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In 2003, the Wisconsin Supreme Court, State Bar, and Court of Appeals will all mark milestones.
Under Wisconsin's alcohol provider immunity statute, even individuals - such as designated drivers - who are only peripherally involved in procuring alcohol for an adult are protected from liability for damages caused by the intoxicated adult.
The ability of corporations to opt out of the public civil justice system by using mandatory arbitration clauses in consumer contracts poses a fundamental policy question for Congress and the courts. Still, there are ways to preserve clients' rights to have their day in court.
This is the first of a series of articles on Wisconsin legal history that will appear in the Wisconsin Lawyer through 2003 to commemorate significant anniversaries of the Wisconsin Supreme Court (150 years), the State Bar of Wisconsin (125 years), and the Court of Appeals (25 years).
While Ryan deeply believed in a decentralized agrarian society in which any concentration of power was evil, his love of law as an instrument of order led him to defend the imperfect federal constitution as still the "political hope of mankind ... in a world in which nothing is perfect."
In FY02 the State Bar organized a statewide effort to assist military personnel and their families with their legal needs, as the nation responded to the Sept. 11 acts of terrorism. The theme of solving problems, sharing expert advice, and serving the community that defined this program became the core of a communications effort to educate the public about the value of lawyers to society.
The State Bar undertook significant initiatives during FY02 to streamline our internal operations and plan for the future. With these changes, we will continue to improve our service to our 20,000-plus members and the public.
Incoming President Patricia Ballman has outlined three goals she is committed to working on during her term: spearheading an effort to educate the public about the value of the legal profession; continuing the fight for government funding of civil legal services for the indigent; and improving diversity within the legal profession.

Opinions, Voices & Ideas

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  • Inside the Bar
  • The Bar is engaging in strategic planning to best meet member needs and fulfill its responsibilities.
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  • President's Message
  • The bar will do what it can to help improve the public's perception of lawyers, but ultimately lawyers, as individuals, are responsible for their image.
  • Legislative Watch
  • Figures
  • Figures for Budget Reform Legislation Enacted.
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  • Legislative Watch
  • Several provisions of the budget reform legislation have an impact on the courts and public.
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  • Managing Risk
  • You advise your clients to read the contract. When was the last time you read your lawyers professional liability insurance policy?
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  • FY02 Annual Report - President's Message
  • At the beginning of my term, I promised to bolster two existing initiatives - improve the image of the profession and enhance public trust and confidence in our justice system. Months later, the tragic events of September 11 rocked our country. Lawyers responded with real and tangible actions that furthered both goals.

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