Kelli Thompson is pictured in this photo from 2011.Sept. 1, 2023 – Kelli Thompson, Wisconsin’s State Public Defender for the last 12 years, recently announced that she is stepping down from the agency, effective Oct 9, 2023.In her announcement, issued by the Wisconsin State Public Defender Office, Thompson said:It has been a privilege to serve as the Wisconsin State Public Defender. The role of public defender is critical to protecting the rights of clients and the principles of liberty,
Continue Reading Kelli Thompson Stepping Down as State Public Defender

The Corporate Transparency Act (the “CTA”) has been in place since 2020 when it was passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021; however, after a long administrative rulemaking process, the Beneficial Ownership Information (“BOI”) reporting requirements have only recently been finalized and will first become effective on January 1, 2024 (the “Effective date”). 

The CTA was enacted in response to the vast and increasing use of corporate entities and shell-companies by bad actors
Continue Reading FinCEN Finalizes Beneficial Ownership Information Reporting Requirements

The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals recently considered (and rejected) a “campaign of harassment” theory from a sheriff candidate. This decision demonstrates that an employer’s actions, while individually not enough to prove that an employer’s actions were motivated by the employee’s speech, collectively were enough to demonstrate a successful claim for retaliation. 
Kevin Deeren was a Trempealeau County Deputy Sheriff who announced candidacy for Trempealeau County Sherriff in late 2017. Deeren had applied for employment with the
Continue Reading 7th Circuit Affirms Dismissal of First Amendment Retaliation From Sheriff Candidate

Wisconsin businesses should think twice before assuming that hiring independent contractors relieves them of the obligation to pay unemployment insurance taxes. Wisconsin law requires payment unless an employer can prove at least six elements of a nine-factor test. As Amazon learned recently, Wisconsin liberally construes its unemployment insurance statute with the goal that all workers, even those believed to be independent contractors, are covered by unemployment insurance.
When is a Driver Also an Employee?
In a recent case involving
Continue Reading Hire Independent Contractors, But You Might Still Owe Unemployment Insurance Tax

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) continues to move the needle on its interpretation of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) in favor of unions. For example, in Memorandum GC 23-02 entitled “Electronic Monitoring and Algorithmic Management of Employees Interfering with the Exercise of Section 7 Rights,” General Counsel Abruzzo outlined a new framework for protecting employees from intrusive or abusive forms of electronic monitoring and automated management that may interfere with Section 7 activity.
What Does the Memo
Continue Reading Surveillance in the Workforce: An Update From the NLRB

“Hark! Is that the step of my first client that I hear approaching my door?”

Lavinia Goodell, July 14, 1874

Immediately after being admitted to practice law on June 17, 1874, Lavinia Goodell took steps to open a legal practice. She had hoped to join Pliny Norcross and A. A. Jackson in their practice, but while Norcross was willing to allow her to share their offices, Jackson was not, so Lavinia told her sister, “I shall have to
Continue Reading “Hark! Is that the step of my first client that I hear approaching my door?”

The recent shared revenue bill negotiated, passed, and signed by the Wisconsin State Legislature and Governor Evers made statutory changes to regulating nonmetallic quarry operations. These changes balance local authority and the need for construction materials (e.g., gravel, crushed stone, and sand) while ensuring safety and regulatory consistency.
Local Regulation
Local political subdivisions may still enact nonmetallic mining ordinances requiring a conditional use permit or a nonmetallic mining license. Any new regulation requiring such permit or license will not
Continue Reading New Law Addresses Nonmetallic Mining Regulations

The State Bar Nonresident Lawyers Division board met and celebrated Wisconsin at the Milwaukee Annual Conference. Visit the
photo albums on the State Bar’s Facebook page for more scenes from the conference. ​
June 19, 2023 – More than 500 people recently attended the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Annual Meeting and Conference (AMC) at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, including around 400 members and a record-setting number of state and federal judges.From the opening plenary session on “cancel culture”
Continue Reading Tips and Takeaways from the 2023 Annual Meeting and Conference

New State Bar of Wisconsin President Dean Dietrich accepts a gavel from immediate Past-president Margaret Hickey. The gavel is symbolically passed from each past-president in attendance to the new State Bar president to underscore the history and continuity of the office. Visit the State Bar’s Facebook page for more photos of this event, or click here.

June 15, 2023 – A glance at Dean Dietrich’s resume proves that he has passion for serving the legal profession.

Dietrich, who
Continue Reading Privileged to Serve: Dean R. Dietrich Sworn in as 68th State Bar President

Judge Randy Koschnick, Director of State Courts, gave opening remarks at the June 14 meeting of the State Bar Board of Governors. Koschnick noted recent successes, including a unanimous vote from the Wisconsin Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee to increase funding for the criminal justice system. With final approval, the funding will increase pay for prosecutors and public defenders, and increase the hourly rate paid to private bar attorneys​​ who take appointments from the public defender’s office. He also said
Continue Reading State Bar Board Votes to Establish Special Purpose Trust, Among Other Actions

“I am bound to get in if I climb up the roof and go down the chimney.”

Lavinia Goodell, June 8, 1874

During the first two weeks of June 1874, Lavinia Goodell’s mind was consumed with plans to take the bar examination so that she could be admitted to practice law in Wisconsin. It was not clear until an hour prior to the examination on June 17 whether she would actually be allowed to sit for it. In a
Continue Reading “I am bound to get in if I climb up the roof and go down the chimney.”

In the Wisconsin Supreme Court Hearing Room in Madison, U.W. Law School graduates and soon-to-be Wisconsin lawyers take the Attorney’s Oath at the 2:30 p.m. ceremony. See more photos of the event on the State Bar of Wisconsin Facebook page.​ June 1, 2023 – They gathered together with family and friends in the Wisconsin Supreme Court Hearing Room – 149 recent graduates of the U.W. Law School – to be sworn in as new Wisconsin lawyers. Before the
Continue Reading UW Admissions: State Bar Welcomes 149 New Lawyers

When branding a new product, many businesses allude to copyrighted works either to honor a creative work or cash in on a pop culture success. The practice is very common across a wide variety of products, including t-shirts, stickers, craft beers, and even car commercials. You may even be considering alluding to a copyrighted work for your next product. However, brand creators are often unaware of the dangers associated with the practice, as it risks trademark and copyright infringement.
Continue Reading Copy That! Copyright Infringement in Branding

“Ignorance is always dangerous.”

Lavinia Goodell, May 1871

In the second installment of her series of Woman’s Journal articles rebutting commonly touted reasons why women should not vote (read the about the first installment here), Lavinia Goodell focused on the claim that voting would disrupt the tranquility of the home and take women away from their traditional duties. Rubbish! declared Lavinia.

May 6, 1871 Woman’s Journal

Lavinia queried how much of a woman’s time would be spent in
Continue Reading “Ignorance is always dangerous.”

In the Wisconsin Supreme Court Hearing Room in Madison, soon-to-be new Wisconsin lawyers take the Attorney’s Oath. For additional pictures, see the photo albums on the ​​​State Bar of Wisconsin Facebook page​. May 24, 2023 – They are all new lawyers headed into practice in sports law, public interest law, mergers and acquisitions, business law, and more. Before the Wisconsin Supreme Court in six separate ceremonies, 167 new Wisconsin lawyers – new alumni of Marquette University Law School
Continue Reading Marquette Admissions: Welcome to 167 New Wisconsin Lawyers