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In 2020, as part of its broader National Health Care Fraud Takedown, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) charged 345 individuals, including over 100 licensed medical professionals, for their role in “schemes” and “scams” that “leverage aggressive marketing and so-called telehealth services to commit fraud.”1 Now the OIG is urging providers not to get caught up in such schemes in the first place. A recently issued Special Fraud Alert2, identifies seven “suspect characteristics” that do not necessarily mean
Continue Reading Hold the Phone: OIG Issues a Telemedicine Special Fraud Alert

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District—the widely-followed case addressing the right of a public high school football coach to individually pray on the fifty-yard line after a game—further clarifies the legal landscape of the First Amendment’s application to public schools (this landscape was covered in-depth in our #TakeAKnee Legal Update). The First Amendment requires all public entities, including a public school, to balance its obligations under the Establishment Clause with the rights
Continue Reading The Kennedy v. Bremerton School District Decision

In what many consider to be one of the most important environmental cases of the last decade, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 30, 2022, in the case of West Virginia v. EPA, 597 U.S. ___, 2022 WL 2347278, that the authority of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act (CAA) in controlling greenhouse gas emissions by requiring existing fossil fuel power plants to convert to the use of non-greenhouse gas
Continue Reading U.S. Supreme Court Case Limits the Authority of the EPA in Regulating Air Emissions

On Friday, June 24, the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and reversed long-established precedent that the Constitution protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion. In holding that the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health returns “the authority to regulate abortion to the people and their elected representatives.” Essentially, the decision seeks to have each state formulate its own laws regulating abortion access.

Since the Supreme
Continue Reading Wisconsin Implications of the Dobbs Decision

On July 6, 2022, the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission (WERC) issued two rulings prohibiting collective bargaining over subjects related to employer-provided health care coverage plans per Wis. Stat. § 111.70(4)(mc)6. The two rulings—City of Racine, Dec. No. 39446 (WERC, 7/22) and Dec. No. 39447 (WERC, 7/22)—reaffirm the broad discretion and unilateral control that local government employers, like Racine, have under the statute including deciding whether to provide a health care plan to public safety employees. With regard to the
Continue Reading Recent Decisions Impact Public-Sector Health Insurance and Collective Bargaining

von Briesen & Roper, s.c., today announced the following attorneys were promoted to Shareholders: Ryan P. Heiden, Trace P. Hummel, John P. Pinzl, Joseph J. Rolling and Derek J. Waterstreet.
Ryan P. Heiden is a member of the Government Law Group in the Milwaukee office. He focuses his practice on school law and public sector labor and employment including pupil issues, expulsions, Open Meetings and Public Records Laws. Heiden is a member of the Wisconsin School Attorneys Association (WSAA), State
Continue Reading von Briesen Promotes Heiden, Hummel, Pinzl, Rolling and Waterstreet to Shareholders

School Boards and Administrators received an important reminder on June 15, 2022 from the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit regarding limitations on banning student t-shirts containing images of weapons and other potentially offensive pictures or slogans. Schools cannot broadly ban all clothing containing a particular image or slogan under a theory that all such images or slogans are inappropriate or violate Board policy. Instead, schools must approach offensive t-shirts and other student clothing on a
Continue Reading No One-Size-Fits-All Approaches: Public Schools Must Ban T-Shirts with Caution

In late February, 2022, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ (WDNRs) Natural Resources Board (NRB)—the entity that sets policy for the WDNR—took steps toward the adoption of statewide standards for PFAS compounds. First, the NRB voted to adopt a drinking water standard of 70 parts per trillion (ppt) for two of the most common PFAS compounds; perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and polyfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS). The standard, if approved by the Wisconsin Legislature, would apply to municipal water supply
Continue Reading Wisconsin Legislative Committee will Allow PFAS Standards to Take Effect

Wiegert v. TM Carpentry, LLC, No. 2020AP1833 (Wis. Ct. App. May 4, 2022)

