Question & Answer
Mark Your Calendar: Annual Meeting and Conference 2016
The Annual Meeting and Conference will be held June 16-17, 2016, at the Hyatt Regency/KI Convention Center in Green Bay.
Featured speakers include former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement as the opening plenary. Clement, a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin, has argued more than 75 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Political journalist Amy Walter is the closing plenary. She’s the national editor of The Cook Political Report, and former political director of ABC News.
In addition to great CLE programming, the “Lawyers at Lambeau All Conference Bash” will be held at the Champions Club, a unique venue overlooking Lambeau Field.
“Sixty percent of the time, it works every time.”
– Brian Fontana in Anchorman, The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004).
Lawyers can use this statistic to reassure their clients about the likelihood of success, or not.
On the Radar
Get Ready for E-filing in Circuit Courts
A proposal that would mandate electronic filing (e-filing) in Wisconsin’s circuit courts is one step closer to reality.
The Wisconsin Committee of Chief Judges, which filed the e-filing petition with the Wisconsin Supreme Court, had hoped to launch mandatory e-filing with $2.1 million in state funding and a $5 fee per case, per party. However, no state funds were allocated for e-filing in the 2015-17 state budget.
An amended proposal would fund mandatory e-filing with a $20 fee per case, per party, starting in July 2016 for the 41 counties that already offer voluntary e-filing (the rest would follow starting in December 2017). Mandatory e-filing would initially apply to civil, small claims, family, and paternity cases. Indigent parties and public agencies are exempt, and pro se litigants would not be required to e-file.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court must approve the proposal. But Chief Justice Patience Roggensack, in her November State of the Judiciary Address, indicated that mandatory e-filing is coming soon.
By the Numbers
– The estimated amount of money at stake in merger and acquisition deals last year, making 2015 the biggest M&A year ever, according to the Wall Street Journal.
That total surpasses a record set in 2007, a pre-recession year that saw $4.3 trillion in M&A deals globally. Deals involving pharmaceuticals and beer topped the list of blockbuster transactions in 2015.
In November, Pfizer (maker of Viagra) agreed to merge with Botox-maker Allergan, a deal worth a reported $150 billion. The deal would allow U.S-based Pfizer to lower its U.S. corporate tax bill. Allergan, technically the buyer, is based in tax-friendly Ireland.
In October, the biggest beer makers in the world agreed to join forces – owners of Miller and Budweiser beer brands, competitors who are the world’s largest beer producers.
London-based SABMiller agreed to be acquired by Belgium-based Anheuser-Busch InBev for $106 billion.
Together, the companies would control about 30 percent of the world’s beer market. There are still some kinks that must be worked out to clear antitrust hurdles.
The Future of the Legal Profession Might Be Brighter Than You Think
That is the headline of a Forbes.com leadership column last month. It’s a welcome one as lawyers grow accustomed to reading the doom-and-gloom of legal profession coverage.
This Forbes article, by Brian Rashid, sheds light on Legal.io, an Internet platform that creates “communities” of lawyers and legal networks that can use the Legal.io technology “to find new clients and communicate with existing ones, all while sharing resources, leads and tips with one another,” according to the Legal.io website.
Legal.io is also designed to efficiently bridge the gap between lawyers and the approximately 80 percent of low-income people who aren’t getting the legal help they need.
“In essence, Legal.io is open-sourcing the law,” Rashid writes.
From the Archives
“I know of no greater aid to becoming established in the profession of the law than by taking an active and helpful part in local and state bar association matters.”
– R.B Graves, president of the State Bar Association of Wisconsin, speaking in 1936. He was rebutting any claim that young attorneys aren’t established enough to participate in bar activities.
These words ring true 80 years later, as the legal profession faces profound changes and challenges. According to current State Bar of Wisconsin President Ralph Cagle, young lawyers play a vital role in the continued advancement of the legal profession.
Want to get involved? Check out the opportunities at WisBar.org > forMembers > Get Involved.