The Spousal Lifetime Access Trust (SLAT) is a type of irrevocable trust that allows married couples to transfer assets to their spouse and other family members while removing those assets from their combined estates. This type of trust can help high net worth individuals take advantage of the federal lifetime gift and estate tax exclusion, which is currently $12.92 million per person in 2023, or $25.84 million per married couple, while still retaining limited access to the assets, if
Continue Reading Tax & Wealth Advisor Alert: Spousal Lifetime Access Trusts, A Powerful Estate Planning Tool for Complex Estates

State v. Ayodeji J. Aderemi, 2021AP1445-CR, 1/31/23, District 1 (recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs)
This appeal concerns a problem many will encounter. An alleged attempt to e-file a document apparently failed. Here, the document was the State’s Information. Aderemi argued that the fumble caused the State to miss its filing deadline, so under §971.01(2) the circuit court had to dismiss the case without prejudice. In a split decision, recommended for publication, the majority (White and Brash)
Continue Reading Court of appeals issues important decision on fumbled e-filings

On-the-job injuries can lead to complicated treatment plans and expensive medication. Depending on the severity of the injury, some workers could face costly hospital visits, complex surgery, and lengthy physical therapy. During all this, if the insurance company denied the claim, the cost could be astronomical.
Fortunately, numerous remedies are available after a claim denial.
Grounds for denial
Before seeking the proper course of action for your appeal, you must know the reason for denying your claim. Here are
Continue Reading Remedies in case of workers’ compensation claim rejections

Many Wisconsin family farms operating as limited liability companies may be surprised to learn that the law governing their entities has changed. While the changes are numerous, and a general understanding of all such changes is warranted, this article discusses three changes that are likely to have the biggest impact on family farms organized as LLCs in Wisconsin. Background and Application The new Wis. ​Stat. chapter 183 became effective Jan. 1, 2023, and represents a significant departure from established
Continue Reading New LLC Law Impacts Family Farms: 3 Things You Need To Know

State v. James P. Killian, 2020AP2012, review of a published court of appeals decision granted 1/20/23; case activity
Issues presented (from state’s PFR):
Has the State exposed Killian to multiple prosecutions for the same offense in violation of double-jeopardy principles?
The facts here are complex, and summarized in our post on the court of appeals decision. Killian was on trial for several alleged sexual assaults involving two girls. As a result of pre- and mid-trial rulings, the
Continue Reading SCOW will review scope of double jeopardy bar to retrial

A year ago, attorney Rebeca Lopez made partner. It took her almost 10 years, and a lot of work, to become a shareholder at Godfrey & Kahn, S.C. In the latest episode of Bottom Up, a WisLawNOW Podcast produced by the State Bar of Wisconsin, Lopez – an employment lawyer who is also the vice president of the Wisconsin Hispanic Lawyers Association – shares insights on the secret to her success.
Continue Reading Episode 5: Making Partner, and Refilling Your Cup​​​

Interpreting for the first time the product liability statute adopted in 2011, the Wisconsin Supreme Court refuses to adopt Restatement (Third) of Torts Section 2(b) and holds that the consumer-contemplation test remains the standard for determining whether a product is “unreasonably dangerous” in a strict liability claim.
Last month, in Murphy v. Columbus McKinnon Corp., 2022 WI 109, — N.W.2d —, 2022 WL 17972321 (Dec. 28, 2022), the Supreme Court of Wisconsin interpreted the Wisconsin product liability statute
Continue Reading Wisconsin Supreme Court: Restatement’s Risk-Utility Test Does Not Replace the Consumer-Contemplation Test as the Standard for Determining “Unreasonably Dangerous” Products (Extended Post)

Interpreting for the first time the product liability statute adopted in 2011, the Wisconsin Supreme Court refuses to adopt Restatement (Third) of Torts Section 2(b) and holds that the consumer-contemplation test remains the standard for determining whether a product is “unreasonably dangerous” in a strict liability claim.
Last month, in Murphy v. Columbus McKinnon Corp., 2022 WI 109, — N.W.2d —, 2022 WL 17972321 (Dec. 28, 2022), the Supreme Court of Wisconsin interpreted the Wisconsin product liability statute
Continue Reading Wisconsin Supreme Court: Restatement’s Risk-Utility Test Does Not Replace the Consumer-Contemplation Test as the Standard for Determining “Unreasonably Dangerous” Products

We are a “first to use” jurisdiction for trademarks in the United States. That means, if you are the first to use a trademark in multi-state commerce you have “priority” over those who use the same trademark after you, and are the rightful owner of the mark.

However, we also have a trademark filing system and federal database of trademarks maintained by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Well….what if someone files an application for your trademark even
Continue Reading First to Use or First to File?

Small businesses play such a crucial role in our communities and the economy that their importance cannot be overstated. According to a
report issued by the Small Business Administration (SBA) in 2019, small businesses – those with less than 500 employees – accounted for about 44% of U.S. economic activity.​ In addition, small businesses accounted for roughly two out of every three jobs added in the U.S. over the past 25 years. And despite challenges surrounding COVID-19 starting in
Continue Reading Working with Small Businesses: Three Attorneys Weigh In

Winnebago County v. D.J.S., 2022AP1281, District 2 (one-judge decision ineligible for publication), case activity
Accompanied by a familiar sounding caveat that “it certainly would have been better if the County had presented more evidence and the circuit court had been more detailed and specific in its oral determination,” the court of appeals rejects D.J.S.’s sufficiency of the evidence challenge to the extension of his Chapter 51 involuntary civil commitment. (Opinion, ¶8).
The county called Dr. Vicente
Continue Reading Reasonable inferences from doctor’s testimony sufficient to sustain recommitment

There are a number of different types of offenses that are classified as white collar crimes. These offenses are usually committed in a professional or business setting, and they will typically involve illegal exchanges of money. Bribery is one example of behavior that could potentially lead to criminal charges, and in some cases, people may also face criminal charges due to alleged campaign finance violations. Understanding how the laws in Wisconsin address these issues can help anyone
Continue Reading When Can Bribery Lead to Criminal Charges in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin Supreme Court issues significant insurance coverage opinion, finding that insurers cannot use preclusion principles to sidestep duty to defend.
On January 26, 2022, the Wisconsin Supreme Court weighed in on one potential exception to the “complaint test” as a method of determining whether an insurance company has a duty to defend a lawsuit brought against its insured. Dostal v. Strand, 2023 WI 6, __ N.W.2d __.
Generally, when an insured party is sued, the insurer must compare
Continue Reading Wisconsin Supreme Court Issues Significant Opinion: Insurers Cannot Use Preclusion Principles to Sidestep Duty to Defend

Jan. 30, 2023 – A man’s conviction for second degree reckless homicide for causing a death in his home does not preclude his action for indemnification under his homeowner’s insurance policy, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled.In Dostal v. Strand, 2023 WI 6 (Jan. 26, 2023), the supreme court also held (4-3) that it was inappropriate to grant summary judgment for the insurer on the issue of whether the policy’s intentional acts exclusion applied.Justice Ann Walsh Bradley wrote
Continue Reading Homicide Conviction No Bar to Insurance Claim for Accidental Death

One of the most common questions we get is “when should I start estate planning?”. The answer is if you’re asking the question then you probably need an estate plan. It’s a common mistake thinking that you aren’t “old enough” or “wealthy enough” to have a plan, but realistically everyone over the age of 18 can benefit from some sort of estate planning document.
When Should I Start Estate Planning?
An estate plan should be tailored to your life
Continue Reading When Should I Start Estate Planning?