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It is beyond dispute that artificial intelligence (“AI”) is prompting technological innovation in many areas of commerce and life in ways that, until recently, could only be considered unimaginable. AI has rapidly advanced from traditional AI systems that rely on explicit human-created programming rules–for example, binary statements that guide a system’s decisions (e.g., does a blood test indicate anemia)–to what has become known as “generative AI,” which involves the development of computer-based systems capable of generating original and creative
Continue Reading Artificial Intelligence — Developing Intellectual Property Implications

Wisconsin’s dog bite statute imposes strict liability against dog keepers/owners if their dog causes injury to another. Wisconsin Stat. § 174.02(1) states:

(1) Liability for injury. (a) Without notice. Subject to s. 895.045 and except as provided in s 895.57(4), the owner of a dog is liable for the full amount of damages caused by the dog injuring or causing injury to a person, domestic animal or property.

An owner is generally liable regardless of measures taken to prevent
Continue Reading Liability Defenses for Dog Bite Cases in Wisconsin

Michael J. Cohen concentrates his practice on complex commercial litigation including non-compete and other restrictive covenants, breach of contract, business torts, shareholder disputes and employment; environmental and toxic tort litigation; and on complex insurance coverage litigation, including environmental and asbestos liabilities and bad faith claims.
Where are you from?
Fond du Lac, WI.
What was your first job?
Cook at Hardees.
Do you have any hobbies?
Working out and trying new breweries and brew pubs. Also going to concerts
Continue Reading Attorney Spotlight – Michael J. Cohen

Phantom stock plans are a deferred compensation tool companies can use to attract, motivate, and retain talented employees. These plans (also known by many other names, i.e., shadow stock plans, phantom equity plans, synthetic equity programs, etc.) offer employees some of the benefits of stock ownership without transferring company equity. While phantom stock plans bring many advantages, employers must avoid pitfalls and ensure smooth administration, especially when considering future change-of-ownership transactions.

While phantom stock plans offer a unique compensation
Continue Reading Phantom Stock 101: A Primer on Invisible Equity

Daniel A. Sievert is an attorney that serves in Meissner Tierney’s transactional practice group. He advises clients in the areas of business and corporate transactions and taxation.
Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Delafield, Wisconsin which is roughly 30 minutes from downtown Milwaukee. It’s a beautiful area with many inland lakes and thus, is affectionally referred to as Lake Country.
What was your first job?
I officially started working at 15 for what is now
Continue Reading Attorney Spotlight – Daniel A. Sievert

Redistricting again took center stage at the Wisconsin Supreme Court this past month, with the court declaring Wisconsin’s state legislative maps unlawful under the Wisconsin Constitution. Let’s dive right in.
Cases Decided
Clarke v. Wisconsin Elections Commission, No. 2023AP1399

Redistricting

Decision Filed: December 22, 2023

Public Citation: 2023 WI 79

Nearly four months into its 2023–24 term, the Wisconsin Supreme Court finally issued its first authored decision of the term—a 225-page behemoth on the hot button topic of redistricting.
Continue Reading Wisconsin Supreme Court Update: January 2024

Convicted prisoners, pre-trial and pre-sentencing detainees confined to correctional facilities enjoy the same constitutional rights as those of us that are not incarcerated.[1] Unsurprisingly, individuals confined to correctional facilities, with little or nothing productive to do with their time, find ample reasons to claim they are treated poorly during confinement. As a result, and without comment on the veracity of any given claim as – certainly – many of the claims asserted by inmates are valid, incarcerated persons
Continue Reading The Prison Litigation Reform Act: Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies as an Affirmative Defense

On November 15, 2023, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) announced that it was opening a 60-day public comment period as it considers updates it plans to make to its document entitled: Technical Guidance for Assessing Environmental Justice in Regulatory Analysis (the “Guidance Document”). Public Comments need to be submitted by January 15, 2024.

