WisBar News

News and developments from the State Bar of Wisconsin.

New lawyer Hannah Fontaine (center) celebrates with her parents immediately after she became a Wisconsin lawyer. See more photos of the event on the State Bar of Wisconsin Facebook page for the noon and 2:30 p.m.​ ceremonies. June 3, 2024 – They are new attorneys ready to start their careers – 200 recent graduates of the U.W. Law School, now sworn in as new Wisconsin lawyers. Welcomed in two separate ceremonies by Chief Justice Annette Kingsland Ziegler and
Continue Reading UW Admissions: Welcome to 200 New Wisconsin Lawyers

The admissions ceremony was held before members of the Wisconsin Supreme Court in the Assembly Chamber in the State Capitol building. For additional photos, see the albums on Facebook for the 9:30 a.m. and the 1:30 p.m.​ ceremonies.

May 24, 2024 – The new Wisconsin lawyers include a math professor, a young man who faced drug charges and whose public defender changed his life, a paralegal who wanted to do more to help people, and several first lawyers
Continue Reading Marquette Admissions: Welcome to 185 New Wisconsin Lawyers


​​May 7, 2024 – The State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors in a special meeting today (May 7) approved a motion appointing Dist. 2 Gov. Ryan Billings president-elect for the remainder of fiscal year 2024 (now until June 30, 2024).Billings, who in April was
elected to serve as the next State Bar president-elect for FY 2025 (starting July 1, 2024), will instead become president on July 1, 2024. Billings is with Kohner, Mann & Kailas, S.C., Milwaukee.Typically,
Continue Reading Billings Fills Vacancy at State Bar President-elect, Will Become President July 1

April 29, 2024 – Ryan Billings is the next president-elect of the State Bar of Wisconsin. In the elections ending April 26, 2024, Billings defeated Jennifer Johnson of Milwaukee by 1,615 votes to 1,376. The president-elect typically serves a one-year term as president-elect before serving a one-year term as president. Newly elected officers take their posts on July 1, 2024.​ Billings is with Kohner, Mann & Kailas, S.C., Milwaukee. “I am honored to be elected, and I will do
Continue Reading State Bar President-elect Post Goes to Ryan Billings

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May 1, 2024 – As we prepare to commemorate
Law Day on May 1, 2024, I invite all Wisconsinites to reflect upon the enduring significance of this annual observance.

This year, the American Bar Association (ABA) has chosen the theme “The Voices of Democracy,” which aligns with the foundational principles of our legal system and the essence of our nation’s democratic ethos.

Annette Kingsland Ziegler, Marquette 1989, is chief justice of the
Wisconsin Supreme Court, Madison.

President
Continue Reading Law Day 2024: Honoring Our Legal Heritage and Democratic Values

The group of soon-to-be Wisconsin lawyers take the Attorney’s Oath in the Supreme Court Hearing Room. For more photos of the event, see ​the album on the State Bar of Wisconsin Facebook page. April 18, 2024 – A business lawyer from California, a journalist turned lawyer, a lawyer representing the third generation of lawyers in her family, and the first lawyer in her family. These describe some of Wisconsin’s newest lawyers, taking the final steps after passing
Continue Reading Welcome to 11 New Wisconsin Lawyers

District 2 Governor Karen Bauer speaks during the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governor’s discussion on the proposed FY 2025 budget on Friday, April 12.

April 12, 2024 – The State Bar of Wisconsin’s 52-member Board of Governors approved the fiscal year 2025 (July 1, 2024 to June 30, 2025) budget at its meeting on Friday, April 12.

Paul Marshall, the State Bar’s chief financial officer, said that the initial submission of the FY 2025 budget revealed that
Continue Reading State Bar Board Approves FY 2025 Budget, Takes Other Actions

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley gives remarks during an Admissions ceremony on Jan. 23, 2024, in the Supreme Court Hearing Room.

April 11, 2024 – Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley announced today that she will retire from the court when her term ends in July 2025. When she retires next year, she will have served 30 years as a justice, 40 years total on the bench.

“It has been the honor of a lifetime to
Continue Reading Justice Ann Walsh Bradley Announces Retirement from Supreme Court

April 8, 2024 –The State Bar of Wisconsin has successfully defended its Diversity Clerkship Program and secured a settlement agreement with a plaintiff who challenged the program in federal court. The Diversity Clerkship Program will continue unchanged.

