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How is the bar spending your money?

The State Bar of Wisconsin is heading into the end of its 2009 fiscal year with a $50,000 budget deficit – and some bar members want more information on how their money is being spent.Several members of the Board of Governors, including President-elect Douglas W. Kammer, say they are entitled to more detail on costs ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Mixed-motive claims under ADEA not valid

Suppose an employer is found by a jury to have considered an impermissible factor, such as race, in making an employment decision. But it also finds the employer would have taken the same action, even if it didn't consider the improper factor.Where these "mixed-motive" cases involve race or sex or national origin, the plaintiff can ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Supreme Court denies review of Keller case against State Bar

They may have lost the battle, but a trio of attorneys fighting the State Bar of Wisconsin about its use of mandatory membership dues hope to still win the war.On June 17, the Wisconsin Supreme Court dismissed both a motion to remand and a petition for original action filed by attorney Steven A. Levine and ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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New proposal to criminalize first OWI would increase challenges in court

Another push to make first time drunken driving in Wisconsin a criminal offense is underway.Legislators are circulating a proposal which will make first-time offenders with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .20 or higher guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to up to six months in jail, up to $1,100 in fines and suspension of ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Miller stepping down as CEO at WHD

After 15 years at Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek SC in Milwaukee, the last eight as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), attorney Mark A. Miller will step down by Dec. 31.Miller, 52, said he plans to leave the legal field entirely and wants to explore opportunities to own and run his own business in the area.“I haven’t practiced ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Restatement of Employment Law draft adopted

A draft of the Restatement of Employment Law was adopted by the American Law Institute (ALI) at its annual meeting last month, amidst opposition from some employment experts. Some lawyers, including a Marquette University Law School professor, oppose the Restatement because they contend that certain employment law matters are still developing or are so ... Subscribe Login Digital and mobile ...

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Credit denied on concurrent sentences

Suppose a client is out on bail and gets arrested for a new offense. You’ll need to think about whether you’ll be able to get him released back on the street or not. If you think you can, then you’ll want to oppose any revocation of bail. But if you don’t think so, you should ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Proposed law to protect defense of home

A controversial bill meant to expand the scope of state self-defense law could have helped a Burnett County man avoid a homicide charge for shooting an intruder, his lawyer said. Proponents of the “Castle Doctrine,” named after the idea that people’s homes are their castles, say the proposal has little chance of passing. But, if ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Eight keys to using PowerPoint at trial

For the past few years, tech-savvy trial attorneys have almost exclusively turned to Microsoft’s PowerPoint software for a visual aid to help jurors understand their cases. PowerPoint is user-friendly and fairly intuitive, with a host of options for attorneys to organize their points and present them with a visual flair. But some trial consultants and ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Furloughs expected for state court system

The Wisconsin Director of State Courts Office knows that furloughs for more than 570 non-judicial staff are on the horizon. But when they will start and how they will be implemented is yet to be determined. “I can’t say right now how the days will impact the court system,” said Deputy Director of State ... Subscribe Login Digital and mobile ...

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New Supreme Court Cases

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has voted to grant review in two cases. The case numbers, issues (provided by the Office of the Clerk of Supreme Court), and counties of origin are listed below. 2008AP552-CR State v. Scott R. Jensen In this case, the Supreme Court has been asked to review whether Wis. Stat. ... Subscribe Login Digital and mobile only1 ...

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Wisconsin law schools offer helping hand to unemployed graduates

Attorney Timothy T. Kidd knows almost nothing about disability rights law. But that did not stop the recent University of Wisconsin Law School graduate from landing a full-time job with a local advocacy group that provides legal help to poor people through 30 different programs. Like many of the new attorneys in his graduating ... Subscribe Login Digital and mobile ...

