O'Neil, Cannon, Hollman, DeJong & Laing S.C. Articles

A recent decision delivered by the Wisconsin Supreme Court has demonstrated that even a simple bar fight can have a drastic impact on Wisconsin’s legal precedent. Such decision occurred in the case of  Stroede v. Society Insurance and Railroad Station, LLC,  where the court ruled that the off-duty employee who escorted a drunk patron out of a bar does not have immunity from the negligence lawsuit that followed when the patron fell down a flight of stairs and suffered injuries. Stroede sheds light upon the scope of immunity granted to “possessor[s] of real property” under Wis. Stat. § 895.529 against…
In a published opinion, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals confirmed that landlords who fail to provide timely statements explaining the basis for withholding funds from a residential tenant’s security deposit may be subject to criminal prosecution and potential jail time. In State of Wisconsin v. Lasecki, 2020 WI App 36, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals affirmed a circuit court judgment convicting Lasecki, a landlord, of two misdemeanor counts of engaging in unfair trade practices for failing to either return his tenants’ security deposits in full or provide statements to the tenants explaining why he was authorized to withhold funds. Generally,…
If you are upset or disagree with the provisions of a will, you may be wondering if you should challenge it. In this article, we discuss a few grounds for challenging a will and what may happen if your challenge is successful. A will may be challenged for several reasons. However, being upset or disagreeing with the provisions of a will is not enough. Instead, here are a few grounds for challenging a will: Lack of Formalities: The will wasn’t executed pursuant to the formalities required under Wisconsin law. For example, the will was not signed by the testator (the…
In the past week, European data protection authorities have found substantial European Union General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) violations and issued corresponding fines against high-profile companies. These decisions are informative for companies doing business in Europe as they indicate clear future enforcement priorities by European regulators. On December 10, 2020, the French Data Protection Authority (“CNIL”) issued fines against Google (€100M; $120M) and Amazon (€35M; ~$43M) for improper use of cookies on their websites. Specifically, the CNIL found that the tech giants automatically dropped tracking cookies when users visited their French (.fr) websites. Under the GDPR, these tracking cookies cannot…
As we have mentioned previously, there is no overarching federal data privacy law in the United States. By contrast, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regulates data privacy, including consumer data, in all sectors. Although there is no overarching federal data privacy law in the United States, there are a few sector-specific laws. In health care, for example, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) govern many aspects of privacy. Also, the Telecommunications Act and the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing…
There has been a trend recently in the state of Wisconsin, and elsewhere, for attorneys to file lawsuits against hotel owners alleging that their websites are in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) because they are not accessible to disabled individuals. Specifically, the complaints allege that the hotel websites are in violation of the ADA because they fail to identify accessibility features, do not allow for booking of accessible rooms, and do not provide sufficient information regarding accessible rooms and amenities at the hotel. Frequently, the attorneys bringing the lawsuits against the hotel owners will represent the same…
As we have previously covered, in our earlier article, Wisconsin businesses may be subject to the requirements of the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Additionally, many states, including Wisconsin, and the federal government are considering similar data protection bills that may impact Wisconsin businesses. With overlapping obligations, compliance with data protection laws is an increasingly tricky business for most companies. To ensure that your company doesn’t inadvertently violate any current or future laws, consider the following six steps: Step 1: Consider the Applicability of Data Privacy Laws Companies should determine…
Almost every organization in the world collects personal data from individuals, in one form or another. Indeed, most websites collect consumer information automatically. For this reason, every business must become familiar with relevant data protection laws and understand how to collect, store, use, and share data in compliance with these laws. Organizations that fail to comply with data privacy laws could incur substantial fines and other damaging consequences. This blog post intends to give Wisconsin organizations a basic overview of consumer data privacy laws, their significance, and how such laws may apply to them. What is Privacy Law? “Privacy law”…
Yesterday, the Trump administration announced an order temporarily halting certain residential evictions until the end of the year. The eviction moratorium, which is being enacted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pursuant to its authority under Section 361 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. § 264 et seq.), seeks to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. The nationwide moratorium could apply to as many as 40 million residential tenants. Despite its reach, the moratorium is not a blanket protection for all residential tenants. To qualify for protection under the moratorium, a tenant must expect to earn…
The coronavirus pandemic has forced most of us to stay home, and as a result, we are all looking for hobbies to pick up while we are social distancing. For some, quarantine hobbies have become Netflix binge watching or mastering bread baking. For others, creative passions and hobbies such as selling handmade crafts on Etsy or unwanted junk on eBay have become sources of income. If you are dabbling in a quarantine hobby that produces income, this article will address the tax-filing consequences, so they do not catch you off guard. For helpful tips on choosing a legal structure for…
The coronavirus pandemic has forced most of us to stay home, and as a result, we are all looking for hobbies to pick up while we are social distancing. For some, quarantine hobbies have become Netflix binge watching or mastering bread baking. For others, creative passions and hobbies such as selling handmade crafts on Etsy or unwanted junk on eBay have become sources of income. If you are dabbling in a quarantine hobby that produces income, here are some tips for choosing between legal structures in order to better protect yourself and your business. Whether you have just started selling…
After months of delay trying to address COVID-19 issues, the 2020 Major League Baseball (“MLB”) season finally opened Thursday night with the New York Yankees defeating the Washington Nationals, 4-1, and the Los Angeles Dodgers pulling away from the San Francisco Giants for an 8-1 victory.   Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this season – assuming it is not called off because of COVID-19 outbreaks – will be unlike any prior MLB season. The regular season has been reduced from 162 games to 60 games, the number of playoff teams was expanded from 10 to 16 teams, games are being played…
Today President Trump signed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 (the “Act”) to amend certain provisions of the CARES Act related to the forgiveness of loans under the Paycheck Protection Program  (“PPP”) and for a number of other purposes. Here are some of the key takeaways: Deadline to Use the Loan Proceeds: Borrowers can now use their PPP loan over a period of 24 weeks, tripling the current covered period of eight weeks.[1] Forgivable Uses of the Loan Proceeds: Borrowers must use at least 60% of their PPP loan on payroll costs, amending the previous rule that…
On Friday, the SBA published its Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Application, which includes instructions for completing the application.  The application can be found here.  Of note, the application contains further information with respect to the timing of paying and incurring payroll costs as that relates to calculating the amount eligible for forgiveness.  Additionally, the application provides certain borrowers (those with biweekly or more frequent payroll periods) flexibility in terms of when the eight-week “covered period” begins. O’Neil, Cannon, Hollman, DeJong & Laing remains open and ready to help you. For questions or further information relating to the Paycheck…
This morning, the SBA issued much anticipated additional guidance with respect to the Paycheck Protection Program’s repayment safe harbor.  The new guidance provides significant clarity with respect to how the SBA will evaluate whether a borrower made the following certification in good faith when submitting its loan application: “Current economic uncertainty makes this loan request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the Applicant.” With the new guidance, the SBA makes clear that all borrowers receiving a loan of less than $2 million will be deemed to have made the certification in good faith.  Loans to borrowers and their affiliates…
The Small Business Administration has given borrowers another week to decide whether to repay loans under the Paycheck Protection Program without the risk of penalties. On Tuesday night, the SBA extended the safe harbor for repaying PPP loans from May 7 to May 14. In addition, the SBA indicated that it would provide before May 14 more guidance for the certification question that has caused much consternation for some PPP borrowers. Applicants for PPP loans certified that, given current economic uncertainty, the loan was necessary to support the ongoing operations of the applicant. The CARES Act waived for PPP loans…