Government

On March 15, 2024, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision in Lindke v. Freed, 601 U.S. 187 (2024), which articulates a two-part test for when a public official’s social media activity constitutes state action. According to the Court, a public official’s posts on social media are attributable to the government if (1) the official had the actual authority to speak on the government’s behalf, and (2) the official purported to speak on the government’s behalf.
Background
James
Continue Reading When is Social Media Activity by Officials Attributable to the Government?

​​

May 1, 2024 – As we prepare to commemorate
Law Day on May 1, 2024, I invite all Wisconsinites to reflect upon the enduring significance of this annual observance.

This year, the American Bar Association (ABA) has chosen the theme “The Voices of Democracy,” which aligns with the foundational principles of our legal system and the essence of our nation’s democratic ethos.

Annette Kingsland Ziegler, Marquette 1989, is chief justice of the
Wisconsin Supreme Court, Madison.

President
Continue Reading Law Day 2024: Honoring Our Legal Heritage and Democratic Values

One of the tragic circumstances of our criminal justice system is the prevalence of crimes being perpetrated by children, otherwise known in legal terminology as juveniles. While it may come as a surprise given their age and natural proclivity to following instruction, juveniles make up a substantial portion of criminal offenders in the United States. That dynamic is present in Wisconsin as well, with 26,910 juveniles arrested by county, tribal, and state agencies within the state during the calendar
Continue Reading No Place Like Home: How Placement Options Impact the Juvenile Court System

Federal Trade Commission bans most non-compete agreements in employment contracts
On April 23, 2024, the Federal Trade Commission approved a Final Rule that bans almost any agreement that restricts where a worker may work after he or she leaves his or her current employer. Such an agreement is a non-competition agreement. The Final Rule is effective 120 days after publication in the Federal Register absent a successful legal challenge. We anticipate legal challenges to be filed very soon.
Continue Reading FTC Voted to Ban Almost All Non-Competition Agreements

On Tuesday, April 23, 2024, the Federal Trade Commission will hold a special Open Commission Meeting to vote on whether to issue a proposed final rule preventing most employers from enforcing non-compete agreements. On January 19, 2023, the FTC published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register, 88 FR 3482. The FTC’s position is that that non-competes are an “exploitative practice that suppresses wages, hampers innovation, and blocks entrepreneurs from starting new business.”

If the final rule
Continue Reading FTC to Vote on Whether to Ban Non-Compete Agreements

Attorneys Jessica Mederson, Rick Manthe, and Derek Punches Author “Addressing Sustainability and Resiliency in the Built Environment”
“Addressing Sustainability and Resiliency in the Built Environment” was originally published in The Municipality magazine’s April 2024 issue.
Attorneys Mederson, Manthe, and Punches discuss with The Municipality magazine the continuing impacts of climate change, how to incorporate sustainable practices in the built environment (i.e. fully established structures), ensuring the built environment is resilient, and municipal considerations, limitations, and tools. Read “Addressing
Continue Reading Stafford Rosenbaum Attorneys Address Sustainability and Resiliency in the Built Environment for The Municipality Magazine

The Wisconsin Fair Dealership Law has been an integral feature of Wisconsin law, shaping the state’s economy for the past 50 years. To those protected by the law, the WFDL provides valuable security to their business operations and their employees. By contrast, the WFDL has been criticized as inefficient, vague, and protectionist by parties who are subject to the WFDL’s high cause and notice standards. With these differing views, the WFDL has been a source of extensive litigation since
Continue Reading The Wisconsin Fair Dealership Law Enters Its 50th Year: Open Issues

As the capabilities of generative artificial intelligence have increased, so have concerns that generative AI might be used to manipulate voters and the administration of elections in the 2024 presidential election and primaries. The first warning shot came in New Hampshire on January 21, 2024, two days before the New Hampshire Presidential Primary Election, when numerous New Hampshire residents received robocalls that played a message with what appeared to be an AI-generated voice clone of President Joe Biden’s voice,
Continue Reading Wisconsin’s New Regulation of AI and Deepfakes in Political Communications

