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We at Stafford Rosenbaum LLP are so excited to announce that a new partner has joined the firm, Attorney JP Croake! JP has an extensive background in business and real estate, and he is a fantastic addition to Stafford Rosenbaum’s business law and real estate law teams.
Prior to joining Stafford Rosenbaum, JP spent his career representing and advising clients ranging from small businesses, entrepreneurs and real estate companies to national corporations, health care providers and franchises on a
Continue Reading Attorney JP Croake Joins Stafford Rosenbaum LLP

Recently, the Wisconsin Legislature adopted several new statutes related to family law.  This is the third installment of those legislative changes, and the adoption of the Uniform Deployed Custody and Visitation Act is one of the more substantive additions to this series.         

2021 Wisconsin Act 161, or the Uniform Deployed Custody and Visitation Act, is a piece of Uniform Law Commission Legislation (hereafter, “Code”), which is currently enacted in 14 states.[i] Effective March 13, 2022, in Wisconsin, it
Continue Reading Statutory Updates in Family Law, Part III

This blog continues to focus on some of the procedural and substantive legal changes that resulted from the 2021-2022 Legislative Session.
2021 Act 204: Codifying Keller and Creating Uniformity in Procedure
In addition to some of the procedural statutory updates in the last blog post, a new procedural format was established for litigants in family court cases.  This change, while procedural in nature, does have substantive legal implications for both lawyers and litigants.
This bill amends Wis. Stat. §
Continue Reading Statutory Updates in Family Law, Part II

Nationwide, restaurants and bars felt financial strain over the past two years. With measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, many food and beverage businesses were subject to restrictions on the use of their in-person dining rooms. In a recent case, the Wisconsin Supreme Court found that COVID-19 related business interruption losses were not recoverable under the insured’s property insurance policies. The Court found that COVID-19 restrictions were not direct physical losses, triggering a claim under a
Continue Reading Wisconsin Joins the Majority: Profit Losses Due to COVID-19 Not Insured

Over the last several years, the Wisconsin Legislature, in the wake of the 2018 Joint Legislative Council Study Committee on Child Placement and Support, several new legislative initiatives were introduced.  The COVID-19 pandemic delayed the passage of many of these bills, but several passed in the 2020-2021 Legislative Session.  Many of these statutes are procedures, codifying and streamlining practice for attorneys, litigants and the Courts, but many are also substantive law changes.  This is Part I of a three-part
Continue Reading Statutory Updates in Family Law, Part I

Public bodies deal with many of the same legal issues as private enterprises—plus a host of unique risks that arise because they are public actors. Public bodies therefore must take care to ensure that they are not violating the protected constitutional rights of their citizens, employees, contractors, or (in the case of schools) students. A new iteration of constitutional claims against public bodies arose in spring 2020, with colleges closing their campuses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while continuing
Continue Reading Seventh Circuit Rejects Students’ Claim that University’s Refusal to Refund Fees During COVID Closures Amounts to Constitutional Violation

Public bodies deal with many of the same legal issues as private enterprises—plus a host of unique risks that arise because they are public actors. Public bodies therefore must take care to ensure that they are not violating the protected constitutional rights of their citizens, employees, contractors, or (in the case of schools) students. A new iteration of constitutional claims against public bodies arose in spring 2020, with colleges closing their campuses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while continuing
Continue Reading Seventh Circuit Rejects Claim that University’s Refusal to Refund Fees During COVID Closures Amounts to Constitutional Violation

This month, the Court of Appeals affirmed a circuit court decision that held that the City of Brookfield engaged in an unconstitutional taking when it conditioned the approval of a subdivision development on construction of a new public street. The Court of Appeals determined that this “exaction” was not permissible because it did not address a need caused by the development proposal and, even if it did, the exaction was not proportional to the conditions sought to be addressed
Continue Reading Court of Appeals Determines City Development Condition Is Unconstitutional Taking

CAFA Background and Exceptions

On March 16, 2022, the Seventh Circuit issued its opinion in Schutte v. Coix Health, resolving an open question about the breadth of the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”). 28 USC § 1711 et seq. Congress enacted CAFA in 2005 to expand the availability of federal courts to class action defendants; the Act loosens the requirements for defendants seeking to remove to federal court cases that have been filed in state court as putative class
Continue Reading Seventh Circuit Resolves Open Question Under Class Action Fairness Act

Last summer, President Joe Biden issued Executive Order 14036 targeting “any unlawful trade practices in the beer, wine, and spirits markets, such as certain exclusionary, discriminatory, or anticompetitive distribution practices,” as well as “patterns of consolidation in production, distribution, or retail beer, wine, and spirits market.” The Executive Order required that the United States Department of Treasury submit a report assessing competitive conditions in the beer, wine, and spirits industry.

Last month, the Treasury Department published its Competition in
Continue Reading The Treasury Department’s Competition Report: What Wisconsin Wholesalers Need to Know

Last summer, President Joe Biden issued Executive Order 14036 targeting “any unlawful trade practices in the beer, wine, and spirits markets, such as certain exclusionary, discriminatory, or anticompetitive distribution practices,” as well as “patterns of consolidation in production, distribution, or retail beer, wine, and spirits market.” The Executive Order required that the United States Department of Treasury submit a report assessing competitive conditions in the beer, wine, and spirits industry.
Last month, the Treasury Department published its Competition in
Continue Reading What Wisconsin Wholesalers Need to Know about the Treasury Department’s Competition Report

The use of third-party food delivery services has skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Companies such as Grubhub, Uber Eats, and DoorDash provide customers with greater access to their favorite restaurants without having to leave the comfort of their own homes. But the use of such delivery services has also caused troubles for customers and restaurants alike. Hidden fees, late or missing deliveries, and quality control problems are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to identifying these
Continue Reading Wisconsin Legislature Considers Bill to Regulate Third-Party Food Delivery Services

The League’s second challenge to unjust voter purges in Wisconsin seeks to reinstate voters before 2022 midterm elections.
Today, the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, represented by Fair Elections Center, Law Forward Inc., and Stafford Rosenbaum LLP, filed suit in federal court to reinstate more than 31,000 registered Wisconsin voters who were purged from the voter rolls in July 2021. These voters were not provided notice of the potential deactivation or the deadline to take action to avoid
Continue Reading League of Women Voters of Wisconsin Files Lawsuit to Reactivate 31,854 Voters

Recently, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals ruled in a case that tests the interaction between criminal law and civil liability. In Dostal v. Strands, 2020AP1943 (Oct. 19, 2021), the court held that an insured’s criminal conviction for second-degree reckless homicide precluded a mother’s claim against the insurer for damages arising from the death of her child.

The facts of this case are unquestionably tragic. Lindsey Dostal (“Dostal”) and Curtis Strand (“Strand”) were in a dating relationship for seventeen
Continue Reading Wisconsin Court of Appeals Rules that Reckless Homicide Cannot Constitute an Accident for Purpose of Insurance Coverage

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