Podcast: Bottom Up Podcast
Does the agricultural tourism immunity protect farms operating as a wedding venue? Last month, we explored arguments for the plaintiff. In this second part, Pamela Schmidt presents arguments for the defense.
Does the agricultural tourism immunity protect farms operating as a wedding venue? Amy M. Risseuw explores the question for a plaintiff injured at a barn wedding. Next month, learn the arguments for the defense.
Since Open AI released ChatGPT in November 2022, a wave of astonishment, intrigue, and concern has followed as the technology advances. The legal profession will ultimately benefit from its potential to scale efficiency and improve finished products, but it’s unlikely that robots will soon replace lawyers, says David S. Blinka.
Wisconsin workers' compensation allows for two ways to establish liability: traumatic and occupational and both may use different dates of injury. Matthew Lein explains the significance of an occupational wear and tear injury and the date of injury to use.
With the holidays behind us and a New Year just started, Heather Nelson and Kristen Scheuerman share helpful practice tips to ensure that, when it comes to compliance with the Medicare Secondary Payor Act in 2023, you and your clients are golden.
Called the new LLCs, Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) are experiencing a surge of interest. Andrew Gunem discusses this new entity and its various pitfalls and possibilities.
In this season of winter parties, does Wisconsin law hold liable those that provide alcohol to a person who subsequently injures others? Paul Curtis, discussing Wisconsin statutes and caselaw, says the general answer is “no.”
When your litigation practice often involves work with opposing parties, little things that aggravate can add up. Amy Risseeuw, “asking for a friend,” discusses what defense lawyers do that drives plaintiff’s counsel crazy – and suggests that bettercommunications can make a big difference.
Great litigators don’t just happen. Maybe there are fewer trials now, but that doesn’t mean a new lawyer can’t get a lot of experience. Heather L. Nelson discusses the many ways to develop future trial attorneys.
On easements, whose rights take precedence – utility companies or private landowners? A recent decision by the Wisconsin Supreme Court effectively cements judicial interpretation of the statute and precedent in a clear and meaningful way.
Two recent appeals court decisions draw attention to the presumption of openness in Wisconsin’s public record laws. Nelson W. Phillips details the cases decisions and the decisions.
Are you an attorney of a diverse background who is interested in litigation? The State Bar of Wisconsin Litigation Section offers one-year sponsored memberships for attorneys with historically underrepresented backgrounds. Jacqueline Nuckels provides the details.
Nine recent Wisconsin Court of Appeals cases discuss insurance coverage. Monte Weiss and Kristen Scheuerman provide a summary of the cases.
The intersection of Wisconsin’s workers’ compensation and safety regulations is more common than you may think. However, less common are those who possess the knowledge to handle the interaction of the two and determine who gets what. Matthew Lein gives the background on the intersection and examples that may help attorneys handle such a situation.
While an errata sheet can be used to correct transcription errors, an errata sheet is not a panacea for a poorly given deposition. Erik Monson discusses case law and challenges surrounding use of errata sheets in making substantive changes to a depositiontranscript.
What happens when the State removes access to your clients’ property? That property’s value and use can be drastically and negatively impacted by the removal of access. Ryan Simatic discusses the remedy, inverse condemnation, and how it can be used to compensate property owners.
The intersection of Wisconsin workers' compensation and third-party liability is more common than you may think. Matthew Lein discusses background on third-party negligence claims and how third-party awards are split.
Boilerplate objections in response to written discovery requests in civil cases cause undue delay, excessive costs, and needless consumption of time, say Ralph Tease and David Blinka. Wisconsin courts should not hesitate to sanction those who use boilerplate objections to evade discovery obligations.
Volunteering as a lawyer can help someone in need of help. But what else is involved? James Troupis discusses the lessons you learn when volunteering as a lawyer.
In Nelson v. Loessin, a Wisconsin appeals court recently ruled that it is improper to force individuals with potential claims against defendants to litigate these claims in the same suit. Christina Davis Sommers discusses Loessin’s reasoning and and the case’s implications.
With the promise of the mass distribution of effective vaccines on the horizon, we hope that jury trials – many canceled due to the pandemic – can be resumed in 2021. In anticipation (and optimism) that we are finally turning the corner on COVID-19, Edward Robinson discusses Wisconsin’s five-sixths rule requirement in civil jury cases.
Talked about but never seen, like the metaphorical unicorn: Is that how it is for diverse litigators in Wisconsin? Eric Andrews says it is time for the metaphor to change.
Civil litigation often involves complex ideas, especially in patent law. Former Judge James Troupis offers a plea on behalf of all judges: As with a jury, consider what the court needs to understand the case.
Are waivers your clients using worth anything more than the paper it is printed on? Erik Monson discusses liability waivers in Wisconsin, and offers advice on drafting an enforceable liability waiver.
From voir dire to depositions, lawyers make statements and ask questions in the litigation process knowing that they are improper, under the guise of “zealous advocacy.” The profession would benefit from putting an end to this practice, says Tom Donnelly.
