More States Recognizing Same-Sex Marriage
The number of states recognizing same-sex marriage continues to grow at a rapid pace. Since my article “Federal Benefits for Married Same-Sex Couples” was published (Jan. 2014), New Mexico and Utah were added to the list of states granting same-sex marriage. The New Mexico Supreme Court held that the state’s marriage laws require the recognition of same-sex marriages, whereas a U.S. District Court judge ruled that Utah’s state constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage violated gay men and lesbians’ fundamental right to marriage under the U.S. Constitution. [Editor’s Note: The U.S. Supreme Court has halted same-sex marriages in Utah while the state appeals the federal district court’s ruling that had legalized the unions. While the state does not recognize these unions as legal, the federal government does, making nearly 1,300 same-sex couples in Utah eligible for many federal benefits of marriage.]
Here’s What You May Have Missed
This new element to “Inbox” highlights readers’ comments posted to Wisconsin Lawyer, WisBar InsideTrack, and WisBar.org as well as to social media. Keep the conversation going. Let’s hear what you have to say. Post comments to articles online or respond to Facebook and Twitter entries. Or simply email the editors at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Lawyers Are In a Financial and Emotional Depression, Says State Bar Task Force
Times are rough for new lawyers, according to a recent report released by the State Bar of Wisconsin. Among the normal struggles that all new lawyers face, they are also dealing with unemployment, underemployment, and law school debt. (WisBar InsideTrack, Dec. 18, 2013)
email@example.com 12/20/2013 2:37 PM
Agree, an excellent article. Most of what the panel recommends is a pretty good start on addressing the issues. I would add one, to counsel students in law school about their loan debt in very specific terms, how much they have borrowed and how much per month/year they will need to pay back. That kind of knowledge will help them plan – the sooner the better!
firstname.lastname@example.org 12/18/2013 12:50 PM
Excellent article. I would strongly agree with the recommendation to reduce the cost of CLE programs (not only for new lawyers, but also those in financially challenged practices in general). I also recommend the idea of a mentoring program, as well as helping lawyers “obtain temporary and project work.” I, for one, could use the work.
Most applicable to Wisconsin is the Utah decision. Utah voters passed a referendum in 2004 amending their state constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage as well as any other legal status substantially similar to marriage. Wisconsin followed a similar path by passing article XIII, sec. 13, the “Marriage Amendment,” to our state constitution in 2006. The Utah decision, at a minimum, offers a legal argument and analysis of how the Wisconsin “Marriage Amendment” may not survive scrutiny under the U.S. Constitution. Legal scholars and attorneys following this issue anticipate the issue of a national right to same-sex marriage will be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court within the next three to five years.
Christopher S. Krimmer, Partner
Balisle & Roberson S.C., Madison
How Attorneys Underearn
Thanks so much for publishing my article “How Attorneys Underearn … And What You Can Do About It” (Nov. 2013). Apparently some of your readers recognized themselves in this article because the emails keep coming in. From an attorney who barters services in exchange for chickens, to the attorney carrying a $135,000 balance on a business line of credit – the problem is real and it’s widespread. In fact, I’ve never met an attorney who isn’t underearning in one way or another. Thanks for alerting Wisconsin lawyers to the behaviors and habits that lead to underearning. Hopefully, a few lives have been changed with this article!
Ann M. Guinn, Principal
G&P Associates, Kent, Wash.
More Lawyer License Plates
The number of specialty Wisconsin license plates that are tied to lawyers or judges, first listed in “Briefly” (Nov. 2013) and updated in “Inbox” (Dec. 2013), continues to grow.
Milwaukee attorney Patricia Zeeh Risser’s plate is IM Z LAW.
Atty. Dennis Grzezinski, Milwaukee, focuses on environmental law. His endangered-species plate is ENVLAW.
Atty. Ronald E. Kissinger, Fort Atkinson, drives a 1990 Mazda Miata with license plate LAW WON.
Did we miss yours? Email us at email@example.com or post a comment below.
Wisconsin Lawyer editors