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How Can Litigation Address Issues Affecting Construction Projects?

 Posted on July 20, 2023 in Business Law

Construction LitigationConstruction projects can involve multiple types of complex concerns. Numerous different parties may play a role in these projects, including property owners, architects, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, and engineers. With so many moving parts, it is not uncommon for issues to arise during a construction project. These issues can range from contract disputes to construction defects and delays.

Construction litigation is one way to address these issues and seek resolution. By taking legal action, the parties involved in a construction project can protect their rights and interests while seeking compensation for any damages incurred. An attorney who is experienced in matters related to construction law can provide guidance on whether litigation may be necessary or whether there may be other options for resolving disputes.

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Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules Against Illegal Property Taxes

 Posted on July 18, 2023 in Real Estate

For individuals and businesses throughout the state of Wisconsin, property taxes can be a serious issue. The requirement to pay these taxes can place a significant financial burden on property owners, especially when taxes are increased significantly or when other related fees are imposed. In some cases, cities and towns have attempted to levy additional taxes or fees in order to fund utilities, improvements, and other expenses. However, the state of Wisconsin places limits on increases in property taxes. In a recent decision, the Wisconsin Supreme Court addressed attempts by the town of Buchanan to get around these limits, and it forced the town to comply with the levy limits that have been put in place in Wisconsin law.

Wisconsin Property Taxpayers, Inc. v. Town of Buchanan

In 2019, the town of Buchanan sought to increase revenue that would be used to maintain and reconstruct roads in the area. To do so, it used a referendum to allow voters to decide between raising property taxes, putting a special assessment in place, or creating a Transportation Utility Fee (TUF). Voters chose the TUF, and the town put an ordinance in place creating a Transportation Utility District that would be funded by these fees.

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Who Can Be Charged With Money Laundering in Wisconsin?

 Posted on July 18, 2023 in White Collar Crimes

attn-jason_20230718-194810_1.jpgBy Attorney Jason Luczak

Money laundering is a serious criminal offense. While it is generally classified as a white collar crime that involves financial activities, it is often related to other types of offenses, such as drug trafficking. Because of this, those who are suspected of money laundering are likely to be investigated by law enforcement, and anyone who is involved in illegal transactions or activities may face criminal charges. It is important to understand the specifics of the offense of money laundering and the circumstances that can lead to a conviction. Those who have been accused of money laundering or related offenses can work with a criminal defense attorney to determine how to respond to these charges.

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5 Types of Drugs That May Lead to OWI Charges in Wisconsin

 Posted on July 06, 2023 in DUI / OWI

OWI WisconsinDrunk driving is known to be dangerous, and drivers who get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol could be pulled over and arrested on criminal charges. However, operating while intoxicated (OWI) charges are not limited to alcohol impairment alone. In the state of Wisconsin, driving under the influence of intoxicating drugs is also a serious offense that can result in severe consequences. Following an arrest for OWI due to the use of drugs, it is important for a person to secure representation from an attorney who has experience handling these types of cases. An OWI defense lawyer can assist with cases involving drugs such as:

Marijuana

Marijuana, also known as cannabis or weed, is one of the most commonly used illicit drugs in Wisconsin. Despite its legalization in multiple other states, including the neighboring states of Illinois and Michigan, marijuana remains illegal for recreational use in Wisconsin. If a person operates a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana, they can be charged with an OWI.

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How Can Employers and Employees Address Disability Discrimination?

 Posted on July 06, 2023 in Employment Law

Jaclyn Kallie Milwaukee employment law attorney for disability discriminationBy Attorney Jaclyn Kallie

In Wisconsin, there are a variety of state and federal laws in place to ensure that people with disabilities do not face discrimination in the workplace. Employers have a responsibility to provide equal opportunities for people with disabilities, and employees should make sure they know their legal rights and understand the resources available to protect them against discrimination. With the help of an employment law attorney, employers and employees can make sure discrimination issues are addressed correctly.

Understanding Disability Discrimination

First, it is important to understand how a disability is defined in the context of employment discrimination. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a disability is a physical or mental condition that places significant limits on a major life activity, such as a person's ability to walk, talk, see, hear, learn, or use different parts of their body. A person may be considered disabled if they have a history of disability, if they have medical records or other documentation of disabilities, or are perceived to have a qualifying impairment. To be considered disabled, the limitation does not need to be permanent or long-term. A person is considered temporarily disabled if their disability lasts or is expected to last more than six months.

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Wisconsin Supreme Court Addresses Integrated Systems Rule in Construction Litigation

 Posted on June 29, 2023 in Commercial Litigation

There are a variety of situations where construction litigation may be necessary to address issues such as shoddy workmanship, defective materials, or other problems that lead to property damage. One factor that played a role in Wisconsin construction litigation cases was known as the "integrated systems rule." This rule stated that insurance coverage for property damage would only apply if damage occurred to "other property." However, a recent ruling by the Wisconsin Supreme Court has rejected this rule. This ruling may affect other types of construction litigation cases and ensure that contractors, suppliers, or those responsible for property damage are held liable.

