper as the newest judge for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. Pepper will leave her post as chief judge of the Eastern District’s U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
Nov. 20, 2014 – A state appeals court recently clarified that a person can commit identity theft regardless of whether he or she knows that personally identifying information belongs to an actual person.
David Carlson, who pled guilty to sexual assault of a child, said his counsel was ineffective for telling him that pleading guilty would give him a “realistic possibility” of avoiding prison time. Recently, a state appeals court rejected the claim.
Alyce Armstrong bought a “landlord insurance policy” to insure a duplex she owned in Milwaukee. A fire caused substantial property damage to the duplex. Now the insurer, Allstate Indemnity, faces a bad faith claim by Armstrong’s estate.
Governor Scott Walker is seeking applicants for Waukesha County District Attorney to fill the vacancy left vacant by the election of Brad Schimel as the Wisconsin Attorney General.
The warrants ordering Google and Yahoo to produce the email records of an employee who worked for then-Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker were valid and did not violate her Fourth Amendment rights, a state appeals court has ruled.
The New York Times reported yesterday that John Doar, “a country lawyer from northern Wisconsin who led the federal government’s on-the-ground efforts to dismantle segregation in the South,” has died at the age of 92 from heart failure.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court may decide whether the was sufficient evidence to convict Maltese Williams of felony murder while clarifying whether courts must measure evidence against jury instructions or against statutory requirements.
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court granted review of a case to determine whether tax rules, enacted as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, authorize tax credits for insurance plans purchased outside state-run “exchanges.”
A “John Doe” plaintiff who was sexually abused by catholic priest in 1974 settled his claims with the Archdiocese of Milwaukee for $80,000. Recently, a federal appeals court said the plaintiff cannot resurrect the claim in bankruptcy court.
A prosecutor in Portage County elicited a promise from the jury during voir dire to convict if the state proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was driving with a prohibited alcohol concentration. Recently, a state appeals court ruled the pro mise did not violate the defendant’s constitutional right to a jury trial.
Nov. 4, 2014 – This month’s Wisconsin Lawyer profiles the movers and shakers that are putting new ideas to work to improve the delivery of legal services. And, don’t miss reading about the impact legalized marijuana use in 21 states has on employment law in Wisconsin.
A mother must move her children back to Wisconsin and enroll them in a specific school district, according to a state appeals court decision, which agreed that Blenda Shulka did not adhere to the letter and spirit of the original placement order.
From Wisconsin’s heroin epidemic, gun violence, and drunk driving to defending state laws and upholding the constitution, state Attorney General candidates Brad Schimel and Susan Happ outlined different philosophies in the pair’s final debate at the State Bar Center in Madison.
Insurers have a duty to defend businesses that supplied the wrong ingredient for inclusion in a probiotic health supplement, a state appeals court has ruled, concluding that the error caused “property damage” that is covered under their policies.
Governor Scott Walker is seeking applicants for judicial appointment to the La Crosse County Circuit Court.
The State Bar of Wisconsin is partnering with WISC-TV and WisPolitics to host a debate between Wisconsin Attorney General candidates Susan Happ and Brad Schimel this Wed., Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. at the State Bar Center in Madison.
Oct. 24, 2014 – Financial personalities and money was just one topic at the 2014 Wisconsin Solo and Small Firm Conference in Wisconsin Dells – which started yesterday and ends tomorrow – where more than 300 participants gathered to network, learn, and relax.
A state appeals court has ruled that a “mass action” filed by teachers against the Neenah Joint School District was not barred by a statute that requires a notice of claim against a government entity to be filed by the claimants.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has added 13 cases to its docket, including one to determine insurance coverage for damages in a natural gas explosion that injured workers, destroyed a church, and damaged nearby residential property.
A 14-year-old named Joel admitted to robbing a woman at knifepoint in Milwaukee, but later argued that the admission wasn’t recorded by police and thus could not be admitted as evidence. Recently, a state appeals court disagreed.
Condo owners who did not rent their units to the public paid a “fee in lieu of room” tax to the City of Delevan. Recently, a state appeals court ruled that the fee constituted an illegal tax and the condo owners were not required to pay it.
A three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has issued a ruling in favor of the Wisconsin Indian tribes seeking relief from a judgment upholding a Wisconsin law that banned them from hunting deer at night.
Barry Hunt was seriously injured when his vehicle collided with a Dane County snow plow. Recently, a state appeals court ruled that a statutory damages cap does not limit Hunt’s ability to recover under his underinsured motorist insurance policy.
A relatively new law known as the “castle doctrine,” which gives residents more legal protection when they injure or kill someone who enters their home without permission, did not extend to a man who shot at intruders outside his home.
Wisconsinites are not required to show photo identification (ID) to vote in upcoming elections, under an emergency order issued by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The State Bar of Wisconsin is partnering with WISC-TV and WisPolitics to host a debate between Wisconsin Attorney General candidates Brad Schimel and Susan Happ on Wed., Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. at the State Bar Center in Madison.
It is possible that the U.S. Supreme Court could halt implementation of Wisconsin’s photo identification (ID) law before the November election, despite a recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, which said the law was okay.
Federal workplace safety regulations do not preempt an injured employee from receiving additional worker’s compensation under state law, according to a split decision by the Wisconsin Supreme Court that affirms a lower appeals court.
A federal appeals court ruling that said Wisconsin’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional remains intact, now that the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to consider seven petitions asking the nation’s high court to decide the issue.
Oct. 3, 2014 – With a shortage of lawyers in some small towns, and some small town-lawyers nearing retirement, is it time to consider rural practice? The October Wisconsin Lawyer, now available online, explores the pros and cons of being a country lawyer.
Christopher Thomas refused when police asked to search the trailer that he shared with Jeremiah Popp. But officers peered inside windows with flashlights, revealing equipment commonly associated with manufacturing illegal drugs. The two were arrested and ultimately convicted.
A law that requires Wisconsin voters to show photo identification at the polls will remain in place until the U.S. Supreme Court decides otherwise, according to a recent 5-5 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
Sept. 30, 2014 – Surrounded by family and friends, 59 lawyers who passed the bar exam were admitted to practice in Wisconsin yesterday.
A 12 percent interest rate applies to undisputed insurance claims not paid within 30 days from written notice of the claim. But that 12 percent interest does not apply to settlements that resolve a disputed claim, a state appeals court has ruled.
Prison officials knew that visitor Marie Ezell could be delivering contraband to a prisoner when they detained her and called police. Recently, a state appeals court ruled that police violated her Miranda rights, but upheld her conviction on the basis that “physical evidence” did not need to be suppressed.
Gov. Scott Walker is seeking applicants for judicial appointments to the Langlade County Circuit Court.
A conservation warden made an arrest without probable cause, a state appeals court has ruled, despite the state’s argument that Thomas Anker was only temporarily detained before his arrest for operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
A state appeals court has ruled that the Wisconsin Counties Association did not need to produce records requested by the Wisconsin Police Association because the Counties Association is not subject to public records law.
At its first meeting of the fiscal year in Green Lake, the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors bolstered efforts to foster more diversity and inclusion in the legal profession by unanimously adopting the recommendations of the Diversity Task Force.
A state appeals court has upheld an employee’s claim that Rice Lake Harley Davidson engaged in wage discrimination on the basis of sex.
A three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has indicated that it will probably uphold Wisconsin’s voter ID law, which requires voters to show photo ID at the polls, while removing a block on implementation.
A business called “Sconnie Nation” used a photo of Madison Mayor Paul Soglin to sell t-shirts at the famous (or infamous) Mifflin Street Block Party. Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit said that was okay.
