Feb. 21, 2024 – Wisconsin law did not allow a defendant to withdraw a plea when the difference between the actual maximum penalty and the maximum penalty that was miscommunicated to her was only six years, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals has held.In State v. Gomolla, 2022AP 199 (Feb. 6, 2024), the Court of Appeals District III held that, “despite the defective plea colloquy, the State presented clear and convincing evidence that Gomolla nevertheless understood the potential punishment
Continue Reading Plea Was Knowing Despite Court’s Misinformation About Maximum Sentence

Feb. 14, 2024 – The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ordered that the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) place former U.S. Representative Dean Phillips’ name on the 2024 presidential primary ballot.In Phillips v. WEC, 2024AP138 (Feb. 2, 2024) the Supreme Court (per curiam opinion) held that a committee tasked under state law with choosing names for the ballot erred by keeping Phillips off the ballot, because there was no evidence the committee considered whether Phillips was “generally advocated or recognized
Continue Reading Wisconsin Supreme Court Orders Phillips’ Name Placed on 2024 Ballot

Feb. 14, 2024 – Iranian nationals who had their visa applications denied because of their service in the Islamic Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) failed to show that consular officials acted in bad faith, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled in Pak v. Biden, No. 23-1392 (Jan. 31, 2024).
Visa Applications to Be With Family
At different times between 1980 and 2008, Iranian nationals Ali Pak, John Doe 2, Vahid Fatouraee, and Armin Fathinejad completed
Continue Reading Service in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Sufficient for Visa Denials

Feb. 14, 2024 – A circuit court erred by ruling that whether a party had waived its right to arbitration by its litigation conduct was a decision for the arbitrator rather than the court, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals has ruled.

In U.S. Bank National Association v. Klein, 2022AP920 (Jan. 25, 2024), the Court of Appeals (District IV) distinguished a Wisconsin Supreme Court holding that the issue of whether a party had waived its right to arbitration was
Continue Reading Court of Appeals: Waiver by Litigation Conduct Is Issue for Court, Not Arbitrator

Posted on February 08, 2024 in Medical License Defense
Drinking and driving is a serious offense, and it can have severe legal consequences. In Wisconsin, operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI) is heavily penalized, and drivers can face fines, the loss of their driving privileges, and jail time in some cases. While most people understand that driving while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol is illegal, they may be unsure about whether they can transport alcohol in their vehicles. Specifically,
Continue Reading Can an Open Container of Alcohol in a Car Lead to OWI Charges?

Feb. 5, 2024 – A police dog’s warrantless search of the interior of a vehicle did not qualify for an instinct exception to the Fourth Amendment, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals has ruled.In
State v. Campbell, 2020AP1813 (Jan. 23, 2024) the Court of Appeals District III held that even if Wisconsin law were to recognize an instinct requirement, the exception did not apply because a police officer controlled the dog during the search.Traffic StopIn late 2017, Wisconsin
Continue Reading Canine Vehicle Search Controlled by Police Didn’t Meet Instinct Exception

Feb. 5, 2024 – The prohibition in the Wisconin Fair Employment Act (WEFA) against discriminating against an employee based on an arrest record does not apply to information related to civil charges, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals (District II) has held in Oconomowoc Area School District v. Gregory L. Cota, 2022AP1158 (Jan. 10, 2024).Presiding Judge Mark Gundrum wrote the majority (2-1) opinion, joined by Shelley Grogan. Judge Grogan wrote a concurrence and Judge Lisa Neubauer dissented.Brothers FiredThe Oconomowoc
Continue Reading WEFA Ban on Considering Arrest Record Limited to Criminal Charges

Feb. 5, 2024 – A Wisconsin Court of Appeals decision that a judge’s ex parte message to a jury containing unchallenged factual information was harmless error is not a violation of clearly established federal law, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled in Jewell v. Boughton, No. 22-3082 (Jan. 22, 2024).As C.F. was walking from a Milwaukee tavern to her car in 2015, a man threatened to shoot her if she didn’t give up
Continue Reading Court’s Ex Parte Message on Unchallenged Testimony Didn’t Violate Federal Law

Jan. 27, 2024 – The Wisconsin Court of Appeals did not misapply U.S. Supreme Court precedent by ruling against a defendant who argued that he’d invoked his right to remain silent when he said he had nothing to say about a homicide, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled.

