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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 business insurance lawyerBy Attorney Christopher Strohbehn

Coronavirus is greatly affecting the way businesses normally operate when using leased property. Some businesses have been forced to shut down because of government-required closures, and other landlords are choosing to close properties on their own. What should a business owner consider if they are not able to operate their business in their leased space?

Obligations of the Landlord Are Independent of the Obligations of the Tenant

Landlords and tenants are reviewing their leases to determine if any remedies are available to tenants due to a business shut down caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. A normal lease will state that the payment of rent by the tenant is an obligation independent from the obligations of the landlord according to the lease. Under most common commercial leases, the tenant will not have the right to offset rent unless the lease specifically includes this right. Unfortunately for tenants, most leases state that landlords are not liable for a building’s closure or for failure to provide access, utilities or services in emergency situations, and thus an offset of rent is not required by the landlord.

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Milwaukee, WI nurse licensing attorneyBy Attorney Kristen Nelson

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a nursing shortage in Wisconsin. Now, that shortage is reaching a critical level. The State of Wisconsin and Governor Tony Evers have taken an “all hands-on deck” approach. On Friday, March 27, 2020, Governor Evers Issued Emergency Order #16, relating to certain health care providers and the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS). The Order applies to all heath care providers in various licensing situations.

Several administrative rules pertaining to nursing were suspended in this Order in an effort to increase the availability of nurses in Wisconsin during this health crisis. These administrative rules primarily affect new nurses and nurses whose licenses have expired.

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Milwaukee healthcare license defense lawyerBy Attorney Kristen Nelson

On Friday, March 27, 2020, Governor Tony Evers Issued Emergency Order #16, relating to certain health care providers and the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS). The Order applies to all heath care providers in various licensing situations. The purpose of the order is to increase the availability of health care providers in Wisconsin during this health crisis. One group that is addressed in the order are out-of-state licensed health care professionals who are currently living in Wisconsin. Under certain circumstances, an out-of-state licensed health care professional may be able to practice in Wisconsin without first obtaining a temporary or permanent license.

Normally, a health care provider licensed in another state needs to go through the licensing process in Wisconsin. Under Governor Evers’ order, a health care provider with a valid and current license issued by another state is able to practice under that license and within the scope of that license in Wisconsin. The license holder does not need to first obtain a temporary or permanent license from DSPS prior to starting work if the following conditions are met:

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Milwaukee, WI business litigation lawyer COVID-19By Attorney Jaclyn Kallie

Courts in each county, as well as the Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin, have responded differently to COVID-19 by implementing a variety of measures that are affecting existing and contemplated civil litigation matters. We are continuing to monitor these announcements and are committed to providing you with the most up-to-date information as it becomes available. Most notably, on March 22, Justice Bradley issued an order suspending all civil jury trials scheduled prior to May 22 and temporarily suspending all in-person proceedings statewide, with certain limited exceptions. Many hearings and court conferences can and will continue to occur by remote attendance. