“Was at the prison most of the day.”

Lavinia Goodell, March 18, 1879

During the years she practiced law in Janesville, Wisconsin, Lavinia Goodell was appointed to represent a number of criminal defendants. (Read more about her experience here.)  She also started a jail school, believing that if the men were educated they had a much better chance of becoming productive members of society after their release.

Lavinia took a personal interest in the inmates and formed
Continue Reading “Was at the prison most of the day.”

On December 7, 2022, President Biden signed into law the Speak Out Act.  One purpose of the Act is to empower survivors of sexual assault and sexual harassment to come forward by nullifying the enforceability of pre-dispute non-disclosure and non-disparagement contract clauses relating to disputes involving sexual assault or sexual harassment.  The Act arises out of the #MeToo Movement and is evidence that the movement is gaining renewed momentum following a period of quiet during the COVID pandemic.
Continue Reading “Speak Out Act” Against Sexual Assault & Sexual Harassment Signed Into Law

Reducing your workforce is never an easy decision. Worrying about what implications downsizing may have on your H-1B workforce makes these decisions even more difficult. The downsizing of such workers can mean they lose their ability to remain in the United States and their job. Employers of H-1B workers are also subject to additional requirements that do not apply to their U.S. employees.For example, an H-1B worker’s employment terms are subject to those listed in the H-1B petition filed
Continue Reading Downsizing Implications for H-1B Specialty Workers and Their Employers

Condominium associations and their property managers should be aware of a new subsection (1r) added by the Wisconsin State Legislature to the 2021 Wisconsin Act 166 requiring condominium associations of 100 units or more to maintain a website that satisfies the conditions listed below by April 1, 2023. Those that do not comply may face enforcement actions brought by the association members, the unit owners.The website must meet the following criteria:

  • Be wholly owned and operated by the condominium

Continue Reading New Website Requirement for Wisconsin Condominium Associations and Their Property Managers

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has weighed in on industry concerns regarding the financial and recordkeeping burden of its “forever chemical” reporting rule that will affect manufacturers and importers across a variety of industries.On Friday, November 25, 2022, the EPA released its Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) related to the proposed rule requiring PFAS reporting by manufacturers. The PFAS reporting rule was proposed in June 2021 and drew criticism from industry groups for the potential economic impact, particularly
Continue Reading EPA Analysis Addresses Costs of “Forever Chemical” Reporting Rule

by: Paralegal Sarah Reckling
A frequent issue that arises in insurance is the extent to which a standard CGL policy covers contractor liability. In my most cases, the issue is not of fact, but of liability insurance language. An insurer, regardless of whether the allegations are covered, must provide a defense of the entire lawsuit. If an insurer wrongfully fails to provide a defense, then the insurer is responsible for the damages to the insured (potentially including attorney’s fees). 

 By: Attorney Cameron Weitzner
During the holiday season, the number of packages being sent and received throughout the United States increases significantly. As people order products online and have them shipped to their homes or receive gifts sent by loved ones, packages can accumulate on a home’s porch or doorstep on a daily basis. These packages can be a tempting target for thieves, and package theft has become an increasingly significant issue in the U.S. in recent years. 
Continue Reading What Are the Consequences of Package Theft in Wisconsin?

Be sure to check out today’s Inside Track article “We Need to Recognize the Implicit Bias in Wisconsin’s Youth Justice System” by ASPD Alaina K. Fahley. Black and White youths engage in delinquent behaviors at similar rates. But while Black youth constitute only 11.2% of the Wisconsin youth population, they make up almost 25% of youth justice referrals. Ashley offers advice on addressing the disparity.
Continue Reading Racial disparity in Wisconsin’s juvenile justice system

State v. A.H., 2022AP1454, 12/6/22, District 1, (1-judge opinion; ineligible for publication); case activity
The sole issue in this TPR appeal is whether the circuit court failed to consider the “best interests” of D.H.’s daughter. D.H. noted that the circuit court’s oral decision “wholly omits consideration of and reference to the best interest factor.” Opinion, ¶13. That argument failed because the circuit court is not required to “utter any magic words” when performing its “best interests” analysis. Opinion,
Continue Reading Court needn’t reference statute when ruling on “best interest of the child” factors

Social media is one of the most powerful and cost-effective tools that modern lawyers can use to market themselves. However, determining which platforms to use, properly setting up accounts, and deciding what to post and how often can be a daunting task. This is especially true when considering the many ethical rules that attorneys must follow when using social media, as violating the Rules of Professional Conduct can result in disciplinary actions that are costly to defend, cause reputational
Continue Reading Ethical Social Media Use for the Modern Attorney

Remember the earlier post by Business Accelerator’s Amanda HarNess about the connection between trust and leadership? If not, go back and read it. Beyond lack of trust, there are other areas where leadership breaks down. Amanda gives us questions to consider whenever leadership is changing for an organization. And, unprodded by me, she recommends building a strategic plan to help guide everyone through. We all know how much I love a strategic plan.

Top 9 areas of breakdown during
Continue Reading Top 9 areas of breakdown during changes in leadership

On the latest episode of the WI Law in Action podcast from the UW Law Library, host Kris Turner interviews Nyamagaga Gondwe, Assistant Professor of Tax Law at the University of Wisconsin Law School and scholar of economic justice, race and the law, and tax policy.  Professor Gondwe discusses her article, “The Tax-Invisible Labor Problem: Care, Work, Kinship, and Income Security Programs in the IRC” which is forthcoming in the Boston University Law Review.
Continue Reading WI Law In Action Podcast: Nyamagaga Gondwe on the Tax-Invisible Labor Problem and the Reinforcement of Oppressive power Dynamics

A derivation proceeding is a novel proceeding applicable to claims filed on or after March 16, 2013 (the date these proceedings went into effect), which offers a mechanism for contesting inventorship at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The 2011 America Invents Act (AIA) replaced interference proceedings with this new proceeding. Reinhart attorneys Abdullah Akhtar and John Paul Kale discuss how inventors can contest inventorship of patented subject matter through derivation proceedings, a less expensive alternative to
Continue Reading How to Contest Inventorship of Patented Subject Matter Through Derivation Proceedings

Hello readers! It has been awhile, hasn’t it? I hit three years and then promptly disappeared. Hopefully I’ll be blogging more frequently now that the midterms are over and were not nearly as eventful as 2020 (for which we all should be grateful), but to tide you over in the meantime, some quick hits:

  • Michael Avenatti, of Stormy Daniels, celebrity swagger, and, well, crime fame, was sentenced to an additional 14 years in prison for stealing millions from

Continue Reading Short Takes After a Long Absence

State v. Christopher D. Wilson, 2022 WI 77, 11/23/22, reversing an unpublished decision of the court of appeals, 2020AP1014; case activity (including briefs)
Someone called the police to report that a vehicle was driving erratically “all over the road.” The caller said the car had stopped in the alley behind a particular house and described its driver getting out, climbing up on the fence to reach over an unlatch a gate, and going into the backyard.
When police
Continue Reading Defense win! Unanimous SCOW rejects claim that police incursion into fenced backyard was “knock and talk”

State v. C.B. & State v. N.M.M., 2022AP906 & 966, 11/29/22, District 1 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity
C.B. and N.M.M. appeal the termination of their parental rights. They challenge the method the Milwaukee Clerk of Courts used to select the venire for their trial: drawing from a pool of “reserve jurors” and selecting those whose surnames began with “G” and “H.” They further request a new trial because there were no African Americans on the
Continue Reading COA holds jury panel selected by first letter of last names was “random”