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    • Getting the Best of Both Worlds: Open Government and Economic Development
    • Recent appellate opinions have clarified Wisconsin’s open government laws as applied to economic development issues. By following the public records and open meetings laws, and by understanding when the very limited exceptions may apply, the public, local governments, and developers can all reap the benefits of economic development.
    • New IRS Form 990: Promoting Good Governance of Nonprofits
    • Believing that well-governed nonprofit organizations better benefit the groups they serve and are more likely to comply with tax laws, the IRS has redesigned the Form 990 tax return for nonprofit entities to include specific governance controls to show quality management and transparent operations. Starting with the 2008 tax year, the IRS is phasing in the new form over three years.

Opinions, Voices & Ideas

  • Inside the Bar
  • A Modest Proposal 
  • The State Bar’s modest means panel assists people who earn too much to qualify for free legal services but too little to pay an attorney’s standard rate. Panel attorneys offer limited-scope representation or reduced fees to qualifying clients, improving access to justice for hundreds of people in these cash-strapped times. 
  • President's Message
  • Doing Without Jury Trials
  • Fiscal woes in Wisconsin and nationwide will spur changes in the way law is practiced. Lawyers should lead the way. 
  • Ethics
  • Screen Transferring Lawyers to Avoid Conflicts
  • The ABA is considering changing its Model Rule 1.10 to require that lawyers transferring between law firms be screened for conflicts of interest when the two law firms represent opposing sides in litigation matters. Wisconsin already has a similar rule in place. 
  • Practice Tips
  • New Rules Clarify Petition and Response Requirements 
  • On Jan. 1, 2009, new rules took effect clarifying what must be contained in petitions for review, cross-petitions, and responses. In adopting the Judicial Council’s proposed changes, the Wisconsin Supreme Court amended the Rules of Appellate Procedure in several significant ways. 
  • Marketing Your Firm’s Legal Services During an Economic Decline 
  • The marketing budget is one expense that many law firms will consider reducing or eliminating entirely in a time of cutbacks. But studies have shown that this is the wrong move. An economic decline actually offers new opportunities and advantages for firms that embrace smart marketing opportunities. Rather than cutting their marketing budget, proactive law firms will carefully consider their marketing activities, pursue a mix of solutions, track the results, and redirect resources toward the marketing e