On April 15, 2022, Governor Tony Evers signed Act 258 into law (the “New LLC Law”), repealing and recreating Chapter 183 the Wisconsin Uniform Limited Liability Company Law, which governs limited liability companies (“LLC”). The New LLC Law’s provisions will apply to LLCs formed on or after January 1, 2023 (the “effective date”).

Existing LLCs have the option to opt-in to the New LLC Law prior to the effective date by filing a Statement of Applicability (Form 399/599
Continue Reading Should LLC Members Opt-in, Opt-out, or Do Nothing with Respect to the New LLC Statute?

Have you ever paid the price for a hotel room that is listed on the back of the door? Me neither. It’s common knowledge that the market price of a room is typically less than what is posted.

Similarly, most patients and payers don’t pay the price listed on a hospital’s chargemaster. Accordingly, when hospitals were first required to disclose their chargemasters publicly, the data just didn’t mean much.1

The actual cost of health care services is most
Continue Reading Price Transparency Laws Reveal Negotiated Prices between Providers and Health Plans

State v. Marty S. Madeiros, 2021AP405-CR, District 4, 10/27/22 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs)

Evidence of Madeiros’s prior hit-and-run conviction was admitted at his trial on OWI 5th, over his objection. This other-acts evidence was inadmissible because it wasn’t probative of any non-propensity purpose and the error in admitting the evidence wasn’t harmless, so Madeiros is entitled to a new trial.

Early one cold morning in December 2017 police found Madeiros’s car in the ditch
Continue Reading New OWI Trial Ordered because of Erroneous Admission of Evidence

“Environmental law is dead. Long live environmental law.”

This proclamation popped into my head while listening to the keynote speaker, Robert Kaplan, EPA Region 5 Regional Counsel – at the 34th Annual Environmental Law Update on Sept. 15 from State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE® – no doubt in part due to the passing of Queen Elizabeth II just a few days prior.
The Keynote
In his keynote address, Kaplan explained that when he was in college, he thought there
Continue Reading The Death of Environmental Law has Been Greatly Exaggerated

After moving to Wisconsin, I came to appreciate many things about Wisconsin culture, including the near-universal adoration of Kwik Trip. After a few visits to Kwik Trip, I realized that Kwik Trip was something I had experienced long before ever having been to Wisconsin. In my native state of Iowa, Kwik Trip had been present my whole childhood. The only difference is that I recognized it under the Kwik Star brand name. Many Wisconsinites I share this with are
Continue Reading Quick (Kwik? Quik?) on the Draw

State v. Annika S. Christensen, 2022AP500, 9/9/22, District 4 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs)

Christensen was one of two occupants of a parked car after dark. A police truck approached, parked close behind her, and shined its takedown light into the car. At least one officer got out of the car and knocked on the window. In a carefully-reasoned, well-explained decision, the court of appeals affirms the circuit court’s holding that Christensen was seized
Continue Reading Parked Car’s Occupants were Seized Without Reasonable Suspicion

On October 21, 2022 the Internal Revenue Service announced the cost-of-living adjustments for the various qualified retirement plan limits.  All of the limits shown below have increased (in some cases significantly) from last year.

Qualified Plan Limit
Cost-of-Living Adjustments

401(k) and 403(b) elective deferral limit

2022 – $20,500

2023 – $22,500

$200,000 compensation limit

2022 – $305,000

2023 – $330,000

$160,000 defined benefit limit

2022 – $245,000

2023 – $265,000

$40,000 defined contribution limit

2022 – $61,000

2023 –
Continue Reading 2023 Qualified Plan Cost of Living Increases, 2023 Social Security Taxable Wage Base

“A man has got to be something, if he is going to win something.”
Lavinia Goodell, April 1860

From 1859 until early 1865, Lavinia Goodell assisted her father in editing and publishing the Principia, an anti-slavery newspaper, from its offices in lower Manhattan. She also wrote dozens of pieces for the paper. None carried a full byline. Many were simply signed “L.” In the spring of 1860, twenty year old Lavinia wrote a series of articles titled “Chapters
Continue Reading “A man has got to be something, if he is going to win something.”