The U.S. Supreme Court may hear a case that challenges Wisconsin’s same-sex marriage ban, as well as bans in four other states. The petitions will get a first look at the end of this month when the Court convenes for a private conference.
A state appeals court recently upheld Kim Simmelink’s multi-count conviction for felony theft, rejecting her argument that the village he stole from should have discovered the theft sooner and the case was barred by the statute of limitations.
In the second of two recent cases involving cell phone tracking by police, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled that a warrant order allowing police to track a suspect’s cell phone met state and federal constitutional requirements.
Sept. 8, 2014 – From foster care, minor guardianships, and parental medical decisions, to school bullying, students’ constitutional rights, and immigration – the September Wisconsin Lawyer, now available online, is all about legal issues affecting children.
A three-judge panel for the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled same-sex marriage bans in Wisconsin and Indiana are unconstitutional. Wisconsin’s same-sex marriage ban was instituted as a constitutional amendment in 2006.
Based on a “back extrapolation,” a toxicologist concluded that Todd Giese’s blood alcohol concentration was close to triple the legal limit when he crashed his car about four hours before the actual blood was drawn by a medical technician.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of a murderer, despite an argument that evidence in the case should have been suppressed because police tracked the suspect’s cell phone location to find him without a warrant.
A “motor bicycle” is a bicycle with a motor. Riders can still pedal the bicycle in the traditional sense, but a motor option can be triggered at will. Recently, a state appeals court ruled that a motor bicycle was subject to drunk driving laws.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has upheld the convictions of two defendants who argued that their incriminating statements to police should have been suppressed because they properly invoked a right to remain silent.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court will hear two more criminal cases and one case involving a dispute over legal malpractice coverage in the next term. The previous term ended June 30, 2014, but the court is back in action after Labor Day.
Aug. 22, 2014 – Attorney Anthony Gray, featured speaker at the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Health, Labor and Employment (HLE) Law Institute yesteday, had a few ideas about tackling ethical dilemmas, which attorneys face on a daily basis.
Institutions are protected under Wisconsin’s harassment injunction statute, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled, denying Jeffrey Decker’s claim that only natural persons can seek injunctions to stop harassment by an individual.
A unanimous Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled that the state’s rape shield law barred a defendant from introducing evidence of prior sexual conduct with the complainant he was accused of sexually assaulting, reversing the lower appeals court.
Attorneys Scott Winston and Thomas Guelzow mutually agreed to separate their two firms, which had been operating jointly. Recently, a state appeals court decided the fate of contingency fees earned after the separation.
Aug. 14, 2014 – The identity of a confidential informant will not be disclosed, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled, despite a criminal defendant’s motion for an in camera review of expected testimony to determine what the informant knew.
A father and a police officer sustained injuries while trying to rescue a 23-month-old baby from a vehicle that was struck by a train during a Memorial Day parade. Recently, the Wisconsin Supreme Court majority made its ruling on the case.
A couple who tried to obtain title to lakefront property by adverse possession recently lost at the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which ruled that “subjective intent” was relevant in rebutting the presumption that their possession was hostile.
When searching a car with the driver’s consent, police found a briefcase. The briefcase owner, passenger Derik Wantland, asked whether police had a warrant to open it. Recently, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled (4-3) that police didn’t need one.
Aug. 8, 2014 – George Brown, State Bar of Wisconsin executive director, was sworn in as president of the National Association of Bar Executives (NABE) at its Annual Meeting in Boston, yesterday. Founded in 1941, NABE is dedicated to serving professionals.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that a Wisconsin's same-sex domestic partnership law does not violate the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, a ruling that comes amidst litigation challenging same-sex marriage bans in severa l states, including Wisconsin.
In two separate cases challenging a law that requires photo identification to vote, a Wisconsin Supreme Court majority has ruled that the law does not unconstitutionally burden voters and is a reasonable regulation on elections.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court (5-2) recently upheld Act 10, ruling that the “budget repair bill” does not violate constitutional protections through provisions that limit the right of workers to collectively bargain through unions.
Aug. 1, 2014 – A 5-2 majority of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, granting due weight deference to the Wisconsin Labor and Industry Review Commission (LIRC), has ruled that unpaid interns do not have the same protections as regular paid employees.
July 31, 2014 – The Wisconsin Supreme Court, in a 5-2 majority (with one concurrence), affirmed the court of appeals in applying a harmless error review to a circuit court’s refusal to let a defendant testify on her own behalf at trial, finding that the trial court’s denial was a harmless error.
July 30, 2014 – An estranged wife is not considered a “surviving spouse” under the state’s wrongful death law, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled in a 4-3 decision, meaning a father’s minor children are first in line to recover for his wrongful death.
After the car that Luis Rocha-Mayo was driving collided with a motorcyclist, resulting in the motorcyclist’s death, an ER nurse administered a preliminary breath test on Rocha-Mayo. Recently, the state supreme court said it was harmless error to admit the results.
Wisconsin's Federal Nominating Commission is accepting applications for a vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
An employee at Menard Inc. was loading a customer’s truck with lumber when some boards fell and injured the customer’s foot. Now, the customer’s auto insurer must defend and indemnify Menard, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled.
The circuit court committed error when it allowed the jury in a slip-and-fall case to hear an “absent witness jury instruction,” which allows the jury to infer that the absent witness would have given testimony unfavorable to the opposing party.
July 22, 2014 – The July/August edition of Wisconsin Lawyer, available online and in mailboxes soon, highlights a recent study on lawyer happiness. It also includes feature articles on the frac sand mining and new restrictions on social media snooping. Also, Robert Gagan recently took over as State Bar of Wisconsin President. Get to know him in this issue.
A consumer with a legal claim against an auto dealer entered a settlement agreement without his lawyer’s knowledge. Recently, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled against the consumer’s lawyer regarding attorney’s fees.
Two Milwaukee police officers stopped a vehicle for a faulty tail light. Upon a search of the vehicle, they found a gun. Recently, the Wisconsin Supreme Court overturned a defendant’s resulting gun conviction because the police stop was illegal.
A Wisconsin Supreme Court majority recently untangled a commercial leasing dispute between a corporate landlord and various corporate tenants with rulings on proper notice and whether a tenant conveyed an assignment or a sublease.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has upheld the reversal of Raphfeal Myrick’s conviction for first-degree intentional homicide as a party to the crime because his preliminary hearing testimony against someone else was wrongly used against him.
A company that purchased an Island of Happy Days condo is likely unhappy with the outcome of a recent decision by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which ruled that the doctrine of equitable assignment may support a foreclosure action.
Governor Scott Walker is seeking applicants for judicial appointment to the Waukesha County Circuit Court. The deadline to submit applications is Thursday, July 24, 2014.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has voted 6-1 to uphold a new law that allows the use of hearsay at preliminary examinations in felony criminal cases.
A three-judge panel for the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a lawsuit by three Wisconsin school districts against a health care insurance administrator must go back to state court where it first started more than two years ago.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court, which accepted review in 12 new cases recently, may decide whether additional consideration beyond the benefit of continued employment is required to support a no compete provision in an employment contract.
Recently, a 2-1 appeals court majority found no due process violation related to the destruction of a defendant's blood sample before the filing of related charges. However, a dissent and concurrence suggest the process is flawed.
White House insiders Robert Gibbs and Karl Rove talk about numerous political topics in a point-counterpoint moderated by former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Janine Geske, and in an exclusive interview with State Bar Legal Writer Joe Forward.
June 26, 2014 – You are off to a good start when Green Bay Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy introduces you as the next president of State Bar of Wisconsin. And that’s exactly what happened to Robert Gagan, sworn in as the 59th president last evening.
