Civil Litigation

Nov. 21, 2023 – De novo review, rather than certiorari review, is the proper form of review for a circuit court hearing a challenge to a municipality’s disallowance of a property tax exemption, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals has ruled.In North Central Conservancy Trust, Inc., v. Town of Harrison, 2022AP185 (Nov. 7, 2023), the Court of Appeals District III held that because de novo review was proper, the circuit court did not err by considering evidence not previously
Continue Reading De Novo Review Proper for Challenge to Disallowed Property Tax Exemption

Nov. 21, 2023 – A corporation is not entitled to voting eligibility forms created as part of guardianship proceedings because the forms are pertinent to guardianship proceedings and are closed under a state statute, the Wisconsin Cout of Appeal has ruled.In Wisconsin Voter Alliance v. Reynolds, 2022AP 1749 (Nov. 9, 2023), the Court of Appeals District IV also held that the circuit court’s labeling of a records request as a “fishing expedition” did not show bias that violated
Continue Reading Court of Appeals: Voting Group Not Entitled to Guardianship Voting Forms

In an earlier post, we discussed when the relationship between two parties qualifies as a protected dealership under the Wisconsin Fair Dealership Law and how the statute may apply to an eclectic mix of commercial arrangements. For a WFDL-protected dealership to exist, the purported dealer must demonstrate that its dealership is “situated in” the state. Wis. Stat. § 135.02(2). The statute offers no definition or test for when a dealership is situated in Wisconsin. While it is fairly simple
Continue Reading The Wisconsin Fair Dealership Law Enters Its 50th Year: Situated in Wisconsin

Nov. 14, 2023  – A building owner who failed to challenge a city’s determination that the cost to repair the building was more than half its value and had no right to repair the building, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals has held.In City of New Lisbon v. Muller, 2022AP1683 (Nov. 2, 2023), the Court of Appeals District IV also held that an order authorizing the city to raze the building was final even though it wasn’t labeled as
Continue Reading Court: City Could Raze Dilapidated Building After Owner Failed to Respond

Attorney Jeff Mandell Receives Wisconsin and Nationwide Attention on Redistricting and Wisconsin Legislative Maps
Stafford Rosenbaum Partner Jeff Mandell made an appearance on the November 19, 2023 edition of UpFront, a Wisconsin TV broadcast produced by ABC on Sunday mornings. He is part of the counsel team leading oral arguments before the Wisconsin Supreme Court on November 21 to argue that the state’s legislative maps violate state constitutional standards and to request redistricting in time for the 2024 elections.
Continue Reading Attorney Jeff Mandell in the Media Spotlight Surrounding Wisconsin Redistricting

Redistricting takes center stage at the Wisconsin Supreme Court this November as the court’s sole case set for oral argument is an original action addressing the constitutionality of the current state legislative maps. Let’s dive right in.
Cases Decided
No merits decisions were issued in the last month. However, the court did issue a series of published orders pertaining to the redistricting litigation discussed below. On October 6, the court released a Memorandum Decision and Order of Justice Janet
Continue Reading Wisconsin Supreme Court Update: November 2023

Nov. 8, 2023 – A credit card company disclosed information about a debtor to a mail vendor, but that action did not give the debtor standing to sue the credit card company in federal court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled.

In Nabozny v. Optio Solutions LLC, 22-1202 (Oct. 23, 2023), a three-judge panel for the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals held that the debtor-plaintiff suffered no concrete harm because the debtor’s information
Continue Reading Disclosure of Debt Info to Third-Party Vendor Not Enough for Standing

Nov. 8, 2023 – A federal district court considered a defendant’s mitigation argument when it sentenced her to 18 months in prison, including the potential risk of violence against her as a transgender woman, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled.

