The unemployment special session has come and gone with nothing to show. For some reason, however, folks seem to think a new mainframe is somehow vital to fixing the unemployment case-handling problems at the Department. I have to ask: what are they smoking? A new mainframe is a four to eight year project, and there is no guarantee of success. Massachusetts, for example, did not actually get a new unemployment system until its third attempt at replacing its old mainframe. And, in every state that has moved to a new claim-filing system, the effort has taken numerous years of…
By Attorney Max Stephenson and Paralegal Courtney Hess Like all other types of marital property, retirement accounts are included in the equal division of assets in a Wisconsin divorce. This often means that those who expected to rely on their spouse’s contributions, or at least combined contributions from both spouses, to fund their retirement will face the difficult prospect of adjusting their retirement plans to account for their new circumstances. However, it is possible to recover from the effects of your divorce with some smart decision-making and strategic planning. Dividing Retirement Accounts Correctly One of the best ways to…
I remember at the end of the George W. Bush administration, some comedians said that the Obama administration would put them out of business, what with Obama’s lack of propensity for scandal or gaffes. While of course that didn’t happen (the comedy world survived Obama’s tan suits and fancy mustard just fine), I’ve been asked (once) whether I am worried I won’t have blog fodder after all of the ridiculous election and Trump-related litigation is over. I am not. First, it’s not going to be over for a long time. And second, while I’ll miss picking on Giuliani (whenever he…
I’ve written about this topic before, but it keeps reasserting itself in client questions, comments, and requests on a regular basis – so, I suppose it’s time to write about it again. “We want a quick one page agreement.” “Collin, I need a simple commercial lease, no more than three pages.” “They don’t like written agreements, they will never sign this – it’s too complicated.” “I remember the good ol’ days when deals were done on a handshake. Why can’t it be like that anymore?” Lets get right down to brass tacks: There is no conceivable way a three page…
Susan E. Lovern, President and CEO of von Briesen & Roper, s.c., today announced that the firm opened an office in Eau Claire at 310 Pinnacle Way, Suite 201. The Eau Claire location marks von Briesen’s first office in northwest Wisconsin. The following lawyers and professionals are located in the firm’s Eau Claire office: Michael J. Happe, Shareholder Bryan T. Symes, Shareholder Mindy K. Dale, Counsel Lindsey S.M. Minser, Principal Associate David A. Richie, Associate Janet M. Starck, Paralegal Lovern said, “We are pleased to open an office in Eau Claire and to welcome Mike Happe and Bryan Symes to…
Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Providers are an essential part of a vibrant health and wellness system. CAM provider disciplines include chiropractic, acupuncture, functional medicine, integrative medicine, spiritual healing, mindfulness meditation, reiki, ayurvedic medicine, massage, and coaching to name a few. CAM providers typically operate outside traditional health care provider systems, such as hospitals or physician clinics. Often, CAM providers are entrepreneurs who go into business to serve patients or clients because conventional medicine has failed those patients or clients. In my experience as a health lawyer who focuses on serving as the attorney for alternative medicine providers, as well…
Patrick McKenna, who has been WILMIC’s website designer and digital marketing media consultant for the past couple years, passed away this past January 7. Pat had a long history with the Wisconsin legal profession, having worked at the State Bar of Wisconsin in the 1990’s and the Wisconsin Law Journal… The post Farewell To a Valued WILMIC Friend and Colleague first appeared on Wisconsin Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company.…
Credit: PBS Wisconsin Image/James Gill, Photographer Jan. 18, 2021 – A statue of the Hon. Vel Phillips, one of Wisconsin’s most prominent and influential attorneys over the last 100 years, could be placed on the state Capitol grounds later this year, should the State Capitol and Executive Residence Board approve a proposal at its Jan. 25 meeting. The statue of Phillips will be the first on the Capitol Square to honor a person of color. The State Bar of Wisconsin and its charitable arm, the Wisconsin Law Foundation, strongly support the siting of a statue honoring Hon. Vel Phillips, states…
IRS Accuses Deutsche Bank of $190 Million Abusive Tax Shelter Whistleblower Rewards for Information about Banks Peddling Phony Tax Shelters [Post updated and rewritten January 2021] Back in 2014 we announced that the IRS and Justice Department had filed a civil suit against Deutsche Bank seeking to collect $190 million in taxes. The government accused the German bank of using shell companies in a complex abusive tax shelter scheme. The lawsuit comes on the heels of $554 million criminal penalty paid by the bank in 2010. That case accused the bank of helping individual customers commit evade taxes through the…
Were You Sold Unsuitable Investments by a Wedbush Securities Stockbroker? We first began writing about Wedbush Securities in 2011. Back then, a headline indicating that Wedbush was ordered to pay $3.5 million to one of its own former employees. The amount alone was enough to warrant some investigation. It turns out that Wedbush has a long and sordid history with regulators. One that continues through today. In the 2011 case, a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration panel ordered Wedbush to pay a former employee $3.5 million in back pay. Perhaps more telling, the panel called Wedbush’s actions towards its…
The 2020 CARES ACT created the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) to encourage employers to continue to retain employees during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The ERC was originally available through December 31, 2020. The Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020 (the Disaster Relief Act), signed into law by President Trump on December 27, 2020, extends the availability of the ERC to wages paid before July 1, 2021, expands certain eligibility requirements and the amount of the credit for 2021 and retroactively allows employers who receive Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loans in 2020 to be eligible for the credit.…
Photographs can present powerful evidence, but beware of images that have been Photoshopped or otherwise manipulated.  How to Geek, Electrons, and FindLaw offer some tips on spotting an altered image: Images that look a little too perfect may reveal use of airbrushing Look beyond the subject of a photo for signs of warping, which is when someone uses a tool to grab an area of an image and move, shrink, or enlarge it Scan the image for patterns and repeated objects which may indicate cloning, or duplicating part of an image and pasting it over another part Missing…
GENERAL DEVELOPMENTS The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 Impact on Employer-Sponsored Health and Retirement Plans On December 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (CAA). The CAA represents the federal government’s latest attempt to provide relief from the ongoing COVID‑19 pandemic and it includes numerous provisions affecting both health and welfare as well as qualified retirement plans. Additional details on the health and welfare plan provisions and the qualified retirement plan provisions are available in the preceding links, but generally, the CAA impacts employers and plan sponsors as follows: Health and Welfare Flexible Spending…
On January 14, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that the City of Chicago did not violate section 362(a)(3) of the Bankruptcy Code, one of the many “automatic stay” provisions designed to protect debtors in bankruptcy, when it retained and refused to return the debtors’ impounded motor vehicles following their bankruptcy filings. The Supreme Court’s decision reversed a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and resolved a long-standing circuit split on the issue. The Court of Appeals held that the City of Chicago’s practice of withholding debtors’ impounded motor vehicles was an “exercise” of…
Click here to read Orrin Kerr’s analysis of a recent 4th Amendment case from the 5th Circuit. The government properly obtained a warrant to search for text, messages, call logs, and contacts on a cell phone, but not for evidence in the form of photos. Those were suppressed and the conviction overturned. Kerr argues that the 5th Circuit reached the right result for the wrong reason.