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    Wisconsin Lawyer
    March 01, 2002

    Legal News and Trends

    Wisconsin Lawyer
    Vol. 75, No. 3, March 2002

    Legal   News & Trends

    Court order improves lawyer regulation system, clarifies responsibilities

    On Jan. 23, the supreme court amended the lawyer regulation system in response to the Office of Lawyer Regulation's (OLR) petition to improve the rules based on the first year of experience under the new system.

    "The OLR proposed the amendments in order to update references in supreme court rules to comport with establishment of the new lawyer regulation system and to clarify certain authorities and responsibilities," said OLR Director Keith L. Sellen. "None of the amendments was intended to alter the structure, composition, or fundamental duties and relationships of the Lawyer Regulation System components as approved by the supreme court on Sept. 25, 2000, or to make substantive changes to the Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorneys."

    The changes become effective on April 1, 2002, except where noted. Significant changes include the following:

    • Clarify SCR 21.13 and SCR 21.19 to provide immunity to attorneys assisting with alternatives to discipline programs. This is intended to encourage attorneys to volunteer as monitors or mentors for attorneys in a variety of educational and treatment programs.
    • Increase the membership of the Preliminary Review Committee from 12 to 14 members. The committee now will have nine lawyers and five nonlawyers, and will divide into panels of seven, each with at least four lawyers and two nonlawyers, to review matters.
    • Create a duty for attorneys to self-report their conviction of a crime [SCR 21.15(5)]. The provision requiring court clerks to report was inadequate, and many convictions were not reported. This provision becomes effective on July 1, 2002, for convictions occurring on or after that date.
    • Change the procedure in SCR 22.16 for resolving claims that a medical incapacity makes defending a misconduct proceeding impossible. The change, which is intended to resolve issues expeditiously, provides that the referee will consider and rule on that issue within the context of the misconduct proceeding.
    • Amend SCR 22.25 and other provisions to make the special investigation process more parallel to the normal process.
    • Amend the reinstatement rules to streamline the reinstatement process.
      Order 01-12 was published in two parts. The second part of Order 01-12, filed on Jan. 23, 2002, is printed on page 49 of this issue. The first part, published on Nov. 14, 2001, was printed on page 43 of the December 2001 Wisconsin Lawyer.

    State Law Library hosts open house in April

    The Wisconsin Staw Library will celebrate its move to the Risser Justice Center, 120 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Madison with an open house from 3 to 6 p.m. on April 19. Join library staff and Wisconsin Supreme Court justices for facility tours and legal research tools demonstrations. Refreshments will be served. The center is across the street from the Dane County Courthouse and a block off the Capitol Square. The library entrance is on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. For more information, call Tammy Keller at (608) 261-7553. The center also houses the Department of Justice (DOJ) offices. All DOJ legal services and law enforcement agencies are located on floors 4 to 8 of the new building. The DOJ entrance is on the Square at 17 W. Main St.

    District II Court of Appeals seeks volunteers to mediate ADR cases

    The Wisconsin Court of Appeals, District II, headquartered in Waukesha, is seeking attorney-volunteers to mediate disputes as part of a three-year pilot program designed to make alternative dispute resolution (ADR) available in the appeals process.

    The program, which begins in July, has several program goals. "We hope to reduce both the amount of time for the appeal process and the overall cost, provide creative ideas for settlement, and improve communication among the parties and attorneys," said District II Court of Appeals Judge Dan Anderson.

    "A staff attorney will review each case and notify parties if they are eligible to take part in the ADR program," continued Anderson. "Generally, all civil cases will be eligible for participation; however, appeals involving prisoners, child support, maintenance, judicial review of administrative agency rulings, and supervisory writs will be excluded. Participation is voluntary and parties may request to be included. There is no charge to the parties who participate and appeals will be stayed for no more than 30 days."

    Attorneys must be members of the bar in Calumet, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Kenosha, Manitowoc, Ozaukee, Racine, Sheboygan, Walworth, Washington, Waukesha, or Winnebago counties. Volunteers must have at least five years of active practice experience, have participated in three or more appeals, and have prior training in ADR or an active ADR practice. Send letters of interest to Hon. Daniel P. Anderson, Wisconsin Court of Appeals, District II, 2727 N. Grandview Blvd., Suite 300, Waukesha, WI 53188-1672.

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