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At the close of summer, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals rejected an insurance company’s attempt to “double dip” and reduce its underinsured motorist (“UIM”) coverage responsibility to an insured based on a liability payment made to another insured.[1]
The case arose from an automobile accident that caused the death of Michael Shimeta and serious injuries to his passenger, Terry Scheer. The responsible tortfeasor’s liability insurance policy provided for a $250,000 per-person limit and a $500,000 per-accident limit. Because the
Continue Reading Wisconsin Court of Appeals Rejects Attempted Underinsured Motorist Double Dip

Cox v. City of Madison Zoning Board of Appeals, Appeal No. 2020AP478 (July 8, 2021)

Kathleen Cox purchased property on Lake Mendota with the plan to demolish and rebuild the existing house and wet boathouse. A wet boathouse is one that is built over excavated shoreline with the lake water underneath, into which a boat can directly navigate. Cox learned after rebuilding the wet boathouse and completing design plans for the home that a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Continue Reading Denial of Variance Request Regarding Lakefront Yard Setback Requirements

The Supreme Court of Wisconsin recently denied a petition submitted by former Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen, represented by the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (“WILL”), proposing new procedural rules limited solely to legal challenges to new legislative districts, including requiring such challenges to be brought solely to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Stafford Rosenbaum Attorneys Doug Poland, Jeff Mandell, and Rick Manthe submitted an extensive written comment arguing against the proposed rule on behalf of non-partisan, non-profit
Continue Reading Supreme Court of Wisconsin Denies Legislative Redistricting Rulemaking Petition

Recently, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals touched on two important insurance issues: covered autos under Wis. Stat. § 632.32(3) and prejudgment interest under Wis. Stat. § 628.46(1).

In January 2016, Jason and Wendy Foerster’s thirteen-year-old son was directed by his uncle to drive a Chevrolet Tahoe to the child’s grandparents’ house to retrieve a piece of equipment. The Tahoe belonged to the child’s aunt and was covered under the aunt’s 1st Auto & Casualty Insurance Company motor vehicle policy.
Continue Reading Court of Appeals Holds that Prejudgment Interest Can Be Triggered without a Demand

In a straightforward interpretation and application of the Wisconsin Statutes and procedural standards governing writs of mandamus, on April 9, 2021, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled 5-2 in State of Wis. Ex rel. Timothy Zignego v. Wisconsin Elections Commission, 2021 WI 32, that the Wisconsin Elections Commission (“WEC”) was not obligated by Wisconsin Statutes Section 6.50(3) to conduct a massive deactivation of the registrations of nearly 230,000 Wisconsin voters, as three Wisconsin voters had alleged. Writing for the majority,
Continue Reading Wisconsin Supreme Court Holds that Wisconsin Elections Commission Is Not Obligated to Conduct Mass Deactivation of Voter Registrations

On March 25, 2021, Senators Sanders, Gillibrand, Reed, Van Hollen, and Whitehouse released a bill to the Senate that, if signed into law, will cause substantial changes to the Internal Revenue Code that pertain, among other things, to estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer taxes.. A similar bill was read into the House by Representative Gomez. The bill, commonly known as “For the 99.5% Act” (the “Act”), was drafted with an effective date of January 1, 2022, but may be
Continue Reading Important Trusts and Estates Tax Changes Could Come in 2022

On March 25, 2021, Senators Sanders, Gillibrand, Reed, Van Hollen, and Whitehouse released a bill to the Senate that, if signed into law, will cause substantial changes to the Internal Revenue Code that pertain, among other things, to estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer taxes.. A similar bill was read into the House by Representative Gomez. The bill, commonly known as “For the 99.5% Act” (the “Act”), was drafted with an effective date of January 1, 2022, but may be
Continue Reading Important Trusts and Estates Tax Changes Coming in 2022

Earlier this month, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decided a case involving allegations that a candidate for public office orchestrated a plan to put two other candidates on the ballot to split voters and ensure a victory. The case, Gonzales v. Madigan, No. 20-1874, 2021 WL 857476 (7th Cir. Mar. 8, 2021), could have many implications for challenges to tactics used during an election.