What does it mean to reasonably investigate factual claims before filing, under Federal rules and state statute? Jonathan Cook discusses the issue and case law, providing key takeaways for Wisconsin attorneys practicing civil litigation.
While injury rates in distribution centers are reported higher than those in almost every industry sector in the country, the nature of many distribution center injuries makes it difficult to file workers’ compensation claims. Matthew C. Lein provides an overview of this growing problem and the issues that apply.
As litigators, we have experienced the good, the bad, and the ugly at depositions. Barbara O’Brien offers a few suggestions for a good deposition from our own Wisconsin litigators.
Commentary from the Wisconsin Supreme Court in a recent case brings attention to pleading standards in Wisconsin. Sarah Zylstra discusses the recent comments that were issued in a per curiam decision in Cattau v. National Insurance Services of Wisconsin, Inc. “The comments indicate that a plaintiff must plead facts that satisfy each element of a cause of action in order to survive a motion to dismiss,” she writes.
Whether you are assisting or defending against an inmate’s civil rights claims against corrections staff, know that the case may sink if the inmate has not exhausted administrative remedies. Nelson Phillips discusses the issue and relevant case law.
Independent contractor misclassification is a growing issue in Wisconsin, and can lead to complications when a worker is injured on the job. Matthew Lein discusses the potential consequences of misclassifying workers in Wisconsin.
When the way lawyers comport themselves reflects on the profession, it is important for lawyers to behave with the same civility in depositions as in the courtroom. Tom Donnelly proposes a way to end bad behavior in depositions via courts’ scheduling orders that contain specific provisions on civil behavior.
Your task as litigator is to get the best possible jury to hear your client’s case. But how do you do that? Jacqueline Chada Nuckels discusses how to get the most out of voir dire.
Wisconsin now has a limit on the number of written interrogatories. Ralph Tease and David Blinka share their thoughts on the impact of this new limitation, and what it may mean in civil litigation.
In November 2018, Sarah Zylstra warned lawyers filing appellate briefs that the Wisconsin Court of Appeals computer system was reordering the record, making the record identifications in the clerk of circuit court's certification incorrect. The issue has been fixed for records transmitted on or after Dec. 21, 2018, says Zylstra.
The State Bar’s Diversity Clerkship Program offers a unique opportunity for legal employers to pursue a more diverse workforce while also providing first year law students with valuable career experience. Lara Czajkowski Higgins talks about the program and encourages employers to sign up – the deadline is Feb. 18, 2019.
In 2018, the statute of limitation for tort claims of legal malpractice was shortened from six to three years. However, this change may not reduce the potential exposure period for legal mistakes, says Amy Risseeuw.
Lawyers filing appellate briefs should be aware that the Wisconsin Court of Appeals computer system is reordering the record, making the record identifications in the clerk of circuit court's certification incorrect. Sarah Zylstra discusses how to find the listing of the record as reordered by the court of appeals.
When something happens involving our clients' beloved pets, we often have to be reminded that pets aren’t human but are defined as property in Wisconsin. Just what does that mean legally, when pets cause injury or are hurt?
Feb. 1, 2011, marked a change in Wisconsin products liability law, including for the liability of a seller or distributor in a products liability case. Michael Gill and Craig Steger discuss the tactics and considerations for both plaintiffs and defendants when handling products liability claims against sellers and distributors in Wisconsin.
Presentation technology can make your trial presentation engaging and impactful. Kristin Scheuerman gives tips from a trial consultant to help you bring your evidence to life.
Oral argument may be a misnomer. "It is not so much an argument but rather a discussion with the court to help the court understand the issues and your position," says Barbara O'Brien. Here are some tips from the bench for effective oral arguments.
The Wisconsin Legislature recently redefined the scope of allowable discovery in Wisconsin. Ralph Tease discusses how these substantive rule changes – effective July 1, 2018 – represent a dramatic change in the practice of civil law.
Recent legislation has lowered the interest rate in the timely payment of claims statute. While not often used, this statute continues to have an important role in providing incentive for prompt resolution of claims or a mechanism for compensation to plaintiffs subjected to unreasonable delays, writes Amy Risseeuw.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently initiated several evidence rule changes, including a new witness bias rule, and the Wisconsin Legislature is pondering significant changes to many procedural rules in civil actions. Sarah Zylstra outlines these new – and possibly future – changes.
Law firms benefit from a diverse group of lawyers. Lara Czajkowski Higgins discusses the need to broaden the definition of “diversity,” the need to expand diversity efforts to support staff, and the many benefits of doing so.
Litigators, would you choose the same field and profession again, given a chance to do something else? Patricia Epstein Putney recently conducted an informal survey of her peers … and found some interesting answers.
A client's mental illness can complicate a lawyer's ability to represent the client's best interests. Beth Osowski lists 18 tips she's learned from multiple sources – including pertinent ethical rules, precedent, and advice from lawyers and other experts – for lawyers to zealously and successfully advocate for their clients.