Judge Pamela Pepper testified today in a hearing before the U.S. Senate’s Committee on the Judiciary, another step in the nomination process to become judge for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
In a matter of first impression, a unanimous Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that a defendant’s ineffective assistance of counsel claim was properly filed with the state court of appeals and can proceed in that forum.
Wisconsin couples will be in legal limbo while the higher courts decide whether same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional, and whether the Wisconsin marriages that did take place from June 6 to June 13 are valid.
Have you registered for the 2014 State Bar Annual Meeting & Conference yet?
Governor Scott Walker is seeking applicants for judicial appointment to the Dane County Circuit Court, Branch 2. The deadline to submit applications is Wednesday, July 2, 2014.
The U.S. Supreme Court decided it won’t review a case on whether a school district in the Milwaukee suburbs violated the U.S. Constitution by holding high school graduations in a church.
A Wisconsin Supreme Court majority recently ruled that a defendant’s constitutional protection against double jeopardy was not violated when the circuit court extended her sentence the day following her sentencing hearing.
Although police may have “broken the threshold” of a Racine apartment while following leads without a warrant, Cordarol Kirby is still on the hook for the sawed-off shotgun police found in a backpack inside the apartment.
A homeowner who hired an independent contractor to spray potent herbicides that kill unwanted trees and plants may be liable for the tree damage caused to neighboring properties, under a recent decision by the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has drawn a line on what constitutes “use” of a vehicle for purposes of determining whether an underinsured motorist policy covers injuries sustained by a sheriff’s deputy who was on foot when injured.
Valentine Garrido-Crisanto’s foot was crushed while riding in a freight elevator that had no safety gate. However, a state appeals court recently ruled that his safe place and negligence claims were properly dismissed on summary judgment.
A federal judge in Madison has ruled that Wisconsin’s constitutional marriage amendment, which doesn’t allow same-sex marriages to be recognized in Wisconsin, is unconstitutional despite an argument that federalism should prevail.
June 6, 2014 – The legal community has lost a leader, mentor, and gentleman. Former State Bar President G. Lane Ware of Wausau passed away on June 5. He was 75.
June 5, 2014 – Wisconsin’s new trust code takes effect on July 1, 2014. Thus, if you are an estate planner or your practice touches the trust code, it’s high time to learn about it. The June Wisconsin Lawyer, available online and in mailboxes soon, has you covered.
June 4, 2014 – More than 110 U.W. Law School graduates were admitted to the profession yesterday.
Nicholas Waranka lost his life in a snowmobile accident that occurred in Michigan. His wife filed a wrongful death action in Wisconsin but argued that Wisconsin’s $350,000 non-economic damages cap did not apply.
The Milwaukee City Housing Authority evicted Felton Cobb from his leased residence, claiming the 62-year old breached the lease by smoking marijuana inside the premises. Recently, a state appeals court said the eviction must be vacated.
State court judges and court commissioners are authorized to use techniques to help level the playing field for self-represented and other litigants under the judicial code, under a petition tentatively approved by the state supreme court.
Circuit courts have discretion to order or deny the expunction of a young defendant’s criminal record upon successful completion of the sentence, but that decision must be made at the sentencing stage, not after successful completion.
May 20, 2014 – More than 120 Marquette University Law School graduates were admitted to the profession yesterday, with a call to be courageous lawyers.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently accepted review of two cases to determine whether manure and septage used as farm fertilizers are “pollutants” for insurance purposes.
May 16, 2014 – A Wisconsin appeals court applied a rule of law at odds with controlling U.S. Supreme Court precedent, a federal appeals court has ruled, meaning a Wisconsin prisoner is now entitled to proceed on his habeaus corpus petition for relief.
A three-judge panel for the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals made a number of rulings yesterday to provide some clarity to Wisconsin’s campaign finance laws, idled in perplexity by various administrative actions and state and federal litigation.
Governor Scott Walker is seeking applicants for judicial appointments to the District III Appeals Court and the Jackson County Circuit Court.
Bradley and Edith Brin divorced in 1992 after 35 years of marriage. At the time, a court ordered Bradley to pay spousal maintenance indefinitely. Recently, a state appeals court ruled that Bradley could stop paying alimony to Edith.
May 9, 2014 – Do you have business clients with at least 50 employees? Does your client do business in China? Does your law firm purchase tangible personal property or services subject to sales tax? Do you wonder how the Wisconsin Supreme Court is aligning to decide cases these days, and when? If you answered yes to these questions, or are interested in learning more about these particular topics, look no further than the May Wisconsin Lawyer, now available online and in mailboxes soon.
The U.S. Senate today confirmed Wisconsin attorney James D. Peterson to fill a vacant seat on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin.
Sargarsen Haldar, leader of a Hare Krishna temple in Milwaukee, was accused and convicted for illegally obtaining religious worker visas for people who were not religious workers. Recently, a federal appeals court rejected his appeal.
President Barack Obama has nominated Judge Pamela Pepper to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, the White House announced in a press release. Pepper is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin.
A state appeals court has upheld a second offense cocaine possession conviction, despite the defendant’s argument that a prior conviction under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) did not involve controlled substances.
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.
April 28, 2014 – The Government, Nonresident, Senior, and Young Lawyers divisions announce incoming officers and directors. The presidents-elect serve a one-year term before becoming president and then serve one year as past president. All terms begin on July 1.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has added nine cases to its docket, including five criminal cases and a dog bite case to determine whether a property owner can be liable for dog bites by dogs they don’t own on property they don’t possess.
April 25, 2014 – Ralph M. Cagle won the race for State Bar president-elect, defeating, Kevin J. Palmersheim, 3,495 votes to 1,973. Cagle’s term begins July 1 when Robert R. Gagan, Madison, succeeds Patrick J. Fiedler as State Bar president.
The State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors today approved a membership dues increase of $30 starting in the 2015 fiscal year. The increase, which raises State Bar dues to $254, is the first dues increase in a decade.
It was legal for police to install a GPS device on Scott Oberst’s car without a warrant in order to track his whereabouts, even though it’s illegal now. Thus, an appeals court upheld a decision to deny Oberst’s motion to suppress evidence.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently decided who will pay liability damages from a multi-vehicle accident involving a semi-tractor insured by two insurers. The nonbusiness insurer will cover it, even though the truck was en route for repairs.
A Wisconsin Supreme Court majority (4-2) has ruled that a punitive damages award of $1 million against a title insurance company was unconstitutionally excessive, despite acknowledging the company’s actions were “reprehensible.”
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently upheld Wisconsin’s anti-collective bargaining law (Act 10) as constitutional, noting municipal employees can still speak collectively even if their employers cannot listen through collective barga ining.
A Walworth County man charged and convicted for a fifth offense Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) partially won and partially lost his appeal to keep prior dispositions from Illinois out of the equation for calculating enhanced penalties.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court may decide whether an at-will employee who signed a no-compete agreement in order to keep his job is bound to it.
A Wisconsin State Senator must disclose certain unredacted emails received from the public, a state appeals court has ruled, despite his claim that disclosure could “chill” correspondence from constituents.
April 10, 2014 – Surrounded by family and friends, 30 lawyers who passed the Wisconsin Bar Exam were admitted to practice law in Wisconsin today.
Walgreens will get another shot to challenge property tax assessments imposed by the City of Oshkosh, even though the pharmacy did not properly object to the assessments and such objection is generally required under state statute.
April 8, 2014 – Technology, economics, regulatory issues, and client expectations are driving historic changes in the practice of law. Are you ready to tackle the change necessary to help you survive and thrive? Are you ready to embrace innovation?
