Civil Litigation

By Attorney Chris Strohbehn and Litigation Paralegal Ruth Campos If you are injured in an accident, you may understandably be preoccupied with your pain and the need for medical attention in the immediate aftermath. However, when you see the medical bills for your necessary treatment, your concern may quickly shift to your ability to pay. At this point, it is important to identify who was at fault for the accident to determine whether it is possible to pursue a personal injury claim or lawsuit that can get you the compensation you need to cover your expenses. When Is a…
Recent events in Kenosha have raised questions about Wisconsin’s laws regarding the use of a firearm in self-defense. While we make no judgments regarding any ongoing cases, it is important for all Wisconsin residents to understand their rights to self-defense according to state law, especially if they find themselves under attack or facing criminal charges. Cases involving self-defense can be complicated, and if you are facing charges, your best option to avoid a conviction is to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who can develop a strategy based on a thorough understanding of the law. When Is Self-Defense Legally Justified…
By Attorney Chris Strohbehn Summer in Wisconsin is a popular time for boating on Lake Michigan, the many lakes in Waukesha County, and other bodies of water in the area, especially during a year when many people are turning to outdoor activities. Just remember that when you go out on the water, there are things that you, your family, and your friends can do to stay safe and avoid being injured in a boating accident or causing one yourself. How to Stay Safe While Boating in Wisconsin Boating safely is not difficult as long as you follow a few basic…
CMS announced on August 27 that it is delaying publication of its final rule on amendments to the Stark physician self-referral rule until August 31, 2021. CMS had previously announced its intent to publish the final rule in August 2020. CMS issued its proposed rule on October 17, 2019 in conjunction with its “Patients over Paperwork Initiative.” The proposed rule is part of HHS’s “Regulatory Sprint to Coordinated Care,” which looks at federal regulations that may be impeding provider efforts to better coordinate patient care. CMS intended to address what it characterized as Stark’s “undue regulatory impact and burden.” It…
The November election will determine whether Donald Trump or Joseph Biden will be our President beginning in 2021 and whether the Democrats or Republicans will control the Senate. Some are predicting changes in the estate tax law under a Biden presidency and a Senate controlled by the Democrats. Biden is proposing to return the estate tax to “historic norms.” In 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was signed into law. That Act increased the estate tax exemption – the value of assets that can pass without federal estate tax. Distributions to spouses and charities are deductible distributions and…
President Trump issued a Presidential Memoranda (“PM”) on August 8, 2020 which, in part, directed the Secretary of the Treasury to defer the collection of social security payroll taxes from employees between September 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020. On August 28, 2020, the IRS issued Notice 2020-65 (the “Notice”) which provides guidance on how the deferral process will be administered. This Legal Update will provide an overview of the current status of the payroll tax deferral program, including best practice recommendations for employers for compliance and to avoid interest and penalties. There remain issues in the operation of this…
By Attorney Kristen Nelson It is a situation that can happen: a licensed health care professional is arrested for a first-offense operating while intoxicated (OWI), and they immediately hire a criminal defense attorney. A first-offense OWI is not a criminal offense in Wisconsin, but rather a traffic violation. Depending on the county, the case may not even show up in CCAP (the Wisconsin Circuit Court Access Program). The health care professional wants to resolve the case quickly, so they stipulate to a guilty plea. The client may not even have to show up to court, because this can all…
By Attorney Max Stephenson Establishing legal paternity is often a goal for unmarried mothers who want to ensure that their child’s father contributes to the child’s financial needs and well-being, but it can be just as important for unmarried fathers who want to secure the rights to be a part of their child’s life. If you are an unmarried father seeking legal paternity, a family law attorney can guide you through the process. What Are the Benefits of Establishing Paternity? Establishing legal paternity is often crucial for children because it allows them to receive support from both parents in the…
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) allows eligible employees to take paid leave because of a need to care for an employee’s child whose school or place of care is closed due to COVID-19 related reasons. As schools reopen under a variety of plans, such as hybrid-attendance and remote learning, questions have arisen regarding FFCRA leave eligibility under these circumstances. On August 27, 2020, the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) updated its Question and Answer guidance to address these issues. This Legal Update summarizes the DOL guidance, and provides practical direction for employers. The FAQ identifies the following…
According to the Center for Disease Control, alcohol contributes to the deaths of over 4,000 people below the age of 21 every year, with more than 1,500 of those involving car accidents. To promote the safety of young people, Wisconsin law specifies the consequences for a variety of underage drinking offenses, including driving and drinking. If you have been arrested for underage DUI, you need an attorney who can help you understand your rights and ensure that you are treated fairly. Penalties Under Wisconsin’s “Not a Drop” Law Underage drivers are subject to more stringent restrictions than drivers over…
According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, large trucks are involved in more than 7,000 accidents, 2,000 injuries, and 70 fatalities throughout the state each year. Semi-truck accidents are particularly dangerous because of the size and weight of the vehicles, and in most cases, the occupants of other vehicles bear the brunt of the impact. These accidents happen for a variety of reasons, but one that can be challenging for an injured person to deal with is loose or unsecured cargo. If you have been injured in a truck accident, an attorney can help you determine who was responsible and…
Wisconsin once again is facing a misguided attempt to stop practical and essential public health measures and overturn orders issued by Governor Evers and his administration to help Wisconsin get through the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, our state supreme court (unlike courts in almost every other state) did just that by a 4-3 majority earlier this Spring. Now, a conservative law group has filed a suit seeking to overturn the Governor’s mask order. An article in Harvard Law Today from May 2020, written by Peter Brann, the former Maine state solicitor, and James Tierney, a former Maine attorney general, says…
If you are a parent who is getting divorced, your first concern will likely be for your children, particularly ensuring that their financial needs will continue to be fulfilled. The good news is that Wisconsin requires both parents to contribute to child support after a divorce, and there are processes in place to enforce payment. However, if you have been a stay-at-home parent for a significant portion of your marriage, causing you to rely on the income of your spouse, you may have additional concerns as to how you will meet your own financial needs. Spousal maintenance, or…
In the early years of the Western District Federal Court’s “rocket docket,” I recall Judge Barbara Crabb and Judge John Shabaz wrestling with how to interpret the Gordian knot of patent claims. How, in the name of all that constitutes the English language, could someone create an endless string of arcane and archaic terms, seemingly haphazardly arranged, to describe the simplest invention? And if the invention was not so simple … now that was as a lawyer’s paradise (assuming “paradise” in the world of patent litigation is a never-ending flow of billable hours). Judge James Troupis, Northwestern 1987, served on the…
The COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching economic impacts throughout the United States and Wisconsin. However, with funding assistance from the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Governor Tony Evers and his administration continue to invest in communities and industries throughout the state to promote resiliency and recovery. As of August 2020, the State of Wisconsin has launched a website allowing the public to see how these funds are actually being allocated to different assistance programs and initiatives. This continues Governor Evers’ commitment to more transparency in government. How Relief Funds Have Been Used The Governor’s Office…
The Future of Telemedicine is Now, sponsored with the Wisconsin Rural Health Cooperative.  The slow evolution of telemedicine suddenly accelerated with the arrival of the coronavirus. The sudden emergence of telemedicine services presents many challenges and opportunities for rural hospitals. This panel discussion addresses key strategic considerations, including: Current telemedicine reimbursement and compliance changes and challenges How to compensate providers for telehealth services now and beyond, and The business considerations for fully embracing a telehealth program, including market share considerations and competition from others providing services in this space and parity between government and private reimbursement. presenters: Ben Ulrich, VMG…