In Wesley v. Hepp, No. 22-2968 (Jan. 5, 2024), a three-judge panel for the Seventh Circuit Appeals Court held that the defendant’s statement was equivocal
Continue Reading ‘Nothing to Talk About’ Not Enough to Invoke Right to Remain Silent

One of the fun parts of writing this column is having free shots at the legislature and the appellate courts regarding their actions (or in one case, inaction) during the year. Not willing to be satisfied with just one free shot, my first column of each year revisits my prior year’s columns and reviews my opinions.

“No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.” — Voltaire

In January, I discussed the proposed constitutional amendment that was designed to
Continue Reading A Look Back at 2023’s Debacles in the Law

Jan. 12, 2024 – A man who applied for asylum in the U.S. and showed he suffered physical attacks in India, based on his politics, still failed to show he’d be persecuted if he were returned, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled.

In Garland v. Singh, No. 23-1192 (Jan. 2, 2024), the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals also held that the man’s claim under an international treaty failed because he didn’t describe any
Continue Reading Seventh Circuit: Cuts and Bruises Not Enough For Asylum Application

Jan. 11, 2024 – A statute that criminalizes driving with any amount of cocaine metabolites – including non-active ones – in one’s blood is constitutional because it bears a rational relationship to road safety, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals (District IV) has held in State v. VanderGalien, 2023AP458 (Dec. 29, 2023).On July 30, 2019, Dustin VanderGalien caused a fatal head-on collision on County Road B in Dodge County.VanderGalien was driving east in a Chrysler sedan when, driving about
Continue Reading Inclusion of Non-active Substances in Drugged Driving Law Is Constitutional

Jan. 11, 2024 – A corporation is entitled to voting eligibility forms created in guardianship proceedings because the forms are public records whose disclosure is not outweighed by public policy concerns, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals has held.The ruling by the Court of Appeals District II in Wisconsin Voters Alliance v. Secord, 2023AP36 (Dec. 27, 2003) conflicts with a ruling by the Court of Appeals District IV in a similar lawsuit brought by the Wisconsin Voters Alliance (WVA).Records
Continue Reading Split on Court of Appeals Over Access to Voter Ineligibility Forms

Jan. 11, 2024 – The word “shall” in a statute setting a 60-day time limit for circuit court review of family law judgments is not mandatory, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals (District IV) has ruled in Jahimiak v. Jahimiak, 2023AP573 (Dec. 21, 2023).After 27 years of marriage, Ann and David Jahimiak were divorced in La Crosse County in 1999.At the time of the divorce, Ann, age 49, attended college part-time and worked part-time as a sales clerk; David,
Continue Reading Sixty-day Time Limit For De Novo Review of Family Law Judgments is Not Mandatory

Posted on January 09, 2024 in DUI / OWI
Drunk driving is a serious offense that can have severe consequences. In Wisconsin, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a criminal offense, and in most cases, repeat offenses are treated more severely than first-time offenses. If you have been charged with operating while intoxicated (OWI) in Wisconsin for the second time, it is crucial to understand the potential consequences, and you can defend against a conviction by
Continue Reading Is a Second OWI Offense More Serious Than a First-Time OWI?

Jan. 3, 2024  – A veteran’s conviction of disorderly conduct for his speech and behavior at a Veterans Affairs (VA) clinic did not violate the First Amendment because the clinic is a non-public forum, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled in U.S. v. Krahenbuhl, No. 22-3264 (Dec. 14, 2023).

Jamison Krahenbuhl, an Air Force veteran, visited the Milo C. Huempfner VA Outpatient Clinic in Green Bay in March 2021.

When Tiffany Mueller, a
Continue Reading Disorderly Conduct at VA Clinic Not Protected by First Amendment