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Failure to require safety course is not negligence

Parents are immune for the negligent operation of ATVs by their children on property they own, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals held on Nov. 6. In 2004, Aaron R. Hardy, the son of Donald and Tonna Hardy, was operating an all-terrain vehicle on property owned by Tonna, when he collided with Gary L. Hoefferle. Hoefferle accepted $50,000 from the Hardys’ ...

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Justices give initial OK to unlimited bar exams

After failing the Wisconsin bar exam five times, former Waukesha County Sheriff Arnold A. Moncada Jr. is asking the State Supreme Court to allow him and others to take the test as many times as they wish. The Supreme Court has tentatively approved a petition that would change the rules and allow law school graduates from outside the state to ...

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Scott Jensen to get new trial

Former state Assembly Speaker Scott R. Jensen and legislative aide Sherry L. Schultz were awarded new trials by the Wisconsin Court of Appeals on Nov. 8, because the court concluded that the jury was improperly instructed on the elements of the charge — misconduct in public office. In 2002, the state charged that Jensen hired state employees to solicit campaign ...

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Plan gives lawyers flexibility

The state Supreme Court has tentatively approved a plan that would give lawyers some flexibility in deciding how to allocate the annual $50 assessment to support civil legal services to the poor. Responding to a request from the State Bar, the Supreme Court took up a proposal that would have let attorneys donate the assessment to a non-profit civil legal ...

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Discipline decision looks at issue of sex with client’s wife

If you’ve practiced law for any length of time, you come across disciplinary decisions by the Supreme Court concerning attorneys you’ve dealt with, and you say, “It’s about time somebody did something about ‘that guy.’” Other times, you feel bad for the attorney, and you hope he gets his life back together. But then you come across a decision like ...

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Cannon’s career comes full circle

Since Thomas G. Cannon retired from private practice in 2000, he has been catching up with his past. Or perhaps his past has been catching up with him. After an honorable discharge from the U.S. Marine Corps in 1969, Cannon attended the University of Wisconsin Law School and joined the Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee after graduation. He spent a ...

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Case against two dioceses brings new issues to Supreme Court

Less than three months after ruling that victims sexually molested by Roman Catholic priests could sue the Archdiocese of Milwaukee for fraud, but not negligence, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has accepted another case brought against two dioceses in the state. In Kenneth V. Hornback v. Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Hornback alleges the dioceses in Madison and Milwaukee covered up a teacher’s ...

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Interference with custody interpreted

Where a man convinced two children to accompany him to his home, he violated sec. 948.31(2) — interfering with child custody, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals held on Oct. 31. The very strange facts of the case are as follows: Andrew, 11, and his brother Shawn, 5, live with their mother. On Nov. 11, 2003, Andrew and Shawn were walking ...

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New Supreme Court Cases

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has voted to accept seven new cases. The case numbers, issues, and counties of origin are listed below. 2006AP291 Hornback v. Archdiocese of Milwaukee and Diocese of Madison This case examines the statute of limitations as it relates to civil cases involving alleged sexual assault of a child, and whether the First Amendment bars civil actions ...

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New Supreme Court Cases

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has voted to accept 16 new cases. The Court also acted to deny review in a number of cases. The case numbers, issues, and counties of origin are listed below. The first half of this listing ran in the Oct. 22, 2007 issue. 2006AP1859 Walgreen Co. v. City of Madison The issue presented in this case ...

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SEC approves rule increasing protection

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently approved a controversial rule proposal that will add significant protections for investors purchasing or exchanging deferred variable annuities. Deferred variable annuities are life insurance annuity contracts whose value fluctuates over time, and whose income is not received immediately but delayed to a future date. The deferred variable annuity rule imposes new requirements on ...

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Supreme Court accepts case against Wisconsin dioceses

On Oct. 25, the Wisconsin Supreme Court accepted the case of five men who claimed the Roman Catholic dioceses in Madison and Milwaukee covered up a Kentucky teacher’s history of sexual abuse of them as children. In October 2005, Kenneth Hornback, Dennis L. Bolton, Ronald W. Kuhl, David W. Schaeffer and Glenn M. Bonn sued the Milwaukee Archdiocese and Madison ...

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The ABCs of LLCs, S.C.s and LLPs

LLC, S.C., LLP… If you don’t practice in the area of business or tax law, you may not know what the alphabet soup after a law firm’s name means — or what it means if there’s no alphabet soup there. Now that you’ve decided to start your own firm, however, choosing a business entity, and the tax ramifications that they ...

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I chose our business structure because…

Lawyers have a variety of options when it comes to organizing their practices. What follows are some of the reasons lawyers gave for organizing their practices as LLCs, LLPs, and S.C.s. “I chose an LLC format because I wanted the pass-through of the financials to my personal level of taxation. I also consulted with a corporate lawyer and was advised ...

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Cuts restored, added state funding denied for Milwaukee County courts

As is almost an annual tradition for Kitty K. Brennan, the chief judge of District 1 outlined the planned cuts to the county budget and how she lobbied to have positions and funding restored during the Milwaukee Bar Association’s 3rd Annual State of the Courts luncheon on Oct. 23. Brennan persuaded members of the Milwaukee County Finance and Audit Committee ...

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State Budget and the Circuit Courts Highlights

Increase base funding for court interpreter reimbursements from $827,100 to $1,060,600 in 2007-08 and $1,125,100 in 2008-09. State statute revised to provide an interpreter for persons with limited English proficiency, regardless of indigence. Provide $1 million for legal services for the indigent, funded by grants through the Wisconsin Trust Account Foundation (WisTAF) in 2008-09. Establish new judicial branches in Juneau ...

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Nine FDCPA issues resolved in four consolidated cases

The Seventh Circuit on Oct. 23 issued an opinion which resolves many unanswered questions about the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), in three areas: The application of the FDCPA to lawyers; The proper treatment under the FDCPA of settlement offers from debt collectors; andThe role of dismissal on the pleadings pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(c) in deciding ...

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Will Shabaz’s move to senior status slow down ‘rocket docket’?

Have no fear, speed litigators. Most observers say the “rocket docket” is here to stay – although its velocity might take a slight decrease. On Oct. 4, in a brief letter to President George W. Bush, Western District of Wisconsin Judge John C. Shabaz announced his intention to go to senior status, thereby lowering his workload, if a new district ...

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Shabaz reflects on ‘rocket docket’ legacy

I left a message requesting a short telephone interview with federal District Judge John C. Shabaz, in the wake of his announcement that he’ll be assuming senior status when a successor is confirmed, on or before Jan. 20, 2009. The former chief judge of the Western District, and 25-year federal jurist in the Madison-based court, called back within 10 minutes. ...

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