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Legal News

Commission’s decision allows federal crack cases to be revisited

A recent vote by the U.S. Sentencing Commission to allow people convicted of federal crack cocaine crimes to potentially seek sentence reductions will not take effect until March 3, 2008, but the local legal system is already preparing for the fallout.“There isn’t going to be an immediate impact, but I would expect we’re going to ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Court finds no exigent circumstances

Movement within a house is not an exigent circumstance that justifies a warrantless entry, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals held on Dec. 14.A team of DEA agents and Chicago police officers went to the house of Gregory McNeal, whom they suspected of selling cocaine from his home, and approached the house, carrying a battering ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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HIPAA violation doesn't require suppression of evidence

Suppression is not the remedy for a violation of HIPAA, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals held on Dec. 19.In 2006, Ellen T. Straehler was involved in an automobile accident, and was taken to the hospital. The officers had no probable cause to believe she was intoxicated.However, a nurse at the hospital in-formed a detective investigating ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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State Bar endorses, Supreme Court adopts unconditional comity rule

The state Supreme Court has given non-resident lawyers the ability to unconditionally apply mandatory Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits from their native state towards Wisconsin requirements.After lengthy debate on Dec. 10 about whether to adopt a “conditional” or “pure” comity rule, the Court formally endorsed the latter with a 4-3 vote. Wisconsin joined nine other ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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State Bar supports limited-license proposal for in-house counsel

The State Bar’s Board of Governors has endorsed a proposal to establish legal boundaries for in-house counsel in Wisconsin.At its Dec. 7 meeting, the board voted in favor of adopting amendments to SCR 10.03(4), which include a limited license to practice for attorneys licensed outside of the state, but who serve as in-house counsel for ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Bertz, Knudson seek State Bar presidency

Attorneys Tom Bertz, of Stevens Point, and Ken Knudson, of Superior, have accepted nominations to run for 2008 State Bar of Wisconsin president-elect. Bertz is a partner with Anderson, O’Brien, Bertz, Skrenes & Golla, practicing in the areas of litigation, personal injury, insurance defense, worker’s compensation and products liability. Knudson, of Knudson, Gee & Torvinen ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Wrongly convicted man now practices law

Christopher Ochoa, 40, is a solo practitioner in Madison. He spent a dozen years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Admittedly, Ochoa says his career choice is unique, but necessary to ensure people do not suffer the same fate he did. In 1988, Ochoa reluctantly confessed and was wrongly convicted of murder ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Judge Shabaz’s seat draws 16 candidates

Six circuit court judges, six private practitioners, two U.S. attorneys, one magistrate judge and one law clerk applied for the seat of U.S. District Court Judge John C. Shabaz, who is seeking the equivalent of judicial semi-retirement.The diverse group of legal professionals all filed applications by the Dec. 3 deadline. Now the 11-member Wisconsin Federal ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Stray voltage cases were timely filed

Two sets of dairy farmers timely filed lawsuits against Northern States Power Co., alleging damage to their herds from stray voltage, the Wisconsin Supreme Court held on Thursday.The court also held that the utility’s compliance with the filed rate doctrine does not immunize it from suit.In the first case, Ralph and Karline Schmidt became aware ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Monroe Board considers $30 million justice center

The state recently granted Monroe County a third judicial branch, but now the county needs to approve space to accommodate the new judge.On Nov. 28, the County Board listened to a proposal for a new $30 million justice center to include a new jail. That proposal came to the County Board from the Monroe County ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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No deadline for attorney fee petition

A petition for costs incurred on appeal may need to be filed within 14 days of entry of judgment, but a party need only be “diligent” in submitting a petition for attorney fees, the Seventh Circuit held on Nov. 28.JCW Investments, Inc. won a jury verdict on a claim that Novelty, Inc., in-fringed its trademark ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Court suggests BBE, Bar revisit conditional comity proposal

Pure or conditional is the choice that needs to be made with regards to a comity rule for non-resident lawyers who do not regularly practice in Wisconsin.On Nov. 27, the state Supreme Court ruled that a petition in support of a provisional comity plan could be overly complex and the possibility of a cleaner version ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Defendant cannot move for default judgment on a counterclaim when plaintiff fails to reply

A defendant files an untimely answer and counterclaim. The court grants default judgment against him, but does not strike the answer. Since the plaintiff has failed to reply to the counterclaim, can defendant seek default judgment on his counterclaim?Manitowoc County Circuit Court Judge Jerome L. Fox said no, and the Wisconsin Court of Appeals agreed ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Lisa Roys Q&A

Anyone attending a Wisconsin State Bar function will likely run into Lisa Roys. As director of public affairs for the Bar since February 2006 and government relations coordinator prior to that, Roys is routinely seen around the state Capitol, in the Supreme Court and even in her office at the State Bar Center in Madison.A ... Subscribe Login Digital and ...

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Law Journal recognizes Unsung Heroes

For the second year in a row, the Wisconsin Law Journal celebrated the efforts of law firm and court support staff during its Unsung Heroes awards luncheon. The newspaper recognized the contributions of 61 honorees from law firms and courts across the state. Each honoree received a certificate identifying them as an Unsung Hero ... Subscribe Login Digital and mobile ...

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