WisBar News: August Wisconsin Lawyer Highlights Right to Counsel, Includes Feature: Are Law Schools Keeping Up?:

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    August Wisconsin Lawyer Highlights Right to Counsel, Includes Feature: Are Law Schools Keeping Up?

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    August Wisconsin Lawyer Highlights Right to Counsel, Includes Feature: Are Law Schools Keeping Up?

    August 2012 Wisconsin Lawyer

    Aug. 8, 2012 – The door has opened for police to approach and question charged defendants who have availed themselves of a right to counsel, according to two Wisconsin lawyers whose article anchors the August Wisconsin Lawyer, now available online and in mailboxes soon.

    Also in this month’s issue, writer Dianne Molvig catches up with U.W. Law School Dean Margaret Raymond, Marquette Law School Dean Joseph Kearney, and other experts to talk about what law schools are doing to keep up with rapid changes impacting the legal profession. Molvig notes the recent scrutiny of law schools, including lawsuits that claim some law schools are distorting graduation employment data and deceiving prospective students about jobs.

    And, if you are enjoying Wisconsin lakes this summer, it’s a good time for attorney Elizabeth Wheeler’s article on navigable waterway permitting requirements under new laws. Finally, a veteran Wisconsin lawyer has some good news: the term “happy lawyer” is not an oxymoron.

    Right to Counsel Under the Sixth Amendment

    Milwaukee criminal defense attorneys Craig Mastantuono and Rebecca Coffee’s article, “SOS: Defendants’ Right to Counsel,” explains the implications for criminal defendants, and their lawyers, in light of recent U.S. Supreme Court and Wisconsin Supreme Court cases.

    Prior to 2010, charged criminal defendants who invoked a Sixth Amendment right to counsel could not be questioned by police without their lawyer present.

    But the U.S. Supreme Court held in 2010 that the U.S. Constitution does not prohibit police from post-charging interrogation, even when the police know a defendant is represented. In light of that decision, the Wisconsin Supreme Court revisited the issue in State v. Forbush.

    “These decisions could affect routine practice in criminal proceedings, although it is not yet clear what the precise effect will be in Wisconsin, given a divided plurality on the issue in the Wisconsin Supreme Court,” wrote the authors, who represented the defendant in Forbush.

    Are Law Schools Keeping Up?

    Certain law schools are getting negative attention from lawsuits claiming they distorted graduation employment data and deceived prospective students about career opportunities. In her article, “Pace of Change: Are Law Schools Keeping Up?,” Molvig addresses the underlying question: What are law schools doing to address employment in a tough economy?

    The deans of both Wisconsin law schools and other law education leaders weigh in on economic pressures and law school efforts to keep pace with a changing legal environment.

    “Everybody wants to do what a handful of elite law schools have been doing for decades,” says the University of Chicago Law School’s Brian Leiter on the topic of job preparation. “It’s not responsive to what students need for the kinds of jobs that are out there.”

    Kearney and Raymond talk about what Wisconsin’s law schools are doing to better prepare graduates, and the need for Wisconsin lawyers despite a “too many lawyers” argument.

    August 2012 Wisconsin Lawyer

    DNR Permitting Requirements Change

    Last year, Wisconsin significantly altered the permitting requirements for activities in and near navigable waterways. The “eased requirements” will take effect Sept. 1, 2012.

    According to Madison lawyer Elizabeth Wheeler’s article, “New Law Eases Requirements: Navigable Waterway Permits,” the changes have big implications for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ administration of the public trust doctrine protecting state waters.

    The changes will “shorten timelines for approval, reduce the DNR’s ability to collect information about specific projects, increase the use of general permits, and create presumptive approval for” Wisconsin’s permitting laws that relate to navigable waters, harbors, and navigation.

    The Happy Lawyer

    “Happy” and “lawyer” are not mutually exclusive, according to Pleasant Prairie attorney James McNeilly, who says he spent 20 years in practice before learning how to enjoy it.

    In his viewpoint article, “Happy Lawyer: Not an Oxymoron,” McNeilly reminds lawyers of those practical tips – such as dealing with clients, other lawyers, mistakes, staff, organization, and emergencies – that can help you have your cake and eat it too.

    “If you aren’t careful, practicing law can make you unhappy, if not downright miserable,” McNeilly writes. “However, if you organize your professional life, learn what to say yes and no to, and relate to all people with whom you come into contact in a positive way, it can be a most rewarding career.”