State v. Manuel Garcia, 2018AP2319-CR, petition for review granted 1/22/21; case activity Issue for review: (adapted from the State’s PFR  and the COA’s opinion): Whether the State may invoke the impeachment exception to the exclusionary rule during its case-in-chief and thereby use a defendant’s statement, taken in violation of Miranda, to rehabilitate one of its witnesses? Garcia made inculpatory statements to an officer about his involvement in the death of his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son. The circuit court excluded those statements from Garcia’s trial on the grounds that his waiver of his Miranda rights, while voluntary, was invalid…
State v. Octavia W. Dodson, 2018AP1476-CR, granting review of a per curiam court of appeals decision; case activity (including briefs) Issue presented: Did the sentencing court violate Dodson’s Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms by considering his status as a lawful gun owner an aggravating factor at sentencing? The supreme court just recently rejected an as-applied challenge to Wisconsin’s statute prohibiting felons from possessing a firearm brought by a person convicted over a decade earlier for failure to pay child support. There were two lengthy dissents in that case, as we noted here. This interesting case…
On the latest episode of the WI Law in Action podcast from the UW Law Library, election law expert Dean Dan Tokaji joins us to discuss free speech, the 2020 election, and the effect of misinformation on democracy.  Tokaji discusses two recent pieces: Truth, Democracy, and the Limits of Law, a 2020 Saint Louis University Law Journal article and #2DaysOut: Ten Things to Watch for on (and after) Election Day, a  contribution to the Election Law Blog published right before Election Day, 2020.  Below are a few excerpts from our discussion. Tokaji on the essential norms of our democratic system:…
The IRS issued two new forms for the 2020 tax year – Form 1099-NEC and a revised Form 1099-MISC. The newly reintroduced Form 1099-NEC is used to report payments for nonemployee compensation (NEC) that were previously reported on box 7 of the Form 1099-MISC. Background The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act (PATH Act) P.L. 114-113 enacted in 2017 requires a payor who reports nonemployee compensation to file a 1099 by January 31. However, if a payor was only reporting payments other than non-employee compensation, then the payor had until March 31 to file Form 1099-MISC. The IRS reported confusion…
Owners of hotels and others in the hospitality industry have been some of the hardest hit by COVID-19. Relief has been few and far between for many.  On the one hand, they might be fighting business interruption claims because of the downturn in their business, and on the other hand, they are paying the same, if not more in property taxes at a time when their occupancy and customer traffic are at an all-time low. The business climate makes it imperative for hotel owners and commercial property owners to consider a property tax appeal recognizing that the market under COVID-19…
Outagamie Countyv. G.S., 2019AP1950, 1/20/21, District 3 (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity “George” called law enforcement claiming to be a federal authority who wanted to make a citizen’s arrest of some duck hunters. When a deputy arrived at the lake he saw George in a boat with 2 encased firearms about 100 yards from shore where a group of duck hunters were upset about George’s verbal encounter with them. George never pointed a gun at anyone.  Based on this evidence, a doctor’s report, and substantial hearsay evidence, the circuit court committed Geoge under the 3rd standard of…
State v. Todd N. Trieblod, 2019AP1209-CR, 1/20/21, District 3 (recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) Triebold was convicted of child sexual assault in Wisconsin and subject to lifetime sex offender registration. He moved to Minnesota and notified the Wisconsin DOC of his address. But he moved again and failed to notify either Wisconsin or Minnesota of his change in address. He was separately convicted of violating the sex offender registration laws of Minnesota and Wisconsin. This appeal concerns his challenges to his Wisconsin conviction. The court’s decision is recommended for publication. Triebold argued that Wisconsin circuit courts lacked…
State v. Nhia Lee, 2019AP221-CR, District 3, 1/20/21, (recommended for publication), case activity (including briefs) This is an important decision for areas of Wisconsin where there is a shortage of defense lawyers. In 2018, when the private bar rate was $40, Lee was charged with felonies in Marathon County and then held for 101 days without counsel while the SPD contacted over 100 attorneys to take his case. Meanwhile, the circuit court repeatedly extended the 10-day deadline for holding a preliminary hearing. He finally got one 113 days after his initial appearance. In a decision recommended for publication, the…
