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    Wisconsin Lawyer
    May 17, 2019


    Interesting facts, trends, tips, bits and bytes in the news.

    Good Ideas

    Basketball, Philanthropy, and the Law


    Dwyane Wade, the former Marquette University basketball standout (2001-03) and Miami Heat all-star, played the final game of his NBA career last month. But this story isn’t about basketball.

    In 2010, Tamara Johnson, now a lawyer in Santa Fe, New Mexico, was one of three students nationwide to receive a full-tuition scholarship, cosponsored by Wade, to attend Marquette University.

    Johnson went on to graduate from Marquette University Law School in 2017 and is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin.

    Before Wade’s final game, Budweiser released a video that showed Johnson and other beneficiaries of Wade’s philanthropy thanking him for the life-altering assistance. Johnson gave Wade her graduation cap and gown from Marquette.

    Wade averaged 15 points per game in his final season, and scored 25 points in his final game.

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    By the Numbers

    $2.9 billion

    – The estimated amount that will be spent on blockchain technology in 2019, a projected 89% increase from 2018, according to a report from International Data Corporation, a U.S.-based market research firm.

    “According to the report, the financial sector will be the leading industry for spending in blockchain development this year,” wrote Helen Partz at the CoinTelegraph. The publication also reported that “demand for legal experts with blockchain technology is high.”

    “For law students and those early in their legal careers, coupling a practical business approach with a working understanding of the technology is a good way to go,” said Brian Burlant, managing director at Major, Lindsey & Africa, a recruiting firm.

    On the Radar

    Sandra Day O’Connor: A Consequential Woman

    Sandra Day O'Connor

    Evan Thomas’s biography about Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, is getting good reviews.

    “The book is billed as an ‘intimate portrait’ of O’Connor, and it certainly is,” writes Jeffrey Toobin in a book review of First: Sandra Day O’Connor, for the New York Times.

    “The O’Connor family gave Thomas open access to the justice’s papers, including letters and diaries, and encouraged all who knew her, law clerks, as well as colleagues, to speak with him.”

    Toobin describes O’Connor as “the most consequential woman in American history,” noting her immense power to shape American constitutional law as a swing justice for many years.

    “It was her vote that saved abortion rights, her vote that preserved affirmative action, and her vote that delivered the presidency to George W. Bush in 2000,” Toobin wrote.

    Turning to another U.S. Supreme Court justice, CNN legal analyst Joan Biskupic recently wrote a biography about Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.

    Biskupic will be at the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Annual Meeting & Conference on June 13 in Green Bay to talk about the chief justice and the final days of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018-19 term.

    Out There

    Ethics in Utah: Is Bigamy Grounds for Disbarment?

    utah map

    The ABA Journal recently reported the Utah State Bar is investigating complaints that seven lawyers are violating professional ethics rules based on their polygamous relationships.

    Bigamy is a crime in Utah, and the ethics rules prohibit attorneys from engaging in criminal acts that reflect adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness. But do polygamous relationships, criminal or not, reflect adversely on a lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, and fitness to practice law?

    At least one legal expert, Jonathan Turley, said this may be the start of an effort to challenge the state’s bigamy statute. Turley represented the family from “Sister Wives,” a reality TV show about a polygamist household.

    “These lawyers should challenge the effort and underlying law,” Turley told the Salt Lake Tribune. “They enjoy the same constitutional protections as their clients. An effort to disbar them based on their lifestyle would raise serious constitutional questions.”


    “We have taken this as seriously as a heart attack, because it’s that important.”


    – Katherine “Shelley” Broderick, former dean of the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clark School of Law. She was responding to comments about the school’s bar exam passage rate in 2017, which sank to 38 percent. As a result, the school implemented several initiatives to improve the bar passage rates.

    “How to reverse sliding bar exam pass rates is a puzzle that law deans across the country are trying to solve,” wrote Karen Sloan at “The national average score on the Multistate Bar Exam – the multiple-choice portion of the exam – hit a 34-year low last July, and thousands of law graduates each year are failing to make the cut.”

    Wisconsin remains the only state with a “diploma privilege.” Graduates of Marquette and U.W. law schools, if they meet certain curriculum requirements, don’t need to take the bar exam to gain admission to practice law in Wisconsin.

    Tech Tip

    Extended Support for Windows 7 Ends Soon. Are You Prepared?

    windows 7

    Microsoft will end extended support for Windows 7 on Jan. 14, 2020. Although Microsoft made its intentions known several years ago, the topic recently generated significant discussion on the State Bar of Wisconsin Practice411 e-list.

    The discussion focused on the risks of using expired Windows software and what to do now to upgrade computers running on Windows 7.

    Microsoft publishes a help page for users with questions about Windows 7, other Windows 7 editions, and costs of upgrading to a current version of Windows. Visit the help page.

    Before upgrading, ensure your current computer system requirements will support the hardware requirements for the new version of Windows. The help page also contains information regarding the end of support for other Windows products, so it’s worth a view.

    To review the archived discussion, join the Practice411 e-list by visiting

    Source: Christopher C. Shattuck – Practice Management Advisor (Practice411), State Bar of Wisconsin

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