WisBar News

News and developments from the State Bar of Wisconsin.

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U.W. law grad Amakie Amattey signs the Attorney Roll book – a tradition in Wisconsin for more than 170 years – that is the final step in becoming a Wisconsin lawyer.

May 21, 2021 – It is the culmination of years of work, with a twist: The U.W. Law School class of 2021 spent half their time in law school in a pandemic.

In a year of remote work and virtual education, the Class of 2021 took their oath
Continue Reading U.W. Admissions: Welcome to 148 New Wisconsin Lawyers

Margaret Wrenn Hickey of Milwaukee said she plans to focus on addressing the racial inequities in our judicial and legal system, promoting diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, and improving access to justice.

April 23, 2021 – Milwaukee lawyer Margaret Wrenn Hickey is the next president-elect of the State Bar of Wisconsin.

In the elections ending April 23, 2021, Hickey defeated Milwaukee attorney Odalo J. Ohiku by 2,347 votes to 1,186.

Hickey will serve a one-year term as
Continue Reading State Bar President-elect Post Goes to Margaret Hickey

The State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors met virtually for its April 16 meeting and adopted policy positions on racial justice and law enforcement reform, among other actions, including approval of the organization’s FY 2022 budget.

April 19, 2021 – The State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors last Friday discussed a proposal to require at least two of 30 CLE credits per reporting period on topics of racial bias and other issues that promote education on diversity,
Continue Reading Board Sets Racial Justice Policies, Discusses Diversity & Inclusion CLE, Approves 2022 Budget

April 19, 2021 – At last Friday’s State Bar of Wisconsin Board of Governors meeting, board member Erik Guenther voiced reservations about holding an upcoming Board of Governors meeting in Kenosha, scheduled for September 2021.

Guenther, who grew up in Kenosha, moved to relocate the scheduled Kenosha meeting in light of racially charged events involving Kenosha law enforcement.

“I’m not sure if there’s a right or wrong answer on this issue,” said Guenther, a Nonresident Lawyer Division (NLRD) representative
Continue Reading State Bar Board Keeps September Meeting in Kenosha After Robust Discussion

March 26, 2020 – COVID-19 vaccine eligibility now includes court system professionals, including judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, victim witness coordinators, court clerks, and other individuals essential to in-person criminal court proceedings.

However, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), those who can work from home are asked to delay vaccination until May 1 or until supply is robust.

The DHS website notes that public defenders were eligible March 1, because of their close contact with incarcerated
Continue Reading COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Expanded to Court System Professionals

​Page Turner shares the features and benefits of the State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE® title, Eckhardt’s Workbook for Wisconsin Estate Planners. She’ll provide you with a quick overview of the content so you can find resources that meet the needs of your office or firm.​​


Continue Reading Page Turner Presents: Eckhardt’s Workbook for Wisconsin Estate Planners

A new form available through the Wisconsin Court System website makes it less burdensome for indigent individuals to obtain a waiver of court fees and costs by allowing their pro bono, legal aid, or public defender attorneys to submit a petition requesting the fee waiver.

Indigent individuals can still submit petitions for waivers if they cannot pay court filing and/or service fees. They must complete the form, have it notarized, and file it with the court, or have their
Continue Reading New Form Reduces Burdens on Indigent Persons to Obtain Fee Waivers

March 9, 2021 – The Wisconsin Supreme Court has approved a petition that gives law students earlier opportunities for practical, hands-on experience through a rule that lets law students represent clients under the supervision of an attorney.

Under the current law student practice rules (SCR Chapter 50), law students must finish one-half of law school before they can represent clients in court under supervision or give supervised legal advice. The rule was originally adopted in 1975.

The
Continue Reading Wisconsin Supreme Court Approves Law Student Practice Petition

The Wisconsin Supreme Court this week granted the State Bar of Wisconsin’s request to modify the “Emeritus” classification of State Bar membership.

Currently, lawyers may elect Emeritus status at age 70 and continue practicing law without paying annual State Bar dues or annual Wisconsin Supreme Court assessments, aside from a fee to the court’s client protection fund. Additionally, Emeritus members are exempt from continuing legal education (CLE) requirements.

As the court’s final order states, the State Bar “filed a
Continue Reading Supreme Court Grants Modification to Emeritus Membership Class

March 1, 2021 – The State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors last Friday (Feb. 26) voted to support a petition pertaining to the retention of circuit court case files and court records.

The Director of State Courts’ Records Management Retention Subcommittee filed a petition (20-08) to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, to amend and create rules that relate to the retention of circuit court case files, court records, minute records, and exhibits.

A supporting memo notes that
Continue Reading State Bar Board Supports Court Record Retention Changes, Takes Other Actions

Feb. 15, 2021 – Introducing Page Turner! She can help you have the best and most current State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE® materials at your fingertips.  

Page Turner will highlight one of our books and resources every couple of weeks, right here on the State Bar’s homepage. Her job is to give you a quick overview of the content so you can find resources that meet the needs of your office or firm.
Continue Reading Introducing Page Turner: A Helpful Guide to Current Legal Education Offerings

Jan. 28, 2021 – The Wisconsin Supreme Court has extended an order, requested by the State Bar of Wisconsin, that allows attorneys to obtain up to 30 continuing legal education (CLE) credits “on-demand” through Jan. 31, 2022, providing more stay-at-home CLE options amidst the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

Under CLE rules, lawyers must obtain a minimum of 30 hours of approved CLE during each two-year reporting period. A maximum of 15 CLE credits may be earned through a “repeated on-demand
Continue Reading Supreme Court Extends Order Allowing Attorneys to Obtain 30 CLE Credits On-Demand through 2021

Credit: PBS Wisconsin Image/James Gill, Photographer

Jan. 18, 2021 – A statue of the Hon. Vel Phillips, one of Wisconsin’s most prominent and influential attorneys over the last 100 years, could be placed on the state Capitol grounds later this year, should the State Capitol and Executive Residence Board approve a proposal at its Jan. 25 meeting.

The statue of Phillips will be the first on the Capitol Square to honor a person of color.

The State Bar of
Continue Reading State Bar, Law Foundation Support Vel Phillips Statue on Capitol Square

Jan. 6, 2021 – The Jacob Blake case in Kenosha highlights the ongoing conflict with racial justice in Wisconsin and nationwide. It is a powerful reminder that Wisconsin needs broader criminal justice reform, and we call for the legal community, elected officials, and law enforcement to act now.

This case was a tragedy for everyone involved, including Jacob Blake, his family, the Kenosha community, Kenosha law enforcement, and the nation. Our collective hearts go out to all people who
Continue Reading A Call for Broader Criminal Justice Reform

Dec. 28, 2020 – The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has outlined three tiers of population groups that should be within Phase 1 of the COVID-19 rollout, and lawyers and judges should be in the third tier, according to recent guidance from the CDC.

In early December, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended that health care personnel and residents of long-term care facilities be offered COVID-19 vaccines first, in Phase 1a of the vaccination program.

Phase
Continue Reading CDC: Legal Workers Should Be Among Phase 1, Third Tier for COVID-19 Vaccine

Dec. 22, 2020 – As leaders of the State Bar of Wisconsin, we denounce vicious personal attacks targeting Wisconsin Supreme Court justices and any judge for the decisions they are asked to make while upholding our Constitution and the rule of law.

According to various media reports, justices and judges are being threatened with acts of violence and personally attacked in emails, anonymous voicemails, and blog posts.  Among many disturbing words, justices were referred to as “terrorist,” “traitor,” and
Continue Reading We Stand Against Threats to Wisconsin’s Judiciar