State Bar of Wisconsin​

We are a professional association for Wisconsin lawyers. The State Bar provides educational, career development, and other services to more than 25,000 members. We also provide public services, including attorney referrals, public education, and reduced-fee legal assistance for low-income state residents. Our mission is to improve the administration of justice and the delivery of legal services and to promote the professional interests of Wisconsin lawyers.

District 2 Governor Karen Bauer speaks during the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governor’s discussion on the proposed FY 2025 budget on Friday, April 12.April 12, 2024 – The State Bar of Wisconsin’s 52-member Board of Governors approved the fiscal year 2025 (July 1, 2024 to June 30, 2025) budget at its meeting on Friday, April 12.

Paul Marshall, the State Bar’s chief financial officer, said that the initial submission of the FY 2025 budget revealed that the
Continue Reading State Bar Board Approves FY 2025 Budget, Takes Other Actions

April 12, 2024 – Resort to affidavits by a legislative fiscal analyst was appropriate to interpret an ambiguous property tax statute, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals (District II) has held.In

Wisconsin Department of Revenue v. Master’s Gallery Foods, Inc.,
2022AP1909 (March 20, 2024), the Court of Appeals held that those affidavits showed that the legislature meant to exempt from the property tax only manufacturing equipment that had been reported to local governments for assessment and not equipment that had
Continue Reading Only Locally Assessed Manufacturing Equipment Is Exempt from Tax

For the past several years, Wisconsin has ranked near the top of the country for racial disparity in nearly every category related to the juvenile justice system.1 State and national trends also support that there is a particular group of youth of color that are uniquely susceptible to involvement in the juvenile justice system: those who have a disability. Nationally, children with disabilities are removed from school and referred to and involved in the juvenile justice system at
Continue Reading Interrupting the School to Prison Pipeline at the Intersection of Race and Disability

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley gives remarks during an Admissions ceremony on Jan. 23, 2024, in the Supreme Court Hearing Room.

April 11, 2024 – Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley announced today that she will retire from the court when her term ends in July 2025. When she retires next year, she will have served 30 years as a justice, 40 years total on the bench.

“It has been the honor of a lifetime to
Continue Reading Justice Ann Walsh Bradley Announces Retirement from Supreme Court

In March 2023, a New York attorney represented a client suing an airline company. The attorney submitted a brief citing over half a dozen cases.

When the judge reviewed the citations, the cases could not be found. The lawyer then admitted to using OpenAI’s ChatGPT to perform the legal research. The artificial intelligence tool had provided fake caselaw and fake citations.

The incident resulted in a $5,000 fine for the attorneys and law firm that submitted the brief.

The
Continue Reading Artificial Intelligence: The New Frontier in Legal Research?

April 8, 2024 –The State Bar of Wisconsin has successfully defended its Diversity Clerkship Program and secured a settlement agreement with a plaintiff who challenged the program in federal court. The Diversity Clerkship Program will continue unchanged.

The State Bar’s Diversity Clerkship Program facilitates paid summer internships at private law firms, corporate legal departments, and governmental agencies in Wisconsin that choose to participate by coordinating opportunities for applicants to the Program to meet, interview, and be connected with those
Continue Reading State Bar Successfully Defends Diversity Clerkship Program: Settlement Agreement Explained

Wisconsin families, like those across the country, can be made up of many different arrangements – the result of active decisions or convenience.

For unmarried couples in Wisconsin, navigating breakups poses unique legal challenges. Every so often, this results in ideas around “palimony” – the marriage of the words “pal” and “alimony” – to address financial support or property division between unmarried adults separating after a period of cohabitation.

While this circumstance may be covered by protections of common
Continue Reading Navigating Breakups for Unmarried Couples in Wisconsin

April 3, 2024 – The State Bar of Wisconsin has reached a settlement regarding its Diversity Clerkship Program, which was challenged in federal court. The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL) has agreed to dismiss this portion of the lawsuit after a clarification in the State Bar’s definition of “diversity.”