A petition submitted by the State Bar of Wisconsin would have extended dues relief for young lawyers, and changed the dues structure for “emeritus” members. Another petition would have created procedures for removing State Bar governors and officers. Both petitions may be resubmitted by the State Bar to reflect concerns addressed by the court.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court today unanimously adopted a petition that gives attorneys more guidance on providing limited scope representations. The rules are intended to encourage more access to justice through affordable legal services.
Subdivision residents near Lake Delton who said the Village of Lake Delton was responsible for allowing their properties to be flooded out won’t get the just compensation they were seeking, according to a recent state appeals court decision.
A state appeals court recently clarified the proper application of sentence credit in parole revocation cases while concluding that one man's credit for time served was properly applied to his remaining parole period, not his reincarceration period.
Francis Grady, who in 2012 set fire to a Planned Parenthood in Grand Chute, Wisconsin and was convicted on arson and intentional property damage charges, recently lost his appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
March 28, 2014 – A state appeals court recently agreed that retroactive application of harsher sentencing laws enacted after the defendant committed his crimes violated his constitutional right to be free of prolonged sentences for his particular crimes.
March 27, 2014 – The state supreme court recently clarified the controlling law when a sexual assault defendant moves for in camera inspection of an alleged victim’s privileged therapy records, which defendant can do in some limited circumstances.
A circuit court was right to deny a real estate company’s request to compel arbitration against another company’s realtor on the issue of attorney fees and costs because the request came too late, a state appeals court has ruled.
A jail strip search revealed that Jimmie Minett was hiding drugs. Recently, a state appeals court ruled that the suppression of evidence obtained from a strip search, even if it violated state statute, is not an available remedy.
March 21, 2014 – Twenty-four young lawyers who were nominated by legal professionals statewide are attending the second State Bar Leadership Development Summit in Green Bay today.
Governor Scott Walker is seeking applicants for judicial appointment to two circuit court vacancies, one in Milwaukee County and one in Kenosha County. The deadline for the Milwaukee County vacancy is March 24; Kenosha is April 8.
People occasionally pat their pockets to ensure they haven’t lost items of value, such as phones or wallets. Police call it a “security adjustment.” Recently, a state appeals court ruled police could not use a security adjustment, without more, as a basis to search someone.
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.
Yesterday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court heard an insurance case involving a police officer who was struck by a motorist at the airport. Today, the court is heard an immunity case involving a car crash with a police car that ran a red light.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently reviewed plea dealings that took place 15 years ago in a Wisconsin murder case, concluding that the defense lawyer did not botch a plea deal because a plea deal was never offered.
A man convicted on his sixth offense operating while intoxicated (OWI) recently lost his appeal to keep “zero tolerance” violations in Illinois from counting as prior OWI convictions for sentence enhancement purposes here in Wisconsin.
A mother accused of brutally beating her 14-year-old daughter cannot withdraw her no contest pleas, the state supreme court has ruled, because allowing a trial at this stage would substantially prejudice the state’s case against the mother.
In the March issue of Wisconsin Lawyer, now available online and in mailboxes soon, you’ll learn about a proposal to limit the terms of Wisconsin Supreme Court justices to one, 16-year term, known as the “The Wisconsin Plan.”
Under Wisconsin’s notice pleading rules, the City of Oshkosh had reasonable and sufficient notice that a business owner intended to contest two special assessments against its property, despite an omission in the original complaint.
Michael Kingsley sued corrections officers of the Monroe County jail, complaining they used excessive force against him while he awaited trial and deprived him of his constitutional rights. Recently, a federal appeals court ruled against Kingsley.
Organized crime groups are using a sophisticated debt collection scheme to defraud attorneys in the United States, according to a recent FBI report.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has added three criminal cases to its docket, including one to examine whether statements made by Rapheal Myrick at his co-defendant’s preliminary exam were admissible in the murder case against Myrick.
Feb. 27, 2014 – A state appeals court has sided with the Wisconsin Department of Justice to deny a man’s application to carry a concealed weapon because the applicant was previously convicted for disorderly conduct involving domestic violence.
A state appeals court recently tackled the “vexing problem” that arises when a penalty enhancer for habitual criminality triggers the need to impose a bifurcated sentence on the underlying misdemeanor crime or crimes.
An attorney who filed an untimely notice of potential claim with his professional liability insurer is still covered, a state appeals court has ruled, because the late notice did not prejudice the professional liability insurer under the circumstances.
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.
In a case that “raises a recurring and unsettled question of law,” a state appeals court has ruled that evidence of a driver’s blood alcohol level is still admissible even if the analyst who did the testing is unavailable to testify.
Taxpayers have the burden to show an assessor’s property classification is incorrect, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has clarified in a case involving an assessment on land used for hunting but classified as “productive forest land.”
Stanley Bullock was in the hospital with stab wounds when police asked him to explain what happened. Recently, a state appeals court ruled that Bullock made statements voluntarily and they could be used in a murder trial against him.
The Wisconsin Assembly recently passed a bill to restore the amount of interest that accrues on judgments obtained in small claims court, which have jurisdiction in eviction actions and other civil actions involving $10,000 or less.
Wisconsin’s Federal Nominating Commission has chosen a Milwaukee lawyer, a federal bankruptcy judge, and a Milwaukee circuit court judge as candidates to fill a judicial vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, in an opinion by Judge Richard Posner, has ruled that an employer’s health plan is not entitled to a $1.7 million refund from the Wisconsin hospitals that treated an employee’s child.
A real estate developer purchased land in the Town of Delavan to develop a 600-home subdivision, but the City of Delavan axed the plan. Recently, a state appeals court ruled the city had no power to halt the developer’s proposal.
Do your clients include borrowers, lenders, or businesses that rely on the services of the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS)? If so, you may want to keep your eye on a case that is headed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
A driver who was severely injured when struck by an uninsured motorist in 2010 can “stack” his insurance policies, a unanimous Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled while resolving a conflict with a “drive-other-car” exclusion.
Feb. 7, 2014 – Ever wish you had a crystal ball to gauge your firm’s position and plan for the future? In the February Wisconsin Lawyer, attorneys and practice management experts are your crystal ball when looking at local and global practice trends.
A federal appeals court recently rejected a retired Milwaukee County employee's claim that she had a vested right to cost-free health insurance and the county engaged in an unlawful taking by requiring her to pay any amounts toward her medical care in retirement.
Although sentencing judges may order expungment of a criminal conviction when sentencing conditions are satisfied, a defendant still must take affirmative steps to clear the record, a state appeals court majority has ruled.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of Darryl Badzinski for sexual assaulting a child, despite Badzinski’s argument that the jury was allowed to speculate beyond the evidence and violated his due process rights.
Jan. 31, 2014 – The State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors, the organization’s 52-member governing body, today discussed a budget proposal to raise State Bar dues by $30, which would represent the first dues increase in 10 years. The board took no action but is expected to approve a fiscal year 2015 budget at its April board meeting.
Jan. 30, 2014 – A recent State Bar of Wisconsin report highlighted the very real struggles that new lawyers are experiencing after law school. Now, a State Bar committee intends to bring forth concrete solutions to help new lawyers face those challenges.
A circuit court judge ordered Eric Seatz to install an ignition interlock device in his vehicle, even though it was his first-offense operating while intoxicated. Recently, an appeals court ruled that the order did not violate state OWI law.
A home insurer scored a win today as the Wisconsin Supreme Court split 3-3 in a case involving water damage, products liability, and the “economic loss doctrine.” Without a majority, a lower appeals court ruling on the issue controls.