On August 16, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit decided EEOC v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., and ruled that a light duty policy only covering workers injured on the job was lawful, and did not illegally exclude pregnant employees. The decision can be found here. The decision provides guidance under federal law for employers considering whether they can limit light duty to only those employees injured on the job. In particular, this decision is helpful
Continue Reading Seventh Circuit Holds Work-Related Light Duty Policy Need Not Be Extended to Pregnant Employees

When advising clients on forming new companies, the question comes up about where to form the company. Should the client form the company in the state where their business is located (Wisconsin most of the time), or somewhere else? When the client elects for “somewhere else,” their entity is considered a “foreign entity.” This means the entity was formed in one state and is doing business in another state. There are a variety of reasons why a client might
Continue Reading Foreign Entity Registration: What and Why?

At the end of its 2021-22 term, the Supreme Court released its long-awaited decision in Becker, et al. v. Dane County, et al., Nos. 2021AP1343 & 2021AP1382. The case affirmed the validity of orders issued by the joint public health department of Dane County and the City of Madison to control COVID-19 by, among other things, requiring face coverings and limiting gatherings. Specifically, the Court rejected a challenge by plaintiffs—the affected residents and businesses—to local health officials’ authority to
Continue Reading Non-Delegation in Wisconsin after Becker v. Dane County

Pre-pandemic, I used to occasionally guest lecture in ethics classes at Marquette University Law School. Remote learning and restricted campus access put that on pause, but I’m excited to say the pause is over. Next month, I’ll be back at Marquette, but tomorrow, I’ll be chatting with Dean Emeritus and Warren P. Knowles Chair Margaret Raymond’s professional responsibility class at UW Law School.
And, I’m sure, even if I don’t mention my blog, at least a few
Continue Reading Welcome, Law Students? I’m Sure You’ve Got Questions

In April of 2022, Governor Tony Evers signed into law 2021 Wisconsin Act 258, introducing significant changes to the law governing Wisconsin limited liability companies (LLCs). On January 1, 2023, the Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act will govern Wisconsin LLCs (WULLCL).

How Does This Change Affect My Current LLC?

For currently formed Wisconsin LLCs or LLCs created on or before December 31, 2022, you have three options:

1) File a Statement of Nonapplicability with the Wisconsin Department of
Continue Reading Business Owner Alert: Limited Liability Company Law Changes Coming in 2023

The circumstances involving Anne Heche’s estate are a stark reminder of the uncertainties that may exist following the death of a loved one and the issues that can arise even when someone thinks they have their estate plan in place.

Heche’s (Possible) Will

When the Emmy Award-winning actress died after a fiery car crash in August 2022, she left behind two sons. After her death, her former partner, James Tupper, the father of the younger of Heche’s sons, came
Continue Reading Anne Heche’s Will Contest: A Cautionary Tale

Retirement Plan Developments

IRS Extends Additional Deadlines for Adopting Amendments Under CARES Act and CAA
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has extended the deadline for amending eligible retirement plans to reflect provisions relating to plan loans and coronavirus‑related distributions under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) and qualified disaster‑related distributions under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (CAA).  The IRS announced the extension in Notice 2022‑45.

The CARES Act allowed qualified individuals to receive favorable
Continue Reading Retirement and Health Plan Legal Updates, Compliance Deadlines

State v. Jonathan L. Liebzeit, 2021AP9-CR, District 3, 8/30/22 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs)

In 1997, a circuit judge sentenced Liebzeit to life without the possibility of parole for a homicide he committed at the age of 19. In 2019, after hearing a presentation at a judicial education seminar about juvenile brain development and shortly thereafter sentencing an 18-year-old for a crime, the judge decided to to contact Liebzeit’s lawyer to suggest a sentence modification
Continue Reading Juvenile Brain Development Research Wasn’t a New Factor Justifying Sentence Modification