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Commentary

Wisconsin Blawg Log

Rick Esenberg on the suit against the pope and the FSIA.http://sharkandshepherd.blogspot.com/2010/04/look-we-sued-pope.html Judge DiMotto on Judges and internet fact finding.http://johndimotto.blogspot.com/2010/04/judges-and-internet-fact-finding.html The State Public Defender has started a blawg. http://www.wisconsinappeals.net/

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Bonnie Shucha on the recent legislative sesson (76086)

Bonnie Shucha on the recent legislative sesson.http://www.law.wisc.edu/blogs/wisblawg/2010/04/major_bills_before_the_wi_legi.html Joseph Kearney discusses Judge Sykes’ keynote speech at Women Judges Night.http://law.marquette.edu/facultyblog/2010/04/26/sykes-sotomayor-and-women-judges/

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Red flags pointed directly to Madoff

It’s hard to believe that a Ponzi scheme as massive as the one perpetrated by Bernard Madoff got by anyone. Surely he was the most clever criminal alive, and was ingenious at hiding his fraud. There couldn’t have been any signs of the scam he was running. Or were there? It turns out there were plenty of red flags pointing ...

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Did you know this about…Westlaw

One of the exciting things for me as a researcher is discovering little tidbits about the tools I use. One tool I use daily is Westlaw. It is an excellent resource, and searching it has become almost second nature. So, when I learn something new, I’m pretty happy. Here are a couple of things I have pointed out and people ...

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Wisconsin Blawg Log

Check out these interesting legal blogs. Tip from the Wisconsin Business Law Blog about higher taxes.Link Douglas Berman on a recent child porn sentence in the Seventh Circuit.Link Professor Secunda on the U.S. Supreme Court’s grant of cert in a cat’s paw liability case.Link

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Commentary: Outdated Concepts of the Guild

Lawyers risk discipline for using traditional marketing tactics to reach prospective clients. The rules of professional conduct are replete with restrictions on marketing, advertising, solicitation, the use of social media, and more. Bar associations will not provide professional education credit to lawyers for programs on how to be profitable, let alone how to be more effective in their marketing. I ...

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Online news junkie?

I LOVE this! Are you often reading news articles online? Do you hate the fact that when you read an article, there is all that “other stuff” surrounding the actual text, such as advertisements, hyperlinks to other articles, etc? Well, there is a cool tool available called “Readability.” Readability was developed by ARC90 and is easy to setup. It works ...

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Wisconsin Blawg Links

Check out these interesting legal blogs. Bonnie Shucha on CLE books unbound.Link Judge DiMotto on juror internet misconduct.Link Rick Esenberg on the National Day of Prayer.Link

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Commentary: Interviewing pitfalls

Last summer, an Internet article on msn.careerbuilder.com offered a list of forty-three remarks made by applicants during an interview which gave pause to human resources. Some of these remarks were an obvious reason to bar employment, including the following: I’ve never heard such a stupid question. Can we wrap this up quickly? I have someplace to go. My old boss ...

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Internet World Statistics

Sometimes I find websites that contain interesting information, but I can’t figure out a “work application.” In many cases, I am sure there are reasons legal researchers may need the data, I’m just drawing a blank. Internet World Statistics falls into that category. “Internet World Stats is an International website that features up to date world Internet Usage, Population Statistics ...

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Contributory negligence; Battling experts in the 7th Circuit

Judge DiMotto on contributory negligence.http://johndimotto.blogspot.com/2010/04/negligence-contributory-negligence.html Battling experts in the Seventh Circuit.http://federalevidence.com/blog/2010/april/will-fre-706-court-appointed-experts-avoid-unedifying-spectacle-battling-experts

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Up Close: Needles 4.8

Needles case management software by Needles Inc. (formerly Chesapeake Interlink) is one of the longest-enduring applications of its type. Originally introduced as the DOS-based Personal Injury Negligence System in 1985, Needles 4.8 is a stable and flexible case management application that supports a broad range of matter types. As the senior statesman amongst case management systems, Needles’ foundation has been ...

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Commentary: Addressing employee misconduct: Another option

It is not uncommon for an employer to discover that it is the victim of an illegal scheme involving a rogue employee. Is it a viable option for that employer to report the matter to the federal government? Consider the following hypothetical, which assumes that the company does not have mandatory reporting requirements: A national retailer learns that its purchasing ...

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New Magistrate Judge opening in Milwaukee

As of April 9, the United State District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin is looking for a new magistrate judge to work out of the Milwaukee office. The Judicial Conference of the United States authorized the appointment and a Merit Selection Panel of attorneys and other community members will review applicants and recommend five names to the court ...