Defendant Curtis Jackson didn’t know Angelo McCaleb before shooting him dead on a November night in 2008. But Jackson argued that McCaleb had a violent character, on display that very evening, and he only acted in self-defense.
Governor Scott Walker and his spokesperson recently won a federal appeal against a woman who said they violated the law by not appointing her as interim county register of deeds and publicly stating that she entered bankruptcy.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court heard debate yesterday on a proposed dues structure change for new and emeritus lawyers but postponed consideration, meaning the State Bar of Wisconsin’s dues structure remains unchanged for now.
Jan. 21, 2014 – A sheriff’s deputy who was dismissed by a grievance committee may appeal to the circuit court or submit the case to an arbitrator, an appeals court has ruled, despite a county’s stance that an appeal to an arbitrator is not an option.
The Town of Delavan under-taxed “off-lake” real estate and over-taxed more than 50 lakefront homes, a violation of Wisconsin law. But the lakefront homeowners won’t get their desired remedy, a state appeals court has ruled.
Raheem Moore, a 15-year-old, argued that he was too young and dumb to voluntarily confess to murder. But a state appeals court recently ruled that Moore was smart enough to make that confession, and police did not coerce it out of him.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court will decide whether the City of Racine is liable for injuries caused by an officer who ran a red light, as the state’s high court recently accepted review of this governmental immunity case and four others.
Robert Brown, convicted in 2011 for robbing a bank in Milwaukee, recently lost his federal appeal despite arguing that a detective gave expert testimony concerning “dye packs” but it was improperly allowed as lay testimony.
With nearly $150,000 in donations through today, the State Bar of Wisconsin is getting closer to the $200,000 fundraising goal for the National Mock Trial Tournament that will take place in Madison May 8-10, 2014. Help us get there!
Drivers with spotty driving records must prove financial responsibility for future liability. Such proof can be submitted through “certified” insurance. Recently, a state appeals court clarified coverage issues relating to such “certified” policies.
A sales tax statute that has no limitations period is constitutional, a state appeals court has ruled, meaning business owner Elijah Rashaed will have to pay nearly $200,000 in back sales taxes relating to his clothing business operations.
A state appeals court has ruled in favor of an estate administrator who claims Wisconsin Electric Power Company knowingly allowed his father to work in the presence of asbestos without telling him, and claimant’s father died as a result.
You’ve resolved to upgrade your personal and professional technology this year, starting with a new smartphone. So what do you choose? The January Wisconsin Lawyer, available online and in mailboxes soon, can help you decide.
The buyer in a real estate deal claims the seller unlawfully failed to disclose the presence of asbestos in the building, causing damages. Recently, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled the seller is not covered under an insurance policy.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has clarified that circuit courts cannot dismiss a refusal charge – a charge that a defendant refused chemical testing for intoxicants – unless that defendant has pleaded guilty to the underlying OWI offense.
Cody Phillips was under age 15 when he allegedly used force to sexually assault a child. Recently, a state appeals court ordered his plea withdrawn and said the case must go back to juvenile court even though Phillips is now an adult.
A Wisconsin law that prohibits doctors from performing abortions unless they have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the doctor’s clinic remains blocked pending a trial on the merits, a federal appeals court has ruled.
A woman fined $500 for protesting at the state Capitol building without approval can seek pretrial discovery despite the state’s argument that pretrial discovery does not apply in this type of forfeiture proceeding, a state appeals court has ruled.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently added 13 new cases to its docket, including two related cases that challenge a state law, enacted in 2011, requiring Wisconsin citizens to show photo identification to vote in elections.
A circuit court dismissed homicide and other felony charges against Malcolm Butler because he did not receive a trial within 120 days. But a state appeals court recently ruled that Butler’s trial was properly delayed for good cause.
The insurers for the maker of an alcoholic drink containing caffeine and other energy stimulants has no duty to defend numerous actions alleging the drink was the cause of death and other serious injuries, a federal appeals court has ruled.
A federal appeals court has upheld a 50-count mail fraud conviction against Bernard Seidling, who sent false documents to Wisconsin’s small claims courts to obtain default judgments against defendants who were never served.
The insurer for a man who caused a car crash while fleeing police at 90 mph must pay his liability bills in a personal injury case, a state appeals court has ruled, concluding the man did not intend to cause injury when he drove recklessly.
A woman who stole nearly 300 times from her employer totaling about $500,000 over a six-year period cannot withdraw her plea, as a state appeals court has rejected the claim that the charges against her were duplicitous and multiplicitous.
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.
Two years ago, an 11-year-old boy found a loaded gun in his house and died after shooting himself in the head. The boy’s father, who did not live in the house, filed a wrongful death claim against the homeowners, the boy’s mother and her partner.
Dec. 9, 2013 – For 30 years, the Wisconsin State Mock Trial Tournament has helped students develop critical thinking and public speaking skills. Read several success stories in the December Wisconsin Lawyer, available online and in mail boxes soon.
The State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors took action on several rule change petitions today, among other business at its meeting at the State Bar Center in Madison.
Dec. 6, 2013 – Reduced-cost CLEs, a dues break, and a State Bar-sponsored law firm staffed by new lawyers – these are just a few ideas floated by a task force created to develop strategies that could help new lawyers overcome significant challenges.
Gregory Felhofer and his girlfriend purchased a vacant lot to build a home. By the time they built it and moved in, they were married. Recently, a state appeals court rejected a claim that the property was not survivorship marital property.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently added five cases to its docket, including two cases involving Fourth Amendment issues. The other three deal with disclosing criminal informants, property damage, and trucker’s insurance issues.
Although counties have sole discretion to choose health care plans for public safety workers, employees can still influence how much their deductibles will be, a state appeals court has ruled, despite the state’s restrictive collective bargaining laws.
As lawyers, you are a busy group. Today, you get a welcome break. It’s a chance to reflect and give thanks, spend time with family and friends, and enjoy the fruits of your labor. We take this time to say thanks to you, members of the State Bar of Wisconsin, for all the hard work you do.
Only a six-person jury is available to individuals subject to involuntarily commitments for treatment. But sexually violent persons who are subject to involuntary commitment proceedings may request a 12-person jury.
Three unnamed targets of John Doe investigations allegedly pending in five counties have failed to temporarily halt those investigations, as the District IV Wisconsin Appeals Court has denied a motion to stay further action in the secret probe.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court, in a 5-2 decision, has lifted a contempt order against two state officials who were planning to hold union recertification elections as required by Act 10, which curbed the collective bargaining rights of public workers.
llective bargaining agreements entered into before passage of the controversial law that curbed public workers’ collective bargaining rights must be honored by the City of Racine, a state appeals court has ruled.
Nov. 20, 2013 – Ralph M. Cagle and Kevin J. Palmersheim have accepted nominations to run for State Bar President-elect. Sherry Coley and Matthew J. Duchemin vie for secretary. Catherine A. La Fleur and Laura Skilton Verhoff face off for Judicial Council Representative.
Gov. Scott Walker is seeking applicants for judicial appointments to the circuit courts in Dunn County and Waupaca County.
The heightened standard for the admissibility of expert testimony, which took effect in 2011, does not apply to a commitment case that was a mere continuation of the underlying action that began in 2004, a state appeals has clarified.
Milwaukee County and its Pension Board cannot alter the “percentage multiplier” that is used to calculate pension benefits without obtaining the prior consent of employees affected by the change, a state appeals court has ruled in a class action.
A therapist who was convicted for having sexual contact with patients in violation of state law has lost his appeal, despite an appeals court ruling that two former patients were not allowed to testify as to other acts evidence.
