State v. Skylard R. Grant, 2020AP404, 7/20/21, District 1 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) Grant pleaded to reduced charges on the second day of his trial for homicide, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and possessing THC with intent to deliver. He claims his trial lawyer was inadequate in various ways during the trial. The court rejects Grant’s specific claims, but it also rejects the state’s expansive reading of State v. Villegas, 2018 WI App 9, 380 Wis. 2d 246, 908 N.W.2d 198. The state had argued that counsel’s alleged failings were waived…
When you are going through a divorce, it is important to ensure you are protected online. Some things to consider include: -Do you have any apps that can show your whereabouts or transactions? Accounts such as Venmo for example, should be made private. -Make sure your information is no longer accessible to them through shared accounts such as Apple accounts, or Google accounts. -Change your passwords for applications/accounts that contain private information. For more internet safety tips that could aid you throughout your divorce, or for guidance throughout your case, contact Kowalski, Wilson & Vang, LLC. The post Online Protection
On August 3, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) announced another extension of its eviction Moratorium (“the Moratorium”). This article compares and contrasts the new Moratorium with previous iterations. What has Changed? The new Moratorium applies on a somewhat more restricted basis, at least in theory. Instead of applying in any state or territory in which there are documented cases of COVID-19, as in the previous versions of the Moratorium, the new order only applies in U.S. counties experiencing “substantial” and ”high” levels of COVID community transmission as defined by the CDC. Individuals can check the current…
If you’re preparing to send a child off to college this fall, you should add two documents to your back-to-school checklist: (1) a power of attorney for health care, and (2) a durable power of attorney for finances.  Without these two documents, you may not have the authority to make health care decisions or manage finances for your child once they reach age 18. A power of attorney for health care allows your child to name agents to make decisions on their behalf if they were unable to make those decisions.  This document is important if your child were to…
State v. Anthony Francen Harris, 2019AP1908-CR, District 3, 7/30/21 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs) Police stopped the car Harris was driving in part because Skenandore, an officer-in-training, misread the data on his in-squad computer screen and wrongly concluded that the car’s owner didn’t have a valid license. (¶¶2-3, 5-7). His mistake doesn’t matter because the officer’s other observations justified the stop. ¶12     The totality of the circumstances supports the circuit court’s finding of reasonable suspicion to stop Harris’s vehicle. The record reveals that it was late at night, Harris was…
State v. Michael J. Foster, 2020AP2149-CR, District 4, 7/29/21 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) A defendant claiming that trial counsel was ineffective for failing to ask for a theory of defense jury instruction must propose the language the instruction should have included and establish it is a correct statement of the law. Absent such a proposed instruction, the ineffective claim will fail. Foster’s defense to resisting an officer causing substantial bodily harm contrary to § 946.41(2r) was that the officer was using excessive force and thus wasn’t acting with lawful authority. Trial counsel made a brief, conclusory argument…
As recently reported in the news, The Mixing Bowl Bakery, in Sauk City, Wisconsin is under fire for accusations of violations of child labor laws. The bakery is owned by Curtis and Vickie Eberle, a couple with nine children, many of whom work with them at the Mixing Bowl. The kids range in age from 11 years old to 6 weeks old. On April 4, 2017, the Department of Workforce Development sent a letter to the Mixing Bowl warning the owners that their business would be audited after receiving several complaints about the children working at the bakery. More details…
After many months of mostly virtual enforcement, OSHA is back to in-person site inspections and OSHA enforcement has become a priority for the Administration. As such, businesses should be aware of rights they have and how to best respond when OSHA comes knocking OSHA Just Showed Up, What Can I Do? With some exceptions, OSHA’s arrival will be unannounced and will often take a business by surprise. Source
I called the customer service line for my utility provider the other day and had a moment of confusion when I was addressed as “Samuel J. Kavalier.” The name I heard was not “Sam,” the name by which friends and family have known me for as long as I can remember, and the name I use when I introduce myself. I recognized after the moment passed that the name I heard was my legal name, and customer service was just using the name the company should and did have on file for my account. This moment got me thinking about…
Well that didn’t take long.  Not even two full business days after the CDC’s Eviction Moratorium ended and now we have another moratorium in place. On Tuesday, August 3, 2021 at the direction of President Biden, the CDC announced a new, temporary, limited federal eviction moratorium through October 3, 2021. This new Order is limited to counties that have a substantial or high rate of community spread of Covid.  This covers counties such as Milwaukee, Dane, Waukesha, Ozaukee, Racine, Eau Claire, and Dodge counties, to name just a few. So what does this mean? The bulk of the…
How does Wisconsin law define “legal custody”? If you have legal custody of your child in Wisconsin, this means you have the authority to make major decisions on their behalf. According to Wisconsin law, major decisions include “decisions regarding consent to marry, consent to enter military service, consent to obtain a motor vehicle operator’s license, authorization for nonemergency health care and choice of school and religion.” If you are maneuvering custody issues in Wisconsin, or need guidance throughout any other family law matter, contact Kowalski Family Law. We will protect your rights and provide you with peace of mind. View
State v. Lisa Rena Lantz, 2020AP742-CR, District 3, 7/27/21 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) Lantz was convicted of conspiring to deliver methamphetamine between September 2015 and March 2016 and of soliciting the delivery of methamphetamine in February and March 2016. The court of appeals rejects Lantz’s argument that the charges are multiplicitous. It also rejects her challenge to her sentences. Multiplicity: Multiplicity challenges are grounded on the constitutional right to be free from multiple punishments for the same offense. Criminal charges are multiplicitous if they charge more than one count for acts the statutes define as a…
Waukesha County v. M.J.S., 20221AP105-FT, District 2, 7/28/21 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity Under § 51.20(11)(a), a demand for a jury trial must be made “48 hours in advance of the time set for final hearing,” if notice of final hearing was provided to the subject individual or his or her lawyer. Applying Marathon County v. R.J.O., 2020 WI App 20, 392 Wis. 2d 157, 943 N.W.2d 898, the “time set for final hearing” is the original hearing date, not the date set after an adjournment. M.J.S. received notice on March 3, 2020, that a…
State v. Avery B. Thomas, Jr., 2020AP976-CR, District 2, 7/28/21 (recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) Thomas was arrested for and charged with criminal conduct while he was on federal supervision. He was held on cash bail till after his plea, when his bail was modified to a signature bond. He remained in custody, though, because the feds had put a revocation hold on him. He was eventually sentenced after revocation on the federal case, and about a month after that he was sentenced in the Wisconsin case. (¶¶2-4). The Wisconsin court erred in denying Thomas…
As employers nationwide have begun to implement mandatory COVID-19 vaccine requirements in the workplace, legal questions have been presented as to whether these vaccine requirements are legally permissible under various laws. While the EEOC has issued guidance that generally permits mandatory vaccine requirements in the workplace so long as reasonable accommodations are offered for those with disabilities or sincerely held religious beliefs, questions still remained as to whether mandatory workplace vaccine requirements were permissible under other laws, such as the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA), given the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) process. DOJ’s July 6, 2021, Memorandum Opinion now…
Obtaining a United States patent conveys the benefit of a monopoly against others exploiting the patented invention for a limited time: 20 years from the earliest filing date. However, the process for obtaining the patent is time consuming, which can delay issuance of the patent and thereby reduce the amount of time that the patent is enforceable. The process is also expensive in terms of filing fees and attorney fees. Examiner interviews during prosecution provide the opportunity to advance the patent application to allowance in less time and to reduce the overall cost of obtaining a patent. At the same…