Federal Estate Tax Law Changes Are Near By: Steimle Birschbach, LLC 2021 On September 15, 2021, the House Ways and Means Committee approved draft legislation that, among other things, would increase taxes for high-income individuals and make drastic changes to federal estate, gift, and generation skipping transfer tax laws. Before the proposed legislation becomes law, the Senate Finance Committee will weigh in, and a bill must pass the House and Senate, and be signed by the President. While this seems like an uphill battle, many practitioners believe that something very similar to the proposed legislation will become law potentially as…
The job market is hot, your student loan balance is, well, eek, and you’ve been asked to do some legal work on the side—maybe it’s document review for a contract firm, or overflow for a solo practitioner friend. Can you ethically do this? Tread carefully, if at all. First, check with your employer. Your firm or agency may have specific rules governing side work—and this may extend to non-lawyer employment such as teaching as an adjunct at a law school, or even non-law-adjacent service industry work. What, you don’t want to check with your employer because you’re afraid they’ll say…
State v. Todd DiMiceli, 2020AP1302-CR, District 4, 9/16/21 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) Under § 968.375(6), a court-ordered subpoena for electronic communication records must be served within 5 days of issuance. The subpoena used to obtain internet records regarding DiMiceli from Charter Communications wasn’t served till 9 days after issuance. The records obtained led to further investigation and charges that DiMiceli was in possession of child pornography. (¶¶2-7). The delay in service of the subpoena doesn’t entitle DiMiceli to suppression of the evidence obtained with the subpoena because the violation of the 5-day…
State v. Nicholas Reed Adell, 2020AP2135-CR, District 4, 9/16/21 (recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) Reversing a circuit court order suppressing evidence, the court of appeals holds the totality of the circumstances gave rise to a reasonable suspicion that Adell was driving with a prohibited alcohol concentration (PAC) and that police could extend the traffic stop to have Adell perform field sobriety tests (FSTs). Adell was stopped for speeding at 5:50 a.m. He told the officer he was running late for work. During his conversation with Adell, the officer noted an odor of intoxicants coming from inside the…
Marquette County v. T.W., 2020AP1908, 9/16/21, District 4 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity T.W. was living in a group home in 2019 when, per testimony at his commitment trial, he punched, choked and threatened various people while refusing to take his medications. He was committed. On appeal he challenges the circuit court’s admission of some evidence. The county responds that his challenge is moot. The court holds the case not moot, though the six-month original commitment is long expired. T.W. points out that Wis. Stat. § 46.10(2)-(3) directs the county department to collect…
State v. Thomas M. Parkman, 2021AP27, 9/16/21, District 4 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs) In February 2020, a few weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic really got going in Wisconsin, the circuit court sentenced Parkman to six months in jail for three misdemeanors stemming from an incident in which he attacked his ex-girlfriend with pepper spray. He was given an April report date, but the circuit court sua sponte delayed that date in recognition of the dangers posed to jail inmates by COVID. It has been delayed ever since. This is an appeal of the circuit…
State v. Valiant M. Green, 2019AP2150, petition for review of a summary order of the court of appeals granted 9/14/21; case activity (including briefs) Issue presented (from the petition): Did the affidavit in support of that search warrant fail to state probable cause to believe that Mr. Green had committed a crime and thus require suppression of the blood test result? Green’s neighbor called police and said Green was drunk and driving his truck. The responding officer saw Mr. Green in his truck in his own driveway; Green performed some maneuvers in the driveway but did not, while the officer…
State v. Richard Michael Arrington, 2019AP2065, review of a published court of appeals decision granted 9/14/21, case activity (including briefs) Issues (from the state’s PFR; response here): Did Arrington prove that his counsel was ineffective for failing to move to suppress the CI’s recordings and testimony on Sixth Amendment grounds? Did Arrington prove that the State violated his Sixth Amendment right to counsel? As we’ve written: Miller approached police saying that he thought he could get Arrington to tell him about his case.  In exchange for working as a confidential informant, Miller wanted consideration in his own…
