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  • WisBar News
    May 11, 2016

    Sneak Peek: Lawyers and the Arts, Confidentiality in Court Records, Hanging Your Shingle

    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.

    May 2016 Wisconsin LawyerMay 11, 2016 – This special focus issue on lawyers and the arts is a reminder of the many ways lawyers add to, complement, and support the arts – making the fabric of our communities and society so much better for it, says editorial board member Douglas Frazer in “A Focus on Lawyers and the Arts.” Lawyers, like artists, are detailed, creative, and curious. Their paths intersect and overlap. In this issue we explore this intersection.

    Meet some lawyer-artists – or lawyers who represent artists – in our cover article, “Lawyers and the Arts.” Wisconsin lawyers are a creative bunch – whether they are painters, actors, writers, filmmakers, musicians, or involved in some other creative endeavor. See what some of your creative colleagues are up to.

    Lawyers who practice “arts law” represent individuals and entertainment-industry businesses but also any business that uses visual images – and other types of creative works – on its products or as part of its marketing or advertising. In Contracts for Creative Works,” Elizabeth Russell identifies the key considerations for individuals who create art and businesses that buy, commission, or use visual images.

    In “Appropriation as Art: The Arts and Copyright Fair Use,” Jennifer Gregor and Mark Hancock discuss the the copyright fair use doctrine and several recent notable decisions in which courts applied the doctrine to artists’ and entrepreneurs’ creation of works using electronic techniques.

    Intellectual property can be a significant element of a person’s estate. For artists, that intellectual property likely will be copyright. In “Representing Creatives – In Life and After,” Elizabeth Russell explains that for lawyers advising clients, identifying, and cataloging property consisting of copyright is particularly import – and challenging.

    Of course, lawyers need not play an instrument or make paintings to be “creative.” In “Spark Your Practice with Regular Doses of Creativity,” Paula Davis-Laack shows how adopting the habits of artists and other highly creative individuals can benefit your practice.

    Protecting Confidential Information in Court Filings

    Is it proper to include Social Security numbers and credit card numbers in pleadings and exhibits? Which documents does the clerk of circuit court automatically mark as confidential? Do you know how and when to ask the court to seal a record? In this month’s 101 column, “Court Filings: New Rules to Protect Confidential Information in Court Records,” the Hon. Gerald Ptacek and Marcia Vandercook explain the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s new rules, effective July 1, 2016, to protect sensitive information in court records.

    Hanging Out Your Shingle, Finding Patterns in Puzzles, Grooming Tomorrow’s Leaders

    Managing Risk: Thinking about going solo? In “Help for Hanging Out Your Own Shingle,” Tom Watson identifies some of the challenges and rewards when going solo, and lists State Bar resources for starting a solo practice.

    Ethics: Dean Dietrich says lawyers risk violating ethics and evidence rules when they accidentally see an opposing party’s communications with counsel, in “Handle Privileged Lawyer-client Information with Kid Gloves.”

    Final Thought: In “The Power of Stories: Finding Patterns in Puzzles,” Michael Bowen says storylines can help us understand baffling situations, such as changes in how law is practiced, and figure out how to maintain one’s continuum between professional and personal satisfaction.

    President’s Message: Ralph Cagle explains how the State Bar is mentoring young lawyers as they step up to take leadership roles, in “New Lawyers Pave the State Bar’s Path.”

    Stay up-to-date on what your colleagues are up to in the Members Only and Lawyer Discipline columns.

    Check out the full May Wisconsin Lawyer.

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