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.

July 12, 2024 – A federal district court did not err when it declined to credit a defendant’s acceptance of responsibility after he spent most of his allocution shifting blame and complaining about the prosecution, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has held in United States v. Shibilski, No. 23-1410 (June 10, 2024).In 2011, Tom Drake, founder of 5R Processors Ltd. (5R), hired Kevin Shibilski as a consultant to help the company attract new operating
Continue Reading Seventh Circuit: Credit Denial Justified by Hollow Allocution

July 12, 2024 – A mediation term sheet created as a prelude to a final settlement agreement is unenforceable because several of its material terms are indefinite, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals (District I) has ruled in an unpublished opinion Mueller v. TL90108, 2022AP1440 (June 11, 2024).Richard Mueller and Joseph L. Ford once owned a 1938 Talbot Lago.The Talbot Lago is a stylish coupe with sweeping curves, tear-drop-shaped rear wheel covers, and a grille like a fencing mask.
Continue Reading Mediation Term Sheet Concerning Rare Car is Unenforceable

Hon. Jeh Charles Johnson, former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security and ABA Task Force for American Democracy co-chair, speaks on “The Threat to Democracy.”

July 11, 2024 – A dozen speakers recently gave sobering presentations on the threat to democracy during a nonpartisan event from the American Bar Association’s Task Force for American Democracy, in partnership with the State Bar of Wisconsin.

The program, called
Wisconsin: Elections in the 21st Century (watch now) was held in-person July
Continue Reading American Bar Association Brings Democracy Listening Tour to Wisconsin

As attorneys, we should be familiar with our ethical duties to communicate with clients under SCR 20:1.4. However, how are those duties impacted when the client has diminished capacity? When an impaired client has bona fide civil claims, what steps must an attorney take to ensure the client’s best interests are considered? What rules exist in the Wisconsin statutes that offer protection for such clients? Imagine that someone contacts your office and explains a factual scenario that seems likely
Continue Reading Representing Clients with Diminished Capacity in Civil Litigation

Dan D. Gartzke

David E. Lasker

July 10, 2024 – The State Bar of Wisconsin is holding a special election in October to fill a vacancy at the organization’s president-elect post.

Electronic voting will begin on Oct. 10 and members will have 15 days to vote, with the election closing at noon, Oct. 25, 2024. Results will be announced Oct. 28, 2024.

See more information on voting in this election.
Meet the Candidates
Dan D. Gartzke of Madison
Continue Reading Meet the Candidates for President-elect: Vote in October

The pharmacy field is growing nationally and in Wisconsin, providing various opportunities and roles for pharmacists to expand their scope of practice. This article provides a brief overview of the licensure requirements in Wisconsin for pharmacists to help attorneys advise pharmacists regarding their continuing education requirements, duties, and scope of practice. It also discusses how collaborative practice agreements and standing orders can impact pharmacists’ scope of practice. Pharmacist Licensing and Duties Pharmacists must meet certain criteria to obtain licensure
Continue Reading Pharmacists in Wisconsin: A Legal Primer

Expert witnesses are key to the success of a case. At an early stage it is necessary to analyze what experts you need and what you want them to teach the jury, by identifying the critical and disputed issues in the case. Identifying these issues is important not only for expert selection, but also for drafting reports and preparing your experts to testify in the most effective manner. It is also necessary to understand the relationship among your experts.
Continue Reading Expert Witnesses: Preparing Your Case for the Jury

July 9, 2024 – A circuit court did not err by relying in part on an adoptive parent’s promise when deciding to terminate the parental rights of a birth parent, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled (7-0) in State v. B.W., 2024 WI 28 (June 27, 2024), with concurrences.Chief Justice Annette Ziegler wrote the majority opinion, joined by Justices Rebecca Bradley, Rebecca Dallet, Brian Hagedorn, and Jill Karofsky.Justices Ann Walsh Bradley and Janet Protasiewicz joined all but three
Continue Reading Reliance on Adoptive Parent’s Promise Not Enough to Withdraw Plea

