By January 9, 2024

As people begin to think about passing on their assets to the next generation, some consider gifting to their children during their life, rather than passing their assets by inheritance at their death.  Possible motivations for this type of transfer include transferring ownership of a business to a child or the protection of assets in the event nursing home care is needed.  However, the potential advantages of lifetime gifting should be weighed
Continue Reading Gifting, Inheritance, and Capital Gains Tax: When Should I Give My Kids Their Inheritance?

In pending divorce proceedings, it is common for the parties to reach at least a partial agreement regarding physical placement, legal custody, child support, property division or maintenance while other matters remain unresolved. In that case, even though the parties prepare, sign and file that written agreement with the court, Wis. stat. 767.333 requires that the circuit court hold a hearing to review the agreement with the parties. At that hearing the court will ensure that the written agreement
Continue Reading Initial Orders on Stipulations in Family Proceedings

Imagine the following scenario: An employer issues a physical check to an employee (or another individual). The employee mobile deposits the check into their bank (Bank A). Then, the employee quickly takes the check to a fast-cash check cashing store and deposits the check again. This is known as double presentment.
Intuitively, one might think that the fast-cash store, being the second to receive the check, is out of luck and will need to recover its money from the
Continue Reading Double Trouble: What to Do When an Employee Cashes Their Paycheck Twice

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires an employer to pay overtime for activities that are merely incidental to employees’ core job responsibilities when the employer elects—either by contract, custom, or practice—to pay for those incidental activities. However, are those incidental activities compensable even when an employee fails to meet the requirements established by the employer’s custom or practice? The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit (whose rulings apply to all Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin employers) recently
Continue Reading 7th Circuit: Overtime Pay Not Mandated for Incidental Activities

By December 28, 2023

There is a lot of confusion about estate planning. This is understandable. Most people don’t deal with these issues on a regular basis, and planning for what happens when we die or become incapacitated isn’t something most of us like to think or talk about.
Common misconceptions about estate planning include:
1. Having a will avoids probate. Probate is a court-supervised proceeding to administer someone’s estate when they die. A probate proceeding
Continue Reading Common Misconceptions About Estate Planning

How many years do we need to keep new hire drug screens and workers’ compensation documents?
In Wisconsin, there are different retention periods depending on the type of employment documents at issue. In general, employment records must be retained for three years. However, since there may be records that pertain to multiple issues and are subject to state or federal law, it’s best practice to observe the longest of any overlapping retention periods.
For workers’ compensation documents in Wisconsin,
Continue Reading Hold On! You Might Need to Retain that Employment Document

Effective January 1, 2024, the Corporate Transparency Act will apply to a significant number of United States business entities and owners. This pivotal legislation is not just another regulatory hurdle; it marks a significant shift in how businesses operate in terms of transparency and accountability. Every business owner needs to understand the CTA and its implications for their business. In this article, we delve into the requirements under the CTA, equipping you with much of what you need to
Continue Reading Navigating the Corporate Transparency Act: A Must-Read for Every Business Owner

Dec. 5, 2023 – Ralph Cagle was a teacher, mentor, colleague, and friend “to countless individuals,” say many of those who worked with him during his career as a Madison attorney and law professor.

Ralph M. Cagle served 2015-16 as the 60th president of the State Bar of Wisconsin. He was elected president-elect in April 2014, succeeding Robert Gagan as president.

Cagle passed away Dec. 1, 2023, at the age of 78.

He was a champion of lawyers and
Continue Reading Celebrating the Life and Career of Ralph Cagle: Teacher, Mentor, Friend, Leader

Dec. 4, 2023 – The State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors heard a report on Dec. 1 on a
Rules Petition 23-05, which would provide for expedited review of criminal pre-trial competency rulings. The rules petition was filed by the Wisconsin Judicial Council.

Wis. Stat. section 971.14 sets the process for determining whether a criminal defendant is competent to stand trial.

According to the memo filed in support of the rules petition by the Judicial Council, neither
Continue Reading State Bar Board Hears Reports on Rules Petition, Rural Practice Efforts

Sarah experienced a deteriorating family dynamic first-hand after her grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.  She was inspired to become an estate planning attorney because she wanted to equip families with solutions so they wouldn’t have to live through the same experiences her family had.The post Welcome Attorney Sarah Reed first appeared on Wisconsin Business Attorneys.
Continue Reading Welcome Attorney Sarah Reed

In a recent case before a state appeals court, the Wisconsin Labor and Industry Review Commission (LIRC) appealed a circuit court ruling, reversing its determination that an employee hadn’t suffered a mental injury compensable under the Worker’s Compensation Act.
Timothy Wotnoske was employed by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections (DOC) as a correctional officer. He filed a worker’s compensation claim for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and panic disorder after experiencing several incidents, including working in prisons during
Continue Reading Mental Injury Not Compensable Under Worker’s Compensation Act

By October 23, 2023

When your days are consumed with running a business, it can be hard to look ahead towards tomorrow’s to-do list, much less towards a to-do list for something far in the future, like estate planning. If you’ve pushed off putting in writing what will happen to your business once you’re gone, it’s time to tackle that to-do list. Here are four items to consider when doing so:
1. The Importance of Having
Continue Reading Estate Planning Considerations for Business Owners

By October 23, 2023

As a collection and banking attorney, I am often asked whether (or when) I think collections will restart now that we are somewhat “beyond” COVID-19, although not fully. In my own practice I have seen an increase in demand letters to businesses and consumers for past due accounts or debts. Banks and businesses need to start collecting past due accounts and my sense is a slew of consumer and commercial collections are
Continue Reading Collections in a Post-COVID-19 World

What’s the best way to deal with office gossip and drama? The resulting conflict is hurting productivity and morale.
As we get to the other side of the pandemic and the interruptions COVID-19 caused in the workplace, employees are beginning to come back to work in person rather than working totally remotely. With that comes the age-old office drama issues.
Office drama and gossip can be minor, but left unchecked, they can lead to reduced productivity and morale, if
Continue Reading Nip Office Gossip & Drama in the Bud