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On December 2, President Biden announced a nine-point action plan to combat COVID-19 as the United States heads into the winter months and with the emergence of a new variant, Omicron.  One of the actions announced calls for the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and the Treasury to issue guidance by January 15, 2022 to clarify that individuals who purchase over-the-counter COVID-19 at-home diagnostic tests may seek reimbursement from their group health plan or health insurance issuer
Continue Reading At-Home COVID-19 Tests Soon to be Covered by Employer Health Plans

On December 14, 2021, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published additional guidance addressing when an individual infected with COVID-19 may qualify as disabled under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The publication expands on the EEOC’s September 2021 guidance regarding whether “long-haul” COVID-19 is a disability under the ADA.

Title I of the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in the workplace. An employee may be disabled, for purposes of the ADA, in one of three
Continue Reading EEOC Provides Additional Guidance on When COVID-19 May Qualify as a Disability

It is the end of the year, which means many of you are setting goals for 2022.  Good for you!  But it is also the time to make sure that your internal realities align with those goals.  Goal setting is fabulous.  Creating new action steps is fun and while reviewing what you have may not sound nearly as exciting, it may be what moves you forward.  You need to be aligned or all the pulls and pushes in different
Continue Reading Alignment of Rocket Power

Drafting an estate plan allows a person to put into writing their wishes for division of assets upon death.  Sometimes this means making a choice to give more to one child over the other, or to completely write out natural heirs of law.  An uncle whose nephew is like a son to him may bypass his brother or sister to provide for that nephew; a parent might give more to a child with special needs or a child that
Continue Reading Pros and Cons of Using the No-Contest Clause

As we enter the holiday shopping season, you may notice some businesses advertising that they are “B Corps.”

B Corps claim to be the gold standard for good business practices that try to inspire a “race to the top” with respect to social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

Given all the buzz about B Corps, business owners may wonder if their business should consider becoming a B Corp, but is it just a marketing gimmick, or are there
Continue Reading Business B Corps Certification: Displaying a High Standard

Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill to make U.S. court documents free to the general public.  The bipartisan legislation would require the federal judiciary to create a new PACER system that would be free for public use.  PACER, which stands for Public Access to Court Electronic Records, is run by the Judicial Conference of the United States. Users currently pay $0.10 per page with a cap of $3 per document, excluding transcripts.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted
Continue Reading Bill to Make PACER Free Approved by Senate Judiciary Committee

On Tuesday, December 7, a federal court in Georgia issued an order staying the vaccine mandate for federal contractors (“Mandate”). The Court ordered that the Defendants, which includes President Biden,

are ENJOINED, during the pendency of this action or until further order of this Court, from enforcing the vaccine mandate for federal contractors and subcontractors in all covered contracts in any state or territory of the United States of America.

Click here to read full order. This order follows
Continue Reading Nationwide Halt to Vaccine Mandate for Federal Contractors

It’s time for my annual year in review – a look back at those new cases and statutes in family law which improve this area of law and those which, well, not so much.

As usual, there are more of the latter than the former. Sigh.

The biggest disappointment was the failure of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin to clarify one of the most common questions in this area of law: What is the difference between a judgment of
Continue Reading Family Law Year in Review: Looking Back at What Happened in 2021

I just read a “Meet Your Contributors” section in the cover story of the October 2021 issue of Wisconsin LawyerTM​ magazine, where Katherine Trudell described her “oddest/funniest legal experience.”

As a young defense attorney, she brought her young son to observe her first sentencing hearing. Seeing the judge in the hallway, she introduced her son without incident. Just before the hearing, she was called into chambers and chastised. “How could you bring your son knowing that you’re
Continue Reading Assumptions in Law and Mediation: A Deeper Look

As we head into winter, many people across the state will throw on their snowmobiling gear and hop on the approximately 25,000 miles of snowmobile trails we have in Wisconsin.

Snowmobiling is incredibly popular in the dairy state. There are more than 200,000 registered snowmobiles in Wisconsin,1 and we are home to the World Championship Snowmobile Derby (in Eagle River) and the International Snowmobile Racing Hall of Fame (in St. Germain).2
25,000 Miles of Trails, Most on
Continue Reading Protecting Private Landowners: Recreational Immunity in Wisconsin

Members of the State Bar Board of Governors pose for a group photo during their meeting in Madison on Dec. 3. Board members were invited to wear holiday attire.

Dec. 6, 2021 – During its Dec. 3 meeting in Madison, the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors voted by consent to support a petition – filed by numerous circuit court judges – that would create a presumption against indiscriminate shackling of juveniles in juvenile court.

Under petition 21-04
Continue Reading State Bar Board Supports Petition Against Indiscriminate Juvenile Shackling

State v. Nakyta V.T. Chentis, 2020AP1699-CR, 12/1/21, District 2, (recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs)

To convict someone of possession of a controlled substance, the State must prove both that he was in possession of the substance and that he knew or believed he was in possession of it. State v. Christel, 61 Wis. 2d 143, 159, 211 N.W.2d 801 (1973). See also Wis JI-Criminal 6000. In a published opinion, the court of appeals holds Chentis
Continue Reading Knowing Possession of Trace Heroin Imputed from Track Marks and Paraphernalia

Portage County v. C.K.S., 2021AP1291-FT, 11/24/21, District 4, (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity

The circuit court recommitted C.K.S. but apparently neglected to specify the applicable standard(s) of dangerousness. C.K.S. appealed arguing that the court violated D.J.W. and that the county’s evidence of dangerousness was insufficient. The court of appeals declined to address the D.J.W. error. Instead, it reviewed the county’s evidence of dangerousness and held it insufficient under the only standards that could apply: the 1st,
Continue Reading Defense Win! COA Finds Evidence Insufficient for Recommitment

This past year has opened our eyes to new challenges and questions that need to be addressed in the workplace.

As a result of the COVID-19 virus, many businesses and industries attempted to stem the growing infection rate by working allowing employees to work remotely, initiate safety protocols, or close their doors temporarily. But now, as vaccines are readily available to the public, businesses are attempting to make a return back to normalcy, or as close as possible to
Continue Reading Preparing Your Workplace for Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccine and Testing Requirements

The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on the construction industry.

It has greatly reduced productivity, caused material prices to skyrocket, and slowed the supply chain. This has impacted nearly all contractors – builders and suppliers – who are forced to allocate or absorb the increased costs.1 They also face performance deadlines that are rendered unrealistic and, in some cases, impossible to meet.

Until the pandemic’s effects are greatly alleviated, supply chains will likely remain ambivalent and unpredictable.

This
Continue Reading Supply Chain Delay Claims: A Day Late and $1,000 Short

State v. Corey Rector, 2020AP1213, certification filed 11/24/21; District 2; case activity (including briefs)

Issue (from the certification):
Whether the plain meaning of “separate occasions” in the sex-offender-registration statute means that the two convictions must have occurred at different times in two separate proceedings so that the qualifying convictions occurred sometime before a defendant is convicted in the current case. Stated otherwise, can the qualifying convictions occur simultaneously, as they did in this case, and as Wittrock and
Continue Reading COA Asks SCOW to Decide Whether Things That Happen Simultaneously Happen on Two “Separate Occasions”