The State Bar of Wisconsin continues improvements and technology upgrades on our WisBar website.
Wisconsin is among three remaining states that automatically sends all 17-year-old offenders to adult courts. Research has shown that public safety is protected and recidivism is reduced when these offenders are kept in the juvenile justice system.
As summer draws to a close, the legislature is poised to return to a busy fall schedule. Here's what Capitol watchers might expect regarding State Bar and Practice Section policy priorities.
Twelve members of the legislature are also members of the State Bar of Wisconsin. Two virtual "meet and greet" events helped to build relationships between lawyer-legislators, their constituents and colleagues.
Government Relations Coordinator Lynne Davis gives an overview of the State Bar of Wisconsin's lobbying program and how policy positions are selected.
Lawyer-legislators are a vitally important voice within our democracy. The State Bar of Wisconsin invites you to join your colleagues in a meet and greet with State Bar members who serve in the state legislature.
Mid-June saw major legislative developments for policies important to the State Bar, and the Joint Finance Committee has reached a final biennial budget. Here's where State Bar priorities have developed in the last two weeks.
Summer has arrived in Wisconsin as the legislature works to prepare a final budget for passage. This update reviews the bills and budget priorities of the State Bar, including civil legal aid funding, expungement, and law enforcement reform.
Two packages of bills on law enforcement reform were introduced in the legislature this session. The State Bar is supporting several of these bills, some of which were recently approved by the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety.
The state Senate held an expungement hearing, and the legislature's Joint Finance Committee removed almost 300 items from Governor Evers proposed budget. While expected, the removal will likely only increase the divide between the Governor and GOP.
This year's budget process is shaping up to be a little different than previous sessions. Gov. Relations Coordinator Cale Battles gives an update on the budget and shares ways you can reach out to your lawmakers on issues important to the legal community.
On April 7, State Bar President Kathy Brost and President-elect Cheryl Daniels testified in support of a bill to reform Wisconsin's restrictive expungement laws with changes that would expand eligibility for one-time, non-violent offenders.
The pandemic has forced institutions to adapt by moving more of their operations online. Wisconsin's legal system has followed suit, bringing the promise of expanded access to justice--but only if access to broadband internet becomes more widely available
Civil legal aid is low or no-cost civil legal assistance for those that can't afford an attorney. To ensure that all people have access to justice and to help recover from COVID-19 impacts, Wisconsin should increase investment in civil legal aid.
Gov. Tony Evers delivered his "Badger Bounce Back" budget plan to the legislature last week. The $91 billion spending plan contains many potential large scale reforms to criminal justice law and a major increase in state funding for civil legal aid.
There has never been an easier time for attorneys to follow along with the Legislature and engage in the lawmaking process. Today's issue is a helpful guide with links on how members can stay informed and get involved.
Expungement reform is one of the top priorities of the State Bar of Wisconsin. Now that a bill has been introduced in the legislature on this topic, the Bar is encouraging members to reach out to their lawmakers to support this needed reform to Wisconsin'
With majorities in both chambers, Republicans will have control over the legislative agenda, but a shaky relationship between the GOP and the Evers administration will likely temper any expectations of major policy victories.
Democrat Joe Biden is the projected winner of the 2020 Presidential contest. In State elections, Republicans gained two seats in the Senate, but lost two seats in the Assembly.
Nearly 1.4 million people in our state have a criminal record, many of whom have completed their sentences and successfully repaid their debts to society. Expungement can give ex-offenders a fresh start, but Wisconsin's lawmakers need to hear from you.
In this special episode of Rotunda Report, State Bar President Kathy Brost talks about issues important to members living and working in "Greater Wisconsin," that part of our state outside of the Dane, Milwaukee, and Fox Valley regions.
Government Relations Coordinator Lynne Davis shares an overview of the Wisconsin 2020 legislative session, focusing on State Bar policy victories, section advocacy highlights, issues left unfinished or unaddressed this session, and the direction of State
Pro Bono Program Manager Jeff Brown discusses the "Wills for Heroes" program, a pro bono service to provide wills and basic estate plans free of charge to first responders like police, firefighters, and EMT's.
In this edition of Rotunda Report Live, Government Relations Coordinator Cale Battles follows up his Senate race video with a preview of the 2020 State Assembly elections.
State Bar of Wisconsin lobbyist Cale Battles gives a preview of Fall 2020 State Senate elections, including competitive districts, seats to watch, and issues that may shape the electoral process.
Grassroots Outreach Coordinator Devin Martin discusses how attorneys can help make positive reforms happen through grassroots advocacy using the State Bar's "Advocacy Network."
In this first video edition of Rotunda Report, Jeff Brown discusses ways attorneys can get involved in much needed pro bono work while remaining safe and practicing social distancing during the pandemic.
