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State Bar asks for attorney exemption to ‘Safer at Home’ order

The State Bar of Wisconsin is asking Gov. Tony Evers to make attorneys exempt from his “Safer at Home” order.

Evers announced on Monday that he’s ordering the closure of all nonessential businesses starting Tuesday to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

In a post on the State Bar’s website, executive director Larry Martin said the state bar anticipated the possibility of a shelter-in-place order for Wisconsin, so state bar president Jill Kastner sent a letter to the governor’s office on Thursday requesting exemption for attorneys.

In the letter, Kastner wrote that attorneys are providing essential services during the crisis, helping clients navigate criminal law, end-of life matters, employment issues, housing rights and more. She said many attorneys have already taken steps to stop the spread of the pandemic, but they still need access to their offices and client files to continue working.

Evers planned to announce the full list of exemptions and how long the order would be in place on Tuesday.

Milwaukee ordered a stay-at-home requirement on Monday to prevent the spread of the virus in the city. Law firms are not defined as essential businesses in that order.

About Michaela Paukner, mpaukner@wislawjournal.com

Michaela Paukner is the legal reporter for the Wisconsin Law Journal. She can be reached at (414) 225-1825 or by email at mpaukner@wislawjournal.com.

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