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Probate Bench-Bar Committee - 5.11 Key Take-Aways

Key take-aways from May 11th meeting:

Notes from the meeting:

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Good News About Good Work

It seems that all we hear lately is bad news. The MBA would like to highlight all the good happening in the Milwaukee community during these challenging times!

This week we’d like to recognize Attorneys Kim Powers, Janet Heins, and Leah Poulos who have been sewing thousands of masks and donating them to Froedtert Hospital, the Milwaukee VA Medical Center, and United Airlines. All masks have been donated free of charge to help first responders, front line workers, nursing home employees, rehab centers, and United Airlines employees who are providing free air travel for medical personnel to assist with the COVID-19 crisis.

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State of Wisconsin Hiring Administrative Law Judge

The State of Wisconsin, Department of Workforce Development is seeking a skilled Attorney to conduct hearings and issue legal decisions related to complex unemployment cases.

Please note that applications are still being accepted.

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MBA Foundation: Call for Grant Applications

The MBA Foundation is now accepting grant applications through May 20. The charitable purposes of the MBA Foundation include, but are not limited to, the creation and/or support of activities and projects with the following objectives:

• Promoting public understanding and appreciation of the law and the legal system and their role in society

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Lawyer Well-Being Week May 8 - Feel Well: Emotional Well-Being

Today marks the last day of #LawyerWellbeingWeek and the theme is 'Feel Good: Emotional Well-Being'. Check out our tips, activities, resources and events below! 

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Lawyer Well-Being Week May 7 - Connect: Social Well-Being

Thursday's #LawyerWellbeingWeek theme is 'Connect: Social Well-Being'. Check out our tips, activities, resources and events below! 

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Lawyer Well-Being Week May 6 - Engage & Grow: Career & Intellectual Well-Being

We are halfway into 'Lawyer Well-Being Week' and Wednesday's theme is 'Engage & Grow: Career & Intellectual Well-Being'. Check out our tips, activities, resources and events below! 

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Lawyer Well-Being Week May 5 - Align: Spiritual Well-Being

It's day two of 'Lawyer Well-Being Week' and Tuesday's theme is 'Align: Spiritual Well-Being'. Focus on your spiritual well-being with the following activities today:

Emily Esfahani Smith’s TED Talk: There’s More to Life Than Being Happy (Pursue Meaning Instead)

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MBA Board of Directors: Call for Nominations

Would you like to find a way to have an impact on the Milwaukee area legal community, enhance access to social justice, develop strong connections with fellow attorneys and judges, all while getting your name out as a leader in the law?

Do you know someone with a passion for innovation whose voice deserves to be heard (maybe that's you too!)?

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Lawyer Well-Being Week May 4 - Stay Strong!

This week marks national 'Lawyer Well-Being Week' and the MBA is excited to share tips, activities, and resources with you focused on mental and physical well-being!  Today's theme is 'Stay Strong: Physical Well-Being'. Get active and focus on your physical health with our ideas below:

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Small Claims Bench-Bar Committee Meeting - Key Take-Aways

Take-aways from April 17, 2020 meeting

Location: Zoom

  • As to evictions: The court continues to only hear cases that fit the Governor’s Emergency Order 15 requirement;, all evictions for non-payment will be dismissed. The clerks will not disallow attorneys to file cases. Attorneys who choose to do so must comply with Affidavit requirements of EO 15.
  • As to AM (all other cases), the court is trying to get up and going. The court is trying to hear cases that have been adjourned and where there are represented parties in the cases scheduled to hear them and begin the process of launching operations in electronic and telephonic communications. The court is working to do that as soon as possible with the goal to start within the next four to six weeks. This will require a reconfiguration of how the court works with clerks and basic training on Zoom for court staff and court officials.

  • During this time, it is important for attorneys to become familiar with Zoom. The court commissioner and/or clerk will set all zoom conferences/hearings. It is the responsibility of the attorney to share the Zoom information with witnesses.

Good News about Good Work

Good News about Good Work

On Friday, April 17 the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued an order to reinstate the practice of ghost writing for pro bono attorneys providing brief representation. 

This practice was revoked in the second half of 2019 requiring pro bono attorneys to provide their name and bar number when assisting in pro bono or brief legal advice situations. This requirement diminished pro bono representation throughout the state. Attorneys are less likely to accept pro bono representation and provide drafting assistance to pro se litigants because of the presumption that inclusion of an attorney name and bar number implicates broader representation. This leads to more parties representing themselves, clogging the judicial system and potentially yielding less than positive results for the litigant. This can lead to a myriad of issues for the litigant including but not limited to homelessness, joblessness, disruption of the family unit and general personal turmoil. 

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Probate Bench-Bar Committee Meeting - Key Take-Aways

Key take-aways from April 14 meeting:

  • The procedures for court proceedings with respect to Chapters 51, 54, and 55 will be published and subsequently forwarded to this group.
  • Waivers are key documents for the opening and closing of estates; please obtain them from all interested parties.
  • Temporary guardianship hearings are currently being held on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
  • Permanent guardianship hearings may not be held because of the various in-person statutory requirements.
  • The judges are looking for ways to keep cases moving and getting them closed; they want to avoid calendar congestion when Safer at Home is no longer in effect. 
  • Zoom hearings are to be used whenever possible, if all interested parties may be heard using this technique. 
  • For any hearings scheduled via Zoom, the clerk will send the passcode and other information necessary for participation. 
  • If you have questions or problems, please reach out to the court via the clerks.
  • The deadline for guardianship accountings has been unofficially extended through the end of the month; there is no need to petition for an extension until then. 
  • Please exercise caution in using innovative techniques for the execution of documents such as wills; what the current judges may find acceptable now may not be what the judges a decade from now will find acceptable.
  • Next Bench-Bar Meeting via Zoom will be on May 11th at noon.

Family Law Section Bench-Bar Committee Meeting 4/6 - Key Take-Aways

Top take-aways from the meeting:

• The Milwaukee FCC will have Zoom hearings available as early as next week.If you have a case that was scheduled before the FCC between March 16 – May 15th, and all parties are represented by an attorney, the lawyers may request a Zoom hearing date.To request this please e-mail Commissioner Berrios ([email protected]) and copy the other attorney. This is optional. You are welcome to wait for your adjourned in person hearing date, but if you want to get in sooner via Zoom then e-mail Commissioner Berrios.
• Judges have started to do stipulated divorces by affidavit as previously explained. The judges will discuss later this week what to do about the issue of access to notaries.
• The only in person hearings going on in family court right now are injunctions. 
• Judges and clerks have been getting issued state laptops with remote access. Many clerks are now coming back online and working remotely. 
• Ask the clerks individually about how to handle the Data Sheet. 
• Judges will still try to hear motions to enforce physical placement within 30 days, presumably via phone or video. Attorneys should put as much of the facts as they can in those motions if they want a hearing set. 
• If you have a court date before the FCC with two attorneys that will need to be rescheduled, the attorneys can e-mail Commissioner Berrios to try and arrange a new date. 
• Next Bench Bar Meeting via Zoom will be on May 4th at noon.