Inside Track: State Bar Government Lawyers Cut Through Red Tape With Three PINNACLE Books:

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    State Bar Government Lawyers Cut Through Red Tape With Three PINNACLE Books

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    State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE®, with the help of the Government Lawyers Division, presents three books that help lawyers cut through the red tape surrounding any interaction with governmental agencies, all three books available both in print and online via Books UnBound®.

    Feb. 20, 2013 – Every lawyer knows that dealing with the government can get very complicated very quickly. Whether it involves deciding whether, how, and when to sue an agency, obtaining information from the government, or even figuring out what local government should and shouldn’t be doing, there’s a State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE product to help, written by seasoned governmental law practitioners and updated with the latest case law and statutory changes.

    Governmental Claims and Immunities

    Suing the government starts with understanding sovereign immunity, governmental immunity, and discretionary immunity, and with distinguishing between absolute immunity and qualified immunity. And it involves numerous notice requirements, time limits, and other prerequisites.

    In short, it starts with PINNACLE’s Wisconsin Governmental Claims & Immunities handbook, and its 2012 supplement. With this book, you’re on solid ground when venturing into the realm of claims against the government. The handbook includes chapters on all aspects of immunity, as well as the Federal Tort Claims Act. The handbook’s thorough table of cases, table of statutes, and index enhance its usefulness.

    The book is available to members for $89, plus tax and shipping.

    Public Records and Open Meetings

    Sometimes an attorney needs information from the government, whether it be copies of records or whether and when a hearing will be held. PINNACLE’s Wisconsin Public Records and Open Meetings Handbook covers federal and Wisconsin public records and open meetings laws, explaining what should be included in a public records request, how public records custodians should respond, and the time limits involved in responding. It discusses the federal Freedom of Information Act and the special issues of electronic public records, including whether governmental employees’ personal email communications is subject to disclosure. The handbook also discusses how to give notice of meetings to the public, when to close a meeting to the public, and how to enforce the open meetings law.

    The handbook contains the Wisconsin Public Records and Open Meetings Laws in full, summarizes key public records and open meetings cases, and lists – and briefly describes – statutory exceptions to the public records law. Other appendices provide samples of a notice for a public records request, a public notice for a meeting of a governmental body, and a verified open meetings law complaint. And the 2012 supplement adds a table of cases and a supplement table of cases to make relevant cases even easier to find.

    The book is available to members for $129, plus tax and shipping.

    Municipal Law Codebook

    Of course, attorneys must always know what local government should and shouldn’t be doing, and the laws it lives by. The Wisconsin Municipal Law Codebook: Cities, Towns, Villages 2013 provides just that, including Wisconsin statutes that cover everything from hiring dogcatchers to regulating parking to selling alcohol.

    The hundreds of statutes in the Municipal Law Codebook allow attorneys to find out such things as:

    • The powers municipalities can and cannot exercise

    • How to help clients with transactional matters, from seeking zoning-variance approvals to challenging property assessments to requesting a liquor license

    • Going through the municipal court process

    • Counseling local governmental entities regarding issues involving municipal employees, revenue sharing, and taxation

    Like all PINNACLE codebooks, this one contains a detailed table of contents and index, to help you find the specific answers to clients’ questions.

    The book is available (print only) to members for $69, plus tax and shipping.

    You Get More For Less When You Auto-supp

    Remember, purchasers who subscribe to the State Bar’s automatic supplementation service will receive future print editions at 10 percent off the regular price. For more information, contact the State Bar at (800) 728-7788 or (608) 257-3838.

    Annual subscriptions to PINNACLE’s online Books UnBound® start at $189 per title and $649 for the full library (single-user/solo-office prices; call for law firm prices). For more information or to order, contact the State Bar at (800) 728-7788 or (608) 257-3838, visit WisBar Marketplace, or click on the titles in this article.