WisBar News

News and developments from the State Bar of Wisconsin.

Kelli Thompson is pictured in this photo from 2011.Sept. 1, 2023 – Kelli Thompson, Wisconsin’s State Public Defender for the last 12 years, recently announced that she is stepping down from the agency, effective Oct 9, 2023.In her announcement, issued by the Wisconsin State Public Defender Office, Thompson said:It has been a privilege to serve as the Wisconsin State Public Defender. The role of public defender is critical to protecting the rights of clients and the principles of liberty,
Continue Reading Kelli Thompson Stepping Down as State Public Defender

Aug. 24, 2023 – The State Bar of Wisconsin has recently made changes to its email security to better protect against spam, fraud, and phishing attempts.

Each email received by the State Bar is examined to make sure that the incoming email is being sent from a recognized and valid source.

For those that do not appear to originate from a recognized and valid source, it may mean emails that are rejected or delayed in their delivery.

That creates
Continue Reading Problems with Emails to the State Bar? Please Update Your Email Security Settings

The State Bar Nonresident Lawyers Division board met and celebrated Wisconsin at the Milwaukee Annual Conference. Visit the
photo albums on the State Bar’s Facebook page for more scenes from the conference. ​
June 19, 2023 – More than 500 people recently attended the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Annual Meeting and Conference (AMC) at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, including around 400 members and a record-setting number of state and federal judges.From the opening plenary session on “cancel culture”
Continue Reading Tips and Takeaways from the 2023 Annual Meeting and Conference

New State Bar of Wisconsin President Dean Dietrich accepts a gavel from immediate Past-president Margaret Hickey. The gavel is symbolically passed from each past-president in attendance to the new State Bar president to underscore the history and continuity of the office. Visit the State Bar’s Facebook page for more photos of this event, or click here.

June 15, 2023 – A glance at Dean Dietrich’s resume proves that he has passion for serving the legal profession.

Dietrich, who
Continue Reading Privileged to Serve: Dean R. Dietrich Sworn in as 68th State Bar President

Judge Randy Koschnick, Director of State Courts, gave opening remarks at the June 14 meeting of the State Bar Board of Governors. Koschnick noted recent successes, including a unanimous vote from the Wisconsin Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee to increase funding for the criminal justice system. With final approval, the funding will increase pay for prosecutors and public defenders, and increase the hourly rate paid to private bar attorneys​​ who take appointments from the public defender’s office. He also said
Continue Reading State Bar Board Votes to Establish Special Purpose Trust, Among Other Actions

In the Wisconsin Supreme Court Hearing Room in Madison, U.W. Law School graduates and soon-to-be Wisconsin lawyers take the Attorney’s Oath at the 2:30 p.m. ceremony. See more photos of the event on the State Bar of Wisconsin Facebook page.​ June 1, 2023 – They gathered together with family and friends in the Wisconsin Supreme Court Hearing Room – 149 recent graduates of the U.W. Law School – to be sworn in as new Wisconsin lawyers. Before the
Continue Reading UW Admissions: State Bar Welcomes 149 New Lawyers

In the Wisconsin Supreme Court Hearing Room in Madison, soon-to-be new Wisconsin lawyers take the Attorney’s Oath. For additional pictures, see the photo albums on the ​​​State Bar of Wisconsin Facebook page​. May 24, 2023 – They are all new lawyers headed into practice in sports law, public interest law, mergers and acquisitions, business law, and more. Before the Wisconsin Supreme Court in six separate ceremonies, 167 new Wisconsin lawyers – new alumni of Marquette University Law School
Continue Reading Marquette Admissions: Welcome to 167 New Wisconsin Lawyers

April 28, 2023 – Jane E. Bucher of Russell Law Offices, S.C., Brodhead, is the next president-elect of the State Bar of Wisconsin. In the elections ending April 28, 2023, Bucher defeated Marisol González Castillo of Madison by 1,699 votes to 1,368.Bucher will serve a one-year term as president-elect starting July 1, 2023, before succeeding Dean Dietrich of Wausau on July 1, 2024, as State Bar president.Bucher is a senior attorney with Russell Law Offices, S.C. She practices family
Continue Reading State Bar President-elect Post Goes to Jane Bucher

Lawrence Bugge served as State Bar president 1980-81.

