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State Bar board defers filing of brief in Siefert case

At its September meeting, members of the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors verbally expressed support for an independent judiciary and the current code of judicial conduct, but declined a more specific request by Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen to put it in writing, at least until the facts of the case unfold. By a 30-14 vote, the board ...

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Plaintiffs only win 15% of job discrimination claims

The odds of winning a job discrimination suit in federal court are against plaintiffs’ attorneys. According to statistical analysis conducted by two Cornell University Law School professors of federal records from 1979 to 2006, plaintiffs who brought job discrimination cases to district court won only 15 percent of the time, compared to 51 percent for non-jobs related cases. The study, ...

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Kremers gets first taste of budget talks as chief

When Judge Jeffrey A. Kremers put in for the chief judge position in District 1, he knew exactly what season was about to begin, and it has nothing to do with Brett Favre or the Packers. During his first day on the job Sept. 8, Kremers acclimated himself to the 2009 budget process with an afternoon meeting with County Executive ...

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Grau steps up as new chief judge in 9th District

When Marathon County Circuit Court Judge Dorothy L. Bain took a leave of absence in late July, Judge Gregory E. Grau had no idea he would succeed his longtime colleague as chief judge in the 9th District. But on Sept. 8, the state Supreme Court named Grau the new chief of the 12-county district after Bain resigned from the court ...

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Davis awaits Senate confirmation following nod from Bush

While the Sept. 9 nomination of Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge J. Mac Davis by President Bush moved the state trial judge one step closer to a seat on the federal bench, he still needs to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. When and if that will happen is unknown, although University of Wisconsin Political Science Professor Barry S. Burden ...

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What the Filip Memo means to corporate counsel

On Aug. 28, 2008, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) revised the Principles of Federal Prosecutions of Business Organizations, its guidelines for investigating and prosecuting businesses. This marks the continued evolution of the DOJ’s policies towards internal investigations conducted by entities in responding to misconduct allegations. The primary revision focuses upon the DOJ’s view towards the material generated by an ...

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Attorneys must advise clients of treaty

Attorneys representing non-citizens charged with criminal offenses need to inform their clients that they have the right to consular notification of their arrests under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention. A Sept. 9 opinion of the Seventh Circuit held that an Illinois attorney rendered ineffective assistance of counsel by failing to do so. Johnbull K. Osagiede, a Nigerian national, was ...

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Chief Storck pleased with addition of judge

For more than 45 years, the Dodge County Circuit Court has gotten by with three judges, but a state courts review of the county’s 2007 caseload indicates it needs a little more than five judges. Last month, the circuit court in Juneau got a little help shouldering the caseload as a fourth judge joined the ranks. Chief Judge John R. ...

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High court appointment likely for next president

No one on the U.S. Supreme Court has signaled any desire to surrender his or her seat. But considering that two-thirds of the justices are 68 or older (the eldest, Justice John Paul Stevens, is 88, and the next oldest is Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at 75), chances are the next president will appoint at least one justice in his ...

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Job appeals to former trial judge

Judge Kitty K. Brennan has spent her entire legal career working out of one building — the Milwaukee County Courthouse. But after 31 years of professional residency, first as an assistant district attorney, then as a private practitioner and now as a chief judge of the Circuit Court, she is headed for a new home. Today, Brennan will begin her ...

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Attorney says contractors must be bike-minded

Harley enthusiast and attorney Jason Abraham wants the state to require contractors to erect signs warning bikers when they approach street construction work. Cars can simply roll over uneven pavement and loose gravel, but those conditions pose dangerous risks to bikers, said Abraham, owner of Hupy and Abraham S.C., Milwaukee. “(Loose gravel) is a big hazard,” he said. “You can ...

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Drunken driver not liable for punitive damages

Not every drunken driving incident that results in an accident gives rise to punitive damages. An Aug. 21 opinion by the Wisconsin Court of Appeals held, in a case involving a driver whose blood-alcohol level was only .111 and had no prior drunken driving convictions, the circuit court properly refused to let the jury consider punitive damages. The court distinguished ...

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