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Court rules no downward departure

What the court held Case: U.S. v. Galicia-Cardenas, No. 05-3093, & U.S. v. Vega-Lopez, No. 05-3486. Issue: Can a sentencing court in an illegal re-entry case grant a downward departure to avoid disparity in sentences compared with defendants sentenced in ...

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Down from the Bench; Up on the Stage

Brawl leads to music and humor: Attorneys and judges gathered last Thursday for the Dane County Bar Association’s annual Bench Bar Brawl at The Concourse Hotel in Madison. Circuit Court Judges Daniel R. Moeser and Maryann Sumi served as emcees ...

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Arbitration Case Analysis

As a result of the decision, the Supreme Court’s opinions in Green Tree Financial Corp. v. Bazzzle, 539 U.S. 444, 123 S.Ct. 2402 (2003), are essentially a nullity in the Seventh Circuit. According to the Seventh Circuit, there is no ...

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Consolidation decision is for arbitrator

What the court held Case: Employers Ins. Co. of Wausau v. Century indemnity Co., No. 05-3437. Issue: Should an arbitrator or a court decide whether an arbitration agreement allows for consolidation of arbitrations? Holding: The arbitrator. Procedural questions should be ...

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Contingency Fees Case Analysis

Inexplicably, the court never even addresses the language of the statute, or attempts to explain why the reasoning of the Fifth Circuit in Daniels v. Brown, 325 F.3d 690 (5th Cir. 2003), is erroneous. The heart of this issue is ...

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Contingency fee can be reduced

What the court held Case: In re: Susan L. Gilbertson, No. 04-37868-svk Issue: When an attorney is retained by a trustee to recover assets for a bankruptcy estate pursuant to a contingency fee agreement, can the fee be reduced if ...

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Excusable Neglect Case Analysis

The decision is actually a significant extension of the Supreme Court’s decisions in Dugenske v. Dugenske, 80 Wis. 2d 64, 257 N.W.2d 865 (1977), and Hollingsworth v. American Fin. Corp., 86 Wis.2d 172, 271 N.W.2d 872 (1978) — the cases ...

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Roundtable Discussion

Legal Education Roundtable participants pictured from left to right are: Benjamin S. Wagner, Habush, Habush & Rottier S.C.; James D. Friedman, Quarles & Brady LLP; David R. Saggio, Gonzalez, Saggio & Harlan LLP; Bernard J. Westfahl, Westfahl & Westfahl S.C.; ...

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Consent Case Analysis

Although the Supreme Court found that, “All four Courts of Appeals to have considered this question have concluded that consent remain effective in the face of an express objection (cite omitted),” the Court’s decision is actually in accord with dicta ...

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PROTECT Act Case Analysis

For now, the court’s decision in Martinez preserves the status quo — district courts may grant downward departures to avoid nationwide discrepancy, or they may choose not to. Such departures are neither required, nor prohibited. In Wisconsin, district courts have ...

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Feeney Amendment struck down

“In reviewing [the Feeney Amendment] in light of Booker, we conclude that it violates the Sixth Amendment by mandating a sentence within the range recommended by the Sentencing Guidelines.”Hon. Kenneth F. Ripple Seventh Circuit The Seventh Circuit issued two major ...

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Hot Chocolate Case Analysis

Although the court’s holding that the dangers of hot liquids are obvious is consistent with almost all jurisdictions to have considered the issue, and comports with long-standing product liability law in Wisconsin, the court’s other holding is more problematic. The ...

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Other Acts Case Analysis

The decision in this case will be difficult for the State to distinguish in future cases. Consider two ends of a spectrum. On one end, a police officer is sued, successfully, in a Section 1983 action that alleged false arrest. ...

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Court allows 'other acts' evidence

What the court held Case: State of Wisconsin v. Walter T. Missouri, No. 2005AP1486-CR. Issue: Where a defendant claims that the arresting officer assaulted him, and planted cocaine in his mouth, should he be able to present testimony of other ...

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Case raises civil Gideon issue

“We just raised the amount we’re spending on tourism promotion, from $13 to $15 million per year. Is tourism really more important than fairness in the courts?” John Ebbott, Legal Action of Wisconsin Inc. Over 40 years ago, the U.S. ...

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Bankruptcy Case Analysis

On its face, the decision appears to create a conflict in the circuits, providing better protection for creditors in the Seventh Circuit than elsewhere in the nation, but the distinction is largely procedural rather than substantive. The court did refuse ...

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Computers Case Analysis

The court acknowledges at one point that it cannot “stretch[] the statute too far (especially since it provides criminal as well as civil sanctions for its violation).” The statute provides for imprisonment of up to 10 years (20 for repeat ...

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Deleting data violates law

What the court held Case: International Airport Centers, L.L.C., v. Citrin, No. 05-1522. Issue: Does an employee violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act by erasing all the data from a laptop loaned to him by his employer? Holding: Yes. ...

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Survey indicates new law punishes debtors

The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) recently released a survey, entitled “Bankruptcy Reform’s Impact: Where are all the ‘Deadbeats’?”, that showed the bankruptcy reform act that took effect Oct. 17 isn’t doing what proponents purported it would, rather ...

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Court system reviews caseload data

Like most goals worth pursuing, this one is requiring a group of mostly judges to roll up their sleeves and get to work. The goal is to obtain additional judicial officers for Wisconsin. The work is collecting and analyzing data ...

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The five biggest marketing mistakes

Each year, law firms start out with the best of marketing intentions. But too often, they’re tripped up by common mistakes. Whether it’s wasting money on the wrong marketing events or hamstringing their in-house marketing professionals, the best and brightest ...

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Discrimination Case Analysis

Although the Seventh Circuit has used the same now-verboten language employed by the Eleventh Circuit in the case at bar, it does not appear that the decision actually changes the substantive law in the Seventh Circuit. In Millbrook v. IBP, ...

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