In Wiegert a three-judge panel for the Third District Court of Appeals affirmed the Sheboygan County Circuit Court’s grant of summary judgment ruling that Acuity had no duty to defend or indemnify its insured, Stone Creek, against claims asserted by Terry and Deborah Wiegert which arose out of renovation work Stone Creek performed on the Wiegert’s home. The court determined any alleged damage could only have
Continue Reading Insurance Coverage Law Update: Wiegert v. TM Carpentry, LLC

This week, a Wisconsin judge placed on hold his previous decision regarding the WDNR’s authority to regulate PFAS chemicals. As we reported in a previous von Briesen Environmental Law Update, a Waukesha County Circuit Court judge ruled on April 12, 2022 in the case of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, Inc. and Leather Rich, Inc. v. WDNR, (Waukesha County Case 2021CV000342) that the WDNR lacked the authority to regulate PFAS chemicals because the Wisconsin Legislature had not established regulatory
Continue Reading Wisconsin Judge Places Earlier PFAS Decision on Hold

On April 15, 2022, Wisconsin enacted a new business entity law (2021 Wisconsin Act 258). Among other changes, the law restates Chapter 183 governing limited liability companies (LLCs) based on the Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act (RULLCA) already adopted by many other states. Below is more information about the law’s effective date and key changes for Wisconsin LLCs.

Effective Date: On January 1, 2023, the new law will govern all existing and future LLCs. An LLC can elect
Continue Reading How Wisconsin’s New Business Entity Law affects LLCs

Today, the Wisconsin Supreme Court, in a unanimous opinion authored by Justice Rebecca Frank Dallet, reversed a Milwaukee County Circuit Court decision that allowed a purported class action to proceed against Society Insurance seeking coverage for business income losses arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. The plaintiff, Colectivo Coffee Roasters, Inc., sought coverage for these losses under the business income, extra expense, civil authority and contamination coverages of its businessowners policy.

The Court ruled that neither the loss of use
Continue Reading Colectivo v. Society Reversed by Wisconsin Supreme Court

von Briesen & Roper, s.c., today announced that attorneys Rick J. Mundt and Blayne Nicole Christy have joined the Firm’s Madison office, located at 10 East Doty Street, Suite 900. 
Rick J. Mundt is a Shareholder focusing his practice on litigation involving construction defects, catastrophic property damage, professional liability, bodily injury and complex insurance claims. He is also an experienced mediator for property and casualty dispute resolution. Mundt is an Associate Member of American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA),
Continue Reading Rick Mundt and Blayne Nicole Christy Join von Briesen's Madison Office

In what was a surprise to many, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has withdrawn its Direct Final Rule that would have recognized the new ASTM E1527-21 Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) Standard as what is required to obtain protection from liability under CERCLA. As discussed in our recent Legal Update, the EPA issued a request for comments regarding its proposed intention to adopt the new ASTM E1527-21 Phase I Standard into its “All Appropriate Inquiry” (AAI) rules
Continue Reading EPA Withdraws its Direct Final Rule to Adopt the New ASTM E1527-21 Phase I ESA Standard

As we discussed in recent Legal Updates, because environmental sustainability is now viewed as an essential component of the overall operation of most companies, and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives are gaining in popularity, the value of conducting periodic environmental compliance audits and establishing an environmental management program is essential for companies that desire to be viewed as leaders in environmental compliance. We also discussed environmental regulatory agency programs (“Enviro-Check” and “Green Tier”) that
Continue Reading Why Environmental Compliance Auditing is Important in the Purchase/Sale of a Business

You’ve finally decided to meet with a lawyer to create an estate plan, and you’re thinking about whether you should create a trust. Or perhaps you already have your estate plan in place and its cornerstone is a revocable trust. Revocable trusts are a very common and effective estate planning tool – but can you separate trust fact from fiction? This snapshot will highlight some of the most common misconceptions about revocable trusts.

Myth #1: There’s a difference between
Continue Reading Revocable Trusts – Separating Fact from Fiction