As the American Bar Association hosts its first all-online ABA Day, the State Bar of Wisconsin holds a virtual meeting with Senator Tammy Baldwin to discuss top legislative priorities for the legal profession
Wisconsin Free Legal Answers remains open during the coronavirus outbreak to help with unmet legal needs of Wisconsin residents.
As many Wisconsinites have transitioned to remote work places, the Wisconsin Legislature soon plans to do the same.
The novel coronavirus pandemic has changed nearly every aspect of life in the past few weeks. Here's how the Governor, legislature, courts, and State Bar of Wisconsin are responding.
Social distancing measures have led to some major changes in how our civil legal aid system works.
Governor Evers signs three important bills into law, but other State Bar priorities will have to wait until next year.
Justice Dan Kelly faces Judge Jill Karovsky in the April 7th election.
The most recent Assembly and Senate floor votes see several State Bar supported bills advance to the Governor's desk.
The 2019-2020 Legislative session is rapidly drawing to a close. Learn more about where priority bills for the State Bar and its Sections are at in the last days of the process.
Legislative amendments to "ghostwriting" rules created a problem for attorneys assisting pro se litigants. Assembly Bill 705 would make it worse.
The 2019-2021 budget saw some huge victories for access to justice, while other legislative efforts await further action
The rising cost of legal education is pushing some attorneys away from certain critical fields like private bar public defense. Loan Repayment Programs are one solution to this problem.
High ideals, exemplary personal character, judicial competence, and active involvement in the community are all qualities the State Bar is seeking for the 2020 Judge of the Year and Lifetime Jurist Award recipients.
State Bar of Wisconsin endorses bills for pay progression for State Public Defenders, the creation of a state prosecutor's board, the creation of new circuit courts, and a rural loan repayment pilot program.
A new package of bills aims to address criminal justice system funding, reform, and loan assistance programs that did not make it into the 2019-2021 budget Act.
Rep. Duffy to retire at end of September, Rep. Sensenbrenner will not seek reelection.
Recent articles in the Wisconsin Rapids Tribune examine the impacts of cash bail and the shortage of criminal defense attorneys on Wisconsin's criminal justice system.
The 2019-2021 budget contains a major, historic investment that the State Bar believes will begin to address the systemic issues plaguing our state’s justice system.
What made it, and what didn't, in the final budget headed for Governor Evers' desk.
The bill has 74 co-sponsors in both parties, awaits action in the Senate.
The Joint Finance Committee passed a motion that removed 131 provisions from the Governor's proposed budget, including returning 17-year-olds to the juvenile justice system.
The Advocacy Network is a tool to help amplify the voices and experise of State Bar members with their lawmakers.
A rundown on the status of legislation important to the State Bar of Wisconsin.
The State Bar of Wisconsin will host a debate between the candidates for Wisconsin Supreme Court on Friday, March 15 at the State Bar Center in Madison.
Evers supports increase to the private bar rate, pay progression, and more ADAs and SPD staff.
Wisconsin can't wait another year to fund criminal justice. Ask incoming Gov. Evers to make it a budget priority today.
A rundown on the results from yesterday's elections.
Voting is the most basic step we can all take to ensure that our government is and remains “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”
The Wisconsin Legislative Council recently announced the 2018 study committees. The study committees provide a unique opportunity for legislators and members of the public to collaborate on complex issues and provide guidance to the Legislature.
Governor Walker signed "Sara's Law," named after Attorney Sara Quirt-Sann, who was one of four people killed in a shooting spree in Marathon County March 22, 2017. Quirt-Sann was representing the shooter's estranged wife in their divorce case.
With the assembly adjourned for the 2017-2018 session, attention now turns to the Senate's plans for their last floor session before their anticipated adjournment March 20.
The Shorewood High School mock trial team will represent Wisconsin at the 2018 National Mock Trial Championship, May 10-12, in Reno, Nevada.
The 2017-18 legislative session is quickly coming to a close. There are currently hundreds of legislative proposals still circulating, and legislative sponsors, lobbyists, and constituents are working diligently to get their bills passed before the session's scheduled conclusion in March.
The Assembly Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety held a public hearing Thursday on Assembly Bill 660, which is also commonly referred to as the Second Chance bill.
Recently, members of the legislature have taken notice of the issues facing private bar attorneys taking assigned counsel cases from the State Public Defender’s office.
Two Republican legislators are sponsoring legislation that would make it easier to modify child custody and placement orders.
Lawmakers have circulated legislation for the return of nonviolent, first-time 17-year-old offenders to the juvenile court’s jurisdiction.
