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Features

The 2005 Bench and Bar Survey examines views from both sides of the bench on key issues affecting law practice and judicial process, such as components of continuing education, whether pro bono work should be mandatory, the impact of budget cuts on court efficiency, and more.
The Wisconsin Judicial Commission applies the Code of Judicial Conduct in investigating and prosecuting complaints of judicial misconduct; the Wisconsin Supreme Court adjudicates the cases. Here is a look at how the commission functions and at the disposition of grievances against judges in 2005.
Through their charitable contributions to the Wisconsin Law Foundation, lawyers transform the lives of state residents and stimulate them as citizens to understand our constitutional rights and responsibilities and to explore the law and our judicial system.
The Hon. R. Thomas Cane, Marquette 1964, LL.M. Virginia, and Sheila Sullivan, U.W. 2004 magna cum laude, are the 2005 recipients of the Hon. Charles Dunn Author Award, presented annually by the State Bar Communications Committee.

Opinions, Voices & Ideas

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  • Inside the Bar
  • The State Bar Ethics Hotline, Law Office Management Program, and Wisconsin Lawyers' Assistance Program form a three-legged stool to support members' law practice needs.
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  • President's Message
  • Other than tweaking the rules to make the mandatory WisTAF assessment more fair for some individuals, the Bar president believes it is time that Bar members and the Board of Governors agree to disagree, and move on to other important issues.
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  • Supreme court releases tentative draft of new ethics rules
  • The supreme court has wrapped up its initial open administrative conferences on the Ethics 2000 petition, and released a draft version reflecting the most recent tentative votes. The court has also approved a timetable for final consideration and implementation of the new rules. An order will be forthcoming.
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  • New Identity Theft Law is a landmine for real estate lawyers
  • A new law enacted by the Wisconsin Legislature prohibits the recording of documents with the register of deeds that display a person's Social Security number. The law is intended to prevent one of the means of stealing a person's identity. If a document is recorded that contains a Social Security number, the person who drafted it may face a damage claim with no cap. All attorneys who deal with real estate should change their practices, and recommend that their clients change their practices, immediately
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  • Practice Tips
  • How long must a Wisconsin firm retain client files before destruction? What if you can't locate the client? What are your fiduciary duties? The State Bar Law Office Management Assistance Program advisor answers these frequently asked questions.
  • Mock Trial
  • Influencing Career Choices
  • The State Bar's Mock Trial Program, under the auspices of the Law-related Education Committee and funded with donations from various organizations, attorneys, and citizens statewide through the Wisconsin Law Foundation's designated fund, is the most highly visible public service project the Bar offers.
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  • You Can Make an Impact, Too
  • The Wisconsin Law Foundation offers lawyers many opportunities to join their colleagues in supporting programs that have a long-lasting, positive impact on Wisconsin citizens and youth. Through membership dues, donor-advised and designated funds, and will provisions, contributors can direct their donations to specific law-related programs.
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  • Wisconsin Law Foundation Grants
  • Since 1996, on behalf of the legal profession, the Wisconsin Law Foundation has distributed more than $270,300 in grants to support law-related education and public service programs.
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  • Key Findings of the 2005 Bench and Bar Survey
  • Survey respondents were asked the degree to which they agreed or disagreed with the following statements. Respondents could choose from three levels of "disagree" and three levels of "agree." For these findings, all levels of disagree and all levels of agree are combined, resulting in the percentages shown below.

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