Mexican and U.S. authorities searched Jack Johnson’s residence in Mexico without a warrant and found a computer that linked him to a murder-for-hire plot in Wisconsin. Recently, a state appeals court ruled that the search was lawful under the U.S. Constitution.
Circuit courts cannot place moving restrictions on divorced individuals with young children, so long as the ex-spouse does not move outside the state or move more than 150 miles away, according to a recent decision by a state appeals court.
Nov. 8, 2013 – Interested in what other lawyers billed for their services in 2012? How to maximize your profits? How to accept credit card payments through your iPhone? How to stop underearning? You’ll learn about all these things and more in the November Wisconsin Lawyer, now available online and in mailboxes soon.
When a municipal body makes a decision about a liquor license that is up for judicial review, the circuit court may not review the decision independently, de novo, according to a unanimous decision of the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
An investigative reporter who uncovered criminal records of school bus drivers in Milwaukee and highlighted one drivers’ prior prostitution conviction in a news broadcast did not violate her privacy rights, a state appeals court has ruled.
A federal law that protects an organization’s right to use land for religious purposes does not save a proposed lakeside Bible camp, which recently lost an appeal to circumvent land use laws that prohibit year-round recreational activities.
Residents of the Village of Brown Deer recently lost their appeal to get compensated for street improvement projects they say will impact their properties, while a state appeals court upheld the constitutionality of the “unrecorded highways” statute.
The excess liability insurers for a Coca-Cola subsidiary named in more than 200,000 asbestos-related lawsuits since the 1980s must pay defense and indemnity costs “simultaneously,” not in sequence, a state appeals court has ruled.
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.
A school district must reinstate a fired teacher and pay her lost wages and benefits, an appeals court has ruled, despite the school district’s argument that restrictions on collective bargaining by public employees barred that result.
Oct. 25, 2013 – Did you know a free, comprehensive handbook will soon be available to help Wisconsin solo lawyers plan for death, disability, or incapacitation? It’s one of the many tips lawyers are learning at the 2013 Wisconsin Solo and Small Firm Conference.
A Wisconsin millionaire whose income dropped significantly in 2011 must still pay at least $15,000 in monthly child support, a state appeals court has ruled.
Oct. 22, 2013 – Seventy-nine lawyers who passed the bar exam were admitted to practice in Wisconsin yesterday. Of the 172 people took the bar exam representing 31 jurisdictions, 82 percent passed.
Convicted of felony murder and sentenced to 60 years in prison, Charles Hennings maintains his innocence. And he wants taxpayers to pay for a DNA test that might prove someone else committed the crime for which he’s doing time.
An investigative TV reporter caught wind of a potential scam: a wedding videographer who took money from couples and did not deliver as promised. Recently, a state appeals court ruled the reporter did not defame the videographer in subsequent broadcasts shedding light on the situation.
Amidst a government shutdown, federal courts are hoping rainy day funds will last through the end of this week, and the federal district and bankruptcy courts in Wisconsin have issued directives to explain what will happen after that.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has added five new cases to its docket, one involving state negligence claims against a railroad whose train collided with a mini-van during a Memorial Day parade in the Village of Elm Grove, a Milwaukee suburb.
In a case involving a police officer who ran a red light, causing an accident, the Wisconsin Supreme Court could decide how far governmental immunity goes to protect police departments and officers from liability for injuries.
State Bar of Wisconsin President Patrick J. Fiedler joined presidents of state bar associations in Illinois, Ohio, New Jersey, New York, Nevada and Florida this week to urge members of their respective Congressional delegations to end devastating cuts to federal court funding.
The enjoyment of a decorative water fountain in a hospital lobby was not considered “consumption,” a state appeals court has ruled, despite the water fountain builder’s best efforts to make that argument for purposes of insurance coverage.
Oct. 8, 2013 – Former State Bar President Richard (Dick) Sommer passed away on Oct. 5. He was 81.
Oct. 7, 2013 – It could be considered eerie to receive a tweet from someone who has died, but that’s the technological age we live in, according to an article in the October Wisconsin Lawyer magazine, available online and in mailboxes soon.
Oct. 4, 2013 – Last evening, famed civil rights attorney John Doar received the Wisconsin Law Foundation Charles L. Goldberg Distinguished Service Award, and 58 lawyers were inducted into the 2013 Class of Fellows.
A jury must decide if an employer violated anti-discrimination laws when it fired a convenience store worker who sold herself discounted candy but only warned another worker who made “dummy” alcohol purchases, a federal court has ruled.
Milwaukee County is not required to reimburse a group of Milwaukee lawyers and health professionals for Medicare premiums paid in retirement because reimbursement rights did not vest until retirement, an appeals court majority has ruled.
Pilot Jon Orlos was piloting commercial skydiving missions and sightseeing trips when his helicopter hit power lines and crashed, damaging the whirlybird. Now, Orlos and a manager that authorized the flights are liable.
Sept. 27, 2013 – At its meeting today in Trego, the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors discussed a proposal to limit the terms of Wisconsin Supreme Court justices to one, 16-year term, a plan advanced by the State Bar’s Judicial Task Force.
Wisconsin law requires courts to give defendants an “immigration warning” before accepting a plea deal, with specific language that must be used to warn a defendant that deportation can result from guilty or no contest pleas.
Vincent Fallon bought a one-way train ticket from Chicago to Seattle for himself and his briefcase, which contained $100,120 in cash. When agents for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) started asking questions, Fallon began to sweat.
The U.S. Supreme Court in December will hear a case involving Appleton-based Air Wisconsin Airlines Corp., which says it was immune from a lawsuit by a former pilot who obtained $1.4 million judgment for defamation in Colorado.
A couple who designed and built a home containing defects is not liable to the couple who bought the home, a state appeals court has ruled. The ruling is a contract warning for home buyers who lease homes with an option-to-purchase.
Jessica Reyna’s manager at Family Dollar Store asked her to perform some duties on her day off. On her way to the store, her vehicle hit a county bus, but a state appeals court has ruled that Family Dollar is not liable for any damages.
James Hudson lied to induce victims to give him substantial amounts of money for his country music career. Now, Hudson will be singing the blues in prison, as a state appeals court upheld a plea deal that puts Hudson behind bars for six years.
One Wisconsin couple escaped, another did not in a pair of recent mortgage fraud rulings relating to loans peddled by the same scamming mortgage broker, accepted by the same unethical bank, and obtained with false statements.
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.
A circuit court declined to offset priority interests, known as the “doctrine of marshaling assets,” to help a subordinate creditor who did not obtain personal guarantees for commercial real estate loans. Recently, a state appeals court affirmed.
Sept. 6, 2013 – This month’s Wisconsin Lawyer is now available online. Here’s a sneak peek.
A state appeals court has reversed defendant Raphfeal Myrick’s murder conviction because the state used Myrick’s preliminary examination testimony against a co-defendant in its case-in-chief against Myrick, a violation of evidence rules.
A Sheboygan doctor who says a child psychiatrist caused unlawful Medicaid reimbursements through off-label prescriptions can press on with his whistleblower suit under the federal False Claims Act, a federal appeals court has ruled.
A person can still “harbor” dogs, and be strictly liable for dog attacks, even if that person does not reside where the dogs are kept, an appeals court has ruled in a case that chills a parent’s decision to purchase a home for dog-owning children.
An Illinois attorney hired a marketing firm to develop and send “newsletters” via fax to hundreds of certified public accountants. However, those faxes did not include opt-out provisions, a violation of federal law.
Aug. 23, 2013 – Where else do banjos and college sports converge with labor, employment, and health lawyers? Nowhere, that’s where – unless you attended State Bar of Wisconsin’s Health, Labor, and Employment Institute in Wisconsin Dells.
