New lawyer Hannah Fontaine (center) celebrates with her parents immediately after she became a Wisconsin lawyer. See more photos of the event on the State Bar of Wisconsin Facebook page for the noon and 2:30 p.m.​ ceremonies. June 3, 2024 – They are new attorneys ready to start their careers – 200 recent graduates of the U.W. Law School, now sworn in as new Wisconsin lawyers. Welcomed in two separate ceremonies by Chief Justice Annette Kingsland Ziegler and
Continue Reading UW Admissions: Welcome to 200 New Wisconsin Lawyers

Join Wisconsin’s legal community in celebrating 150 years of women in the law. Here are four ways that you, your law firm, or local legal community can recognize the significant contributions women have made to Wisconsin’s legal history.

Governor Proclaims June 17 as Wisconsin Women Lawyers Day

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of Lavinia Goodell becoming Wisconsin’s first woman lawyer, Gov. Tony Evers has proclaimed June 17, 2024, as Wisconsin Women Lawyers Day.

The proclamation praises Goodell for pioneering
Continue Reading Making History: Four Ways to Celebrate 150 Years of Women in the Law

By May 15, 2024

The Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) is a recent enactment that mandates increased transparency in entity ownership structures, aiming to combat illicit activities such as money laundering and terrorism financing facilitated by anonymous entities, and has far-reaching implications for entities.  CTA was passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 but went into effect on January 1, 2024.
The key provisions of the CTA require certain entities to
Continue Reading New Filing Requirements – Corporate Transparency Act

​​May 7, 2024 – The State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors in a special meeting today (May 7) approved a motion appointing Dist. 2 Gov. Ryan Billings president-elect for the remainder of fiscal year 2024 (now until June 30, 2024).Billings, who in April was
elected to serve as the next State Bar president-elect for FY 2025 (starting July 1, 2024), will instead become president on July 1, 2024. Billings is with Kohner, Mann & Kailas, S.C., Milwaukee.Typically,
Continue Reading Billings Fills Vacancy at State Bar President-elect, Will Become President July 1

April 29, 2024 – Ryan Billings is the next president-elect of the State Bar of Wisconsin. In the elections ending April 26, 2024, Billings defeated Jennifer Johnson of Milwaukee by 1,615 votes to 1,376. The president-elect typically serves a one-year term as president-elect before serving a one-year term as president. Newly elected officers take their posts on July 1, 2024.​ Billings is with Kohner, Mann & Kailas, S.C., Milwaukee. “I am honored to be elected, and I will do
Continue Reading State Bar President-elect Post Goes to Ryan Billings

Most employers are generally aware that federal and state laws protect employees from adverse employment actions (termination, demotions, reduction in pay) because of pregnancy, including Title VII, the Family Medical Leave Act, and – potentially – the Americans with Disabilities Act. Employers should also be aware of and follow the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act which passed in 2023. However, employers should also be conscious of how co-workers or supervisors communicate with employees who either are pregnant or may be
Continue Reading Off-the-Cuff Comments: Potential Pregnancy and Parental Leave Pitfalls in the Workplace

The group of soon-to-be Wisconsin lawyers take the Attorney’s Oath in the Supreme Court Hearing Room. For more photos of the event, see ​the album on the State Bar of Wisconsin Facebook page. April 18, 2024 – A business lawyer from California, a journalist turned lawyer, a lawyer representing the third generation of lawyers in her family, and the first lawyer in her family. These describe some of Wisconsin’s newest lawyers, taking the final steps after passing
Continue Reading Welcome to 11 New Wisconsin Lawyers

On February 8, 2024, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision finding that former employees who filed a federal whistleblower retaliation claim under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (“SOX”) must only show that the protected activity was a “contributing factor” to an employee’s adverse employment decision. The Court found that whistleblowers need not show “retaliatory intent,” in contrast to other federal anti-discrimination laws.    
The petitioner, Trevor Murray was employed as a research strategist at securities firm USB. In
Continue Reading U.S. Supreme Court Finds Former Employee Must Only Prove Protected Activity Was a “Contributing Factor” in Whistleblower Suit

We are excited to share with you a Forensics piece by our high schooler, Carter.
P.s. – He’s going to State!

Democracy lives in the people, democracy is the people, democracy is our best hope. This is a quote of Vice President Kamala Harris, and I think her words are undeniable. Democracy, an idea entrenched in the United States. An idea that the United States has helped spread all over the world. But what truly holds a democracy together?
Continue Reading American Democracy  

A restaurant employee works in two different job categories – as kitchen help for above the minimum wage and as waitstaff for $2.13 per hour plus tips, for example – and the employee works less than 40 hours in each job.  However, the employee works over 40 hours for the two jobs combined.  Is this employee entitled to overtime pay and, if so, for which job?
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and parallel state laws require that non-exempt
Continue Reading Calculating Overtime for Employee with Two Different Pay Rates

Recent changes in law and trends may affect your use of Nondisclosure Agreements (NDAs). NDAs should be used strategically and reviewed every year to ensure that your form complies with the law and puts your best foot forward to optimize business strategy. Nondisclosure Agreements (NDAs), also referred to as confidentiality contracts, noncompete agreements, and restrictive covenants, can protect confidential information that if used inappropriately, would harm your business or bottom line.
One-way NDAs and Mutual NDAs
Employer-employee NDAs are
Continue Reading Nondisclosure Agreements: Trends to Watch

By March 11, 2024

The push for sustainable energy presents farmers with an intriguing opportunity: leasing their land for solar energy projects. These arrangements, known as solar leases (or easements), offer a blend of benefits and risks to farmers.
Solar leases offer enticing benefits to farmers, including:

  • Rent payments often far exceed the profitability of traditional farming.
  • Solar leases typically extend over a considerable duration, providing a potentially stable source of income over time.
  • Solar leases

Continue Reading Solar Lease Dynamics: Balancing Risks and Rewards

The United States Department of Labor has published it final rule on the classification of a worker as either an employee or an independent contractor, 29 CFR, Part 795 (January 10, 2024).  Under the Rule, the DOL returns to the “totality of the circumstances test,” with a focus on the worker’s economic dependency on the employer.
Why Properly Determining Worker Status is Important
Whether a worker is considered an employee or an independent contractor (“IC”) is a legal distinction
Continue Reading Final Rule: Six Factor Test for Determining When a Worker is an Independent Contractor

One of our employees is on intermittent Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave.  She’s gotten sick and claims it is unrelated to her reasons for being on FMLA leave.  Can we include these days in her FMLA time and have them go unpaid?
Your inquiry raises a question regarding designation of leave as FMLA leave.  In this instance, the employee desires not to have her absences treated as FMLA-qualifying leave whereas you, the employer, wish to treat them
Continue Reading Don’t Automatically Count Absences Against FMLA Leave