State Bar of Wisconsin

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently voted to issue a final rule that would ban nearly all noncompetition agreements. The rule was officially published a few weeks later, meaning it will take effect Sept. 4, 2024 (if it is not held up by a court before then). The final rule has already faced – and will likely continue to face – substantial pushback from the business community and from most health care entities. On July 3, 2024, a federal
Continue Reading The Impact of the FTC’s Ban on Noncompete Agreements in the Health Care Industry

June 11, 2024 – A motion for relief from two default judgments was not timely when it was filed seven months after entry of the judgment, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals (District II) has ruled in an unpublished opinion, Par, Inc. v. McCahey, 2023AP11 (May 22, 2024).Par, Inc. (Par) filed a small claims action against Suzan McCahey in Waukesha County in March 2020. McCahey, representing herself, filed an answer to Par’s complaint.After Par served McCahey with a set
Continue Reading Motion for Relief Untimely When Filed Seven Months After Judgment

June 11, 2024 – A criminal defendant was prejudiced by an expert witness’s testimony that only 1% of the evidence in child sexual abuse reports is false, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals (District III) has held in an unpublished opinion in State v. Molde, 2021AP346 (May 21).As a result of the prejudice, the Court of Appeals ruled, the defendant’s attorney provided ineffective assistance of counsel by not objecting to the introduction of the expert witness’s testimony.In January 2017,
Continue Reading Failure To Object to Testimony About Rarity of False Victim Reports Was Prejudicial

June 11, 2024 – It was not prosecutorial misconduct for a prosecutor to ask a probation agent to stall a criminal defendant on the day of trial while the prosecutor attempted to locate a witness, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals (District I) has a ruled in an unpublished opinion.In State v. Dorgay, 2021AP954 (May 29, 2024), the Court of Appeals also held that an ethics complaint the defendant filed against his attorney did not pose a conflict of
Continue Reading Request that Probation Agent Stall Defendant Not Prosecutorial Misconduct

June 11, 2024 – An agency order prohibiting certain energy market bids that was issued without following rulemaking procedures was an invalid rule because it had the effect of law and implemented state statutes, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals (District IV) has ruled in

Midwest Renewable Energy Association v. PSC
, 2022AP968 (May 31, 2024).In 2008, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued an order requiring market operators to accept demand-response bids made by aggregators of retail customers (ARC) who
Continue Reading Wisconsin Court of Appeals: PSC Order Was Invalid, Unpromulgated Rule

June 11, 2024 – A man convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor is prohibited from buying a gun under federal law even though a state court had expunged the conviction, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals (District III) has held in Van Oudenhoven v. Department of Justice, 2023AP70 (June 4, 2024).In 1994, in Calumet County Circuit Court, Scot Van Oudenhoven was convicted of misdemeanor battery as an act of domestic violence against a woman.In 2019, Van Oudenhoven petitioned the
Continue Reading Gun Purchase Barred by Expunged Domestic Violence Misdemeanor

June 6, 2024 – Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Annette Ziegler has appointed a committee to address the continuing shortage of attorneys across Wisconsin. The Attorney Retention and Recruitment Committee was announced on June 6.The committee will be made up of the deans of Marquette University Law School and the University of Wisconsin Law School, State Bar of Wisconsin representatives, and attorneys and judges from across Wisconsin. Chief judges from each of the state’s nine judicial administrative districts will
Continue Reading Chief Justice Appoints Committee To Address Attorney Shortage

We all have good intentions when it comes to volunteering, but oftentimes we either do not know where to start or have limited availability.

But whether you are volunteering weekly, monthly, or even yearly, any time you dedicate your expertise to helping individuals less fortunate, you are involved in public interest volunteering.

Here are opportunities for individuals to find their volunteer journey – whether they are a newly minted volunteer or those with experience seeking to broaden their volunteer
Continue Reading Get Involved: Public Interest Law Volunteer Opportunities

June 4, 2024 – The statute that limits punitive damages to twice recovered damages applies to the total amount of compensatory damages, not only the amount attributable to a single defendant, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals (District I) has ruled in Estate of Gerald Lorbiecki v. Pabst Brewing Co., 2022AP723 (May 7, 2024).  Gerald Lorbiecki worked as a pipefitter from the mid-1970s until the early 2000s at multiple job sites in Wisconsin. While working at the Pabst Brewery
Continue Reading Wisconsin Court of Appeals: Punitive Damages Cap Applies To Total Compensatory Award

June 4, 2024 – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled that a man convicted of homicide but held without any meaningful appeal for 28 years must be released unless the State of Wisconsin grants him a new trial within two months.In Pope v. Taylor, No. 23-2894 (May 6, 2024), the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals also held that a Wisconsin Supreme Court decision turning down the man’s appeal in 2019 forfeited the deference afforded
Continue Reading Seventh Circuit Orders Release of Convicted Murderer Denied Appeal, Unless State Grants New Trial

June 4, 2024 – Racine’s mayor did not violate the First Amendment when he denied COVID-19 relief funds to a businessman because the businessman attended a rally protesting Gov. Evers’ “Safer at Home” order, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled.In Navratil v. City of Racine, No. 23-1208, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals also held that denial of the funds was not a violation of substantive or procedural due process.No Grant for Gift
Continue Reading Court Nixes Challenge From Businessman Denied COVID Funds Because of Rally Attendance

Seventh Circuit Allows Lawsuit Against Probation Officers Over Erroneous Sentence June 4, 2024 – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has allowed a lawsuit to proceed against two Wisconsin Department of Corrections officials who failed to correct an erroneous probation sentence.The decision in Sabo v. Erickson, et al., No. 21-3332 (April 30, 2024) came on a 2-1 vote. Judge Candace Jackson-Akiwumi wrote the majority opinion, joined by Judge Diane Wood. Judge Amy St. Eve dissented.Erroneous SentenceIn
Continue Reading Seventh Circuit Allows Lawsuit Against Probation Officers Over Erroneous Sentence

June 4, 2024 – A complaint stating the existence of a dispute over the appraisal of an insured loss and that one party refused to abide by the insurance contract’s appraisal clause was sufficient to withstand a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals (District IV) has held.

In Badgerland Restoration & Remodeling, Inc. v. Federated Mutual Insurance Company, 2023AP2109 (May 9, 2024), the Court of Appeals also held that facts
Continue Reading Existence of Dispute and Allegation of Contract Non-compliance Were Legally Sufficient

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

Episode 19 of the Bottom Up Podcast, produced by the State Bar of Wisconsin, features a discussion on lawyer wellness, stress, and sleep deprivation, focusing on the unique stressors legal professionals face. Amber Ault — who manages the State Bar’s Wisconsin Lawyers Assistance Program (WisLAP) and has extensive experience in the fields of therapy, sociology, and social work — shares insights and tips for reducing stress and improving sleep habits. Communications Director Joe Forward hosts the discussion, which also
Continue Reading Bottom Up Episode 19: Stress, Sleep Deprivation, and Lawyer Wellness with Amber Ault

There are a lot of differing opinions about whether one custodial parent may make a major decision for a child independently and without the involvement and consent of the other custodial parent. The history of joint custody and placement in Wisconsin is an evolving one. Father to Mother to Equal In summer 1983, the
​Marquette Law Review published an article that compared approaches to joint custody and shared parental responsibility in both Wisconsin and Florida. At that time, the
Continue Reading Equal But Not Separate: Joint Custody Means Both Parties Must Agree