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State v. Douglas J. Richer, 2019AP2024, 5/18/21, District 3 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) Douglas Richer was charged in two related cases in two counties; he reached a deal with the state wherein he’d plead to just one count in Eau Claire and there’d be a joint sentencing recommendation. The plea colloquy was a thorough one; Richer expressed dissatisfaction about various aspects of the prosecution but made it very clear that he wanted to plead no-contest. After a number of clarifications the circuit court eventually accepted the plea and found Richer guilty. During sentencing (which was…
Caniglia v. Strom, USSC No. 20-157, 2021 WL 1951784 , May 17, 2021; Scotusblog page (including links to briefs and commentary) In four quick pages, a unanimous Supreme Court rejects the notion that the police have a “caretaking” duty that “creates a standalone doctrine that justifies warrantless searches and seizures in the home.” This undoes a lot of law, in Wisconsin and elsewhere; at a minimum we can say that State v. Pinkard, 2010 WI 81, 327 Wis. 2d 346, 785 N.W.2d 592 and State v. Matalonis, 2016 WI 7, 366 Wis. 2d 443, 875 N.W.2d 567,…
“Mrs. Guernsey is a … woman’s rights woman.” Lavinia Goodell, August 18, 1873 In addition to her good friend Mrs. Beale, Lavinia Goodell counted on Mrs. Orrin Guernsey to advance the cause of temperance and, to a lesser extent, women’s rights. (Stock photo. Does not depict the members of Janesville’s LTU) Sarah Cooley Guernsey was born in New Hampshire in 1821. At age seventeen she married Orrin Guernsey and in 1843 the couple and their children moved to Janesville. The Guernseys featured prominently in Janesville society. Mr. Guernsey was  twice elected to the Wisconsin legislature. In the 1860s, President…
Effective May 3, 2021 DATCP (Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection) published an Emergency Rule making further changes to Wisconsin’s Hemp Pilot Program. Although Wisconsin is still operating under a “Pilot Program” pursuant to the provisions of the 2014 Farm Bill, this Emergency Rule (and the others before it) are meant to add flexibility for Wisconsin hemp growers and processors as Wisconsin lurches toward full compliance under the 2018 Farm Bill (we’ll get there). The most substantial change that this Emergency Rule (full text here) introduces is the opportunity for growers to remediate their non-conforming crops after…
Leverage. Maintaining superior leverage in an M&A transaction allows a buyer or seller to gain an advantage when negotiating terms of the transaction. If you don’t have it, it can cost you tens, hundreds, thousands or millions of dollars, depending on the size of the transaction. Buyers may gain leverage in a transaction during due diligence when the seller has not done its own due diligence prior to delivering requested business information to the buyer. In order to avoid giving up leverage, a seller should conduct internal due diligence well before the business is marketed for sale. From a seller’s…
Recently, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals touched on two important insurance issues: covered autos under Wis. Stat. § 632.32(3) and prejudgment interest under Wis. Stat. § 628.46(1). In January 2016, Jason and Wendy Foerster’s thirteen-year-old son was directed by his uncle to drive a Chevrolet Tahoe to the child’s grandparents’ house to retrieve a piece of equipment. The Tahoe belonged to the child’s aunt and was covered under the aunt’s 1st Auto & Casualty Insurance Company motor vehicle policy. The Foerster child crashed the Tahoe into Savanah Thom’s vehicle, leaving Thom severely injured. Thom sued the three Foersters and the…
State v. Mitchell L. Christen, 2019AP1767-CR,  affirming an unpublished court of appeals decision; 5/4/21, case activity (including briefs) Christen was armed while drunk in his apartment when he threatened to shoot his roommates.  A jury found that he violated §941.20(1)(b), which makes it a crime to operate or go armed with a firearm while intoxicated. Christen challenged the constitutionality of §941.20(1)(b) as applied to him because it burdened his 2nd Amendment right to armed self-defense under District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008). In a 5-1-1 opinion, SCOW rejects this challenge. Hagedorn concurs. R.G. Bradley…
In Wisconsin, injury victims have the right to file a personal injury claim seeking compensation from the negligent parties who were responsible for their damages. Unfortunately, not all injury victims survive long enough to initiate the process, let alone benefit from the compensation. However, this does not mean that there is no way of holding the negligent party accountable. The victim’s surviving family members can also pursue compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. If you have recently lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, you should be sure to understand your rights to pursue financial compensation. Protections for…
