Constitutional

July 18, 2024 – In a 4-3 decision, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has overruled a 2022 decision that held ballot drop boxes were illegal.In Priorities USA v. Wisconsin Elections Commission, 2024 WI 32 (July 5, 2024), the Supreme Court held that the 2022 decision was unsound and state law allows local election clerks to use drop boxes to collect absentee ballots.Justice Ann Walsh Bradley wrote the majority opinion, joined by Justice Rebecca Dallet, Justice Jill Karofsky, and Justice
Continue Reading Wisconsin Supreme Court Overrules Teigen, Authorizes Ballot Boxes

July 16, 2024 – A statute authorizing the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee to temporarily block the Department of Natural Resources’ spending of legislatively appropriated funds violates the Wisconsin Constitution’s separation of powers provision, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled (6-1) in Evers v. Marklein, 2024 WI 31 (July 5, 2024).Justice Rebecca Grassl Bradley wrote the majority opinion, joined by Justice Ann Walsh Bradley, Justice Rebecca Dallet, Justice Brian Hagedorn, Justice Jill Karofsky, and Justice Janet Protasiewicz.Justice A. Bradley
Continue Reading Separation of Powers: Legislative Committee Can’t Block DNR Spending

​July 16, 2024 – Recommitment and involuntary medication hearing notices must be served on the subject of the hearings, not only his or her attorney, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled (5-2) in Waukesha County v. M.A.C., 2024 WI 30 (July 5, 2024).In M.A.C., the court also held that default judgments are not available in recommitment and involuntary medication hearings.Justice Janet Protasiewicz wrote the majority opinion, joined by Justice Ann Walsh Bradley, Justice Rebecca Dallet, and Justice Jill Karofsky.
Continue Reading Wisconsin Supreme Court: Notice Must Be Provided Directly to Persons Facing Recommitment

July 12, 2024 – A federal district court did not err when it declined to credit a defendant’s acceptance of responsibility after he spent most of his allocution shifting blame and complaining about the prosecution, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has held in United States v. Shibilski, No. 23-1410 (June 10, 2024).In 2011, Tom Drake, founder of 5R Processors Ltd. (5R), hired Kevin Shibilski as a consultant to help the company attract new operating
Continue Reading Seventh Circuit: Credit Denial Justified by Hollow Allocution

July 12, 2024 – A mediation term sheet created as a prelude to a final settlement agreement is unenforceable because several of its material terms are indefinite, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals (District I) has ruled in an unpublished opinion Mueller v. TL90108, 2022AP1440 (June 11, 2024).Richard Mueller and Joseph L. Ford once owned a 1938 Talbot Lago.The Talbot Lago is a stylish coupe with sweeping curves, tear-drop-shaped rear wheel covers, and a grille like a fencing mask.
Continue Reading Mediation Term Sheet Concerning Rare Car is Unenforceable

Hon. Jeh Charles Johnson, former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security and ABA Task Force for American Democracy co-chair, speaks on “The Threat to Democracy.”

July 11, 2024 – A dozen speakers recently gave sobering presentations on the threat to democracy during a nonpartisan event from the American Bar Association’s Task Force for American Democracy, in partnership with the State Bar of Wisconsin.

The program, called
Wisconsin: Elections in the 21st Century (watch now) was held in-person July
Continue Reading American Bar Association Brings Democracy Listening Tour to Wisconsin

July 9, 2024 – A circuit court did not err by relying in part on an adoptive parent’s promise when deciding to terminate the parental rights of a birth parent, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled (7-0) in State v. B.W., 2024 WI 28 (June 27, 2024), with concurrences.Chief Justice Annette Ziegler wrote the majority opinion, joined by Justices Rebecca Bradley, Rebecca Dallet, Brian Hagedorn, and Jill Karofsky.Justices Ann Walsh Bradley and Janet Protasiewicz joined all but three
Continue Reading Reliance on Adoptive Parent’s Promise Not Enough to Withdraw Plea

July 9, 2024 – A circuit court improperly entered an injunction against an anti-abortion protestor who repeatedly made intimidating statements to a nurse who worked at a clinic, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled (7-0) in Kindschy v. Aish, 2024 WI 27 (June 27, 2024).Justice Rebecca Dallet wrote the majority opinion, joined by Justice Ann Walsh Bradley, Justice Brian Hagedorn, Justice Jill Karofsky, and Justice Janet Protasiewicz. Justice Rebecca Grassl Bradley wrote a concurrence, joined by Chief Justice
Continue Reading First Amendment Protects Intimidating Statements by Protestor

July 1, 2024  – A woman who reported payments, but not gross income, from self-employment when applying for unemployment benefits was overpaid, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals (District II) has held in Morgan v. Labor Industry Review Commission, 2023AP1010 (June 5, 2024).