5 Walworth, LLC v. Engerman Contracting, Inc.

In the case of 5 Walworth, LLC v. Engerman Contracting, Inc., a property owner in Lake Geneva hired a contractor to construct an in-ground swimming pool complex. This contractor, Engerman Contracting, Inc., hired a subcontractor, Downes Swimming Pool Co., Inc., to perform the construction. Downes hired a supplier, Otto Jacobs Company, to supply shotcrete, a ready-mixed concrete used in the construction of the pool. However, after the pool construction was finished, leaks were found. Over the course of several years, attempts were made to repair the leaks. Eventually, it was determined that the leaks would continue to develop and get worse over time. As a result, the property owner was forced to demolish and rebuild the pool.

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What Factors Will Affect Spousal Support in a Wisconsin Divorce?

 Posted on June 23, 2023 in Divorce

Megan Drury Milwaukee alimony lawyerBy Attorney Megan Drury

The divorce process can be difficult regardless of the reasons why a marriage is ending, the level of conflict between the spouses, or the complexity of the issues that will need to be addressed. Moreover, there are some situations where a spouse may be uncertain how they will provide for themselves after the marriage has ended, because the other spouse had a substantially higher income. If that is the case, spousal support (alimony) may be appropriate. Alimony, known as spousal maintenance in Wisconsin, is awarded by the court when it determines that payments should be made by one spouse to the other during or after a divorce. In cases where spousal maintenance is ordered, it is important to understand the factors that may be considered in assessing spousal maintenance and the steps one can take to protect financial interests.

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Can Employers Include Restrictive Covenants in Severance Agreements?

 Posted on June 19, 2023 in Employment Law

Jaclyn Kallie Milwaukee severance agreement attorneyBy Attorney Jaclyn Kallie

Employment relationships can sometimes end in less-than-ideal circumstances, such as downsizing, layoffs, the elimination of a position due to company restructuring, or the termination of an employee for other reasons. When these relationships come to an end, an employer may offer an employee a severance agreement, which may provide them with severance pay in return for following certain requirements or restrictions. These agreements may include terms known as "restrictive covenants" that are meant to protect the employer's interests and prevent unfair competition. To ensure that these terms will be enforceable, an employer can work with an employment law attorney to draft severance agreements that will meet their needs.

Wisconsin Laws Addressing Restrictive Covenants

Restrictive covenants are contractual clauses that may limit a former employee's ability to work for an employer's competitors or disclose confidential information after the employment relationship ends. These covenants can come in a variety of different forms. For example, non-compete agreements may state that an employee cannot work for any companies that directly compete with their former employer, and they cannot start a new business in the same industry. Non-solicitation agreements may restrict a former employee from contacting others who work for the employer and attempting to hire them or from contacting the employer's customers. Confidentiality or non-disclosure agreements may also be used to ensure that a former employer does not share a company's proprietary information or trade secrets with others.

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When Is Fiduciary Litigation Necessary in Probate Cases?

 Posted on June 16, 2023 in Estate Planning

Jack McNally Milwaukee probate litigation attorneyBy: Attorney John McNally and Law Clerk Nancy Cattani

Death is an inevitable part of life, but dealing with the aftermath of a person's death can be a challenging and emotional experience for their loved ones. When a person passes away, their estate will typically pass through probate court to ensure their debts are paid, their assets are distributed according to their wishes, and their affairs are wound up properly. However, disputes can arise during the probate process, especially if the decedent’s intentions were not clear or if disagreements arise among heirs, beneficiaries, or creditors. In some cases, family members or other beneficiaries may believe that an estate was mismanaged or that a person's assets were not distributed correctly. In these situations, fiduciary litigation may be necessary, and interested parties may take action against a party, such as an executor or trustee, for failing to properly execute their fiduciary duties. 

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Who Can Be Held Liable for Losses in a Building Collapse?

 Posted on June 12, 2023 in Personal Injury

By: Law Clerk Nancy Cattani

Few things are more terrifying than the idea of being inside a building that collapses. People in this situation may be injured by falling rubble or could be pinned under debris, such as collapsed walls and ceilings. Collapses of large, multi-story buildings are likely to be even more dangerous, as people could experience serious or fatal injuries in falls, and rescuers may need to dig through tons of debris before a person can be extracted.

This situation has become an unfortunate reality for people who have been involved in several recent incidents. On May 28, 2023, part of an eight-story apartment building in Davenport, Iowa, collapsed, and over the next few days, nine people were rescued. Among the injured, there were 3 deaths, as well as many now left homeless. There was also an incident in Surfside, Florida on June 24, 2021 in which a twelve-story building collapsed, resulting in the deaths of 98 people.

People who are involved in these situations are likely to encounter numerous difficulties. Aside from dealing with the expenses involved in receiving treatment for serious injuries or moving forward after the death of a loved one, families may lose nearly all their possessions, and they may struggle to put their lives back together. As these families work to move forward from such a tragedy, they will need to determine who may be held liable for the damages they have suffered. Depending on the circumstances of a case, victims may be able to recover compensation through a premises liability claim or other personal injury lawsuit against the responsible parties.

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