In U.S. v. Price, No. 22-2061 (Oct. 25, 2023), the Seventh Circuit held that the district court acknowledged the risk to the defendant during the sentencing hearing and showed that it properly exercised
Continue Reading Court Addressed Mitigation Argument by Acknowledging Risk to Transgender Woman

An assistant district attorney appealed a contempt order, noting a violation of another court order that sequestered two victims of a battery, both criminal defense attorneys, from the defendant’s trial.

Oct. 27, 2023 – An assistant district attorney may not appeal an order finding him in contempt for inviting a victim to a trial despite a trial court’s order sequestering the victims until they testified, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals has ruled.

In Attorney Thomas L. Potter v. Circuit
Continue Reading Attorney May Not Attack Sequestration Order by Appealing Contempt Order

Oct. 27, 2023 – A credit union violated the duty of good faith and fair dealing by adding a retroactive arbitration clause and class action waiver provision into its membership agreement, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals District III has ruled in Pruett v. WESTconsin Credit Union, 2022AP887 (Oct. 24, 2023).

In July 2021, Jeffrey Pruett filed a class action lawsuit against WESTconsin Credit Union (WCU) in Dunn County Circuit Court. Pruett claimed that between 2017 and 2020, WESTconsin
Continue Reading Case of First Impression: Appeals Court Strikes Retroactive Arbitration Clause

Oct. 27, 2023 – The five-day limit established in state law for executing a search warrant does not apply to the time it takes to analyze evidence seized under the warrant, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals District IV has ruled in State v. Drachenberg, 2022AP2060 (Oct. 12, 2023).

On Jan. 29, 2021, the police submitted to Wood County Circuit Court an affidavit requesting a search warrant for the residence of John Drachenberg.

The circuit court issued the warrant
Continue Reading Five-day Limit for Executing Warrant Doesn’t Apply to Evidence Analysis

If you have been arrested for domestic battery in Wisconsin, it is important to understand the potential penalties you may face. Domestic battery is a serious offense that can result in significant legal consequences, including criminal charges and restrictions on when you may be able to return to your home or communicate with your family members. By understanding the penalties associated with a domestic battery arrest in Wisconsin and working with an experienced attorney, you can determine how
Continue Reading What Are the Penalties for a Wisconsin Domestic Battery Arrest?

Real estate development involves a variety of complex legal and financial concerns. From finding the right property to securing financing, there are many factors that developers must consider. Because zoning laws are a crucial factor in real estate development, it is important to understand the role that entitlements will play when requesting approval from a local government to develop a property. When addressing issues related to zoning, entitlements, licensing, and variances, developers can work with an experienced attorney
Continue Reading What Real Estate Developers Need to Know About Entitlements

Shoplifting or retail theft is often seen as a minor offense that may be committed by teenagers or others who steal low-value items from stores. However, this form of theft is still considered a serious crime that can have significant legal consequences. In the state of Wisconsin, shoplifting offenses are typically charged as misdemeanors. However, under certain circumstances, shoplifting can lead to felony charges. A person who has been accused of retail theft will need to understand their rights
Continue Reading Can Shoplifting Lead to Felony Charges in Wisconsin?

James M. Sosnoski is an attorney in Meissner Tierney’s litigation practice group. He represents businesses and insurers in a wide variety of matters, including insurance coverage, business and corporate disputes, and non-competition agreements.
Where are you from?
I’m from Lynchburg, a small town in central Virginia.
What was your first job?
Being from a small town, naturally my first job was working on a cattle farm.
Do you have any hobbies?
I have too many and not enough time. 
Continue Reading Attorney Spotlight – James M. Sosnoski

Oct. 16, 2023 – A city zoning ordinance that requires treating building glass is not subject to a state law that preempts municipalities from enacting building provisions stricter than the state building code, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals has ruled.In Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin, Inc. v. City of Madison, 2022AP1468 (Oct. 5, 2023), the Court of Appeals District IV held that whether a zoning ordinance is preempted by the state building code depends on the content
Continue Reading Statewide Building Code Does not Pre-empt City’s ‘Bird-glass’ Ordinance