“The settlement clarifies the definition of ‘diversity’ but makes no changes to the program,” said State Bar Executive Director Larry J. Martin. “The Diversity Clerkship Program, which
Continue Reading State Bar of Wisconsin’s Diversity Clerkship Program Continues Unchanged Under Settlement Agreement

Many commentators and practitioners have expressed surprise over the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) expansion of the scope of Section 7 rights. The Board’s recent decision in Home Depot1 is the latest lightening rod for this concern.

On its face, the concern is understandable.
The Decision in Home Depot
In Home Depot, the Board found that an employee’s display on their work uniform of “BLM,” an acronym for Black Lives Matter, constituted protected concerted activity under Section 7
Continue Reading ‘Home Depot’ and the NRLB: Section 7 on Steroids

Intellectual property (IP) is commonly thought to confront technical matters that require a certain amount of scientific or engineering background in order to wrap one’s head around them. In actuality, IP is a diverse ecosystem of intangible property rights that offer extreme value.

Virtually all businesses have some type of IP at play, but they may fail to recognize it if they have a misunderstanding of what IP exactly is. Furthermore, they may fail to take the steps necessary
Continue Reading The Business Practitioner’s Quick Guide to Intellectual Property

April 1, 2024 – A village transportation utility fee that is based in part on the proportional share of road use estimated for each property subject to the fee is an illegal tax, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals (District II) has ruled in Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, Inc. v. Village of Pewaukee, 2023AP690 (March 13, 2024).In February 2021, the Village of Pewaukee (Village) enacted an ordinance that created a transportation utility. The ordinance specified that the utility was
Continue Reading Fee Based in Part On Road Use Is an Illegal Tax

April 1, 2024 – Parents who sued a school district over the district’s gender identity support policy lacked standing because they didn’t allege any concrete injury related to the policy, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has held in Parents Protecting Our Children v. Eau Claire Area School District, No. 23-1534 (March 7, 2024).In 2021, the Eau Claire Area School District (District) created an administrative guidance for gender identity support (Guidance).The goal of the Guidance
Continue Reading Parents Who Sued School District Over Gender Policy Lacked Standing

April 1, 2024 – A Catholic high school failed to show that a city discriminated against it by denying a request to install lights at an athletic field, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has held in Edgewood High School of the Sacred Heart v. City of Madison, No. 23-1175 (March 15, 2024).In 2013, the City of Madison (City) enacted a zoning ordinance that designated major school and medical campuses as campus institutional districts (CID).Under
Continue Reading Denial of Athletic Field Lights Not Religious Discrimination

April 1, 2024 – The fact that a physician who was sued for violating the state’s informed consent law didn’t perform the surgery that led to the plaintiff’s injuries does not entitle the physician to summary judgment, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals (District IV) has held in Hubbard v. Neuman, 2023AP255 (March 21, 2024).Surgery ConsultIn January 2018, Melissa Hubbard sought treatment with Dr. Carol Neuman, a licensed obstetrician and gynecologist.After an appointment on Jan. 16, 2018, Dr. Neuman wrote
Continue Reading Status as Non-Treating Physician Not Enough for Summary Judgment

March 29, 2024 – A decision by the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to regulate polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) as hazardous substances is unenforceable because it wasn’t promulgated as a rule, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals (District II) has ruled (2-1) in Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, Inc. v. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, 2022AP718 (March 6, 2024).Judge Shelley Grogan wrote the majority opinion, joined by Judge Maria Lazar. Judge Lisa Neubauer dissented.Dirty Soil?In 2018, Leather Rich, Inc. (LRI),
Continue Reading Court of Appeals: Law Required DNR to Promulgate PFAS Policy as a Rule

March 28, 2024 – An interlocutory appeal or an appeal from a final judgment or order is the preferable way to challenge a denial of a request to substitute a judge, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled.In Antonio Davis v. Circuit Court for Dane County, 2024 WI 14 (March 26, 2024), the Supreme Court also held (4-2-1) that a defendant was not entitled a substitution of his trial judge where the request was made 71 days after his
Continue Reading Interlocutory Appeal Is Method For Appealing Denial of Judicial Substitution