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Sports Law

Anyone who has read my blog over the last few years knows that each spring, around opening day, I feature a sports law website. This year’s winner is Valparaiso University School of Law’s Sports Law Database. This free tool contains a variety of interesting material including rules, arbitration decisions, and cases. The researcher must enter in an email address to ...

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True-blue Americans read beatnik poetry, too

As you can imagine, last week’s column about the poetry of John Milton went over well on The Dark Side. What you may not guess, though, is that in my social circles any discussion of poetry inevitably leads to the leftist poet, Delmore Schwartz. It matters not whether it occurs in a high-brow salon or a low-brow saloon: Schwartz remains ...

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Court of Appeals case creates pension division problem

As a male, if I ever get divorced, I want Judge Kenneth W. Forbeck from Rock County assigned to my case. As a family law attorney, if I have a case on appeal, I don’t want District IV of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals if there is a pension or tax issue involved. For years, Wisconsin appellate courts have wrestled ...

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Bar associations should do what’s right for their members

My recent column about the unresponsiveness of state bar associations to the needs of small law firms and sole practitioners brought strong comments from the presidents of the Minnesota State and Hennepin County Bar Associations, asserting and demonstrating that they do have the interests of these lawyers at heart. Just as there are good and less-than-good lawyers, so are there ...

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Adopt a ‘Groups Mentality’ for free marketing

LinkedIn occasionally e-mails me updates about what the members of my professional network are up to, and I noticed the last time around that the e-mail always informs me about a few of the groups people have joined. This got me thinking about groups as a free marketing tool for lawyers. After spending a little time on Google, I discovered ...

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Commentary: Online search for Wisconsin law firms reveals ranking issues

I recently conducted a simple Google search for "Wisconsin Law Firms.” Only Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C. (Milwaukee) and Axley Brynelson, LLP (Madison) appeared on page one. The No. 1 spot was occupied by FindLaw.com, which lists Wisconsin attorneys by location within the state. Ranked No. 3 is HG.org, which lists attorneys by Wisconsin city and practice focus. The rest of ...

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Commentary: ‘Social justice’ is a euphemism for ‘tyranny’

Deep down, I’m just a simple, provincial lawyer So, the powerlust that motivates what is called “the social justice crowd” has always been something I couldn’t fathom. I gave up trying to understand their motivation decades ago. In rereading John Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” though, I may have finally found the understanding I was seeking. The most powerful passage in the ...

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Judicial Humor

I find it entertaining when a judge puts a bit of humor in an opinion or when they are creative when drafting a decision. Several years ago, a friend told me about Fischer v. Lowe, 333 N.W. 2d 67 (Mich. Ct. App. 1983). The case is about an incident involving a car and a tree. The decision is quite poetic ...

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Commentary: Voluntary Bar? Not our call

For better or worse, government has been intruding into our lives for years. The government knows our income, tells us what we can build on our property, and even knows how much we inherit from our families. I am truly amazed how much the government cares about me and my money. And what does the government do with my money? ...

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Room for debate

For all the chatter the mandatory versus voluntary bar issue has generated in the last year, perhaps the legal community has heard enough – at least from potential future leaders of the State Bar. Mere weeks before ballots go out to lawyers only six people attended a president-elect candidate forum hosted by the Milwaukee Bar Association this week. This time ...

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Commentary: On restoration of our basic privileges and immunities

Last weekend, I went on an outing with a conservative organization to a shooting range. Perhaps there are better ways to spend the Sabbath than target practice with a group of beautiful, right-thinking, heavily-armed young women. But none come to mind just now. The particular weapon that I brought to the event was a revolver manufactured in England, rather than ...

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Animal cruelty bill in the works

It’s not often I’m given a soapbox. But since David Ziemer suggested swapping columns – he’d write about ways to save money in the law office, and I’d write something voicing a strong opinion, here goes. What David learned from our little experiment was that, try as he might to avoid his dark side, it still slipped out. I’ve found, ...

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Commentary: Employment discrimination on the basis of credit history?

Is credit history a protected class? In some states it is, and in others, including Wisconsin, it may soon be. Accordingly, legal liability may follow if an employer takes action against someone because of his/her credit history. For years, employers have refused to hire or employ individuals with blemished credit histories. Estimates reveal that nearly half of all employers discriminate ...

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PACER improvements

Bonnie Shucha, in her recent WisBlawg post, discusses the new PACER Case Locator. Check it out. This interface replaces and improves the old U.S. Party/Case Index. And, there is more news regarding PACER. The Judicial Conference approved “key steps to improve public access to federal courts by increasing the availability of court opinions and expanding the services and reducing the ...

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