Real Estate & Construction

By:  Alison C. Petri © 2021 National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) is April 16, 2021 – this is your reminder to let your family know your values, goals, and preferences regarding future medical care.  Use this time to talk to your family to ensure you receive the medical care you want.  Under Wisconsin law, adults (not under legal guardianship) have the right to control decisions about their medical care, including the right to accept or refuse treatment. This is also an important time to ensure you have your Health Care Power of Attorney and/or Living Will completed and executed.  These…
My next Landlord Boot Camp for the AASEW will be held on Saturday May 15, 2021. Join me at the next Boot Camp and learn the latest about the latest extension of the CDC’s Eviction Moratorium until June 30, 2021, status on the Emergency Rental Assistance Payments, and more while also enjoying the advantages of the new virtual format. Attendees will receive a searchable 100 page + PDF Boot Camp manual, making it easier to search and reference items in the future. A recording will be available to attendees for 14 days after the event to re-watch portions that you want…
On Monday, May 30, 2021, the CDC Issued an Order extending the Eviction Moratorium until at least June 30, 2021. The “guts” of the Order remain the same from the November 2020 Order which I have previously discussed in an earlier blog post. Some of the modifications that were made in this most recent Order include the following: 1. Moratorium is extended until June 30, 2021 2. A signed Declaration by a tenant submitted under a previous order remains valid notwithstanding the extension and modification of the Order.  Covered persons do not need to submit a new declaration under this…
By Attorney Gina C. Ziegelbauer It seems like we’ve all received those scam calls letting you know your “vehicle warranty has expired,” “there is a problem with your credit card,” or that you need to take some type of action with regard to your social security, bank accounts, tech support, or who-knows-what. While it may be obvious to many people that these types of calls or mailings are a scam, unfortunately, fraudsters particularly target vulnerable persons who may not be able to pick up on the signs of a scam and who are more susceptible to fraud. And while we…
By:  Attorney Gina C. Ziegelbauer When people think of estate planning, they often think of a Will.  Although a Will is an important part of an estate plan, a Will might not do what you think. Most importantly, a Will does not avoid probate for titled assets.  Your Will is actually the document that will tell the court how you want your estate handled if your estate does go through probate.  Your Will contains the instructions to your personal representative (the person handling your estate) and to the court if your estate does go through probate.  So the next question…
Hello. I am excited to announce that my latest Landlord Boot Camp recording is now available as an On Demand video series. The benefits of this On Demand format are many. You can choose just the video(s) that you are interested in, or the entire seminar. You can watch the videos from the safety and convenience of your own home or office during the rental period.* You will receive the searchable PDF manual that accompanies the video(s) that you choose, which makes finding the information that you are looking for much easier in the future. I have been presenting…
Wisconsin is currently experiencing a significant shift to renewable energy (RE) for its electricity usage. Thoughtful regulatory and statutory changes are needed to ensure the full potential of this moment is realized for Wisconsin businesses and residents – not to mention our homegrown contractors whose job trailers we’d prefer to see on these sites. Warming Up to the Idea Wisconsin lags the rest of the U.S. in terms of RE electricity production. In 2019, our statewide RE mix was only 7.7 million megawatt hours (MWh), or 11.1 percent of the total 69 million MWh in electricity sales. With the national…
As I am sure many of you have heard, back in December the Federal government agreed to set aside $25 Billion dollars for Rent Assistance as a result of Covid.  Of that large amount, Wisconsin was allocated a total of $386,777,591.50 to be divvied up as follows: 1. Brown County – $7,907,949.30 2. Dane County – $8,579, 734.30 3. City of Madison – $7,762,609.60 4. Milwaukee County – $10,629,017.80 — (to be distributed by Community Advocates) 5. City of Milwaukee – $17,641,552.70 — (to be distributed by the Social Development Commission (SDC)) 6. Waukesha County – $12,082,683.60 —  (to be distributed by Community Advocates)…
Small-scale residential construction projects, such as single-family home builds, additions, and remodels, pose unique challenges for Wisconsin attorneys who draft construction contracts. Wisconsin law protects Wisconsin homeowners from being taken advantage of by contractors, by imposing special requirements on contractors who perform residential home improvement work. Contractors can comply with most of Wisconsin’s technical obligations by drafting robust contracts. In addition, residential construction projects involve different issues and complications than those that arise on larger commercial construction projects. On residential jobs, Wisconsin construction attorneys need to consider not only Wisconsin’s technical legal requirements, but also the unique nature of each…
Easements can and do expire in Wisconsin as a matter of law. Even if they are “perpetual.” Even if they are in use. Even if they provide access. Consider This Scenario Jill owns Parcel A on First Street. The neighboring parcel on First Street, Parcel B, is owned by Frank. Jill’s driveway is located primarily on Parcel B, pursuant to a perpetual driveway easement. The driveway is the only means of accessing Jill’s garage, located behind her house. The driveway easement was created when Frank subdivided his property and sold Parcel A to Jill in 1978. Jill and Frank are…
By:  Attorney Samuel J. Spurney © 2021 At SB Law, we represent closely held businesses ranging in size from small start-up entities to businesses with over 1,500 employees.  Our clients are comprised of various industries including manufacturing, health care, hospitality, service, agriculture, utilities, and food products.  Many of our clients are multi-generational, family owned enterprises, and are comprised of small to mid-sized businesses that are large enough to require advice on sophisticated legal issues, but are not yet ready or do not have sophisticated legal issues arise often enough to justify employing in-house attorneys. In situations where hiring full-time in…
In Part 1, we discussed copyright basics and architectural plans as one asset that could be protected by copyright. See Construction and Copyright, Part 1: Don’t Forget about IP. Here in Part 2, we discuss additional practical copyright considerations, including that designs and architectural works aren’t the only copyrightable material to come out of the construction process. Photos and Videos Many construction companies want to promote their business using “before and after” or progress photographs of their work. If the construction company hires a third-party photographer or videographer to photo-document the construction site, absent an understanding to the contrary,…
Construction projects, by their very nature, operate in the world of tangible property.Quite obviously, tradespersons use machinery and tools to fit building materials together to construct physical buildings. With material goods acting as both the figurative and literal foundation of the industry, construction companies, and by extension, their construction contracts, could easily focus solely on the tangible elements of each project. Bryan T. Kroes, Marquette 2013, is a senior associate with Hurtado Zimmerman SC, Wauwautosa, where he practices in construction, real estate, municipal bond finance, and entertainment law. While tangible property is absolutely essential for a successful construction…
On January 11, 2021, the United States Small Business Administration (“SBA”) reopened the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) for first draw PPP loans.  On January 13, 2021, the SBA began accepting second draw (“Round 2”) applications for recipients that already received a PPP loan in 2020.  The program is expected to remain open until March 31, 2021 (or if the PPP runs out of money, potentially sooner).  Whether Congress will pass another round, add additional funding, or extend the program is unknown.  As such, clients are advised to promptly apply for Round 2, provided they qualify. Qualifications are slightly different in…
Indemnity clauses are common in commercial contracts. Typically, one party (the indemnitor) agrees to “indemnify, defend, and hold harmless” another party (the indemnitee) from any and all claims or losses, or perhaps certain defined ones. In the construction context, such a provision may, for example, provide indemnity protection to an owner for any claims, losses, or damages – including attorneys’ fees – arising out of a contractor’s work.1 At its base level, such language protects owners from exposure arising from a construction project. But is the value solely in its protection? The lawyer answer is – it depends! Generally,…