The State Bar’s Diversity Clerkship Program facilitates paid summer internships at private law firms, corporate legal departments, and governmental agencies in Wisconsin that choose to participate by coordinating opportunities for applicants to the Program to meet, interview, and be connected with those
Continue Reading State Bar Successfully Defends Diversity Clerkship Program: Settlement Agreement Explained

April 3, 2024 – The State Bar of Wisconsin has reached a settlement regarding its Diversity Clerkship Program, which was challenged in federal court. The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL) has agreed to dismiss this portion of the lawsuit after a clarification in the State Bar’s definition of “diversity.”

“The settlement clarifies the definition of ‘diversity’ but makes no changes to the program,” said State Bar Executive Director Larry J. Martin. “The Diversity Clerkship Program, which
Continue Reading State Bar of Wisconsin’s Diversity Clerkship Program Continues Unchanged Under Settlement Agreement

March 27, 2024 – State Bar of Wisconsin President Dean R. Dietrich lauded the enactment of bipartisan judicial security legislation today.

The package of three bills aims to bolster security for judicial officers by protecting personal information and shielding judges’ residences from protestors.

The bills were authored by Representatives Ron Tusler (R-Harrison), Sylvia Ortiz-Velez (D-Milwaukee), and Sheila Stubbs (D-Madison), and Senator Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) and former Senator Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee). Governor Tony Evers signed the bills into law during
Continue Reading State Bar of Wisconsin President Lauds Enactment of Judicial Security Bills

March 15, 2024 – Gov. Tony Evers today announced the appointment of State Bar of Wisconsin President-elect Jane Bucher to serve on the Green County Circuit Court (Branch 2), which leaves a vacancy in the president-elect post.

Bucher, a partner at Russell Law Offices S.C. in Monroe, was elected State Bar president-elect in 2023 and was set to become president on July 1, 2024. However, under Wisconsin Supreme Court rules, judges cannot serve as State Bar Officers or members
Continue Reading President-elect Jane Bucher Appointed Judge, Leaving a State Bar Officer Vacancy

State Bar President Dean Dietrich makes a point during the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors meeting in Sheboygan on Friday, Sept. 22. File photo.

Feb. 26, 2024 – During a virtual meeting on Friday, February 23, the State Bar of Wisconsin’s 52-member Board of Governors discussed, but took no action on, a proposed budget for fiscal year 2025 (July 1, 2024 to June 30, 2025).

Paul Marshall, the State Bar’s chief financial officer, said that the initial
Continue Reading Board of Governors Discusses FY 2025 Budget

Jan. 30, 2024 – A fraudulent email scam is currently targeting State Bar of Wisconsin members.

A third-party entity has registered a deceptive domain,
member-wisbar.org, which closely mimics the State Bar’s official domain. This entity is sending emails containing malicious attachments, masquerading as communications from the State Bar of Wisconsin.

The State Bar of Wisconsin is committed to the safety and security of all members. In taking precautions, here are some key points to note:

  • Email Origin: The fraudulent


Continue Reading Scam Alert: Beware of Email Scam Targeting State Bar of Wisconsin Members

Emma Lou Hawley, Justis Hagberg, Laura Niesen, and Jonathon Bennett Young (from left) were among the 17 attorneys admitted to the State Bar on Jan. 23, 2024. For more photos of the event, visit the photo album on the State Bar of Wisconsin Facebook page. Photos: Jeff M. Brown.

Emma Lou Hawley, Justis Hagberg, Laura Niesen, and Jonathon Bennett Young (from left) were among the 17 attorneys admitted to the State Bar on Jan. 23,
Continue Reading State Bar Welcomes 17 New Attorneys Through Diploma Privilege

Jan. 5, 2024 – As a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin, you may be aware that a lawsuit was filed last month against the State Bar in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, Inc. (WILL) filed the lawsuit on behalf of State Bar member Daniel Suhr.

Suhr challenges the State Bar’s Diversity Clerkship Program, alleging the Program is unconstitutional because it discriminates between students based on
Continue Reading State Bar Will Vigorously Defend Constitutional Challenge to Diversity Clerkship Program