Ethics & Professional Responsibility

When I last tried to write about breaking news, it was about this crowdsourced/crypto/litigation funding/securities/whatever it is, and because blockchain is that one thing I will probably never understand well enough to write about, I gave up. That entry remains in drafts and will probably die there.
But anyway, today’s breaking news is not that.  We learned that the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attacks on the Capitol issued subpoenas for Rudy Giuliani, Jenna
Continue Reading So, Wait, *I* Can Be Subpoenaed?

State v. Daimon Von Jackson, Jr., 2019AP2383, 12/29/21, District 2 (not recommended for publication) case activity (including briefs)

Jackson admitted being involved in a planned robbery that ended in the shooting death of its target. He said–and eyewitness testimony and physical evidence corroborated–that he wasn’t the shooter; instead he said he was the lookout. The state charged him with felony murder, armed robbery and being a felon in possession of a gun. Eventually, he entered a plea to
Continue Reading Trial Court Didn’t Err in Preventing Client from Firing Lawyer for Failure to Communicate

Senior Vice President Tom Watson To Succeed KunzkeWisconsin Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company President and CEO Katja Kunzke is retiring after more than 17 years in the top spot. Kunzke took over the position in June of 2004. She will leave WILMIC as the longest-serving President and CEO in the company’s 35-year history.Kunzke piloted WILMIC through a wave of change in technology, shifts in the lawyer population in Wisconsin, and most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic. During her tenure, WILMIC has
Continue Reading Longtime WILMIC CEO Katja Kunzke retiring

My spouse is not a lawyer, but occasionally we run in the same professional circles. He’s had this conversation more than once:
Person: “Hey! How are things?”
Spouse: “Things are well. You?”
Person: “Not bad. I’ve been meaning to tell you, Stacie really helped me out with that grievance last month, so please thank her for me.”
Spouse: “Oh? I didn’t know.”
Person: “You didn’t?! Wow.”
I would like to say that the lawyers reading this understand why I
Continue Reading On That Imagined Spousal Exception to 1.6

WILMIC and the State Bar Senior Lawyers Division Announce the Release of the new Succession Planning Guidebook:Winding Down: Considerations for Exiting the Practice of Law

Click the image above to access the guidebook (PDF)

This publication is available at no cost

  • Transitioning Your Law Practice — When Do You Know It’s the Right Time?
  • What Is My Law Practice Worth? Valuation of a Law Firm and a Law Practice
  • Case Studies – Merging Practices, Selling a Practice, Closing a

Continue Reading Check Out WILMIC’s Succession Planning Guidebook

By now, most of us are veterans at remote work (right)? In her State of the Judiciary address earlier this month, Wisconsin’s Chief Justice Annette Ziegler pointed out that some of the COVID-19 adaptations, including videoconferencing, were here to stay in at least some form.
And if we’re back in the office or never really left, we’ve mastered Zoom and navigating a deposition with dogs barking and the garbage truck backing up in the background. Whether law firms continue
Continue Reading To Spy or Not To Spy

Rare is a law school commencement address that does not include a stirring, evocative plea to the new members of the legal profession to change the world,1 leading to the inevitable question:
What ethical limitations apply to a lawyer advocating systemic reforms?
First: The Rules
While the rules encourage efforts to improve the law, your clients come first!

The first rule is to zealously advocate for your client.2 When all parties are represented by skilled, competent counsel,
Continue Reading The Supreme Court Rules and Ethics for Agents of Change

Bad design aside, we’ve all probably hit “reply all” when “reply” was the better call.
But what happens when “all” includes the represented, opposing party? This came up at the APRL conference last week.
Lawyers sometimes copy their own clients on emails to opposing counsel. I recommend against this for several reasons, not the least of which is clients are humans and humans do weird things and weird things are worse when an exhibit sticker gets attached to them.
Continue Reading “Whyfor Put Send Button Right Next to Send All?”

Next week, the Association for Professional Responsibility Lawyers will hold its first conference in-person since early 2020. Everyone attending in person has been asked to submit proof of vaccination. I admit to over-excitement at sending that e-mail with the card. I’ve missed my nerd friends.
Those who do not wish to submit proof, for whatever reason, can attend virtually. And in any case, APRL is a voluntary bar and can make whatever vaccine rules it wants, and nobody is
Continue Reading Do Lawyers Have an Ethical Obligation to Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19?

CEO Katja Kunzke and a distinguished group of policyholders and partners discuss making connections in this video version of the 2020 Annual Report from Wisconsin Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company.

Take an inside look at WILMIC’s mission, purpose and policyholder commitment by clicking on the video below.

The post Check Out WILMIC’s Annual Report Video first appeared on Wisconsin Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company.
Continue Reading Check Out WILMIC’s Annual Report Video

The job market is hot, your student loan balance is, well, eek, and you’ve been asked to do some legal work on the side—maybe it’s document review for a contract firm, or overflow for a solo practitioner friend.
Can you ethically do this?
Tread carefully, if at all.
First, check with your employer. Your firm or agency may have specific rules governing side work—and this may extend to non-lawyer employment such as teaching as an adjunct at a law
Continue Reading Can Lawyers Moonlight?

Yes, I am running out of puns, and this is information isn’t breaking news anymore, but 110-page opinions have bad habits of dropping while I’m on vacation.
Anyway, while I was gone, Hon. Linda Parker of the Eastern District of Michigan sanctioned several attorneys, including Sidney Powell and Lin Wood and a few less famous, but all associated with the post-election “Kraken” litigation. My nerd friend Don Campbell did his best with exceedingly bad facts, but.
This is a
Continue Reading Crackin’ the Kraken!

A quick reminder from our friends at the State Bar of Wisconsin: it is pretty much always scamming season and attorneys are not at all immune. The Inside Track newsletter this week offers some practical tips for recognizing and avoiding trust account scams. You can also check out my blog entry on this phenomenon and my sad personal experience with it from last year.
Continue Reading Beware the Trust Account Scam, Part 6,829,123

No, this entry isn’t about what happens when a lawyer gets disciplined or is facing discipline for criminal conduct and then gets pardoned for the conduct. I might write about that, given that recently became an issue. Anyhow. Greetings to all of you new people who visited me through the Legal Talk Today podcast (give it a listen here) or through my interview with the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Inside Track (watch here). And, sorry all of
Continue Reading Pardon the Light Blogging

Get Your Credits Without Leaving Your Home or Office!Practicing Law In the COVID EraHow the Pandemic Has Changed Family Law and Estate Planning Practices, andWhat New Risks May Be Lurking As a ResultProgram is free to WILMIC policyholders


Atty. Gregg Herman, Loeb & Herman, S.C.

Atty. Bill Williams, Bell Moore & Richter SC

Atty. Brian Anderson, WILMIC

Atty. Matt Beier, WILMIC


Family LawGregg Herman, Matt Beier and Brian Anderson

  • Issues of family law affected by COVID

Continue Reading Registration open for WILMIC CLE Summer Seminar

Over the weekend, mythical sea creature /(probably) soon-to-be-sanctioned lawyer Sidney Powell announced that she was joining a legal team to aid who she termed “political prisoners” (people who are accused of participating in the January 6 insurrection and are now in jail).
While, okay, everyone deserves a defense, what caught my eye was that this announcement was, of course, attached to a request for donations to Powell’s 501(c)(4). It is not clear whether donations would actually go to some
Continue Reading Crowdfund the Kraken! Crowdfunding Legal Fees