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Words matter; but what you actually do matters more. When the words and actions don’t line up – trouble is brewing. This post is about Privacy Policies and why, just like other contracts, copying and pasting one from the Internet may not be the best idea. Read on for more information. Privacy Policies are notoriously copied; everyone knows it. Fortune 500 companies with an army of in-house lawyers copy them from each other, so you can imagine how many smallmedium”regular” sized companies are out there rolling with “hot” Policies…. On the one hand, I understand a little copying. As a…
My kid is 10 and is attending fifth graded 100% virtually. His gym teacher has assigned his class to keep a log of their daily real-life physical activity. (As an aside, a good way to sap a kid’s enjoyment of anything is to make them log it. See—reading log, writing log, gym log. Good thing my kid rides his scooter to procrastinate on schoolwork.) Anyhow, today he discovered something familiar to most lawyers—the joys of recreating his week, after the fact. Truth is, he couldn’t remember exactly what he did when, so he made some educated guesses. “Wednesday—I think I…
Today by Interim Rule the Treasury Department and Small Business Administration jointly made it much easier for some Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loan borrowers to get forgiveness for their loans.  If the PPP loan amount is $50,000 or less, the borrower can get full forgiveness to the extent that the loan proceeds were used for purposes permitted under PPP.  Such borrowers can ignore any reductions in full-time equivalent employees or reductions in employee salary or wages that would otherwise apply.  Under the PPP, borrowers who have spent all of their PPP loan on permitted expenses still faced reductions in their…
The scale continues to tip. On Sept. 22, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued proposed regulations aimed at “bringing clarity and consistency” in determining who is an independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia said in the news release that the purpose is to “make it easier to identify employees covered [by the FLSA], while also respecting the decision other workers make to pursue the freedom and entrepreneurialism associated with being an independent contractor.” An Ever-changing Worker Classification Worker classification has been hotly contested in the recent years. The Obama administration issued…
Oct. 8, 2020 – The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled (4-3) that the Wisconsin Legislature has authority to represent the state’s interests in the validity of state laws, a win for Republicans seeking to block election extensions granted amidst COVID-19. The decision, coupled with a decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, means that a prior federal district court decision to extend certain deadlines related to the November general election is no longer applicable. Today, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals blocked the extended deadlines after granting reconsideration “in light of” the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision.…
As COVID-19 cases continue a rapid increase throughout the state, Governor Evers directed the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to issue Emergency Order #3 (“EO 3”), to go into effect on October 8. EO 3 limits public gatherings throughout the state until November 6, 2020. For our Dane County readers, please note that this order does not replace current local Dane County order, which can be found at Public Health of Madison & Dane County. Also, we previously broke down the current Dane County Order KEW Tips, in our article titled: Dane County Requires Face Masks Starting July 13
State v. Chanler Lee Guyton, 2019AP1409-CR, District 3, 10/6/20 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) Guyton told a social worker for a county social services agency that she and four of her colleagues had violated his rights in a CHIPS proceeding regarding his son. He said he would deal with the matter “with my own hands” and things were “going to turn very tragic” because he would come to their office armed. (¶6). The court of appeals rejects his claim this was insufficient to prove the elements of witness intimidation under § 940.201(2)(a). Besides…
Various estate planning documents require you to appoint someone to act on your behalf. These appointees are your “fiduciaries” and include your personal representative, guardian for minor children, trustee, attorney-in-fact, and health care agent. Often times, people name certain individuals for these roles without much consideration, or they may consider the wrong criteria. Below is a general description of each fiduciary role and a few suggestions on what to consider when deciding who to appoint to those roles. In general, you should carefully consider the skillset each role requires and whether the person you would like to appoint possesses those…
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, boards of directors for Wisconsin corporations are confronting conflicting duties: Boards need to provide an annual meeting of the corporation’s shareholders, but they must also try to keep shareholders safe while attending the meeting. These conflicting duties inevitably raise the question of whether a virtual meeting of the corporation’s shareholders is legally permissible. Wisconsin Business Corporation Law The Wisconsin Business Corporation Law (WBCL) has not historically provided for virtual shareholder meetings. However, several sections of the WBCL were amended in 2017 with regard to remote shareholder meetings.1 Wisconsin statutes now allow a corporation’s board…
On September 17, 2020, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (Patent Office) launched a new pilot program in an effort to incentivize inventors to find solutions to COVID-19. Under the new pilot program, filing fees for provisional patent applications may be deferred and, in some cases need not be paid at all if certain conditions relating to COVID-19 are met. The pilot program is reserved for provisional patent applications filed under 35 U.S.C. 111(b). Nonprovisional patent applications or international applications designating the United States are not eligible for participation. Currently, inventors enjoy the economic advantage provided by the patenting right…
Employers need to keep abreast of the ever-changing agency rules regarding whether a worker is an “independent contractor” or an “employee.” You might ask, “why does this matter to the government?” The answer is easy: many government agencies—both state and federal—are designed solely to protect employees.  The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (which monitors unemployment insurance, workers compensation, and equal rights for employees) to name a few.  Because “employees” have these protections and “independent contractors” do not, our government is…
If you are a divorced or single parent, you likely know the importance of outlining when and where your child will physically reside in your parenting agreement. Virtual visitation via electronic communication is perhaps a lesser-known component of a parenting agreement, but it can be a great option for children and parents for whom physical visitation is not always possible. When Is Virtual Visitation a Good Idea? Virtual visitation can occur via phone, video chat, text, email, or any other electronic means, and it can be useful in a variety of situations to allow children to regularly communicate and maintain…
People in general, and lawyers especially, like to know how things work. We all worry that “kids these days” don’t know that the food on their plates isn’t magically generated by the grocery store. We watch videos on YouTube of people sawing common household items in half just to see what is inside. And as lawyers, we know that the evidence we can gather will make or break our cases. Figuring out how stuff works is just something we do. This is why it is surprising that a lot of lawyers cannot explain how they get the majority of the…
There are many factors that go into making a decision regarding health care coverage. With the Open Enrollment beginning soon, it is important to know what changes there are, given both issues stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and changes in the Health Insurance Marketplace during 2020. Open Enrollment The Health Insurance Marketplace Open Enrollment Period runs from Sunday, Nov. 1 through Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020.1 Coverage begins Jan. 1, 2021.2 If you do not enroll in a plan by Dec. 15, 2020, enrollment is not available at any other time of the year unless you qualify for a…
It’s safe to say our nation is in uncharted territory when contemplating how to establish a work-life balance while homeschooling and caring for children, keeping up with the demands of “work from home,” and facing an unknown future. Fortunately, many people have had access to the necessary technology to work from home. Unfortunately, there is no handbook on how to balance employment with childcare and educational needs. Early Days of the Pandemic At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, school and daycare closures appeared to be temporary. With-out substantial time to determine the best practice for holding classes, teachers, administrators,…
Due to a sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin, Governor Tony Evers has declared a new public health emergency in addition to the previous emergency declaration made on July 30. This surge in cases has mostly affected people between the ages of 18 and 24, including those on college campuses and who have attended social gatherings. To address these concerns Gov. Evers also issued an executive order requiring Wisconsin residents who are five years old or more to wear masks or other face coverings whenever they are indoors or in enclosed spaces with people other…