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Nine tribes to split grant money

Police Chief Joe Szwarek is enjoying the new year.Thanks to a $142,000 grant from the state, Szwarek is able to sustain his five-person department on the Bad River Chippewa reservation for another year.“We would be out of business without it,” Szwarek said. The grant is part of a $700,000 state allotment for nine tribal programs ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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New rating system for nursing homes released

Boston — A new federal rating system has concluded that for-profit nursing homes are more likely to provide a lower standard of care than non-profit homes. The rating system, released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Dec. 18, analyzed approximately 16,000 nursing homes and assigned them one to five stars based on ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Statute does not bind DOC

State statutes only mandate that the Department of Commerce require fire sprinklers in multifamily buildings with 20 or more units.Nevertheless, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals has upheld a regulation requiring sprinklers in all buildings with eight or more units.The Wisconsin Builders Association contended that the regulation exceeded the agency’s authority in passing the regulation, but ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Attorneys watch sick leave suit in Milwaukee

Unconstitutional and vague are two of the reasons why a local business group is asking a judge to dismiss the pending paid sick leave ordinance in the city of Milwaukee.The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce Inc. (MMAC) filed suit against the city on Dec. 22 and also asked for a temporary injunction. The ordinance was ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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How to limit client drama

Boston — Dealing with emotional clients is an occupational hazard for many lawyers, especially family law practitioners, and more recently for lawyers counseling individuals in financial distress amid the current crisis. “Clients are looking for their attorney to be a savior, and there’s a tremendous pull for the attorney to do something,” said Dr. Alex ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Court to consider hate crime

Two cases currently pending in Wisconsin courts — one in the Supreme Court and the other in Waukesha County Circuit Court — raise an interesting issue: whether disorderly conduct can be charged as a hate crime.In the case pending before the Supreme Court, three defendants were charged with disorderly conduct as a hate crime, based ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Dealing with ‘at-risk’ lawyers

Boston — When it comes to dealing with “at-risk” lawyers, take action quickly — even if it’s one of the senior partners in your firm. That’s the advice of experts at a recent ABA audio conference about strategies for helping at-risk lawyers. Whether it’s a lawyer bullying staff, a senior partner with billing issues or ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Supreme Court New Cases

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has voted to grant review in nine cases. The case numbers, issues (provided by the Office of the Clerk of Supreme Court), and counties of origin are listed below. To read the full records, go to the Supreme Court Clerk’s Office, Suite 215, Tenney Building, 110 E. Main St., Madison. 2008AP446-CR ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Grant money for court projects is cut short

More than half of an agency grant expected to advance research and development of alternative court programs in Wisconsin will not be available in 2009.National philanthropic organization the JEHT Foundation recently announced that it will close its doors at the end of January because investor funds had been mismanaged by financial advisor Bernard L. Madoff.Madoff ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Alternative billing may be lawyers’ answer

Boston — Experts have been predicting the imminent demise of the billable hour for years. But the current economy may give many lawyers the final push towards trying some alternative billing methods. Chris Marston, the CEO of Exemplar Law Partners in Boston, operates strictly on a “value-based” billing system. “We sit down and have a ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Unemployment specter hovers

Diane S. Diel wasn’t sure what to make of it.She recently visited with some University of Wisconsin Law School students. She saw a lot of glum faces.“I asked, ‘What’s happening? Are you finding jobs? Are you all OK?’ And I only heard from one person,” said Diel, president of the State Bar of Wisconsin. “The ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Keller dues arbitration does not address constitutionality

Steven A. Levine may have lost the battle, but the determined attorney said he could still win the war.An arbitrator ruled against Levine and two other attorneys who argued that the State Bar of Wisconsin’s expenditures on its latest public image campaign should qualify for the Keller dues rebate.However, arbitrator Christopher Honeyman did not rule ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Justices consider nonprofit corporation to address access to justice

The Wisconsin Supreme Court took its first step in formally endorsing a plan to address the state’s ongoing problem of unavailable legal services for poor people.On Dec. 17, the court voted, 6-0, with Justice David T. Prosser Jr. abstaining, to create a nonprofit corporation designed to increase access to justice in the state. Although the ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Decision opens door to Wisconsin smoker suits

In light of the U.S. Supreme Court opinion last week in Altria Group v. Good, Wisconsin consumers can plausibly sue tobacco companies under at least two different statutory provisions, sec. 100.20 and sec. 100.18.Section 100.20, entitled “Methods of competition and trade practices”, provides generally, “(1) Methods of competition in business and trade practices in business ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Court: ‘light’ cigarette claims are not preempted by law

Boston — In a decision that allows claims by smokers seeking billions of dollars in damages from tobacco companies to proceed, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Dec. 15 that state law claims that tobacco companies deceptively market “light” or “low tar” cigarettes are not preempted by federal law.The decision in Altria Group v. Good stems ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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7 things every lawyer needs to know about backups

No. 1: Forward-thinking lawyers back up.OK, the pun is lame — but the idea is indispensable. “So much of your important information is now on your computer,” says attorney Jeff Krause, of Krause Practice Management in Watertown. “You need to be able to recover things quickly and easily.”No. 2: The best backup method is... whatever ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Firms handle holiday workload

At the two largest law firms in Wisconsin, the last month of the year can be busier than the first 11. But because firms the size of Foley & Lardner (310 attorneys) and Quarles & Brady (292) have teams of lawyers who work on calendar-sensitive issues like mergers or tax contracts, there is also time ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Court lets discrimination suit proceed

A former associate in Foley & Lardner’s Chicago office will be allowed to proceed to trial on his claims that the firm terminated him after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, because of his religion and national origin.The Seventh Circuit on Dec. 15 reversed a district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Uninsured vehicle is not legally 'uninsured'

When is an uninsured motor (UM) vehicle not an "uninsured motor vehicle" for purposes of automobile insurance?When even though the automobile is not insured, the negligent driver is insured under his own policy.Writing for the Wisconsin Court of Appeals on Dec. 4, Judge Margaret J. Vergeront concluded, "Section 632.32(4)(a) does not require coverage where, as ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Bar board splits on BBE plans

State Bar of Wisconsin leaders have no problem with giving foreign attorneys a chance to become licensed practitioners in the state.But short of passing the bar exam, members of the Board of Governors do not think foreign attorneys should be allowed to engage in any legal activities in Wisconsin.The board unanimously endorsed at its Dec. ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Justices mull car passenger searches

Washington – The U.S. Supreme Court seems primed to hand down a ruling giving the police some authority to pat down car passengers during traffic stops without running afoul of the Fourth Amendment.The case, Arizona v. Johnson, stems from a 2002 incident in which police stopped a car for a minor insurance infraction. During the ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Parents waive jury trial

Baltimore — The Rodgers Forge, Md. husband and wife accused in the starvation death of their 2-year-old son waived their rights to a jury trial in Baltimore County Circuit Court.John and Susan Griffin instead will have their cases heard by Judge Timothy J. Martin, who granted the waivers on Dec. 8 after the Griffins were ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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