A Wisconsin prison inmate who adopted a “spiritual name” challenged a prison policy on name changes by inmates. Recently, a federal appeals court upheld the policy and rejected the inmate’s constitutional and statutory claims.
State and federal laws require employers to maintain a safe workplace. Recently, a state appeals court clarified that federal law does not preempt an injured party’s ability to get additional compensation under state worker’s compensation law.
A state appeals court recently affirmed that drunk driving is ill-advised, especially after an officer specifically says it’s not advisable, and offers a ride home.
Police stopped a man for expired plates and issued a warning. But then the officer conducted a dog sniff, uncovering marijuana. Recently, a state appeals court overturned the man’s conviction for possession of marijuana with intent to deliver.
A consumer who borrowed short-term loans at annualized interest rates of 246 and 385 percent says the loans are unconscionable. Recently, a state appeals court asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to “draw the line.”
Madison-based artist Quincy Neri designed a glass-blown sculpture installation called the “Mendota Reflection,” photos of which were featured by various project participants. Recently, a federal appeals court ruled in favor of Neri.
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.
The Deep Tunnel that prevents wastewater from polluting Lake Michigan is damaging Milwaukee buildings, and now the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) must pay to fix it, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled.
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.
Andrew Edler, a suspected arsonist, twice invoked his right to counsel during separate police interrogations before incriminating himself. Recently, the state supreme court ruled that Edler’s incriminating statements were rightfully suppressed.
Whether the decisions of corporate directors are protected by the “business judgment rule” is a fact-intensive inquiry that cannot generally be resolved at the motion to dismiss stage, a state appeals court recently clarified.
A concrete salesperson told a customer, a corporation, that previous problems with the product had been cured. That wasn’t true. Recently, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that the customer has a viable fraudulent misrepresentation claim.
A state appeals court has rejected a facial constitutional challenge to a new law, passed in 2012, that allows the use of hearsay evidence in preliminary examinations to determine whether there’s probable cause to charge a suspected felon.
Criminal defendants have a constitutional right to be present at their own trials. But that right does not extend to in-chambers discussions between judge and juror during trial, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has clarified.
Circuit courts can still void marriages after one spouse dies, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled, meaning a petitioner can challenge a surviving spouse’s share of an estate on the grounds that the marriage should be voided.
July 26, 2013 – In Showers Appraisals LLC v. Musson Bros. Inc., the Wisconsin Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals in a case involving a claim of immunity by a governmental contractor.
July 25, 2013 – In the recently decided Xcel Energy Services Inc. v. Labor and Industry Review Commission and John Smoczyk, the Wisconsin Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals in a case involving a worker’s compensation benefits decision made by the Labor and Industry Review Commission.
July 24, 2013 – The Wisconsin Supreme Court, in Tufail v. Midwest Hospitality, 2013 WI 62 (July 10, 2013), reversed the Wisconsin Court of Appeals in a case involving a contract dispute between a landlord, Amjad T. Tufail, and tenant, Midwest Hospitality LLC (Midwest).
July 23, 2013 – In the combined July/August issue of Wisconsin Lawyer magazine, available online and in mailboxes soon, Wisconsin’s high-profile case between two high-powered law firms is the backdrop for discussions on Internet marketing and privacy.
Can minor children sue for wrongful death when a parent is killed and leaves behind an estranged spouse? The Wisconsin Court of Appeals recently bypassed the question, asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court to decide.
Although the case was “bristling with important social policy issues,” the Wisconsin Supreme Court did not decide whether minors can refuse potentially life-saving medical treatment on religious grounds because the case at hand is moot.
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.
July 16, 2013 – Mark your calendars for the largest gathering of lawyers in the state in 2014. The State Bar will hold its first Annual Meeting & Conference at the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa on June 26 and 27. The conference begins and ends with point/counterpoint plenary sessions, and fills the hours in between with social events and CLE opportunities.
An 18-year-old defendant pleaded guilty to attempted murder of two police officers, then moved to withdraw his guilty pleas after sentencing. Recently, the Wisconsin Supreme Court said Julius Burton cannot withdraw the pleas.
Hosting an underage drinking party just got riskier, as the Wisconsin Supreme Court recently ruled that a homeowner’s insurance policy doesn’t cover the injuries sustained by a guest who was assaulted by another guest at a party.
Traditional surrogacy agreements are enforceable in Wisconsin, under a recent decision by a Wisconsin Supreme Court, binding surrogate-biological mothers who sign such contracts but later change their minds about giving up the baby.
A woman who entered into a contingency fee agreement with two law firms, and then fired one, may owe the discharged firm contract damages even though the firm did not provide substantial services, a state appeals court has ruled.
A volunteer firefighter who ran a red light in his own truck while responding to a fire could be liable for injuries sustained in a resulting car accident, a unanimous Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled in a decision released today.
In a case involving the death of an 11-year-old girl whose parents treated her illness with religious prayer, the state supreme court has clarified the state’s “prayer treatment exception” while upholding convictions for reckless homicide.
Whether a closely held company must pay nearly $4 million to a minority shareholder is still an open question, as the Wisconsin Supreme Court has remanded the case to determine if a stock repurchase agreement should be specifically enforced.
In a case alleging that paint containing benzene caused the death of an interior painter at Chrystler’s American Motors, a federal appeals court has upheld the use of expert testimony to explain how exposure caused the man’s leukemia.
An individual who refuses a blood alcohol test on suspicion of drunk driving has 10 days to request a “refusal hearing,” and excusable neglect is not an acceptable reason for an extension, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has clarified.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether police can track a suspect’s whereabouts through court-ordered cell phone location data.
Former Milwaukee County employees who sued to get unused sick time at retirement will get it, without a 400-hour cap, a state appeals court has ruled.
It was legal for police to enter Kenneth Sobczak’s home without a warrant to search and seize his computer when he wasn’t home because his girlfriend was a weekend guest and consented to the search, the state supreme court has ruled.
A prison inmate whose phone scam defrauded AT&T out of $28,000 recently lost his appeal to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
A defendant convicted on charges of child pornography recently lost his bid to suppress incriminating statements made to a probation officer, under a decision issued by the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently added two high-profile cases to its docket, one involving the controversial budget repair bill, the other a challenge to the state’s law recognizing domestic partnerships between same-sex couples who live together.
Technology tools, real estate and business law developments, ethics and sports: lawyers got it all in one place at the State Bar's Real Estate and Business Law Institute in Middleton. If you missed it, we've got some helpful tidbits right here.
June 13, 2013 – Patrick J. Fiedler has come a long way since his first jury trial 33 years ago, and he has no intention of stopping now. Last night, the litigator and former judge took the oath to serve as the 58th president of the State Bar of Wisconsin.
State Bar of Wisconsin dues remain unchanged for fiscal year 2014, under the proposed budget approved by the State Bar’s Board of Governors today.
Two Milwaukee police officers asked the court to impose a maximum sentence against a defendant who shot at them, injuring one. Recently, a state appeals court ruled that such requests did not violate the defendant’s plea agreement.
More than 130 University of Wisconsin Law School graduates were admitted to the legal profession today.
Bail bondsmen, bounty hunters, and bail bond companies can operate in five Wisconsin counties, under a Republican-backed plan that was added to the proposed 2013-15 state budget yesterday by the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee.
Judgments that designate a business by its trade name are still enforceable, even though the underlying legal entity is not named in the judgment.
A decision released today by the U.S. Supreme Court upholds laws allowing police to take DNA at arrest for serious offenses, meaning Wisconsin’s plans for a DNA at arrest law can proceed with greater constitutional certainty.