State v. Manuel Garcia, 2021 WI 76, 9/24/21, affirming a published decision of the court of appeals; case activity (including briefs) As explained in our post on the published decision, the court of appeals held that a defendant’s voluntary statement obtained in violation of Miranda can’t be used in the state’s case-in-chief, even for impeachment if the defendant elects to testify. The supreme court granted the state’s petition for review. Justice Hagedorn withdrew from consideration of the case, and the remaining justices were evenly divided. Thus, the court of appeals decision is affirmed.…
​The State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors held its first meeting of the fiscal year in Kenosha, engaged in other State Bar-related activties there, and met with local leaders. Pictured at the Civil War Museum in Kenosha, from left, State Bar Executive Director Larry Martin, Kenosha Bar Association President Zach Brost, Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian, State Rep. Tip McGuire, Immediate Past State Bar President Kathy Brost, State Bar President-elect Margaret Hickey, and current State Bar President Cheryl Furstace Daniels. Photo credit: Andy Manis. Sept. 24, 2021 – Adopting and implementing a plan to address the shortage of lawyers in Wisconsin’s rural counties…
Recently, the House Ways and Means Committee released its proposal to fund the $3.5 trillion “Build Back Better” reconciliation spending package. As expected, the proposal takes aim at several estate planning opportunities and vehicles that wealthy individuals have traditionally utilized to reduce gift and estate tax. The most significant estate planning provisions of this proposal are summarized below, however, it is important to note that this proposal is far from final. In fact, the proposal is the third piece of legislation introduced this year that would significantly impact high-net-worth estate planning (we wrote about the STEP Act and the For…
I’ve got a new blog post up on the State Bar of Wisconsin Nonresident Lawyers Division – NRLD blog. It’s something I wrote for fun, not about legal marketing, but I wanted to share it with you anyway. I often talk to my clients about finding ways to amplify their voice by leveraging their network. This sort of post is what I’m talking about. It was worth my time to write this post not just because it was fun to do so, but because: Lawyers are my target market. Getting published by the State Bar of Wisconsin lends me…
State v. Theophilous Ruffin, 2019AP1046-CR, petition for review of an unpublished court of appeals decision granted 9/17/21; case activity (including briefs) Issue presented (from the State’s PFR) Is Ruffin entitled to an evidentiary hearing based on his postconviction allegation that his trial counsel was deficient for not pursuing a theory of self-defense? This is essentially a companion to State v. Spencer, a case in which the supreme court recently granted the state’s petition to review a court of appeals decision that ordered an evidentiary hearing under State v. Machner, 92 Wis. 2d 797, 285 N.W.2d 905 (Ct.…
State v. Donald P. Coughlin, 2019AP1876-CR, petition for review of an unpublished court of appeals decision granted 9/14/21; case activity (including briefs) Issues presented (from State’s petition for review) 1. How does a court consider the theory of guilt in an evidence sufficiency claim when an inconsistency exists between a jury instruction and verdict? 2. Must a court accept a jury’s resolution of any vagueness in testimony as jury credibility and weight determinations and must a court then adopt the reasonable inferences that a jury may have drawn from the evidence? 3. Has Coughlin, as the defendant challenging the…
State v. Chrystul D. Kizer, 2020AP192-CR, petition for review of a published court of appeals decision granted 9/14/21; case activity (including briefs) Issue Presented (from the State’s PFR) Does § 939.46(1m) provide a victim of trafficking with a complete defense to first degree intentional homicide? The defense under § 939.46(1m) provides an affirmative defense for victims of human trafficking (or child sex trafficking in violation of § 948.051) for “any offense committed as a direct result of the violation of s. 940.302(2) or 948.051.” The circuit court read the statute very narrowly, ruling it was available to…
At the close of summer, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals rejected an insurance company’s attempt to “double dip” and reduce its underinsured motorist (“UIM”) coverage responsibility to an insured based on a liability payment made to another insured.[1] The case arose from an automobile accident that caused the death of Michael Shimeta and serious injuries to his passenger, Terry Scheer. The responsible tortfeasor’s liability insurance policy provided for a $250,000 per-person limit and a $500,000 per-accident limit. Because the damages incurred by both Shimeta’s estate and by Scheer exceeded $250,000, both the Estate and Scheer received a $250,000 payment from…