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    Wisconsin Lawyer
    June 01, 2015

    Briefly

    Got a nugget to share? Send your ideas for interesting facts, trends, tips, or other bits and bytes to wislawmag@wisbar.org, or comment below.


    dog biteOut There

    Milwaukee Ranks in Top 30 Dog Attack Cities

    Last month, Milwaukee made the U.S. Postal Service’s “Top 30 Dog Attack City Rankings.”

    With 11 dog attacks on postal service employees in 2014, Milwaukee ranked 29th along with 12 other cities.

    Los Angeles topped the list with 74 dog attacks on postal workers, followed by Houston (62), San Diego (47), Chicago (45), and Dallas (43). Minneapolis was in the top 10 with 33 dog attacks.

    The rankings were intended to raise awareness during National Dog Bite Prevention Week in May.

    The Postal Service reported that 5,767 postal employees were attacked in 2014, but 4.5 million people, mostly kids, are bitten by dogs annually.

    Recently, in Detroit, a man attacked by pit bulls won a $100 million judgment against the dog owners.

    Sources: U.S. Postal Service, The Detroit News

    By the Numbers

    911,086

    – The number of business and nonbusiness bankruptcy filings in the United States for the 12-month period ending in March 2015.

    The number represents a 12 percent decrease in bankruptcy filings from the previous year, and a 42 percent decrease from 2011, when more than 1.5 million cases were filed in U.S. bankruptcy courts.

    Source: U.S. Courts, Third Branch News

    Good Ideas

    New York is the 16th State to Adopt the Uniform Bar Exam

    dominoesNew York state’s chief judge announced last month that New York will start using the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) next year, rather than a state-specific bar exam that most states, including Wisconsin, use.

    Those who pass the UBE can transfer their scores to other states that also administer the UBE, removing a barrier to admission in multiple states.

    New York Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman expects a “domino effect” to result from New York’s move. A national bar exam is “not only desirable but necessary for the mobile, interconnected society in which we live,” he said.

    Missouri was the first to adopt the UBE in 2011, and 14 other states have followed, including Minnesota.

    There is no indication that Wisconsin, the only state that allows in-state law school graduates to skip the bar exam, plans to adopt the UBE.

    Source: Fortune.com, New York State Bar Association

    On the Radar

    Innovation in Australia: Expanding “Remote” Appearances in Court

    work remotelyCourts in South Australia are testing software that lets lawyers appear in court from their own private offices in an attempt to increase efficiencies.

    In the United States and Australia, courts frequently use videoconferencing software to connect with criminal defendants who are in custody to cut transportation costs and increase efficiencies in the court system. But the defense lawyer must still appear in person on the client’s behalf. This new initiative allows lawyers to “appear” in court from their own offices, and could potentially be used in pretrial motion and other hearings in civil cases, too.

    Source: psnews.com

    From the Archives

    Wisconsin’s First and Only Execution

    gallowsIn May, a federal jury in Boston sentenced Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death for his role in the Boston Marathon bombings, triggering a nationwide debate on capital punishment. As of May 27, 31 states and the federal government still allow capital punishment.

    Wisconsin was the first state to permanently abolish the death penalty 162 years ago, in 1853, after the first and only state-sanctioned execution took place in 1851.

    John McCaffery was accused and convicted of murdering his wife. Approximately 3,000 people travelled to watch the public hanging in Kenosha.

    Two years later, Wisconsin passed the Death Penalty Repeal Act.

    In the 1990s, when serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was sentenced to life in prison, Wisconsin legislators tried to reinstate the death penalty with more than 20 bills through 1996, but all failed.

    Source: Death Penalty Information Center

    Tech Tip

    Save on Office Supplies with Price-tracking Tools

    staplerShopping for the best prices on office supplies can take a lot of time, especially when prices fluctuate frequently. Rather than give up and just (over)pay for supplies, try using a price-tracking tool to easily monitor items you buy often (pens, paper, toner, and so on), as well as larger equipment purchases.

    One such tool is CamelCamelCamel, which maps out price histories and trends for any Amazon.com product. Its best feature is the ability to set up notifications for when the price of any given item dips below a certain level (set by you).

    Another good price-tracking option is PriceZombie, which has similar features as CamelCamelCamel, but works with multiple stores (including Amazon).

    Yet another tool, the Invisible Hand, doesn’t really track prices, but it will show you where to get the lowest price on a particular product “right now.”

    Source: Tison Rhine, practice management advisor of Practice411, the State Bar of Wisconsin Law Office Management Program

    P.S. Save on office products with the Office Max Partner AdvantageSM Program, at wisbar.org/memberbenefits.




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