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  • WisBar News
    December 10, 2015

    WL Sneak Peek: Holiday Tech Toys, Annual Review of Top Court Decisions, and Social Media in the Workplace

    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 magazine is a regular ‘stocking-stuffer.’

    Dec. 10, 2015 – In this month’s cover article, “Holiday Gift Guide: 25 Cool Tech Toys,” practice management advisor Tison Rhine lists some of the very best tech gadgets available this holiday season. You’ll find gift ideas for just about everyone on your list – including yourself!

    What’s “Fonzie” cool? For viewing pleasure, how about a Samsung curved monitor or 78” TV. For computing, consider the Microsoft Surface Book or Apple MacBook Pro. The list includes several very cool gadgets for home monitoring, media/music play, and more. Want to be “Princess Leia” cool? Look into a quadcopter “drone” and the Sphero BB-8 App-enabled Droid (even cooler than R2-D2).

    Annual Review: Significant Wisconsin Supreme Court and Wisconsin Federal Court Decisions

    The Wisconsin Supreme Court issued more than 53 substantive decisions during the 2014-2015 term. In “Top 9 Recent Wisconsin Supreme Court Decisions,” author Lisa Lawless discusses her top nine picks of notable cases. Topics covered in the civil area include proving dangerousness to self in involuntary commitment proceedings, the court’s role in determining a motion to compel arbitration, restrictive covenants given by at-will employees, and more. Notable criminal cases cover denial of a defendant’s exercise of right to testify, reasonable suspicion of traffic law violations for traffic stops, and termination of a John Doe proceeding investigating campaign finance violations.

    In “Top 8 Recent Wisconsin Federal Court Decisions,” perennial author Michael B. Brennan reviews eight Wisconsin federal court decisions from 2014 and 2015 interpreting Wisconsin law. The decisions touch on a variety of subjects, including the common-interest privilege in the defamation context, insurance policy coverage for alleged acts of copyright infringement, and an insurer’s request for a set-off against damages owed to a plaintiff, among others.

    Social Media in the Workplace

    Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media seem to be everywhere and are used both for personal and work purposes. The ease and efficiency of social media communications make them good business tools but also potential hazards when used inappropriately by employees and employers. In “Social Media in the Workplace,” author Timothy D. Edwards shows how employers can reduce risks and protect their bottom line by developing policies and practices that limit liability exposure, and he provides a sample bring-your-own-device policy to customize for your own use.

    Columns and Viewpoints

    101 Column: Author Peter Block provides an “Intro to Understanding Wisconsin’s Open Meetings Law.” Whether advising government officials or members of the public, lawyers really ought to know which governmental meetings must be open and the rules for publicizing and conducting open meetings.

    Solutions: In “Wanted: Lawyers Versed in Real Property Sales from Estates,” author Paul Wokwicz emphasizes that real property sales from probate are not standard transactions. He says real property sales typically are completed by personal representatives and their realtors using unaltered standard forms, a practice that invites unnecessary liability. Experienced lawyers know how to invoke statutory provisions to protect estates and personal representatives.

    On Balance: When people are connected to bigger-than-self goals, they are more hopeful, curious, grateful, and inspired. Not surprising, says author Paula Davis-Laack, they also show greater well-being and satisfaction with their lives. Here, she provides “5 Strategies to Make Your Work More Meaningful.”

    Final Thought: As his favorite professor tells his torts classes every year, “I don’t care what the law is. Let’s talk about what the law should be.” In “Do You Have a Case for That?” author Brandon Evans says the willingness to question authorities makes lawyers a dynamic and powerful profession and force.

    Check out the full December Wisconsin Lawyer.

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