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Court closure causes delays

Long lines greeted jurors, parties and witnesses who came to the Milwaukee County Courthouse this morning.The delays were caused by a new 35-hour work week imposed on most county employees, meaning courthouse doors opened 30 minutes later than usual.An arbitrator threw out County Executive Scott Walker’s mandate later in the morning. But the change provided ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Gambling debts valid

What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas. Gambling debts, for example. On June 17, the Seventh Circuit rejected the attempt by a gambler/debtor to defeat a casino’s claim via sec. 895.055. The Wisconsin statute provides that gambling contracts are void and unenforceable in this state. So, when Robert B. Jafari gambled his way ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Firm blog vs. personal blog: How to choose

Marketing has never been more important for attorneys – and a blog displaying expertise in a particular practice area is a valuable tool for networking, attracting new business and finding other opportunities. But should you market yourself with a personal blog tied to your specific name and practice, or contribute to a firm blog as ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Discrimination plaintiffs can seek greater damages

A new state law will allow plaintiffs to seek as much as $300,000 in compensatory and punitive damages in employment discrimination cases.Supporters of Wis. Act 20 see the change as a welcome “bargaining chip” for employees who can now get remedies at the state level comparable to what they could recover in federal court. But ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Joint and several provision dropped

Both houses of the Wisconsin Legislature have dropped a budget provision that would have permitted defendants to face full liability for damages even if they bear only 1 percent of the fault. The Assembly removed Gov. Jim Doyle’s recommendation from its version of the budget on June 12, and the Senate followed suit less than ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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‘Jailable’ offense allows entry

If a suspect commits a “jailable” offense, then officers may make a warrantless entry into the suspect’s home to make an arrest. In so holding on June 16, the Wisconsin Supreme Court overruled State v. Mikkelson, 2002 WI App 152, 256 Wis.2d 132, 647 N.W.2d 421, which permitted warrantless entry only if the offense was ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Supreme Court to rule on Bankruptcy Act

Bankruptcy attorneys are keeping a close eye on a case that could have broad ramifications for their First Amendment rights when counseling their clients. In October 2005, the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act became law. Almost immediately, bankruptcy attorneys filed legal challenges. Now, the U.S. Supreme Court has granted certiorari to determine the ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Five ways lawyers can utilize the Kindle

With the latest incarnation of Amazon’s personal digital reader, the Kindle DX due out in June, those unfamiliar with the device might assume its sole purpose is to allow users to catch up on Harry Potter while in transit, not to mention read their favorite legal texts.But lawyers are actually using their Kindles to work ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Former shareholder cannot sue

Third parties lack standing to sue an accountant unless it was reasonably foreseeable that they would rely on the accountant’s reports. The June 10 opinion from the Wisconsin Supreme Court also clarifies when shareholders should bring derivative or direct actions. Henry J. Krier and Michael Vilione were business partners whose operations were divided between three ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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New graduates ready to carry on family names

During the first of four ceremonies swearing-in 146 new graduates from the University of Wisconsin Law School, Justice David T. Prosser took a moment to make special mention of two new attorneys who had clerked in his office. Prosser joked about the rigors of researching cases and discussing oral arguments. “I’m sure other graduates ... Subscribe Login Digital and mobile ...

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Furlough option may be risky for employers

Wary of depleting already lean work forces, some employers are sending their employees home without pay as the latest cost-cutting measure. But employers may be implementing furloughs without considering the legal issues involved. And employment lawyers warn that businesses that aren’t careful may face wage and hour lawsuits. “The common alternatives to layoffs right now ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Bias ruling could bring recusals

The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision requiring judges to recuse themselves from cases involving hefty donors is likely to have wide ranging effects in the 28 states that hold contested elections for judges. The ruling in Caperton v. A. T. Massey Coal Co. (PDF) could result in more attorneys filing recusal motions, a push for ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Bartering catches on in legal profession

When Frank Tassoni, a solo attorney in Attleboro, Mass., wanted someone to fix his 1991 Miata, he put an ad on the advertising Web site Craigslist offering to provide legal services in exchange for auto repairs. “I had some savings, but that’s been depleted,” said Tassoni, whose practice was concentrated in real estate. Although ... Subscribe Login Digital and mobile ...

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