EBDM promotes the use of research to make decisions at all levels in the justice system. The initiative is currently being piloted in eight Wisconsin counties.
Two Republican legislators are sponsoring legislation that would clarify the child custody notification process for separated parents when one chooses to relocate.
After months of negotiations, Governor Scott Walker finalized the state’s biennial budget in a signing ceremony in Neenah on Sept. 21.
The Wisconsin Legislature returned to the State Capitol this week to take final votes on the state’s biennial budget and to finish work on legislation intended to attract electronics manufacturer Foxconn to Wisconsin.
Over 100 journalists and lawyers attended the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Reporters’ Legal Workshop Friday, Sept. 8. The free event was organized to educate and assist journalists who cover legal issues and the courts and featured presentations and panels byveteran reporters, lawyers and judges.
The Wisconsin Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee takes action on items pertaining to the State Public Defender’s budget.
The State Bar sent a memo to the Joint Finance Committee to reiterate its support for pay progression, an increase in the private bar rate and additional compensation for judges and justices throughout the state.
Two of the State Bar’s legislative priorities for this upcoming session received favorable votes by the legislature’s budget writing committee on May 31. The Joint Finance Committee (JFC) approved increases in pay progression and increases in pay for judges.
The State Bar of Wisconsin strongly supports the passage of AB 331, which expands the expungement of court records for individuals under the age of 25. The State Bar has long sought changes to this statute and applauds Representatives Steffen and Goyke, as well as Senator Darling, along with other legislators’ efforts this session to address this substantial public issue.
Members of the Joint Finance Committee voted unanimously to reinstate funding for civil legal needs during the committee’s executive session on May 23. Funding for civil legal needs was dangerously close to being eliminated after Governor Scott Walker hadrequested that the program be sunset for the 2017-19 biennial budget.
Attorneys from across the country attended the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Lobby Day this week. The annual event gives lawyers an opportunity to lobby their members of Congress on important legal issues.
The State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors held their April meeting last Friday. During the meeting at the State Bar Center in Madison, the board voted to support a forthcoming petition to increase to $100 the hourly rate paid to private bar attorneys who take appointments from the State Public Defender's Office.
For the second straight budget, the Wisconsin Judicial Council is facing elimination. The proposal would have a wide ranging impact on the effectiveness and efficiencies of the justice system.
Nearly a month after Governor Walker introduced his biennial budget proposal to the legislature, members of the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) will begin their deliberations.
State Bar of Wisconsin President Fran Deisinger wrote a memo to the Joint Finance Committee asking them to support additional funding proposed in the 2017-2019 budget to provide adequate compensation to attract and retain quality attorneys throughout the justice system.
President Donald Trump’s proposed 2018 federal budget eliminates funding for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), a move that would have profoundly negative effects on our most vulnerable citizens and our justice system in Wisconsin.
The State Bar of Wisconsin supports AB 115 and AB 116. Access to the courts is vital for all Wisconsin citizens. Everyone is entitled to their day in court in a fair and equitable manner. A well-functioning judicial system contributes to public safety and
Brookfield Academy has claimed its first state mock trial title after defeating River Falls High School in the final round of the annual two-day state competition.
The ability to follow along and watch the Legislature in action has never been easier. State Bar members and citizens can access information in real time and track any legislative action.
The Access to Civil Legal Services study committee has concluded its review of the civil justice system’s needs and the State Bar of Wisconsin would like to not only applaud their findings, but also express sincere appreciation to all involved for the time and effort put forth.
On Wednesday, Feb. 8th the Governor introduced the details of his 2017-19 Biennial Budget proposal. The wide ranging budget proposal contains $76 billion in spending over the next two years.
State Bar of Wisconsin President Fran Deisinger wrote a letter to Governor Scott Walker urging him to support funding in the FY 2017-2018 budget that provides adequate compensation for attorneys across the state.
The State Bar of Wisconsin is gearing up for the 2017 Regional Mock Trial Competition, slated for Saturday, Feb. 11, beginning at 8 a.m. There are 121 teams competing (up from last year). Almost all of the 12 regional tournaments will be held in localcourthouses around the state (see the list of regions below for a breakdown of locations and competing schools.)
Buoyed by large majorities in both the state Senate and state Assembly, Wisconsin Republican leaders have begun laying the groundwork for issues they plan to forward during the upcoming 2017-18 legislative session.
Wisconsin Republicans last night continued to flourish in down ticket races, winning an additional State Assembly seat and at least one additional State Senate seat.
Attorney Donald Schott testified today in a hearing before the U.S. Senate’s Committee on the Judiciary. The hearing is another formal step in the nomination process to become a judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. The position hasbeen vacant for six years and is the longest standing federal court vacancy in the country.