“Mr. Sloan read my argument. Judge Ryan mad as a bull.” Lavinia Goodell, December 14, 1875 When Lavinia Goodell applied for admission to the Wisconsin Supreme Court bar in 1875, she was not allowed to present the motion to the court herself. Instead, her argument was read by Assistant Attorney General I.C. Sloan. Along with J.B. Cassoday, Sloan, a former Janesville attorney, was one of the people who made Lavinia’s admission to the Supreme Court bar possible. I. C. Sloan   Ithamar Conkey Sloan was born in Morrisonville, New York in 1822. He began practicing law in New York…
The core benefit of Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) – tax-free forgiveness after 120 qualifying payments with a qualifying employer – is well and widely known. Because of the tax-free forgiveness, PSLF borrowers are incentivized to maximize the amount of their forgiveness by minimizing the dollar amount of their qualifying monthly payments. In other words, because PSLF is tax-free, the borrower is not penalized by a loan balance that grows each month.1 One of the ways a borrower can lower their monthly payment is reducing their adjusted gross income (AGI) by making contributions to their retirement plan.2 Enrollment…
If you or one of your loved ones are considering contacting a personal injury attorney, you are probably dealing with a difficult situation. Painful injuries, expensive bills, and worries about the future can leave you stressed out and confused. Even simple tasks can be hard under those circumstances, and navigating the world of legal options, processes, and terms can be extremely confusing. To help you successfully maneuver through these unfamiliar words and actions, we have created a comprehensive guide to the common terminology used in a personal injury case in Wisconsin. From understanding a single term to an overview of…
State v. B.W.R., 2020AP1726, District 2, 4/28/21 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity The odor of marijuana gave police probable cause to believe evidence of a drug crime would be found in B.W.R.’s home and the odor plus the occupants’ awareness the police were knocking gave the police reason to conclude the evidence would be destroyed if they took time to get a warrant. Elkhorn police officers were dispatched to a call from an apartment dweller complaining about the strong odor of marijuana from an adjacent unit, a place police previously suspected of being the scene of drug…
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has unanimously approved Rule Petition 20-07, introducing a comprehensive system of electronic filing for the Wisconsin Court of Appeals and Wisconsin Supreme Court. In the court of appeals, eFiling will become mandatory for attorneys on July 1, 2021. As of that date, all new cases and all new documents in pending cases must be filed through the appellate eFiling system. If you have a pending case, you must opt-in by July 1. The appellate eFiling system is built on the model of circuit court eFiling and will look and feel familiar to attorneys and staff. Attorneys…
There are two new developments on the OSHA COVID-19 front to report.  First, yesterday, OSHA sent a draft of a new, mandatory, temporary emergency standard on COVID-19 to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review.  Up to now, OSHA has not had a mandatory standard in place to deal with the coronavirus, relying instead on guidances it has issued and on the General Duty Clause for enforcement efforts. As soon as President Biden took office, he directed OSHA to determine whether a mandatory temporary emergency standard on COVID-19 was needed and, if so, to issue it by March…
State v. Kimberly Dale Crone, 2018AP1764-CR, 4/20/21, District 3 (recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) Think twice before driving with medication in your car or purse. This decision (recommended for publication) holds that when a sheriff stops a driver for simple speeding, and he admittedly lacks reasonable suspicion to inquire about medication bottles he sees in the driver’s purse, he may nevertheless extend the stop to ask the driver to consent to a search of those bottles per State v. Wright, 2019 WI 45, 386 Wis. 2d 495, 926 N.W.2d 157 and Rodriguez v. United States,…
“Lawyer Cassoday calls me his sister in law.” Lavinia Goodell, June 30, 1874 One of Lavinia Goodell’s staunchest allies during her legal career was John Bolivar Cassoday. He offered her advice on cases, allowed her to use his extensive law library, and as a member of the Wisconsin legislature, introduced the bill that decreed that no person could be denied a license to practice law on account of sex, thus allowing Lavinia to be admitted to practice before the Wisconsin Supreme Court John Bolivar Cassoday   Cassoday was born in New York State in 1830. He graduated from Albany Law…