April 27, 2023 – A leader who dealt with tough issues facing the profession and State Bar. A “wise, kind man—and a brilliant lawyer,” say peers of Lawrence J. Bugge, who recently passed away. Bugge is a former president of the State Bar of Wisconsin (1980-81).

“He demonstrated leadership qualities in each and every endeavor that he participated in,” said State Bar Past President Franklyn Gimbel (1986-87), who knew Bugge from
Continue Reading Lawrence Bugge: ‘Brilliant Lawyer,’ State Bar Leader

April 27, 2023 – Democracy and the rule of law seem to be in retreat throughout the world: not only in Iran, Russia, and Hong Kong but also in countries such as Mexico, Poland, and Hungary.

What has happened to civics, civility, and cooperation, the cornerstones of our democracy? How are we weathering the challenges of the past several years? What is the condition of our democracy and do we continue to be committed to maintaining the principles that
Continue Reading May 1 is Law Day: Help Us Support the Cornerstones of Democracy

Twenty-one soon-to-be Wisconsin lawyers take the Attorney’s Oath in a ceremony April 18, 2023, in the Wisconsin Supreme Court Hearing Room. For more photos of the event, see the album on the State Bar of Wisconsin Facebook page​. April 20, 2023 – A lawyer returning to law after 30 years. A law school graduate who is realizing a childhood and family dream. A former mason seeking to build bridges for immigrants in the U.S. A Packers fan expanding
Continue Reading Welcome to 21 New Wisconsin Lawyers, Admission by Bar Exam

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul addressed the State Bar of Wisconsin Board of Governors. April 17, 2023 – Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul addressed the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors at its April 14 meeting.

Kaul, a State Bar member since 2007, was elected attorney general in 2018. He won re-election in 2022.

Kaul said that the top priority of the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) is public safety.

Other priorities, according to Kaul, include consumer protection,
Continue Reading Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul Addresses State Bar Board of Governors

Daniel Kelly and Janet Protasiewicz squared off at a forum hosted by the State Bar.​March 21, 2023 – Two weeks before the April 4 election, the candidates for an open seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court debated the issues facing the state’s highest court.Dan Kelly and Janet Protasiewicz are vying to replace Justice Patience Roggensack, who’s retiring after 20 years on the supreme court.The State Bar of Wisconsin hosted the debate at the State Bar Center in Madison, in
Continue Reading Candidates for Wisconsin Supreme Court Debate at State Bar Center

March 17, 2023 – The Wisconsin Supreme Court has re-elected Chief Justice Annette Ziegler to a second two-year term as chief justice.“I greatly appreciate the opportunity to continue serving the court system and the people of Wisconsin,” Chief Justice Ziegler said in a press release issued on March 16. “I am fortunate to work with a group of very talented and passionate people, who understand and appreciate the role of the courts in our justice system and in our
Continue Reading Ziegler Re-elected as Chief Justice of Wisconsin Supreme Court

March 10, 2023 – Leaving a legacy of leadership in his profession and community, Myron LaRowe, U.W. 1965, passed away early in the morning hours on Friday, March 10, 2023.

LaRowe, a longtime small-firm Reedsburg attorney, was past president (1981-82) of the State Bar of Wisconsin, and active in many State Bar leadership roles throughout his career – most recently on the State Bar Senior Lawyers Division (SLD) board of directors.

LaRowe, said State Bar President Margaret Hickey, always
Continue Reading Myron LaRowe: A Leader in Service to Bar, Profession, Community

Board of Governors Chair Kristen Hardy comments during the meeting.Feb. 27, 2023 – The State Bar of Wisconsin’s 52-member Board of Governors adopted an updated policy position on bail reform at its meeting on Friday, Feb. 24.

At the September 2022 meeting, the board discussed the proposed new policy at length. At that meeting, President Margaret Hickey – who was a member of the Policy Committee during the bail reform discussion – said the proposed new policy was worded
Continue Reading State Bar Board Approves Updated Bail Policy, Discusses Budget