May 31, 2023 – Drivers who delivered packages for Amazon in their own vehicles while using an Amazon smartphone app are employees for purposes of Wisconsin’s unemployment insurance benefits (UIB) scheme, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals has ruled.In Amazon Logistics, Inc. v. Labor and Industry Review Commission, 2022AP13 (April 6, 2023), the Court of Appeals District IV held that Amazon Logistics, Inc. (Amazon) had satisfied only five categories out of nine for determining whether a worker is an
Continue Reading Amazon Flex Drivers are Employees for Purposes of UIB Statute

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May 31, 2023 – A circuit court that orally dismissed a criminal case only to minutes later re-instate the case did not lose subject matter jurisdiction, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals has ruled.In State v. Davis, 2021 AP1526 (April 4, 2023), the Wisconsin Court of Appeals District I also held that a circuit court has the inherent authority to reconsider its rulings during an ongoing proceeding.Stolen PhoneOn Oct. 28, 2019, Rasheem Davis approached his ex-girlfriend Alicia
Continue Reading Oral Dismissal of Criminal Case Didn’t End Jurisdiction

State v. Corey T. Rector, 2023 WI 41, 5/23/23 affirming a case certified by the court of appeals, 2020AP1213; case activity (including briefs)

Rector pleaded to five counts of possessing child pornography in a single case. He’d never been convicted of anything before. The sentencing judge ordered that he be placed on the sex offender registry until 15 years after the end of his sentence or supervision. The Department of Corrections then wrote the judge to say that,
Continue Reading Multiple convictions in same case on same date don’t require lifetime sex offender registration

State v. Warner E. Solomon, 2022AP634-CR, District 2, 5/24/23 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs)
The court of appeals rejects Solomon’s argument that the police unlawfully extended a traffic stop to wait for a drug dog to arrive to do a thorough search of his car.
After stopping Solomon for speeding and detecting the odor of marijuana from the vehicle generally and the passenger (Solomon’s brother) specifically, the officer decided he would search the interior of
Continue Reading Police had probable cause to search car, so didn’t unlawfully extend stop to wait for drug dog

A word to the wise: When you have ChatGPT write a brief for you, and in response to your query it tells you that the cases it is citing “are real and can be found in reputable legal databases,” don’t trust it without verification. So a New York lawyer has learned to his chagrin (and possibly worse than that). The story is covered here and here.
Continue Reading That ChatBot AI thingee might not make your job easier (or take it away completely) after all….

State v. Christopher S. Butler, 2021AP177, 5/9/23, District 3 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs)
The state charged Butler with multiple sexual assaults of children. These charges resulted in a probation hold that lasted about four months; the ALJ did not revoke Butler and the hold was terminated. But Butler’s new charges were still pending, and he remained in jail for about another seven months while the public defender tried to find a lawyer to represent
Continue Reading Defense win: year-long wait for initial appearance requires dismissal w/o prejudice

State v. Jackson, 2023 WI 37, 5/12/23, dismissing as improvidently granted review of an unpublished court of appeals opinion, 2019AP2383; case activity (including briefs)
Our post on the grant of review in this case said SCOW might use it to “expound on State v. Cooper, 2019 WI 73, 387 Wis. 2d 439, 929 N.W.2d 192 (IAC claims where counsel has been disciplined), Hill v. Lockhart, 474 U.S. 52 (1985)(prejudice prong in the plea context); Lafler
Continue Reading SCOW DIGs case; justices dispute whether they should say why

State & T.A.J. v. Alan S. Johnson, 2023 WI 39, 05/16/2023, reversing a published court of appeals decision, case activity (including briefs)
As the dissent aptly describes it, “[t]his case has traveled a long and winding road to this point, and Johnson’s trial has not yet begun.” (Opinion, ¶110, Bradley, A.W., dissenting). As discussed in On Point’s prior posts, here and here, this case was originally about whether “Marsy’s Law” gave crime victims
Continue Reading SCOW majority overrules Shiffra/Green