Attorney Vanessa Wishart Presents PFAS Impacts at Wastewater Treatment Plants for Wisconsin Wastewater Operators Association
On Tuesday, March 19, 2024, Attorney Vanessa Wishart will speak on per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) impacts at wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) at the 2024 Spring Biosolids Symposium in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Vanessa’s presentation is part of a daylong seminar for municipal officials, plant operators, contractors, consultants, and more. Attendees will receive information on current issues related to biosolids and septage management, enabling them to
Continue Reading Attorney Vanessa Wishart Presents on PFAS Impacts at Wastewater Treatment Plants

Attorney Pam Ploor presents and authors recent updates to labor & employment law in Wisconsin
Attorney Pamela Ploor authored “Artificial Intelligence in Municipal Employment” for the March 2024 edition of the League  of Wisconsin Municipalities magazine, The Municipality. The article addresses government guidance, risks, and recommendations for the use of AI tools in municipal employment, and it is part of a bi-monthly employment law series that Pam has been writing for The Municipality for nearly two years.
Pam
Continue Reading Attorney Pamela M. Ploor Provides Labor & Employment Law Updates

While some people have been eagerly anticipating college basketball’s March Madness, others have been anticipating the SEC’s long-awaited climate disclosure rule, which was finally announced today. As discussed previously (in a climate-related disclosures blog post from a year and a half ago), this rule is highly contentious and will probably face legal challenges.

The SEC appears to be acknowledging the risk of litigation in rolling back what must be reported under this new rule. The European Union requires
Continue Reading Let March Madness Begin! The SEC Finally Announces its Climate Disclosure Rule

Attorney Jeff Mandell to give several presentations on Election Law and Wisconsin Constitution in 2024’s first quarter
Jeff spoke to the Carpenters’ Union North Central States Legislative Conference at the Monona Terrace on February 29, 2024. He presented an update on the redistricting case surrounding Wisconsin’s legislative maps.
On March 7, Jeff will speak to the Milwaukee Bar Association, the American Constitution Society, and the Federalist Society on a panel about litigation under the Wisconsin Constitution. The panel will
Continue Reading Attorney Jeffrey Mandell Presents on Election Law & the Wisconsin Constitution

Attorney Jamie Konopacky speaks alongside Congress members to Great Lakes Tribal Nations during Midwest Alliance of Sovereign Tribes meeting
Attorney Jamie Konopacky will be in Washington, D.C. this week for a meeting during the Midwest Alliance of Sovereign Tribes (MAST) Impact Week 2024. She will be speaking alongside several members of Congress before dozens of Great Lakes Tribal Nations. The topic of her address on Thursday will be a MAST resolution to support the White Earth Band of the
Continue Reading Attorney Jamie Konopacky to Speak at Midwest Alliance of Sovereign Tribes Meeting

In the landscape of American society, the impact of incarceration on families reverberates deeply, yet often remains overlooked.

Startling statistics reveal that, currently, an estimated 6.5 million adults have an immediate family member incarcerated, underscoring the prevalence of this issue.1 To further put it in perspective, one in seven people have had an immediate family member spend one year or longer in prison, while one in 34 people have experienced the anguish of having a loved one incarcerated
Continue Reading How Attorneys Can Support Families Affected by Incarceration

As public interest attorneys, we often represent low-income clients at a low point in their lives, such as during an illness, injury, job loss, incarceration, eviction, divorce, etc. When clients are struggling, it can be helpful to provide resources for as many benefits as they may be eligible for to get them back on their feet. One of these benefits is assistance with their energy bills. Did You Know? According to the
2020 Energy Burden Report by the American
Continue Reading How Energy Assistance Benefits in Wisconsin Can Help Your Clients

Attorney Vanessa Wishart Discusses Water Law Regulatory Updates as Part of PFAS Panel
On Thursday, February 15, 2024, Attorney Vanessa Wishart will give a regulatory update on per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) at the 2024 Government Affairs Seminar in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Vanessa’s update is part of the PFAS portion of the daylong seminar, during which she will participate on a panel with other professionals.
The seminar provides municipal officials, treatment plant operators, consultants, and government employees with an
Continue Reading Attorney Vanessa Wishart Presents on PFAS Regulation at 2024 Government Affairs Seminar