The litigation involved a 2016 primary election in which Michael Madigan, a state representative
Continue Reading Seventh Circuit Calls into Question “Stalking-Horse” Election Claims

Stafford Rosenbaum LLP’s election and political law attorneys have had a 2020 filled with noteworthy cases. The new practice group was launched this year, co-chaired by Attorneys Jeff Mandell and Doug Poland, and has been even busier in the last quarter of the year with cases involving presidential post-election results challenges. Stafford Rosenbaum represents Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on post-election matters, which has involved researching and advising on vote recounts and matters surrounding them.
There are now seven
Continue Reading Stafford Rosenbaum’s Election and Political Law Team Hard at Work Post-Election

At the end of last week, the Court of Appeals recommended for publication an opinion resulting from a permissive interlocutory appeal sought by Stafford Rosenbaum on behalf of the City of Monroe.  Stafford sought the appeal after the trial court denied the City’s motion for summary judgment asserting absolute and governmental immunity in response to a slip and fall complaint.  As explained below, the Court of Appeals reversed and remanded with directions to enter summary judgment in favor of
Continue Reading Court of Appeals Accepts Petition for Interlocutory Appeal, Reverses in Favor of Stafford Rosenbaum’s Client to Dismiss Case

At the end of last week, the Court of Appeals recommended for publication an opinion resulting from a permissive interlocutory appeal sought by Stafford Rosenbaum on behalf of the City of Monroe.  Stafford sought the appeal after the trial court denied the City’s motion for summary judgment asserting absolute and governmental immunity in response to a slip and fall complaint.  As explained below, the Court of Appeals reversed and remanded with directions to enter summary judgment in favor of
Continue Reading Court of Appeals Accepts Petition for Interlocutory Appeal, Reverses in Favor of Stafford Rosenbaum’s Client to Dismiss Case

The Wisconsin Court of Appeals recently found that a continuing trespass does not create a new “event” each day that it remains on the property.  See Ebert v. Village of Gresham, 2020 WL 6278316, ¶¶ 2, 13.  Because a new event is not created each day, a claimant must file a notice of injury within 120 days after the happening of the event giving rise to the claim pursuant to Wis. Stat. § 893.80.  Id.  The court also
Continue Reading Court of Appeals Holds that a Continuing Trespass Does Not Circumvent the Notice of Injury Requirements

A property owner, Timothy Casa De Calvo, sued the Town of Hudson claiming that he adversely possessed real property adjacent to his house. The property in question had been dedicated about 31 years before as a street on a subdivision plat. The Circuit Court granted summary judgment in favor of the Town, and the court of appeals affirmed the judgment. Casa De Calvo v. Town of Hudson, No. 2019AP1851 (Wis. Ct. App. Sept. 9, 2020). The Court of
Continue Reading Court of Appeals Confirms that an Unimproved Platted Public Road May Not Be Adversely Possessed

A power of attorney is a document that allows someone to appoint an agent to act on their behalf in the event that they become incapacitated or unable to make decisions on their own. These documents relate to financial and healthcare matters. One of the greatest benefits of a power of attorney is that it allows the agent to act quickly in a crisis. Having your college-age children sign a power of attorney for healthcare and finances is a
Continue Reading Attention Parents: Are Your Kids Headed to College during the COVID-19 Pandemic? Here’s Why They Need Powers of Attorney

In Milwaukee Block 10 Properties v. City of Milwaukee, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals reaffirmed two key principles in its reversal of a circuit court decision which ordered the City of Milwaukee to revise its property tax assessment for the Aloft Hotel. First, Wisconsin affords substantial deference to property tax assessments prepared by municipalities. Property assessments enjoy a presumption of correctness which can rebutted only if the challenging party can present significant contrary evidence or is able to
Continue Reading Wisconsin Court of Appeals Allows Inclusion of Parking Lot Income in Milwaukee Property Tax Assessment

The Wisconsin Court of Appeals recently held that Wisconsin law precludes enforcement of a provision in an insurance policy that purported to limit underinsured motorist (“UIM”) coverage to only those insureds who sustain bodily injury or death.
Ryan Johnson died from injuries sustained in a collision involving an underinsured vehicle. Johnson’s minor son, Elliot Brey, filed a claim against State Farm—his mother’s automobile insurance carrier—seeking to recover damages resulting from his father’s wrongful death. State Farm refused to compensate
Continue Reading Wisconsin Court of Appeals Strikes Down Insurer’s Limitation on Underinsured Motorist Coverage