Wisconsin Justice Initiative, Inc. v. Wisconsin Elections Commission, 2023 WI 38, 5/16/23, on certification from the court of appeals; case activity (including briefs)
In a 6-1 opinion, SCOW held that the ballot question for Marsy’s law complied with Wis. Const. art. XII §1. That’s the old news. The new and BIG news is Justice Dallet’s concurrence. It is essential reading for lawyers arguing constitutional or statutory construction issues to SCOW. She, Karofsky, and A.W. Bradley say that they
Continue Reading Essential reading: Dallet’s concurrence in the Marsy’s law case

Dane County v. D.F.B., 2022AP1852, District 4, 05/11/2023 (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity

A jury found D.F.B. dangerous under the second standard, which required evidence of a “substantial probability of physical harm to other individuals as manifested … by evidence that others are placed in reasonable fear of violent behavior and serious physical harm to them, as evidenced by a recent overt act, attempt or threat to do serious physical harm.” See Wis. Stat. § 51.20(1)(a)2.b.
Continue Reading Application of “best evidence rule” Results in Reversal of Ch. 51 Commitment

Winnebago County Department of Human Services v. N.J.D., 2023AP75, 05/03/2023 (District 2) (one-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity
Presented with two strong bases to reverse, the court of appeals picks one and holds that because the record “fails to demonstrate that N.D. waived his right to counsel,” the order terminating his parental rights to his daughter is reversed. (Opinion, ¶1).
After the county filed a motion for summary judgment on grounds, N.D.’s trial counsel moved
Continue Reading Defense Win! Invalid waiver of right to counsel leads results in invalid TPR order

State v. Tracy Laver Hailes, 2021AP1339-CR, 5/9/23, District 1, (recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs)
In a decision recommended for publication, the court of appeals holds that under §973.01(2)(c) a circuit court may apply either §939.62(1) (governing habitual criminality) or §961.48 (governing second or subsequent offenses) to enhance a penalty, but it may not apply both. While the circuit court erroneously applied both enhancers in this case, the court of appeals nevertheless denied Hailes’s claims for plea
Continue Reading Defense win! Courts can’t apply §939.62(1) and §961.48 enhancers at the same time

State v. Jonathan M. Mark, 2022AP001739-CR, 5/10/23, District 2 (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs)
While at a Kwik Trip investigating an unrelated incident, an officer spotted Mark whom he believed to be the subject of an outstanding warrant. When the officer conducted a Terry stop, Mark resisted and wound up pleading guilty to obstructing an officer. On appeal, he argued–unsuccessfully–that the officer lacked reasonable suspicion to stop him, and he received ineffective assistance of
Continue Reading COA: Officer had reasonable suspicion for Terry stop

May 11, 2023 – A nuisance lawsuit filed against the operators of a wind farm in Brown County is barred by the statute of limitations, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals has ruled.

In Enz v. Duke Energy Renewable Services, Inc., No. 2021AP989 (April 4, 2023), the Court of Appeals District III held that the lawsuit also failed to state a legally sufficient claim.
Wind Sick
David and Rosemary Enz and Darren and Susan Ashley (the Families ) own
Continue Reading Nuisance Suit over Wind Farm Barred by Statute of Limitations

Human trafficking is a serious criminal offense that can result in severe legal consequences in the state of Wisconsin. The state’s laws on human trafficking cover a wide range of activities related to transporting or harboring people to perform labor or engage in commercial sex acts. A person found guilty of human trafficking can face severe legal consequences, including imprisonment, hefty fines, and a lifelong criminal record. If you are facing charges of human trafficking or other sensitive crimes
Continue Reading When Can a Person Be Charged With Human Trafficking in Wisconsin?

Price County v. T.L., 2022AP1678, 4/25/2023, District 3 (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity
The law governing default TPRs is messy. Click here. This decision makes it messier.
The County petitioned for a TPR arguing that “Tad” failed to assume parental responsibility for “Malcom.” The County served Tad with the summons, petition, and notice of hearing at the Sheboygan County Detention Center. It also served him with amended pleadings and notice of hearing. When neither he nor
Continue Reading COA affirms default TPR against incarcerated dad