In May 2020, Kathryn Morgan applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). On her application, Morgan said the pandemic had forced her to close
Continue Reading Failure to Report Gross Income on Unemployment Form Means Repayment

June 28, 2024  – A circuit court must wait at least two days before adjudicating the dispositional phase of a termination-of-parental-rights (TPR) trial when the parent has failed to appear, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has held (5-2) in State v. R.A.M.2024 WI 26 (June 25, 2024).Justice Jill Karofsky wrote the majority opinion, joined by Justice Ann Walsh Bradley, Justice Rebecca Grassl Bradley, Justice Rebecca Dallet, and Justice Janet Protasiewicz. Chief Justice Annette Ziegler dissented, joined by Justice Brian
Continue Reading Parent’s Failure to Appear in TPR Trial Triggers Two-day Waiting Period

June 28, 2024 – A special verdict did not err by precluding a jury from considering a plaintiff’s post-accident conduct when apportioning liability, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals (District III) has held in Bakke v. Mt. Morris Mutual Insurance Company, 2023AP340 (June 11, 2024), an unpublished opinion.On Friday, May 6, 2016, after dinner and drinks at a local tavern, Lisa Bakke and Stephen Tanski went back to Tanski’s lakefront cabin in Webster.Bakke stepped out of Tanski’s truck and
Continue Reading Wisconsin Court of Appeals: Post-accident Conduct Goes Only to Liability

June 24, 2024 – A police officer who saw no signs of drowsiness or intoxication in a driver he stopped was not justified in extending the traffic stop and ordering the driver out of the car, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled (6-1) in State v. Wiskowski, 2024 WI 23 (June 18, 2024).Justice Brian Hagedorn wrote the majority opinion, joined by Justice Ann Walsh Bradley, Justice Rebecca Grassl Bradley, Justice Rebecca Dallet, Justice Jill Karofsky, and Justice Janet
Continue Reading Prolonged Traffic Stop of Sleeping Driver Not Justified by Caretaker Role

June 11, 2024 – A motion for relief from two default judgments was not timely when it was filed seven months after entry of the judgment, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals (District II) has ruled in an unpublished opinion, Par, Inc. v. McCahey, 2023AP11 (May 22, 2024).Par, Inc. (Par) filed a small claims action against Suzan McCahey in Waukesha County in March 2020. McCahey, representing herself, filed an answer to Par’s complaint.After Par served McCahey with a set
Continue Reading Motion for Relief Untimely When Filed Seven Months After Judgment

June 11, 2024 – A criminal defendant was prejudiced by an expert witness’s testimony that only 1% of the evidence in child sexual abuse reports is false, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals (District III) has held in an unpublished opinion in State v. Molde, 2021AP346 (May 21).As a result of the prejudice, the Court of Appeals ruled, the defendant’s attorney provided ineffective assistance of counsel by not objecting to the introduction of the expert witness’s testimony.In January 2017,
Continue Reading Failure To Object to Testimony About Rarity of False Victim Reports Was Prejudicial

June 11, 2024 – It was not prosecutorial misconduct for a prosecutor to ask a probation agent to stall a criminal defendant on the day of trial while the prosecutor attempted to locate a witness, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals (District I) has a ruled in an unpublished opinion.In State v. Dorgay, 2021AP954 (May 29, 2024), the Court of Appeals also held that an ethics complaint the defendant filed against his attorney did not pose a conflict of
Continue Reading Request that Probation Agent Stall Defendant Not Prosecutorial Misconduct

June 11, 2024 – An agency order prohibiting certain energy market bids that was issued without following rulemaking procedures was an invalid rule because it had the effect of law and implemented state statutes, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals (District IV) has ruled in

Midwest Renewable Energy Association v. PSC
, 2022AP968 (May 31, 2024).In 2008, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued an order requiring market operators to accept demand-response bids made by aggregators of retail customers (ARC) who
Continue Reading Wisconsin Court of Appeals: PSC Order Was Invalid, Unpromulgated Rule