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Since COVID-19 vaccinations have received emergency use approval (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are being distributed in the United States, employers should evaluate whether they will implement mandatory vaccine policies in their workplaces and the legal and regulatory implications of doing so. Employers should look at the risks associated with a mandatory policy versus those associated with a voluntary policy, and how these competing risks may affect their business practices. If employers decide to make the vaccine mandatory, they will need to understand employees’ refusal rights, how refusal impacts a mandatory policy, and whether termination of…
In the final days of 2020, the nearly 5,600-page Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (the CAA) became law. The pandemic relief and government spending package includes a myriad of provisions that affect group health plans and insurers. With most health coverage provisions taking effect for the 2022 plan year or sooner, and the CAA’s promise of regulations, group health plan sponsors will want to start preparing early. The CAA also included a number of provisions relevant to retirement plans, which are summarized in our prior alert, Appropriations Act Includes Several Provisions Applicable to Qualified Retirement Plans. Below is a brief…
For a relatively short and simple document, a corporate resolution can be of the utmost importance. The use of corporate resolutions are imperative to the lawful continuation of your business. So today, I am going to walk you through the basics of corporate resolutions and why they are so important. What is a corporate resolution? A corporate resolution is a document that creates a formal written record of decisions made by a corporation’s board of directors. Resolutions are binding on companies and should be safely saved and stored. Resolutions may be voted on during a meeting or they may be…
State v. Leevan Roundtree, 2012 WI 1, 1/7/21, affirming a per curiam court of appeals opinion, 2018AP594-CR; case activity (including briefs) In 2003, Roundtree was convicted of multiple felony counts of failure to pay child support. Twelve years later, police executed a search warrant at his home and found a firearm and ammunition under his mattress. He pled guilty to one count of felon in possession. On appeal, he argued that §941.29(2)(2013-2014), which barred him from possessing a firearm, is unconstitutional as applied to his case. The statute has no time limit and draws no distinction between…
After having survived the necessary and unorthodox steps to continue practicing in a COVID world, some of us are ready to return to the office. In fact, the idea of adapting your legal practice to a virtual format is not a novel idea – and was adopted by some firms in pre-COVID-19 times. Now, under COVID-19, the idea of a virtual practice is now a reality for many of us in the legal profession. Yet, as sporadic COVID-19 spikes continue in different areas around the country, deciding whether to permanently return to a normal workspace is a common question. What…
This is the non-lawyer version of a question I get a lot from lawyer clients—”how long is this disciplinary proceeding going to take?” Unfortunately for lawyers facing discipline and curious lay folks alike, there’s no real answer. I know people get tired of hearing this from lawyers, but really, “it depends.” Every disciplinary authority has its own internal case processing goals, but it is often difficult to determine whether a particular case will fall within the guidelines. Wisconsin’s Office of Lawyer Regulation’s annual report discusses its case processing statistics from the prior year, which can help provide a general sense…
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (CAA) includes several provisions affecting qualified retirement plans. A relaxation of the partial plan termination rules should provide relief to plans which see unusual turnover in the number of active participants during the COVID-19 pandemic. Other provisions, including an amendment of the CARES Act which allows coronavirus related distributions to be made from money purchase pension plans, may provide retroactive relief to plan sponsors. Finally, a series of disaster relief provisions is intended to assist participants affected by certain non-COVID disasters in the past year. Although plan sponsors may wish to adopt some of…
By Attorney Nicole Masnica Many criminal offenses committed in Wisconsin are handled within the state’s criminal justice system, including crimes related to operating while intoxicated (OWI), many types of property crimes, and violent crimes. However, if an alleged offense violates a federal law, the defendant can instead be tried in federal court. If you have been accused of a federal crime, or if you believe you may be at risk of facing federal charges, your attorney can help you understand what to expect. Examples of Federal Offenses There are many different kinds of offenses for which a…
For a while now, HeinOnline has assigned topics to each article in the Law Journal Library database.  This allows researchers to get a general idea of the scope of the article before they dive in any further or to search or browse for additional articles on that topic.  Over 1,500 topics are available and are assigned using a combination of human curation along with natural language processing and machine learning, Hein recently announced that they had broadened this topical taxonomy.  The same topics are available, but they’re now organized into a logical hierarchy that allows users to drill down from…
Previous posts detailed the length of time and number of cases in the unemployment backlog in part 1, some of the mistakes by the Department that allow cases to be re-opened in part 2, a place for stories and advice about how to find assistance in part 3, and how most claims in Wisconsin — and unlike in other states — are being denied and thereby creating a ginormous backlog in hearings. The Department announced at the end of 2020 that the claims backlog had been cleared and that Transition Secretary Pechacek was now Secretary-Designee for
Although the share of people who are willing to get the COVID19 vaccine has increased since Fall 2020, from about 64% in September 2020 to 71% in December 2020, about nine percent of the holdouts say they will only get the vaccine if required for work, school or other activities. See Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) Covid-19 Vaccine Monitor:  December 2020. The percentages will continue to shift as the COVID19 vaccine rolls out through 2021. But many employers will likely have employees who will refuse the vaccine unless forced to get it. It is unclear whether governments will mandate the…
Today, legal publishers Casemaker and Fastcase announced their merger thereby creating the largest legal research platform by subscriber count – over one million.  According to the press release: The two companies will combine their teams and technologies to innovate research, analytics, and workflow offerings that empower lawyers with powerful digital solutions for their clients. The two companies have taken a similar trajectory in creating an affordable and widely accessible alternative to the global publishers that dominate American law, offering subscriptions to bar associations, who subscribe on behalf of their members. Each company offers its subscribers different products, and this…
Each divorce case must begin with filing and service of the divorce petition on a spouse. This is generally not a problem, since most spouses know where to find each other. However, civilian spouses of servicemembers may not know the member’s exact location, particularly if the couple has been separated for some time. The civilian spouse does have some options in this case. You must have the servicemember’s name, social security number, and rank available. First, contact the “base locator” at the member’s last station. If the member remains at that station, his/her presence can be confirmed and service arranged.…
On Sunday, December 27, President Trump signed into law a general government funding and appropriations bill that included several Coronavirus Response and Relief provisions. The COVID-19 provisions address continued unemployment benefits, provide funding for schools and day cares to operate safely, extend the CDC eviction moratorium, fund another round of the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP), and modify some of the rules regarding PPP forgiveness. Stimulus Payments Individuals making less than $75,000 per year, based on their 2019 tax return, will receive $600. Just as with the previous stimulus payment, the benefit decreases $5 for every $100 earned over the $75,000.…
Breaking up is hard to do. (After all, it’s cuffing season.) This axiom is as true in a professional setting as it is in a personal one. How to ditch your quarantine bae before they’re vaccinated is beyond the scope of a legal ethics blog (as is whether I should ever use the term “quarantine bae” ever again). But firing a client and withdrawing from representation is sometimes absolutely necessary, regardless of what the calendar says. Perhaps they won’t return your calls, or are refusing to pay your bill, or you can’t see eye to eye about…
On December 27, 2020, President Donald Trump signed the much-anticipated Coronavirus relief bill, formally titled the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (the Act), into law. In addition to COVID-19 relief measures, the Act includes significant amendments to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Beginning April 1, 2020, the FFCRA required employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide two types of paid leave to qualified employees: Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) and Expanded Family and Medical Leave (EFMLA). Employers could claim a tax credit against the employer portion of Social Security taxes for up to 100% of EPSL and EFMLA…