Nov. 9, 2017 – The types of big ideas showcased in the 2017 “That’s a Fine Idea: Legal Innovation Wisconsin” initiative run the gamut, including early integration of technology into law office processes; creation of an exoneration program to help Latino inmates; a novel way to reduce the number of people who skip court dates; and more. This and other practical content is featured in the November Wisconsin Lawyer.
Wisconsin’s 2017 Legal Innovators
Who are Wisconsin’s innovators? Dianne Molvig introduces them in “BIG IDEAS: 2017 Legal Innovators.” Each big idea was sparked by “what if?” What if we could devise a way to make a task easier and less time-consuming? What if we could use a legal process in a different way to solve a new problem? What if we could make the justice system more equitable and accessible?
The Legal Innovation Wisconsin initiative showcases innovation in Wisconsin’s legal community, innovation that often goes unrecognized, sometimes even by the lawyers who themselves are devising new ideas.
This year, we honor five individual or team innovators, including a lifetime-award winner. Read the article to learn who they are and what drives them from big idea to end result.
Do You Represent OWI Suspects?
Since enactment of Wisconsin’s implied consent law, warrantless blood draws from drivers suspected of operating while intoxicated have been common and the statutes and case law relatively static.
But a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that seemed intended to curtail the practice and Wisconsin Supreme Court decisions that muted the effect of the high court’s ruling have caused confusion for law enforcement agencies, lawyers, and judges.
In “OWI Blood Draws: An Uncertain Road Ahead,” Rex Anderegg provides a guide through the maze of current law, distinguishing detours from dead ends and suggesting ways the Wisconsin Legislature and courts might attempt to smooth the road, for law enforcement if not for motorists.
What to Do If Confronted With an Onerous Agency Rule
State agency regulations play a significant role in governing the actions of individuals and entities residing or doing business in Wisconsin. Agency regulations are found in the Wisconsin Administrative Code and are promulgated by cabinet-level departments as well as boards, commissions, and offices.
Because of the broad and deep reach of rules and regulations, in “Challenging a State Agency Regulation,” Wesley Webendorfer says lawyers should understand the mechanics of how to challenge an agency regulation in courts. This article will help you through that process.
Other Columns: Recreational Immunity, Avoiding Five Common Mistakes, Maintaining a Relationship with an Upset Client, On Being a Lawyer and a Police Officer
● President’s Message: In “Strong Courts and a Strong Bar Are Mutual Reinforcements,” State Bar President Paul Swanson says no matter the structure of the State Bar, the organization and lawyers must support the legitimacy of the state’s legal and judicial systems.
● Your State Bar: In “Stepping Up for Our Communities,” Executive Director Larry Martin says the public needs lawyers to step up and serve our communities, particularly by running for public office.
● As I See It: In “Trouble by Design: Recreational Immunity Statute a Barrier to Justice,” Jim Rogers observes that many judicial decisions have encroached on the right of injured plaintiffs to obtain remedies when harmed by negligent acts.
● Ethics: In “Cell Phones: Guard Client Information,” Dean Dietrich warns if you communicate with or about clients via cell phone, you must keep the data confidential.
● Risk Management: Tom Watson in “Five Common Lawyering Mistakes – And How to Avoid Them” reminds that the types of errors that most often result in malpractice claims or grievances are easy to commit but also relatively simple to avert.
● On Balance: In “Lawyer Well-being: Let’s Own This Problem,” Paula Davis-Laack says the time is now to promote psychological wellness in the profession.
● Solutions: In “Upset Client? Steps to Defuse the Situation,” Sally Schmidt says the speed and tone of your response in dealing with a problem affect how clients perceive your dedication to them.
● Solutions: In “Tough Conversations: When Medicaid Planning Goes Wrong,” Avery Mayne gives tips for talking to clients whose previously obtained legal advice has not gone as desired.
● Career: In “Pass On a Partnership Offer? Maybe,” Dustin Cole says it’s critical that you fully understand the landscape you may be walking into – and that you codify it all in a partner agreement.
● Final Thought: In “The Why and the How of Being a Lawyer/Police Officer,” Jared Prado says a law degree underscores the importance of preparedness and appreciation of the role of police in the legal system.
Check out the November Wisconsin Lawyer.