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Bench Blog

Mar 27, 2017

BENCH BLOG: Judge and juror

A recent jury summons prompted to me to think about judges being called to jury service.

Mar 14, 2017

BENCH BLOG: Phoning in a guilty plea

In a carefully reasoned decision, the Court of Appeals required certain safeguards before a defendant may be allowed to plead guilty by phone.

Feb 20, 2017

BENCH BLOG: In fight over travel ban, court holds trump card (UPDATE)

In a lucid, logically ordered and eminently readable opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit denied the federal government’s motion for an emergency stay of a temporary restraining order enjoining the enforcement of President Trump’s travel ban.

Feb 6, 2017

Apparent authority doctrine determines jurisdiction dispute

The Court of Appeals applied the agency doctrine of apparent authority when deciding whether the property owners in an eminent domain case had obtained jurisdiction over the governmental entity that condemned their property.

Jan 12, 2017

BENCH BLOG: Public trust doctrine wins in family feud over riparian rights

The Court of Appeals took a dim view of a brother’s response to his sister’s declaratory lawsuit in which she sought to affirm her riparian rights on the Sailor Creek Flowage in Price County.

Dec 23, 2016

BENCH BLOG: Hot pursuit for a brake-light violation?

In its first non-disciplinary case of the term, the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued a 3-1-3 decision for the second time in six months despite the presence of a new justice.

Nov 30, 2016

BENCH BLOG: Appeals court finds tree service not entitled to recreational immunity

Is a tree-cutting service entitled to recreational immunity when cutting trees on a conference center’s property that has a public path? The Court of Appeals says “no,” relying on a Wisconsin Supreme Court case from earlier this year on recreational immunity.

Nov 22, 2016

BENCH BLOG: Immunity for aid when there’s a drug overdose

The Court of Appeals examined immunity from prosecution for a person who aids someone who appears to be suffering from a drug overdose. In the process, the opinion in State v. Williams offered a raw glimpse into the drug subculture.

Oct 26, 2016

BENCH BLOG: No restitution for mother of child-porn victim

In a case that lies at the intersection of child-pornography law and restitution law, the Court of Appeals concluded that the mother of a victim of child pornography could not obtain restitution from an offender.

Sep 14, 2016

BENCH BLOG: Appeals court gets it right in complex case of statutory construction

The Court of Appeals recently tackled the novel question of whether an employee of a health care organization can access a patient’s records without the patient’s consent.

Sep 2, 2016

BENCH BLOG: Implied consent case shows need to update refusal-hearing statute

Under the implied-consent law, is your consent to a blood test for alcohol “coerced” because it is a foregone conclusion that the threatened license revocation for refusing would be vacated at a refusal hearing? The Court of Appeals recently took up this question.

Aug 24, 2016

BENCH BLOG: Court trims damage awards in small-claims case

Issues concerning damages were front and center in a small-claims case that was successfully appealed.


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