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    Wisconsin Lawyer
    October 01, 2017


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    Tech Tip

    Let’s Talk About Business Cards


    When you exchange business cards, it’s generally an invitation to build on the business relationship.

    Before you lose the business card, you’ll want to capture the contact information. But are you really going to go back to the office and manually enter the new contact information into your contact database? 

    No, and neither is the person who took your card. To cultivate your contacts, you need a better system to capture the contact information.

    Good news! There are apps for that.  Several apps allow you to create digital business cards, making it easier to save and retrieve the information. Just scan business cards through the app, and the app will capture and save the information automatically.

    Costs range from free to around $12 per month, with other features available. Examples of business card apps include:

    • CamCard (
    • Evernote (
    • ScanBizCard (
    • PracBuilder (


    –The percentage raise that Wisconsin judges will receive, under the biennial state budget that Gov. Scott Walker signed last month. Judges will get a 2 percent pay hike starting in September 2018 and another 2 percent raise beginning in May 2019.

    Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Patience Roggensack pushed for judicial pay raises, noting in last year’s State of the Judiciary address that increased salaries will help the state “attract and retain highly skilled and knowledgeable judges.”

    The chief justice said Wisconsin lost 24 judges in 2015 and 19 the year before. She noted that Wisconsin ranks 41st of the 50 states for circuit court pay, and Wisconsin judges are paid less than judges in neighboring states.


    “If traditional law firms used technology to automate tasks, drastically lower their prices and keep giving personalized advice to its clients, they’d have an undeniable competitive advantage over the online companies they’ve been complaining about.”

    digital gavel

    – Attorney Jeff Unger, founder and CEO of eMinutes, a niche law firm that invested $3 million to build a custom software system that ensures compliance with corporate recordkeeping and filing requirements for more than 20,000 companies.

    “Attorneys need to understand that their expertise, education and professional experience gives them the upper hand over legal tech companies. Law firms simply need something to level the playing field: a tech platform of their own.”

    Source: The American Lawyer

    On the Radar

    U.S. Supreme Court Hears Landmark Redistricting Case from Wisconsin

    Wisconsin district map

    The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard oral argument in a potentially landmark redistricting case from Wisconsin that has grabbed national attention and headlines in the last year.

    In Gill v. Whitford (argued Oct. 3), the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether the Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature engaged in unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering when it drew Wisconsin’s voter district maps after the 2010 census.

    The case, which will have national implications, drew nearly 50 amicus curiae briefs prior to oral argument, including briefs from members of Congress and state legislators and governors from Wisconsin and other states. For instance, U.S. Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) urged the court to “curb the rise of partisan gerrymandering” by affirming the district court’s decision, which struck down the redistricting maps as unconstitutional.

    A decision is expected in 2018, likely affecting the 2018 election cycle.

    Did You Know?

    Judge Richard Posner Retires

    Richard Posner

    Judge Richard Posner, appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in 1981 by President Ronald Reagan, announced his abrupt retirement last month, effective the day after the Seventh Circuit court announced the news. But why?

    In interviews, Posner said he had simply lost interest. But he also said he was frustrated when colleagues rebuffed his ideas related to pro se litigants. He said staff lawyers, not the judges, assess appeals from pro se litigants, and the court generally rubber stamps the recommendations. Posner wanted to start reviewing the staff attorney memos before they went to the judges.

    His new book, Reforming the Federal Judiciary: My Former Court Needs to Overhaul Its Staff Attorney Program and Begin Televising Its Oral Arguments, will include more details.

    Sources: ABA Journal; New York Times, Chicago Tribune.

    Good Idea

    Solo but Not Alone

    2017 WSSFC logo

    As a solo practitioner, you have the flexibility and control to be your own boss. “This independence, however, can also lead to overwhelming solitude and isolation,” wrote Ellen Jernigan in the American Bar Association’s GP Solo Magazine.

    The feelings of isolation can intensify without colleagues around you. The good news, Jernigan says, “is that we can learn to manage and even change these feelings, and as a result, become happier and healthier, both personally and professionally.”

    How? Jernigan says there are multiple avenues to foster relationships. One of them is CLE classes and seminars.

    “Push yourself to attend an off-site CLE in your practice area,” she says. “If possible, attend a daylong or overnight conference that includes social events, such as luncheons or receptions; this will allow you to network with others in your practice area. Don’t let shyness or a lack of social confidence hold you back; these events often have a momentum of their own that will draw you in.”

    The State Bar of Wisconsin’s annual Solo & Small Firm Conference is a great opportunity to attend an off-site CLE conference with other solo practitioners.

    The 2017 conference is Oct. 26-28, at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells. Check out the schedule at

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