WisBar Court Review

WisBar Court Review, published by the State Bar of Wisconsin, includes summaries and analysis of decisions from the Wisconsin Supreme Court, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, as well as other court developments.

Latest from WisBar Court Review - Page 2

Dec. 17, 2020 – A recent state appeals court decision has rejected the “conglomerate argument” when an adult child pursues wrongful death claims leveled against assisted living facilities owned and operated by a larger health care system. Adult children can bring wrongful death claims, on their own behalf, if a parent’s death is allegedly caused by a party’s negligence. When claims involve medical malpractice against health care providers, however, adult children have no standing. Under Wis. Stat. section 655.007 and Czapinski v. St. Francis Hospital, Inc., 2000 WI 80, 236 Wis. 2d 316, N.W.2d 120, adult children of a deceased…
Dec. 14, 2020 – The Wisconsin Supreme Court has clarified that a “stay-at-home” order amid a pandemic is not a basis, on its own, for voters to declare “indefinitely confined” status and vote by absentee ballot without showing photo identification. The Republican Party of Wisconsin filed an original action to the state supreme court in March, seeking a preliminary injunction and a declaration of rights against Dane County. Prior to the April primary election, the Dane County city clerk posted on Facebook that “during this emergency and based on the Governors Stay at Home order I am declaring that all…
Dec. 9, 2020 – An employer unlawfully discriminated against a job applicant based on the applicant’s conviction record, a state appeals court has ruled. Derrick Palmer filed a complaint with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development after Cree Inc. (Cree) rescinded a job offer to be a lighting schematic layout applications specialist. Cree manufactures and sells LED lighting products. An administrative law judge concluded Cree did not unlawfully discriminate, but the Labor and Industry Review Commission (LIRC) reversed. A circuit court reversed LIRC, also concluding Cree did not unlawfully discriminate. But in Cree Inc. v. LIRC, 2019AP1671, a three…
Dec. 7, 2020 – A state appeals court has ruled that the City of Monroe is immune from tort claims by a resident who slipped and fell on a city street outside his office, concluding the state’s “discretionary immunity statute” applied to bar the suit. Gregory Knoke slipped on a patch of snow and ice in 2017 and in a subsequent lawsuit, alleged the city was negligent in allowing the snow and ice to accumulate on the street. The city argued that it had governmental immunity from such lawsuits. Wis. Stat. section 893.80(4) provides that no suit may be brought…
Dec. 3, 2020 –The Wisconsin Supreme Court today denied (4-3) an original action petition challenging absentee ballot counts in Milwaukee and Dane counties, concluding the petitioner must file presidential election grievances in circuit court. Chief Justice Patience Roggensack, Justice Annette Ziegler, and Justice Rebecca Bradley all dissented in Trump v. Evers, filed just two days ago by President Donald J. Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and Trump for President Inc. Justice Brian Hagedorn joined with Justice Ann Walsh Bradley, Justice Rebecca Dallet, and Justice Jill Karofsky to form a majority, denying President Trump’s petition to bypass the lower courts…
Dec. 1, 2020 – An Alford plea allows defendants to maintain their innocence but accept a conviction, so long as a sufficient factual basis exists for each element of the crime. Recently, the Wisconsin Supreme Court clarified the Alford plea requirements. In State v. Nash, 2020 WI 85 (Nov. 19, 2020), the court’s first criminal case decision of the term, the justices unanimously affirmed a decision to deny Kevin Nash’s post-conviction motion to withdraw his Alford plea in a child sexual assault case. In 2015, three minor girls ages 8, 12, and 15, told a forensic interviewer Nash sexually…
Nov. 17, 2020 – A state appeals court has ruled that a man convicted for a seventh offense operating while intoxicated (OWI) charge is not entitled to early release from prison even though he successfully completed a substance abuse program. The decision in State v. Gramza, 2020AP100-CR (Nov. 10, 2020) resolves an apparent conflict between a statute requiring a mandatory prison term for OWI-7th offenders and a statute that allows early release upon successful completion of a treatment program. Seventh-time OWI offenders are subject to a minimum of three years in prison, plus three years of extended supervision, under…
Oct. 27, 2020 – The U.S. Supreme Court (5-3) has declined to extend Wisconsin election deadlines to give voters more time to submit their absentee ballots. The decision ends a months-long conflict between the Republican and Democratic parties. In a ruling issued yesterday (Oct. 26), the Court denied an application from the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, which argued that a lower appellate court decision should be blocked and extensions granted. The plaintiff-Democrats argued that – during the COVID-19 pandemic – enforcement of Wisconsin election law deadlines pertaining to voter registration and absentee ballots, among other…