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State Indian law needs on the rise

Recent and not so recent developments regarding Indian Law in Wisconsin have raised several questions about trends in tribes’ legal representation. The last five years have seen a concerted effort by Wisconsin’s state and tribal courts to collaborate on jurisdictional ...

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Pocan sworn in as judge

Ever since he was a child growing up in Kenosha, William S. Pocan wanted to be a judge, so he took the logical first step and became a lawyer. For 22 years, Pocan sculpted a successful litigation career at Jastroch ...

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Seizure Case Analysis

In addition to the main holding of the case — that an officer’s show of authority is not a seizure for purposes of the Fourth Amendment unless the suspect actually submits to the show of authority — the case is ...

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Court: Suspect must submit for seizure to occur

A seizure does not occur for Fourth Amendment purposes until the suspect submits to the officer’s show of authority, the Wisconsin Supreme Court held on July 12. In so holding, the court reaffirmed its decision in State v. Kelsey C.R., ...

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DNR Case Analysis

Inasmuch as this property only has 77 feet of shoreline, it is difficult to take issue with the ultimate conclusion of the court — the DNR reasonably decided that 11 boatslips constitutes “reasonable use.” Nevertheless, the court’s reasoning effectively grants ...

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DNR action is not arbitrary, capricious

The DNR’s decision to reduce the number of boatslips from 22 to 11 was not arbitrary and capricious, the Wisconsin Supreme Court held on July 6. The holding sparked an ad-monishing three-justice concurrence addressing “the growth of agency power, the ...

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MBA program will target clients of modest means

“It’s kind of the middle ground. There is a huge need for a program like this to benefit both lawyers and the community.” Britt Bellinger, Director MBA Lawyer Referral & Information Service Finding a lawyer can be a headache. Finding ...

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Sweeney challenges bar members to volunteer

“People live in each other’s shelter.”— Irish Proverb “I’m impressed by how much is already going on. From our young lawyers working on Habitat or our Mentoring Committee, to our Pro Bono Committee that makes pro bono available at a ...

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Peterson goes from D.A. to U.S. Attorney

Tenacious prosecutor, avid Harley rider, ambitious administrator and accomplished drummer with an affinity for rural towns and comedy films. Erik C. Peterson is only one man, but seemingly leads the life of several and after spending only a short time ...

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Roundtable Discussion

Civil Legal Services Part II Roundtable participants from left to right are: Christopher L. Ford, Centro Legal por Derechos Humanos Inc.; Jeffery L. Brown, State Bar of Wisconsin; Laura Gramling Perez, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren SC; Gwendolyn G. Connolly, Law ...

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UIM Case Analysis

The decision lays to rest a question that has bedeviled courts and attorneys ever since the Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld automobile insurers’ use of reducing clauses. In Praefke v. Sentry Ins. Co., 2005 WI App 50, 279 Wis.2d 325, 694 ...

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UIM definition impermissible reducing clause

What the court held Case: Welin v. American Family Mut. Ins. Co., Case No. 2004AP1513. Issue: Is a UIM policy’s definition of underinsured motor vehicle an impermissible reducing clause, when the insured has not received the limits of his coverage, ...

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Fiduciary Duty Case Analysis

The court’s unquestioned adherence to stare decisis in this case is remarkable, for this case could be the model example for when stare decisis should not be followed. First, the holding is contrary to the unambiguous language of the statute; ...

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Breach of fiduciary duty is intentional tort

What the court held Case: Zastrow v. Journal Communications, Inc., No. 2004AP276. Issue: Is a trustee’s failure to disclose material information a breach of fiduciary duty, and therefore, an intentional tort governed by the statute of limitations in sec. 893.57? ...

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Labor Logic

Title VII retaliation protections cover conduct that would not constitute discrimination

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Public Case Analysis

The case is noteworthy for its similarity to another case involving nearly identical facts, but which resulted in the opposite result, Mayville Die & Tool, Inc., v. Weller Machinery Co., 249 Wis.2d 490, 639 N.W.2d 224 (Table), 2001 WL 1512917 ...

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‘Public’ in sec. 100.18 includes prior customers

What the court held Case: K&S Tool & Die Corp. v. Perfection Machinery Sales, Inc., No. 2005AP2148. Issue: Is application of sec. 100.18 precluded, where the parties have a pre-existing relationship, and the buyer initially approached the seller? Holding: No. ...

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Roundtable Discussion

Civil Legal Services Part I Roundtable participants from left to right are: Christopher L. Ford, Centro Legal por Derechos Humanos Inc.; Jeffery L. Brown, State Bar of Wisconsin; Laura Gramling Perez, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren SC; Gwendolyn G. Connolly, Law ...

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City violated developer's civil rights

After a jury found that a city violated the civil rights of a development company, a federal magistrate judge has ordered it under 42 U.S.C. secs. 1983 and 1988 to pay the company $804,499, an award that includes $275,000 in ...

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Duty Case Analysis

Although the opinion affirms the court of appeals’ decision, it does so on different grounds, and the difference is not an improvement in the law. The majority rejects the dissent’s contention that it has confused the law concerning duty in ...

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Lenders owe no duty to subcontractors

What the court held Case: Hoida, Inc., v. M&I Midstate Bank, No. 2003AP2108. Issue: Is a lender to a general contractor liable to subcontractors and materialmen who were not paid? Holding: No. Public policy precludes liability in these circumstances. Counsel: ...

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No suppression for ‘no knock’ search

As I sit down to write this article about a seemingly major new Fourth Amendment case decided June 15, 2006, I have received a question from local law enforcement: namely, does this case mean that “knock and announce” during search ...

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Statute of repose bars safe places claim

What the court held Case: Mair v. Trollhaugen Ski Resort, No. 2004AP1252 Issue: Does sec. 839.89 bars safe place claims for injuries caused by structural defects that were substantially completed more than ten years earlier? Holding: Yes. Where the construction ...

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Crack Cocaine Case Analysis

The decision flows logically from the court’s opinion in U.S. v. Galicia-Cardenas, 443 F.3d 553 (7th Cir. 2006). There, the court held that a district court may not impose a below-guideline sentence to avoid differences in sentences imposed for those ...

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Crack, powder cocaine are different

What the court held Case: U.S. v. Miller, No. 05-2978 Issue: May a court impose a below-guideline sentence on a defendant convicted of a crack cocaine offense, in order to minimize the difference between such defendants and those convicted of ...

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Safe Place Case Analysis

The decision creates an absurd disincentive on the part of owners and occupiers of property against keeping buildings in line with modern concepts of safety, something the court acknowledged, even though it found that its interpretation is “necessary for the ...

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Employers must address blogging

It used to be people kept personal diaries hidden under beds or tucked in dresser drawers, but computer convenience has allowed millions of people to openly add entries online with a few keystrokes on their computer. The relatively new method ...

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