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Conceptual approach: New e-discovery search method emerges

An employee is terminated from his job and sues the company for age discrimination.The plaintiff’s attorney calls for an electronic rummaging of all relevant documents stored in the company’s computers for the last 10 years. A keyword search of terms like “discrimination” and “reduction in force” (RIF) results in more than 13,000 documents in need ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Dicta suggests complaint need not demand punitive damages

Must punitive damages be demanded in the complaint in federal court?The safer course of action is to ask for them, but dicta from the Seventh Circuit suggests that it is probably not necessary.Christina Soltys and Danuta Pauch filed suit in federal court (Illinois, later transferred to Indiana), alleging that they were injured in a head-on ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Road to Russia — Part II

Editor’s Note: Milwaukee attorney Diane Slomowitz is beginning her second week of teaching law to Russian students. Slomowitz has been writing about how she got involved with the international program that took her from Milwaukee to St. Petersburg. This week she shares her training earlier this year in Salzburg, Austria.When my cab turned up Salzburg’s ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Jury says insurance companies must cover Appleton Papers' PCB cleanup costs

Who is going to pay to clean up the Fox River?On March 18, a jury in Brown County Circuit Court ruled that nine insurance companies could be liable for between $550 and $730 million in costs charged to Appleton Papers, Inc. to remove polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) contaminants from the river.Although the decision is not expected ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Craigslist is not liable for discriminatory posting

Internet service providers (ISPs) can’t be sued for postings that violate the Fair Housing Act.The Web site, Craigslist , sometimes includes notices that would violate the act if printed in a newspaper, e.g., “no minorities.”Nevertheless, a Mar. 14 decision from the Seventh Circuit holds that the site cannot be liable under the law in a ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Data processing comes with a price in e-discovery

How much does it cost to retrieve electronically stored information from a computer thought to contain relevant details to a case?That is a question rarely asked, according to a Chicago technology attorney, but one which should be posed by attorneys early on in electronic discovery in an effort to save time and money. The answer ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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State fair employment claims are not barred by federal action

Previously filing a discrimination claim with the EEOC doesn’t bar a state claim under the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act (WFEA).Joyce Aldrich resigned after being demoted by her employer, Best Buy, Inc. She then filed charges with both the EEOC and the Equal Rights Division of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (ERD), alleging both sex ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Justices continue to wrestle with law practice petition

Defining the practice of law is something even Merriam-Webster might struggle with, so the fact that the Wisconsin Supreme Court is taking its time reviewing a proposal to classify what qualifies as legitimate legal service in the state is understandable. However, following a lengthy discussion, the justices appeared no closer to reaching a consensus on ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Melli blossomed as UW’s first female law professor

By the time the average person turns 82, even retirement may seem like a distant memory. But Marygold “Margo” Melli is not your average person. For more than five decades, Melli has been both an educator and an advocate for family law issues. After becoming the first female faculty member at the University of Wisconsin ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Statute cannot bar litigation in federal court

Wisconsin’s statute requiring that litigation over the value of corporate stock be litigated in state courts has been struck down as unconstitutional.Section 180.1330(2) provides that, if there is a dispute over the fair value of shares, the corporation must either pay the dissenters what they demand or bring a special proceeding “in the circuit court ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Milwaukee’s chief judge doesn’t want to join the party

Should judges be allowed to join a political party?For her part, Milwaukee Circuit Court Judge Kitty K. Brennan said she hopes the Wisconsin Judicial Commission prevails in its defense of Judge John Siefert’s federal lawsuit. Siefert has challenged the judicial code’s prohibition against joining a political party.Brennan, Milwaukee’s chief judge, hasn’t discussed the case with ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Supreme Court candidates spar with words

During his opening statements at a forum sponsored by the Milwaukee Bar Association, state Supreme Court candidate Michael J. Gableman jokingly felt the need to introduce himself to attendees in light of recent television advertisements.“Some of you might have a bit of difficulty recognizing me without my head moving up and down in a rhythmic, ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Cop, commissioner face off for seat on Milwaukee bench

The court commissioner with a decade of experience as a prosecutor or the homicide detective with 12 years of experience in and out of the courtroom — which candidate is most qualified to sit on the Milwaukee County Circuit Court Bench?The two candidates for the Branch 40 seat stressed their relative strengths during a forum ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Should judges avoid cases related to major supporters?

As third-party “investments” in state Supreme Court races increase, so too is discussion on when a justice should step down from cases involving groups that substantially support their election effort.On March 12, three legal panelists debated the notion that deep-pocketed organizations are influencing state Supreme Court elections and whether recusal is an adequate device for ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Role of city attorney as much at issue as candidates

Listening to the two candidates for Milwaukee City Attorney talk, you might get the sense that they are running for different offices.Attendees at the Milwaukee Bar Association’s debate on March 10 between incumbent Grant Langley and challenger Rep. Pedro Colon could be forgiven for coming to that conclusion.Colon repeatedly emphasized the need for the city ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Court: Staffing agency is not liable for nurse's negligence

A staffing agency may be liable for the negligence of one of its nurses.However, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals has determined that any suit premised on such negligence may not be brought in tort, seeking contribution. Instead, it must be brought in contract, seeking indemnification.According to the court’s March 5 opinion, Alex Rogers was injured ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Crowded ballots mean higher turnout for State Bar elections

What motivates members of the State Bar of Wisconsin to vote for their president?Election statistics show three-way races typically generate significant interest among members. In fact, four of the top five turnouts during the last 20 years have involved three candidates.Vote totals in 1992, 1994, 1997 and 2005 all exceeded 5,700 and at least 33 ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Funneling millions to wife, mistress is not illegal

It’s not tax evasion to funnel millions of dollars from a closely-held corporation to a mistress without paying taxes on the money.At least it’s not illegal, as long as the corporation earned no profits that year, and the distributions are less than the shareholder’s basis in the corporate stock.When those facts are present, the U.S. ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Voelker field questions about electronic filing

Several members of the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors raised eyebrows and a few questions about the proposed system for voluntary electronic filing of circuit court documents.With an established program already in place throughout the federal district courts in Wisconsin, some board members asked why the state courts didn’t simply adapt that system.“Why ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Board members question Bar sponsorship of campaign committee

Throughout the past several weeks, the Wisconsin Judicial Campaign Integrity Committee (WJCIC) has been both commended and condemned for its actions in this year’s state Supreme Court election.On Feb. 29, some members of the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors called for the Bar to suspend sponsorship of the WJCIC and one criticized President ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Cumulative effect of harmless errors is still harmless

It is axiomatic that nothing plus nothing equals nothing.But sometimes, something plus something, plus something, plus something more, still adds up to nothing.In the case of Ronell E. Harris, even though the State committed numerous discovery violations, improper evidence was admitted, and the trial court erred in not sanctioning the State for its errors, the ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Not all crack offenders get new sentences

Not everyone sentenced for crack cocaine offenses will be able to get a new sentence, despite the recent holding by the U.S. Supreme Court that district courts may depart from the guidelines to alleviate the disparity in sentences for crack and powder cocaine.Instead, the Seventh Circuit will be using the same procedure it used after ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Senate Bill seeks to preserve ADA positions

Federal funding for more than 20 assistant district attorney positions in Wisconsin will end by the start of next year, compounding the prosecution shortages revealed in a 2007 report.The scarcity of state resources and the impending end to the legislative session are two of the obstacles facing Senate Bill 497. The bill calls for an ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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