Managing a client's expectations may be one of the most important tasks litigation attorneys have. Michael Laufenberg gives tips to avoid that cringe-worthy moment when with your client at a verdict reading.
There are pitfalls and perils associated with properly commencing a civil action in Wisconsin. Michael Gill talks about those perils, and offers defenses to raise when defects exist.
In June, a Transmittal from the Department of Health and Human Services created a buzz among lawyers and Medicare professionals after it appeared to require Medicare Set-Asides. A more careful read of the Transmittal leads to a different conclusion, says Kristen Scheuerman.
Bad faith litigation against insurance companies often involves discovery beyond what is permitted for typical breach of contract claims. Barbara O’Brien explores discovery issues that both plaintiff’s and defense counsel face when a bad faith claim is alleged against an insurance company.
Requests to admit are a frequently utilized tool in the litigation setting, but trial courts seem generally unwilling to impose sanctions for failure to admit. Are the standards in Wisconsin statutes too ambiguous – making threat of sanctions a toothless beast?
Objections to both the form of the question and foundation, if made at the time, can be cured by the questioner. Thus, the rules indicate that those objections are waived if not made at a deposition, but such waiver often does not have much practical effect. In addition, lawyers should be cautious about instructing a deponent not to answer a question unless there is a claim of privilege at issue.
Is mediation in civil cases still effective? Jesse Blocher examines whether mediation is continuing to serve its original purpose. “Some may be surprised to learn of the disincentives that parties and lawyers who mediate frequently have when it comes to forging reasonable compromises at mediation,” he writes.
The HITECH Act, made law in 2009, provides for individuals to quickly access medical records at affordable costs. With the rising costs of litigation for plaintiffs and defendants, limiting and controlling the costs of medical records acquisition in personal injury cases can be a meaningful way to effectuate settlement and protect your client’s bottom line.
Medical malpractice filings are significantly down in Wisconsin compared with past years, according to a review of recent data. Patricia Epstein Putney explores just why this is the case – and whether this is likely to change.
The increasing number of pro se litigants presents challenges to judges and litigation attorneys. Three circuit court judges weigh in on their philosophies in handling pro se litigants in their courtroom, and their advice to attorneys when facing pro se opposition.
Beth Osowski gives a quick update and refresher for lawyers who occasionally face worker’s compensation questions and who practice in the areas of personal injury, employment law, Social Security Disability, or general practice.
"Employee beware"? A recent order issued by the Eastern District of Wisconsin enforces a restrictive covenant by granting a preliminary injunction to the employer of a departing employee, even though the employee claimed she never consented to the employer’s online restrictive covenant.
Some experts say driverless cars will be on the road in the coming years. While this is good news for increasing road safety, if your firm relies heavily on income generated by car crash cases – whether representing injured people or auto insurers – thereare very likely to be bumpy roads ahead.
Attorneys handling UIM cases need to be aware of duplicate payments provisions in addition to reducing clauses and anti-stacking provisions. The Wisconsin Court of Appeals has recently upheld the application of a duplicate payments provision permitting a UIM carrier to reduce UIM benefits by workers’ compensation awards and Social Security Disability benefits.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has amended Wis. Stat. section 803.08 (effective Jan. 1, 2017) to require the allocation of at least half of unclaimed class action awards to the Wisconsin Trust Account Foundation for the support of legal services to low-income and indigent persons.
In the realm of personal injury litigation, pre-suit mediation can be an effective and efficient method to bring the right case to early resolution. Christine Bremer Muggli outlines advantages for both sides in a claim for personal injuries following a motor vehicle accident as an example of an effective use of alternative dispute resolution.
The very core of our professionalism should be to espouse civility in every matter that we handle. The essence of what litigators do is resolving conflict, writes attorney Emile Banks Jr. Representing clients zealously must not include treating opposing counsel with discourtesy or disrespect.
Under 42 U.S.C. § 17935(e)(1), your client has a right to direct that his or her personal health information be sent to you in an electronic format, and you can save them a bundle because the charges are limited to reasonable and cost-based fees. 45 CFR 164.524(c)(4).
The Supreme Court recently applied the economic loss doctrine’s “integrated systems” analysis in determining whether coverage is afforded where an insured provided a non-conforming product that was later incorporated into other property. Learn what this decision suggests in this blog post from Attorney Patryk Silver.
This week the U.S. State Department’s Inspector General released an 80-plus page report detailing the systemic weaknesses in the department’s email preservation system. Although less a system and more an ad hoc employee-driven free-for-all, there are many electronic discovery lessons to learn and warnings to heed for litigators, writes Stephanie Melnick.
In this initial post of the Litigation Section’s blog, Scott Minter looks back on the work of the Litigation Section during the past 40 years on behalf of members and civil justice.
The Litigation Section has established this blog to provide its members with valuable information concerning issues that are important to attorneys engaged in civil litigation or who have an interest in civil litigation.