Defendant Courtney Beamon, accused of eluding police by vehicle in 2007, argued that he never accelerated to ditch officers in hot pursuit, and the jury instructions required the jury to find that he “increased the speed of the vehicle to flee.”
Reversing the Dane County Circuit Court, a state appeals court today upheld a Wisconsin law that requires election voters to show photo identification, another snare in the tangled fight over Wisconsin’s controversial voter ID law.
The State Bar will use a program called CAPTCHA to block the automated harvesting of information from WisBar’s Lawyer Search. Members can bypass CAPTCHA by logging in to WisBar before conducting searches.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court today accepted three new cases, including one involving the “stacking” of auto insurance policies, but denied law firm dispute.
Noting that “the time has come for this litigation to end,” a state appeals court recently ended litigation that was ongoing for more than 20 years while examining the appealability of postjudgment orders aiding execution of judgments.
Acknowledging the case “raises thorny questions,” a Wisconsin Supreme Court majority recently ruled that Wisconsin’s statute of repose did not bar a plaintiff’s action to collect a half-interest in her ex-spouse’s retirement pension.
May 21, 2013 – More than 175 Marquette Law School graduates were admitted to the profession yesterday. Justice Ann Walsh Bradley challenges new lawyers to stand tall and be people of courage.
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 – The District II Court of Appeals has certified a case that pits Wisconsin case law against a series of recent – and controversial – U.S. Supreme Court decisions on the Confrontation Clause.
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 – 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 – 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 13, 2013 – In the first Wisconsin case to directly address the issue, the District II Court of Appeals decided on narrow grounds that a defendant does not need to understand whether the crime to which she is pleading is a felony or a misdemeanor.
May 9, 2013 – For the 10th consecutive year, State Bar dues remained unchanged. Supreme court-ordered fees include assessments remain stable for second year.
March 8, 2013 – The circuit court and the parties mistakenly believed that mandatory minimum applied; case remanded for resentencing.
May 6, 2013 – Controversial law eliminates most collective bargaining rights for public employees; enforcement on hold until constitutionality resolved.
May 3, 2013 – District IV Court of Appeals reverses circuit court; officers’ search for possible victims not objectively reasonable.
May 1, 2013 – Court reins in statutory immunity; giving a horse’s lead rope to another qualifies as “providing an equine.”
April 30, 2013 – The Government, Nonresident, Senior and Young Lawyers divisions announce incoming officers and directors. The presidents-elect serve a one-year term before becoming president and then serve one year as past president. All terms begin on July 1.
April 29, 2013 – Wisconsin’s Federal Nominating Commission, charged with making recommendations for vacancies in federal judgeships and U.S. attorney positions, is accepting applications for a vacancy on the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin.
April 29, 2013 – A defendant sought to withdraw his plea after sentencing because the circuit court understated the maximum sentence. The Outagamie County Circuit Court found harmless error and denied relief. On certification by the District IV Court of Appeals, the Wisconsin Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court, finding that the defendant knew the correct maximum sentence, and that the circuit court’s error was “an insubstantial defect” in the plea colloquy.
April 25, 2013 – Today the State Bar of Wisconsin rolls out a new version of Lawyer Search, which sets out to improve your experience finding other Wisconsin-licensed lawyers through Lawyer Search, one of the most-used features on WisBar.org.
April 26, 2013 – Robert Gagan, Green Bay, won the race for State Bar president-elect. His term begins July 1. In other State Bar races, Kevin Lyons was elected treasurer and Amy E. Wochos was elected to a three-year seat on the Judicial Council.
An underinsured driver struck a deputy sheriff who exited her squad car to direct traffic at General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee. Recently, a state appeals court ruled that Milwaukee County’s insurer must cover any losses.
Despite a state statute that prohibits counties from altering the compensation paid to elected officials, a state appeals court has ruled that Eau Claire County can increase paycheck deductions for retirement and health insurance.
April 22, 2013 – The State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors recently took action on several proposed rule changes impacting lawyer discipline and disciplinary proceedings, as well as other rules enforced by the Office of Lawyer Regulation.
A state appeals court recently approved a couple’s claim of title to land by adverse possession, while clarifying that a possessor’s “subjective intent” is not always a relevant factor in determining whether a person’s claim of title is “hostile.”
A former student of Carthage College in Kenosha sued the school for negligence after she was sexually assaulted in her dorm room. Recently, a federal appeals court ruled that an expert on premises-security could testify in the case.
April 17, 2013 – Surrounded by family and friends, 49 lawyers who passed the bar exam and three by diploma privilege were admitted to practice in Wisconsin yesterday.
A state appeals court has ruled that the City of Milwaukee can modify its labor agreement with the Milwaukee Police Association, because Wisconsin’s collective bargaining laws prohibit bargaining on health care coverage costs.
The father of a child killed by morphine overdose told police detectives he wanted a lawyer when questioned about the circumstances. Then he changed his mind, supplying information that prosecutors used to obtain a conviction.
A Wisconsin court must apply Michigan’s wrongful death statute in an action stemming from a tragic snowmobile accident that occurred in Michigan, a state appeals court has ruled, rejecting arguments that would limit the plaintiff’s remedies.
Wisconsin’s State Public Defender office, backed by state prosecutors, successfully attacked a state appeals court decision that required court permission before citing presentence investigation reports (PSI) in appellate briefs.
April 9, 2013 – Finding a medical decision maker, and ensuring that they know you and your values is the key to successful end of life planning. It’s also the core message in a new video produced by the State Bar of Wisconsin.
In the absence of an clear agreement, Wisconsin arbitration law limits discovery in arbitration proceedings, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has clarified.
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.
A police officer conducting a random registration check stopped a truck after misreading its license plate. Realizing the mistake, the officer approached the car to explain. The driver was drunk. Recently, a state appeals court upheld the defendant’s OWI conviction.
The state’s “health care worker protection” statute did not protect an unpaid intern who was fired from the Medical College of Wisconsin after reporting potential medical ethics violations, a state appeals court has ruled.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has voted to accept six new cases – four criminal cases, one involuntary commitment case and one case involving an “absent witness” jury instruction delivered in a slip and fall trial in Milwaukee.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court, by a 4-3 majority, has ruled that a Dane County woman will have another shot to keep her kids because of erroneous lower court rulings that prevented her from presenting evidence to a jury.
Defendant Jessica Nellessen was driving a car that contained nearly a pound of marijuana when police stopped the vehicle for an obstructed view. She wanted a confidential informant to testify about her innocence, but the trial court said no.
Mark Libecki was convicted of killing a coworker in Germantown 14 years ago. Recently, a state appeals court rejected his appeal for a new trial.
The ongoing dispute between Menard Inc. and its former general counsel, Dawn Sands, continues with a state appeals court ruling that asks the circuit court to reexamine the allegation that Sands paid her sister to lie during arbitration.
March 25, 2013 – Candidates vying for a Wisconsin Supreme Court seat – incumbent Justice Pat Roggensack and Marquette law professor Ed Fallone – covered a lot of ground last Friday in their first and only debate at the State Bar Center in Madison.
March 22, 2013 – Twenty-six young lawyers who were nominated by legal professionals statewide are attending the first State Bar Leadership Development Summit in Madison today.
The State Bar of Wisconsin applauds the Wisconsin Supreme Court for calling on members of the state Joint Committee on Finance to “support state funding to assist indigent self-represented persons in meeting their legal needs.”
Police officers who found cocaine and a gun in defendant Royce Wheeler’s attic obtained the evidence lawfully, a state appeals court has ruled.