It is important to understand that this Guidance Document is not a regulation, but businesses with an environmental aspect (e.g. manufacturers, waste processors, etc) should be
Continue Reading EPA’s New Push for Environmental Justice: What Small Businesses Should Now Consider

Sean A. Bukowski is an attorney in Meissner Tierney’s litigation practice group where he primarily represents insurers and their insureds in civil matters involving liability and coverage issues.
Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Bay City, Michigan.
What was your first job?
At age 13, I started scooping ice cream for a local ice cream store that my mother managed.
Do you have any hobbies?
I enjoy movies, playing video games, attending sporting events, spending
Continue Reading Attorney Spotlight – Sean A. Bukowski

The court takes up a pair of intriguing civil cases on its December oral argument calendar. One asks whether Amazon’s gig delivery drivers are independent contractors or employees, and the other challenges a municipality’s power to use eminent domain to acquire land for sidewalks.
Cases Decided
There were no new decisions issued during November.
Up for Review
Amazon Logistics, Inc. v. LIRC, No. 2022AP13

Employment

Oral Argument: December 19

Are Amazon “delivery partners” independent contractors or employees? According
Continue Reading Wisconsin Supreme Court Update: December 2023

Pamela J. Tillman is a shareholder in Meissner Tierney’s litigation practice group. Her practice focuses on representing a wide variety of businesses in litigation matters, primarily in the areas of complex insurance coverage issues, commercial litigation, mortgage lending disputes, employment disputes and health care liability.
Where are you from? 
I grew up on a dairy farm in Hartland, Wisconsin. My grandparents started the farm in the 1930s and my dad was raised on the farm and took it over
Continue Reading Attorney Spotlight – Pamela J. Tillman

Redistricting takes center stage at the Wisconsin Supreme Court this November as the court’s sole case set for oral argument is an original action addressing the constitutionality of the current state legislative maps. Let’s dive right in.
Cases Decided
No merits decisions were issued in the last month. However, the court did issue a series of published orders pertaining to the redistricting litigation discussed below. On October 6, the court released a Memorandum Decision and Order of Justice Janet
Continue Reading Wisconsin Supreme Court Update: November 2023

In December, the highest court in the land will hear oral arguments to decide whether a taxpayer will owe a $14,729 tax bill, a relatively insignificant amount but for the potential to require a $271 billion refund to taxpayers and call into question chapters of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) that affect millions of Americans.

In this article, we will discuss why Moore v. United States is a critically important tax case and its implications on the lives of
Continue Reading Moore v. United States – Hand Grenade or Much Ado About Nothing?

On September 28, 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (the “EPA”) finally finalized its rule requiring the reporting and recordkeeping of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (“PFAS”). The rule was posted on October 10, 2023, and provides the details of what is required to comply with the rule. This article will provide a high-level summary of the who, how, what, and when of this new rule in an effort to provide a basic guideline of what is expected for those
Continue Reading EPA Announces its Long-Awaited PFAS Reporting Requirements under the Toxic Substances Control Act

James M. Sosnoski is an attorney in Meissner Tierney’s litigation practice group. He represents businesses and insurers in a wide variety of matters, including insurance coverage, business and corporate disputes, and non-competition agreements.
Where are you from?
I’m from Lynchburg, a small town in central Virginia.
What was your first job?
Being from a small town, naturally my first job was working on a cattle farm.
Do you have any hobbies?
I have too many and not enough time. 
Continue Reading Attorney Spotlight – James M. Sosnoski

The October oral argument calendar lists a measly two cases, both of which will be argued on October 9. That’s eight fewer cases than the court heard last October. In this month’s column, take a look at the sole civil case on the court’s October calendar and take a peek at a case recently granted for review.
Cases Decided
No decisions were issued in the last month.
Up for Review
Andrade v. City of Milwaukee Board of Fire and
Continue Reading Wisconsin Supreme Court Update: October 2023