State v. Christopher W. Yakich, 2019AP1832-CR & 2019AP1833-CR, District 4, 1/14/21 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) A defendant who is found not guilty by reasons of mental disease or defect (NGI) of a crime may be committed under § 971.17 for the maximum term of confinement (for felonies under Truth-in-Sentencing II, § 971.17(1)(b)) or two-thirds the maximum term of imprisonment (for misdemeanors or pre-TIS II felonies, § 971.17(1)(a) and (d)). The court of appeals holds that if a defendant is found NGI for more than one offense, the maximum term of commitment is determined by…
As one of his first orders of business in his new administration, President Biden has selected a new leader and co-leader for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).  The President has selected two Democrats, Charlotte Burrows (new leader) and Jocelyn Samuels (second-in-command) to lead the EEOC. The EEOC is a federal agency made up of administration appointees, as well as career staff who are federal employees.  Despite the new leaders, the EEOC will continue to have a majority of Republican members until roughly mid-2022. The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal workplace discrimination laws.  Most employers with at least…
Jan. 21, 2021 – Although Wisconsin law requires a court to hold a preliminary hearing within 10 days of an initial appearance for those in custody on alleged felony charges, Nhia Lee – an indigent defendant – sat in jail for 113 days before his hearing. He remained in custody with no lawyer to represent him because the State Public Defender (SPD) could not find private counsel to take his case. The statutory 10-day deadline for holding a preliminary hearing was repeatedly extended for this reason. Lee ultimately obtained an SPD-appointed attorney and filed a motion to dismiss the case…
Indemnity clauses are common in commercial contracts. Typically, one party (the indemnitor) agrees to “indemnify, defend, and hold harmless” another party (the indemnitee) from any and all claims or losses, or perhaps certain defined ones. In the construction context, such a provision may, for example, provide indemnity protection to an owner for any claims, losses, or damages – including attorneys’ fees – arising out of a contractor’s work.1 At its base level, such language protects owners from exposure arising from a construction project. But is the value solely in its protection? The lawyer answer is – it depends! Generally,…
De novo hearings allow a brand-new hearing on issues decided by court commissioners. Practitioners are not limited by the pleadings or evidence presented before the commissioner. De Novo hearings are a useful tool for practitioners to gain the best possible result for clients, especially if a client comes to you after attempting to handle their case pro se. What is a De Novo Hearing? De novo is Latin, meaning “from the new.” Black’s Law Dictionary defines a de novo hearing as a “new hearing of a matter, conducted as if the original hearing had not taken place.”1 A court…
Today the CDC issued its “ COVID-19 Vaccine Communication Toolkit for Essential Workers: Getting Started”, which includes posters, FAQs, and templates to use when communicating with your workforce about the vaccine. In addition, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services’ webpage on the vaccine has a great deal of information specific to our state. As always, as you consider the vaccine and its… Source
As COVID-19 vaccines are being provided to people throughout the state of Wisconsin, Governor Tony Evers has issued a new emergency order requiring the state’s residents to use masks or other face coverings whenever they are indoors or in an enclosed space and around people who are not members of their immediate family. This order comes as part of the state’s effort to administer vaccines. Since the supplies of vaccines are limited, health care workers have been given the top priority for vaccinations, and the state has also begun administering vaccines to first responders. People over the age of 65…
“Dear old Beecher! There’s nobody like him!” Lavinia Goodell, August 30, 1874 Henry Ward Beecher was one of the most famous men of the nineteenth century. Born in Connecticut in 1813, he was a Congregationalist preacher, a staunch abolitionist, and a supporter of women’s suffrage and temperance. In the early days of the Civil War,Continue reading → The post “Dear old Beecher! There’s nobody like him!” appeared first on Lavinia Goodell.…