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330 East Kilbourn Avenue, Suite 1170
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP

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Phone414-271-1440

Milwaukee, WI breach of contract attorneyBy Attorney Jaclyn Kallie

There are three ways a contract can be breached, warranting a civil lawsuit in Wisconsin. These are:

  • Failing to perform a task specified in the contract.
  • Making it impossible for the other party to perform a task stipulated in the contract.
  • Communicating an intent to not perform a task in the contract.

While these three criteria may seem clear cut, proving that one or more of them has been met is not always so easy.

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Milwaukee, WI family law attorney for grandparent visitation By Ray Dall’Osto, Jason Luczak & Chris Strohbehn

Wisconsin, like most states, considers arson to be a very serious criminal act and imposes stiff penalties on anyone convicted of the crime. An individual facing arson accusations and charges in Wisconsin should consult with and work with a skilled criminal defense attorney who is also familiar with applicable insurance law and claims procedures, to best deal with and understand the charges and potential consequences of a conviction.

Arson to Buildings and Property Damage

Anyone who commits one of the following acts may face felony arson charges under Wisconsin law:

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Tagged in: arson Criminal defense

Milwaukee, WI family law attorney for grandparent visitation

By Attorney Max Stephenson

Families can be complicated, and this means that matters of family law can also involve a variety of complex issues. Divorce and child custody cases often result in contentious disputes, and when issues such as visitation rights of grandparents or other third-parties are added to the mix, they can be difficult to resolve. Parents and grandparents should be sure to understand their rights in these situations. 

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By Jason Luczak & Brianna Meyer

Milwaukee drunk driving defense attorneyMilwaukee drunk driving defense attorney

The Wisconsin Assembly passed two bills this summer which, if approved by the state Senate, would impose stiffer penalties on individuals convicted of operating while intoxicated (OWI). The first bill would establish a mandatory minimum prison sentence of at least five years for drivers convicted of an OWI that resulted in a fatality.  A driver facing such a charge under current law faces a considerable prison sentence, although a sentencing court has the discretion to impose jail time, probation or combination of the two. The new bill passed by the Assembly would take away all discretion and individual consideration of each defendant and lump them all together regardless of blood alcohol level, treatment needs and efforts, etc. The second bill would make it obligatory for drivers facing OWI charges, including all first-time offenders, to appear in court. Because a first-time OWI is currently not a criminal offense, the civil rules of procedure allowing an appearance by legal counsel for some court proceedings can occur. 

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Milwaukee, WI divorce lawyer for pet ownershipBy Attorney Max Stephenson

Pet owners can be very attached to their animals, and a growing trend in the United States is to treat pets more like family than property. So, when a Wisconsin couple is facing divorce, the question naturally arises: “Who gets the pet?” When it comes to divorce, Wisconsin state law still considers pets as property, and therefore, they are included in the division of the couple’s assets and liabilities. This means legally, the pet is assigned to one or the other spouse, and since the pet is considered property, there are no court-sanctioned custody or visitation rights.

A 50/50 State

Wisconsin is considered a community property state, which means all marital property in a divorce (or legal separation or annulment) is divided 50/50 between the two partners. As stated above, this normally means the pet will be awarded to one or the other spouse. However, the 50/50 split excludes property that was given as a gift to either spouse separately or property that was inherited separately. Therefore, if the pet was a gift to one of the spouses or, for example, the pet was inherited from a parent, this might be grounds for the pet to be awarded to one spouse over the other.

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Milwaukee slip and fall accident injury attorneyBy Attorney Chris Strohbehn

If you live in Wisconsin, you know what comes after fall: winter, which usually involves plenty of snow and ice. Unfortunately, these conditions can bring another type of fall—one that causes injury. But when a slip-and-fall accident happens on a commercial property, who is responsible? The answer can be complex.

In Milwaukee, like many Wisconsin cities, “property owners and occupants of private property (commercial and residential) are required to clear sidewalks abutting their property of snow or ice within 24 hours after snow has stopped falling,” or they may face fines. While this requirement seems to place responsibility on a property owner or tenant to ensure that a sidewalk is safe, in many Wisconsin ice-induced commercial slip-and-fall cases, determining who is at fault is rarely so straightforward. There are a variety of reasons why this is so.

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Milwaukee, WI family law attorney for same-sex parentsBy Attorney Chris Strohbehn

Fall is a popular time to hit the road to enjoy the colorful foliage, and with the ideal mix of warm days and cool nights, there is no better area to enjoy the show than in Wisconsin. To many, the only thing that makes this better is to witness this spectacle of nature astride a motorcycle. Yet nothing can ruin your autumn ride like a serious motorcycle accident. Before you hit the road, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the state’s basic motorcycle regulations, and if you become involved in a collision, you should speak to an attorney to determine your options for recovering compensation.  

