Vol. 75, No. 10, October
Nine Wisconsin lawyers cross finish line in
The August Wisconsin Lawyer profiled Wisconsin attorneys
participating in the inaugural Wisconsin Ironman Triathlon in Madison on
Sept. 15. Nine State Bar members were part of a field of 1,800 athletes
from 25 countries competing in the swim-bike-run endurance event.
"The race began with a mass swim start in front of a cheering crowd
lined up three-deep on the Monona Terrace Convention Center," says Craig
Witz, triathlon participant. "The bike route weaved through several
communities southwest of Madison and took on an almost Tour de
France-type atmosphere at various points. The dramatic home stretch of
the marathon-distance run took the runners up State Street and around
the state capitol. Beginning with a breathtaking sunrise over Lake
Monona and finishing under a moonlit sky, the all-day event drew crowds
estimated at between 50,000 to 75,000."
Ironman Triathlon Results
Ironman Lawyers, (Age)
Jon Becker, Madison (31)
David Braithwaite, Madison (56)
Steven Cain, Grafton (28)
Stephen Hartman, Brookfield (53)
Donald Locke, Milwaukee (30)
Tom Larson, Madison (32)
Laura Macaulay, San Francisco (30)
Michael Miller, Madison (34)
Craig Witz, Madison (43)
All of the Ironman attorneys finished and some flourished on their
home turf. Thomas Larson, competing in his second Ironman event, took
third in the Men's 30-34 age group and qualified to enter the Hawaii
Ironman in 2003. The Hawaii competition is considered the "big show" in
triathlon - the same grueling distances (2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike
ride, and 26.2-mile run) but add in some ocean trade winds on the bike
and 100-plus degree lava fields on the run to make things even more
interesting. David Braithwaite, competing in his first Ironman, finished
fourth in the Men's 55-59 category, missing a Hawaii slot by only two
"Our original list of Wisconsin Ironman attorneys grew by one," says
Witz. "An alert Wisconsin Lawyer reader connected us with Laura
Macaulay - a 1997 U.W. graduate and daughter of a U.W. Law School
professor, who practices intellectual property and licensing law in San
Francisco. This was Laura's first Ironman competition though she has
competed in five previous marathons."
The Ironman lawyer participants agreed the event was an incredible
experience and about half will be back for more punishment in Wisconsin
Seven Common CLE Reporting Errors
Attorneys admitted to practice in even-numbered years should receive
the 2002 - 2003 CLE Form 1, the continuing legal education reporting
form, in mid-October. All active Wisconsin-licensed attorneys are
required by SCR 31.03 to file a CLE Form 1 with the Board of Bar
Examiners (BBE) biennially. This year's filing deadline is Dec. 31.
Attorneys admitted to practice in 2002 do not need to report until
"It seems the most difficult aspects of earning CLE credits can be
filling out CLE Form 1 accurately and submitting it early enough to
catch a deficiency before it's too late to avoid the consequences," says
Gene R. Rankin, BBE director. "Consequences can include a fine or even
license suspension." Rankin urges attorneys to file early and to keep
good records. "Attorneys who wait until the last minute to file can
suddenly find they are short credits, and oftentimes there isn't enough
time to earn those credits before the deadline. Another major problem is
not keeping accurate records, which complicates filling out the
Rankin outlines the seven most common CLE reporting form errors and
offers ideas to make the process less complicated.
1. Filing late. The earlier you file, the earlier
your form is audited, and the more likely deficiencies will be detected
while there's still time to make up missing credits. Filing late also
can land your form in a huge pile of late-filers, which can result in a
late audit and late fees if there are deficiencies.
2. Form filled out by someone else. Take personal
responsibility. Fill out the form yourself.
3. Inaccurate information. Reporting the accurate
date, title, and sponsor is critical. Many sponsors offer dozens of
courses, and it is impossible for BBE staff to determine which course is
being reported if the information is incomplete or inaccurate.
4. Inaccurate mailing address. The BBE mails your
form to the address on file with the State Bar. If you don't receive the
form and therefore don't file, your license could be suspended.
5. Unapproved courses. Never assume courses have
been approved for Wisconsin credit. Check the BBE
Web site to access a searchable database for approved CLE
"When you take a CLE course, write down the necessary information,
file the course brochure and payment receipt in a folder, and record the
course on your calendar," says Rankin. "When the CLE Form 1 arrives, the
necessary information is easy to get to, and you are ready to go."
6. Unsigned form. CLE Form 1 is a sworn document and
requires a signature to testify to the truth of its contents.
7. Read your mail. The BBE routinely sends out two
CLE reporting forms, one in October and another in November. Attorneys
who have not filed by the Dec. 31 deadline receive a warning in
A certified mail notice is sent to attorneys not in compliance in
April, warning them that failure to comply in 60 days will result in
suspension. Certified mail notices of suspension
are sent in June.
"If the BBE sends you a deficiency notice, pay close attention," says
Rankin. "If you filed and there is a deficiency in your report that is
not corrected it will result in suspension. Earlier this year the State
Bar began publishing attorneys' license status on its Web site, WisBar.
Avoid the embarrassment of having your clients learn about your
suspension through WisBar."
For more information, contact BBE CLE Records Manager Tammy McMillen
at (608) 261-2350.
People's Law School educates the
public about legal system
The success of our justice system depends on people's knowledge and
appreciation of its merits and worth. The Wisconsin Academy of Trial
Lawyers (WATL) recently began offering The People's Law School, a series
of public education courses designed to clear up the mysteries
surrounding the law and to create a public well-informed about its
rights, privileges, and responsibilities under our judicial system.
The People's Law School was first held in the late 1980s and the
early 1990s in Madison and Superior. At press time, fall courses are
scheduled in Fennimore, Janesville, La Crosse, Madison, Superior, and
Wausau. Spring course development is under way in Oshkosh, Neenah, and
"The People's Law School has two objectives," says WATL
Communications Director Ruth Simpson. "First, it allows the community
access to lawyers who provide information on a general area of the law
and who answer questions on specific topics." Local lawyers develop the
courses and course topics, which may include: your courts and how they
work; wills, estates, probate; family law; buying/selling real estate
and landlord/tenant law; personal injury and insurance; bankruptcy and
creditor/debtor law; constitutional law; or other areas of interest.
"The second objective is to educate the public about their legal
rights and the legal system," continues Simpson. "Attendees learn how
they can protect these rights and have an opportunity to ask questions
about legal stories that appear in the media. This provides a forum
where the community can receive accurate information on legal issues
confronting the public."
The course runs four to six weeks for two hours one night a week. To
learn more, contact WATL at (608) 257-5741, www.watl.org, or WATL@mailbag.com.