Civil Litigation


The State Bar of Wisconsin Litigation Section is one of few professional organizations that brings together adversaries. Hopefully, we don’t normally think of ourselves as adversaries, but this section involves attorneys who consistently advocate for opposing parties with a balance of defense and plaintiff members on the board. While we may be on opposite sides, we understand that many of our struggles are the same and we usually work collaboratively to find solutions. For those challenges that are
Continue Reading Asking for a Friend: How to Avoid Aggravating Opposing Counsel

By: Attorney Adam Schleis
For a parent, few things are worse than the prospect of losing custody of their children. Unfortunately, there are some situations where a parent may be accused of child abuse or where school officials or other parties may be concerned that a child is at risk of harm. In these cases, Wisconsin Child Protective Services (CPS) may initiate a child in need of protective services (CHIPS) action. Children may be temporarily removed from their parents’
Continue Reading What Procedures Are Followed in Juvenile Court CHIPS Proceedings?

By:  Attorney Max StephensonA prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can be a great way to protect your assets in the event of a divorce. These types of agreements serve as contracts between couples, and they will usually address how financial issues and other concerns related to a couple’s property will be handled if their marriage ends. A prenup or postnup can specify that certain assets are community property or separate property, and a couple can make decisions about how
Continue Reading How to Make Sure a Wisconsin Prenup or Postnup Is Enforceable

By: Attorney Cameron Weitzner
Drunk driving is known to be very dangerous, and a driver who has been consuming alcohol or using other substances that impair their ability to operate a vehicle will be much more likely to become involved in a car accident and cause harm to others. Because of this, driving while intoxicated is illegal. Drivers who get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol may be stopped by police, arrested, and charged with Operating While Intoxicated (OWI)
Continue Reading  What Is an Aggravated OWI in Wisconsin?

On August 26, 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a “Pre-Publication Notice” that proposes to list two PFAS compounds as “hazardous substances” under the “Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation & Liability Act” (CERCLA), also known as the “Superfund” law.

PFAS is an acronym for per- and polyfluorolalkyl substances, which are chemicals that were widely used from the 1960s to the early 2000s in the manufacture of a variety of consumer products, such as stain resistant carpets, non-stick cookware
Continue Reading The EPA Proposes to List PFAS as ‘Hazardous Substances’ under CERCLA

Sept. 14, 2022 – A police officer did not violate the Fourth Amendment when he opened a small canister taken from the purse of a woman who had been detained for shoplifting, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals has ruled.In State v. Meisenhelder, 2021AP708 (June 15, 2022), the Court of Appeals District II held that because the police officer had probable cause to arrest the woman for shoplifting, the search of the canister was a lawful search incident to
Continue Reading Search of Keychain Container Was Lawful Search Incident to Arrest

Sept. 14, 2022 – A property management company that had knowledge of the property owner’s precarious financial state had a duty to disclose that condition to prospective residents, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals has ruled.In Beuttler v. Marquardt Management Services, Inc., 2020AP1767 (June 22, 2022), the Wisconsin Court of Appeals also held that three of the plaintiffs may use circumstantial evidence to prove they actually relied on misrepresentations made by the property management company.Receivership and a New ManagerA
Continue Reading Senior Housing: Circumstantial Evidence Sufficient to Prove Misrepresentation

Sept. 20, 2022 – The trial court in a homicide trial properly excluded prior bad acts evidence and expert witnesses whose testimony was unreliable or would have been confusing, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals has ruled.In

State v. Ochoa, 2020 AP1981 (June 30, 2022), the Court of Appeals District II also held that the circuit court’s jury instruction accurately stated the law of self-defense.Early Morning ShootingIn the early morning hours of July 30, 2017, inside a house in
Continue Reading Excluding Experts and Using Pattern Jury Instruction Not a Court Error

Sept. 14, 2022 – A liability release that covered chairlift loading and unloading did not apply to a claim that ski hill employees were negligent in failing to rescue a woman from a chairlift, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals has ruled.In Schabelski v. Nova Casualty Company, 2021AP1174 (June 30, 2022), the Court of Appeals District II also held that the acts and omissions of a ski hill employee that preceded the woman’s loading on the chairlift were covered
Continue Reading Ski Hill Release Didn’t Apply to Rescue Attempt, Court of Appeals Rules

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the case in 2019 before remanding it for Wisconsin courts to decide under the U.S. Supreme Court’s holding.JEFF M. BROWNSep. 14, 2022 – A man arrested for operating while intoxicated (OWI) failed to show that a blood draw ordered by the police while he was unconscious was unconstitutional, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals has ruled.In State v. Mitchell, 2019AP1942 (June 15, 2022), the Court of Appeals District II held that Gerald Mitchell
Continue Reading OWI Arrestee Failed to Show Blood Draw was Unconstitutional

Sep. 6, 2022 – A trustee who sued a newspaper for defamation over an article that contained both a hyperlink to a story about elder abuse and a summary of charges made against him failed to state a claim, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled.In Financial Fiduciaries, LLC v. Gannett, Co., Inc., No. 21-2016 (Aug. 22, 2022), the court held that the allegedly defamatory statements were substantially true. Additionally, the court held that
Continue Reading Trustee Removed by Court Failed to State Defamation Claim

All drivers are aware of the risks of car accidents. When vehicles share the roads and travel at high speeds, what may seem like minor errors by drivers can have deadly results. Because of this, drivers usually take care to drive safely and protect themselves against harm. However, accidents can still occur, and people can be seriously injured through no fault of their own. What many people may not realize is that the risks of being involved in
Continue Reading Why Have Fatal Car Accidents Increased in Recent Years?

Parents who choose to divorce or separate will need to address a wide variety of issues related to child custody. These include what is commonly known as legal custody, which covers major decision-making for the child, and physical custody or physical placement, which determines where the child will live. Along with major decisions detailing how parents will work together to raise their children and when they spend time with their children on a day-to-day basis, they may need
Continue Reading Does Child Custody in Wisconsin Include the Right of First Refusal?

Aug. 30, 2022 – A plat map that reserved three lake access lots for the use of other lot owners created an easement and did not convey title, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals has ruled.In Kapinus v. Nartowicz, 2021AP1027 (June 3, 2022) the Court of Appeals District IV held that because the plat granted the other lot owners an easement, they were not riparian owners and were not entitled to install and maintain a pier on one of
Continue Reading Reservation in Plat Granted Easement Across Lake Lot, Not Ownership

By: Attorney Adam Schleis
There are a variety of situations where family members may seek protection against domestic violence or abuse. A domestic abuse restraining order is a court order designed to protect domestic violence victims from suffering harm. These orders may be issued as part of a family law proceeding such as a divorce or child custody case, or they may be sought in other situations where a person has experienced abuse and needs protection. In situations
Continue Reading What Are the Penalties for Violating a Domestic Abuse Restraining Order?

While, historically, the student expulsion statutes have referenced the requirement that expulsion hearing notices to a student and parent be “sent,” the better practice has been to serve the notice on both the pupil and parent to assure the notice was “received.” Recent decisions of the Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI), have incorporated a due process requirement beyond the plain language of the expulsion statutes and suggest students and parents must receive actual notice or, in the alternative,
Continue Reading Best Practices: Recent DPI Decisions Suggest Assuring Students and Parents are Not Only Timely “Mailed” But “Receive” Notices for Expulsion