Wisconsin Motorcycle Regulations

  • Headlights: Use of headlights is required at all times, including daytime.
  • Modulating headlights: These are permitted under the Code of Federal Regulations.
  • Eye protection: Shatterproof protective eyewear is required except for cycles with a windscreen that extends at least 15 inches above the handlebars. Dark or tinted eye protection—such as sunglasses— cannot be worn at night or in low-light conditions.
  • Handlebar height: The maximum height allowed is 30 inches above the seat.
  • Head protection: U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)-approved helmets are required for all drivers and passengers under the age of 18. All drivers with a learner’s permit or instructional motorcycle permit also are required to wear a helmet.
  • Passenger age: There is no age restriction for passengers.
  • Motorcycle equipment: All motorcycles must be equipped with turn signals, at least one rear-view mirror, and a muffler.  
  • Passenger equipment: All motorcycles carrying a second person must have a separate passenger seat and two footrests.
  • Insurance: All motorcyclists must have accident liability insurance.

Safety First

When it comes to motorcycle safety, it is always a good idea to err on the side of caution. For this reason, most experts recommend always wearing protective eyewear and a helmet. Other safety recommendations include wearing bright-colored clothing to increase visibility as well as suitable shoes or boots; long, heavy-gauge pants such as jeans; and a long-sleeved jacket (preferably leather or a similar heavy material), all of which can provide added protection in case of a fall.

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Milwaukee, WI family law attorney for same-sex parentsBy Attorney Max Stephenson

Same-sex marriage became legal in Wisconsin in October 2014. Same-sex marriage became legal nationwide in June 2015 with the U.S. Supreme Court case of Obergefell v. Hodges. However, it may come as a surprise to LGBTQ families that same-sex parents are advised to get a court order confirming both parents’ parental rights.

A number of U.S. Supreme Court judgments have provided rights to LGBTQ parents nationwide. For example, Pavan v. Smith gave both parents the right to have their names (either as “mother/father” or “parent/parent”) on the birth certificate of their child, whether the child was adopted or conceived through artificial insemination or by one of the parents.  In the U.S. Supreme Court, cases including Obergefell and Pavan have mandated that all states must extend the same rights and benefits to same-sex married couples that are extended to opposite-sex married couples, including recognizing a non-gestational parent as a legal parent.

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Milwaukee, WI personal injury lawyer for defective productsIn 2011, former Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed the Omnibus Tort Reform Act, which changed preexisting state laws related to product liability. In particular, Chapter 895 of the Wisconsin Statutes was altered extensively. These changes placed a greater burden on plaintiffs when filing a personal injury lawsuit against a manufacturer or distributor of a potentially dangerous product.

The Reason for the Law Change

The legislative history of Wis. Stat. §895.046 reveals that the legislation was prompted by two Wisconsin Supreme Court decisions, Collins v. Eli Lilly Company, 116 Wis.2d 166 (1984), and Thomas v. Mallet, 2005 WI 129, 285 Wis. 2d 236. Legislators determined that a change in the law was necessary to make Wisconsin a state that was “good for business” because they deemed the Mallet decision as creating a hostile environment for businesses.

Reasonable Alternative Design

Under the prior law, a plaintiff could prove injury using the “Consumer Expectations Test.” This test required plaintiffs to prove that the product was dangerous beyond what an ordinary consumer would expect it would be.

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Milwaukee real estate lawyer for mechanic’s liensBy Attorney Jaclyn Kallie

Homeowners often hire a general contractor to perform work on their property. The general contractor, in turn, may hire subcontractors to fulfill specific tasks. When the homeowner pays the general contractor their fee, they may assume that the general contractor will be found at fault if a subcontractor is not paid by the general contractor. However, in some cases, a mechanic's lien may be placed against the homeowner if a subcontractor does not receive payment, and real estate litigation may be necessary to settle issues related to these types of liens.

What Is a Mechanic's Lien?

Mechanic's liens laws, also sometimes called “construction liens, ” provide security for laborers and suppliers. The term "mechanic" refers to a physical laborer,  such as a construction worker. A lien is the right given to another party by a homeowner to secure a debt. Mechanic's liens give homeowners the incentive to provide laborers with timely and reasonable payment for their work by putting the homeowner’s land up as collateral if payment is not received.

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