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Divided court approves new GAL requirement

“It’s not an onerous situation imposed upon attorneys who engage in this behavior. We’ve considered that already with the appointment of guardians ad litem for children.” Hon. James Mason, Wood Court Circuit Court A divided state Supreme Court has initially ...

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No recovery for slip and fall at arena

“How could the arena possibly have patrolled the entire facility to be on guard for something such as a spilled french fry?” Hon. Gregory A. Peterson Wisconsin Court of Appeals The Strack exception does not permit an arena to be ...

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Mode of Operation Case Analysis

The majority decision can be viewed as a silent but impermissible attempt to recreate the abolished doctrine of assumption of risk. As the dissent notes, the facts of the case fit very comfortably within the three elements for application of ...

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Both breath, blood tests cannot be taken

“Unless law enforcement has some basis for believing the first test is unreliable or unusable, the exigent circumstances permitting law enforcement to conduct a forcible blood draw no longer exist.” Hon. Richard S. Brown Wisconsin Court of Appeals Once an ...

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Blood Draw Case Analysis

Two aspects of the case are particularly noteworthy. First, the court’s reasoning creates the anomalous result that, in most cases, if a drunken driving suspect is given a breath test and tests over the legal limit, he cannot be subjected ...

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Commitment Case Analysis

The decision in this case is suspect, and may not be reconcilable with the Supreme Court’s holding this past summer in State ex rel. Marberry v. Macht, 2003 WI 79, 262 Wis.2d 720, 665 N.W.2d 155. Given the confused state ...

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Bablitch offers tips for lawyers

Newly-retired state Supreme Court Justice William A. Bablitch is carving out a new niche for himself offering appellate tips to lawyers at Michael Best & Friedrich LLP, his new firm, as well as to those outside his firm. Speaking recently ...

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Board opposes fee rules change

The State Bar of Wisconsin Board of Governors gave a resounding “no” to a controversial measure designed to curb fee-related ethics complaints at its Sept. 20 meeting in Madison. The proposal, from the Wisconsin Courts Fee Arbitration Study Committee, calls ...

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Immunity applies to public parking lots

“Public policy supports providing governmental entities with the three-week window to complete the task of cleaning up natural accumulations of snow in a public parking lot.” Hon. Richard S. Brown Wisconsin Court of Appeals A public parking lot is a ...

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Highway Case Analysis

Although the public policy analysis by the court is reasonable, it is not the only reasonable interpretation. Further-more, it is irrelevant, because the court’s discussion of the definition of “highway” is contrary to the plain language of the statutes. Thus ...

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Municipal employees can sue co-workers

Hon. Ted E. Wedemeyer Jr. A municipal employee who receives worker’s compensation benefits may also file suit against a co-worker when the municipality is obligated to pay judgments against that co-worker pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement or a local ...

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Co-Workers Case Analysis

Parties should not rely on this decision until the Supreme Court has the opportunity to review it, be-cause there it will almost certainly be reversed if reviewed. This is evident from comparing the language in the Milwaukee ordinance with the ...

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Court to consider duty to insure contractor

The state Supreme Court is considering whether or not an insurer has to cover a claim against a contractor for property damage, which arose out of negligent work performed by a subcontractor, despite a CGL policy’s contractual liability exclusion. According ...

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Judge can’t deny motion to dismiss

“The district judge simply disagrees with the Justice Department’s exercise of prosecutorial discretion. The judge thus is playing U.S. Attorney. It is no doubt a position that he could fill with distinction, but it is occupied by another person.” Hon. ...

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Three UIM cases remanded to appeals court

The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Sept. 15 vacated three recently published decisions of the court of appeals, all concerning underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage: Gohde v. MSI Ins. Co., 2003 WI 69, 261 Wis.2d 710, 661 N.W.2d 470; Dowhower v. Marquez, ...

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Vacate Case Analysis

On remand of these three cases, two of the court of appeals’ decisions were so deficient, that even if Folkman was not decided the way it was, the court of appeals would have to virtually start over from scratch; the ...

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Appeal can be dismissed at any time

The government can move to dismiss a criminal appeal before the filing of any briefs, but the defendant is not bound by the time limits of Rule 27, the Seventh Circuit held on Sept. 9. D’Marcus Mason was sentenced, in ...

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Appeal Case Analysis

It should be expected that, in light of this decision, it will become standard operating procedure for prosecutors to file motions to dismiss before the appellant’s brief deadline, whenever a plea agreement contains a waiver of the right to appeal. ...

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Habeas Corpus Case Analysis

The effect of the decision is that, for all practical purposes, a defendant can obtain a second shot at appeal, regardless of whether his appellate counsel files an appeal or a no-merit brief. In the recent decision by the Wisconsin ...

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Investiture celebrates Justice Roggensack

Patience D. Roggensack is sworn in as Wisconsin’s 72nd Supreme Court justice while her son, Matthew, holds the family Bible “Fair.” “Even-handed.” Author of “high-quality opinions.” These were just a few of the words of praise directed at the state’s ...

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Bablitch ends court career on top

Justice William A. Bablitch In the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s 2002-03 term, Justice William A. Bablitch was the justice most likely to be in the majority, displacing Justice David Prosser, who had occupied that position the two previous terms. On the ...

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Public Relations as Litigation Support

"In situations where companies are trying to protect their brands, reputation and image, being damaged in the court of public opinion often means they are losing the larger battle, regardless of what happens in the courtroom." Evan N. Zeppos Zeppos ...

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Slip and fall does not arise from employment

“To use worker’s compensation cases as precedent for construing the exclusion in the general liability policy is at odds with insurance law principle that we are to interpret the language of an insurance policy according to what a reasonable person ...

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Exclusions Case Analysis

It should be assumed that this decision is limited to employers that are also Indian casinos, and thus, exempt from worker’s compensation laws. Nevertheless, if one accepts the court’s reasoning as sound, the only logical result is that private employers’ ...

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Roggensack joins the Supreme Court

Hon. Patience D. Roggensack The latest addition to the state’s highest court is very enthusiastic about her new judicial role. Acknowledging that it still doesn’t seem real, Justice Patience D. Roggensack said her first few weeks have been enjoyable. Until ...

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Finding of age discrimination upheld

The Seventh Circuit held on Aug. 28 that the evidence was sufficient to support a jury’s finding of age discrimination, where the employer had previously attempted to lay off the employee during a reduction in force (RIF), gave shifting reasons ...

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Discrimination Case Analysis

Because most age discrimination cases the Seventh Circuit considers involve summary judgment, rather than a trial, the decision in this case is particularly useful as precedent. That the plaintiff was successful also makes the case noteworthy. The case is most ...

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