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    Wisconsin Lawyer


Wisconsin’s products liability law has undergone a sea change. Changes to Wis. Stat. chapter 895 adopt a new test of defectiveness, leaving behind the analysis of consumer expectations in strict liability claims and substituting the reasonable-alternative-design standard. Plaintiffs now must meet more stringent requirements to recover for an injury caused by defective products.
State Bar President Jim Brennan credits his upbringing as the son of an Irish immigrant cop and a nurse, in a family that values justice and advocacy for the poor, for shaping his life’s work – the pursuit of justice. As president, Brennan's focus will be on supporting the roles lawyers play in the justice system and assuring the public of the Bar's commitment to equal justice.
Nearly 60 percent of the nation's taxable property may be over assessed. There are many reasons for real estate appraisal inaccuracies, which may affect a property owner's tax assessment. It is important that taxpayers and their attorneys understand how appraisals are conducted and the different types of tax assessment appeals that are available, including their processes and limitations.
Most courts require a lawyer to seek permission to withdraw from representing a client and usually require the lawyer to provide some reason. Withdrawing lawyers still owe a duty of confidentiality to the client, however, and should not disclose information that would be detrimental to the client's interests.

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To recover for an injury caused by a defective product, plaintiffs now must prove a manufacturer rejected a reasonable alternative design that would have reduced the foreseeable danger. In this video, available online with the July 2011 Wisconsin Lawyer, coauthor Jessica Ozalp explains that the adoption of this new test of defectiveness is among the biggest changes to Wisconsin’s products liability law.

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