July 9, 2024 – A circuit court improperly entered an injunction against an anti-abortion protestor who repeatedly made intimidating statements to a nurse who worked at a clinic, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled (7-0) in Kindschy v. Aish, 2024 WI 27 (June 27, 2024).Justice Rebecca Dallet wrote the majority opinion, joined by Justice Ann Walsh Bradley, Justice Brian Hagedorn, Justice Jill Karofsky, and Justice Janet Protasiewicz. Justice Rebecca Grassl Bradley wrote a concurrence, joined by Chief Justice
Continue Reading First Amendment Protects Intimidating Statements by Protestor

July 3, 2024 – The White House today announced that President Joe Biden will nominate Green Bay attorney Byron B. Conway to a vacant judicial seat on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

Conway, who previously served on the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors (2013-18), is a personal injury attorney and a shareholder at Habush Habush & Rottier. He graduated from Marquette University Law School in 2002 and holds a B.A. from Santa
Continue Reading Conway Nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin

My mother gave me a plate for mounting on my office wall quoting the line from William Shakespeare’s Henry VI, Part 2. It has been on all my law office walls and now is in my office at home after I recently closed my law office. The story began for me in the summer of 1976. I had just graduated from Marquette University Law School, after which I backpacked through Europe with a law school classmate for six weeks.
Continue Reading Shakespeare's Classic Line about Lawyers, the Gatekeepers to Democracy

July 1, 2024  – A woman who reported payments, but not gross income, from self-employment when applying for unemployment benefits was overpaid, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals (District II) has held in Morgan v. Labor Industry Review Commission, 2023AP1010 (June 5, 2024).

In May 2020, Kathryn Morgan applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). On her application, Morgan said the pandemic had forced her to close
Continue Reading Failure to Report Gross Income on Unemployment Form Means Repayment

In this episode of the Bottom Up podcast, produced by the State Bar of Wiscondsin, co-hosts Emil Ovbiagele and Kristen Hardy discuss their experiences as young lawyers and the importance of law clerkships. They are joined by first-year associate Kate Goodhart and summer law clerk Dan Underwood, who share their perspectives.   The conversation covers what employers look for in a good clerk, the importance of mentorship, and the value of doing impactful work. The hosts and guests also share
Continue Reading Bottom Up Episode 20: Making the Most of Summer Law Clerkships, Tips for First Year Associates

June 28, 2024  – A circuit court must wait at least two days before adjudicating the dispositional phase of a termination-of-parental-rights (TPR) trial when the parent has failed to appear, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has held (5-2) in State v. R.A.M.2024 WI 26 (June 25, 2024).Justice Jill Karofsky wrote the majority opinion, joined by Justice Ann Walsh Bradley, Justice Rebecca Grassl Bradley, Justice Rebecca Dallet, and Justice Janet Protasiewicz. Chief Justice Annette Ziegler dissented, joined by Justice Brian
Continue Reading Parent’s Failure to Appear in TPR Trial Triggers Two-day Waiting Period

June 28, 2024 – A special verdict did not err by precluding a jury from considering a plaintiff’s post-accident conduct when apportioning liability, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals (District III) has held in Bakke v. Mt. Morris Mutual Insurance Company, 2023AP340 (June 11, 2024), an unpublished opinion.On Friday, May 6, 2016, after dinner and drinks at a local tavern, Lisa Bakke and Stephen Tanski went back to Tanski’s lakefront cabin in Webster.Bakke stepped out of Tanski’s truck and
Continue Reading Wisconsin Court of Appeals: Post-accident Conduct Goes Only to Liability

June 24, 2024 – A police officer who saw no signs of drowsiness or intoxication in a driver he stopped was not justified in extending the traffic stop and ordering the driver out of the car, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled (6-1) in State v. Wiskowski, 2024 WI 23 (June 18, 2024).Justice Brian Hagedorn wrote the majority opinion, joined by Justice Ann Walsh Bradley, Justice Rebecca Grassl Bradley, Justice Rebecca Dallet, Justice Jill Karofsky, and Justice Janet
Continue Reading Prolonged Traffic Stop of Sleeping Driver Not Justified by Caretaker Role