WisBar News

News and developments from the State Bar of Wisconsin.

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

Dec. 7, 2023 – More than 40 lawyers gathered at the Italian Community Center in Milwaukee for the State Bar of Wisconsin’s 2023 Diversity Counsel Program on Monday, Dec. 4.

The State Bar of Wisconsin’s Diversity and Inclusion Oversight Committee organized the program, emceed by Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Kori Ashley.

Launched by the State Bar in 2004, the Diversity Counsel Program was modeled after the original American Bar Association Minority Counsel Demonstration Program.

Originally designed to increase
Continue Reading Diversity Counsel Program: ‘There’s a Space for You Here’

Dec. 5, 2023 – Ralph Cagle was a teacher, mentor, colleague, and friend “to countless individuals,” say many of those who worked with him during his career as a Madison attorney and law professor.

Ralph M. Cagle served 2015-16 as the 60th president of the State Bar of Wisconsin. He was elected president-elect in April 2014, succeeding Robert Gagan as president.

Cagle passed away Dec. 1, 2023, at the age of 78.

He was a champion of lawyers and
Continue Reading Celebrating the Life and Career of Ralph Cagle: Teacher, Mentor, Friend, Leader

Dec. 4, 2023 – The State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors heard a report on Dec. 1 on a
Rules Petition 23-05, which would provide for expedited review of criminal pre-trial competency rulings. The rules petition was filed by the Wisconsin Judicial Council.

Wis. Stat. section 971.14 sets the process for determining whether a criminal defendant is competent to stand trial.

According to the memo filed in support of the rules petition by the Judicial Council, neither
Continue Reading State Bar Board Hears Reports on Rules Petition, Rural Practice Efforts

Dec. 1, 2023 – A striking addition to the lobby at the State Bar of Wisconsin Center in Madison is a monument to both access to justice and the dedication and impact of rural and small-town lawyers.

After the State Bar Board of Governors’ meeting on Friday, Dec. 1, board members, State Bar leaders, attorneys, and community members gathered in the rotunda of the State Bar Center for the unveiling of a medallion donated by the late Myron LaRowe,
Continue Reading ‘Justice on Main Street’: Commemorating Rural and Small Town Lawyers

Thanksgiving and the holiday season hold a special meaning to us, and whether you celebrate these occasions or not, we want to extend our gratitude and thanks to you and your family for your dedication, contributions, and personal sacrifices you make toward the profession and the clients you serve. In particular, we want to thank:

  • The Wisconsin Supreme Court Justices and our judges around the state for the crucial role they play in upholding our legal system. They are


Continue Reading Thank You for Working Toward Justice in Wisconsin

Nov. 1, 2023 – Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Annette Ziegler used her third State of the Judiciary address on Nov. 1 to highlight ongoing concerns with judicial security and statewide mental health.

For the second straight year, Ziegler began her address, which took place at the 2023 Annual Meeting of the Wisconsin Judicial Conference, by discussing the ongoing threat to judicial security.

In last year’s address, Chief Justice Ziegler used the murder of Juneau County Circuit Court Judge
Continue Reading State of the Judiciary: Chief Justice Ziegler Again Highlights Judicial Security

Oct. 24, 2023 – Attorneys from across Wisconsin gathered at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells on Oct. 19-20 for the State Bar of Wisconsin’s annual Solo and Small Firm Conference (WSSFC).

Presenters discussed the effect artificial intelligence (AI) tools and other technological advances are likely to have on solo and small-firm attorneys. Attendees attended several networking receptions and sampled goods and services from dozens of vendors.​
Treat AI ‘Like an Intern’
Ben Schorr, a senior content program manager
Continue Reading AI, Ethics, Lawyer Wellness Top of Solo and Small Firm Conference

The soon-to-be Wisconsin lawyers thank their family and friends for their support, after taking the Attorney’s Oath before the Wisconsin Supreme Court at the 1:30 p.m. ceremony. For more photos of the event, visit the State Bar of Wisconsin Facebook photo albums for the
1:30 p.m. ceremony and the
2:30 p.m. ceremony. Photos: Shannon Green and Jeff M. Brown.

Sept. 28, 2023 – They are the first in their families to earn a law degree and those continuing
Continue Reading Admissions by Bar Exam: Welcome to 56 New Wisconsin Lawyers

During the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors meeting in Sheboygan on Friday, Sept. 22, Appellate Section chair Matthew Pinix discusses a rule petition filed with the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Sept. 25, 2023 – Members of the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors recently authorized the Appellate Practice Section to oppose, on its own behalf, a rules petition to the Wisconsin Supreme Court that would make it easier for an appellate court to stay a circuit court
Continue Reading State Bar Board Authorizes Appellate Section to Oppose Rule Petition

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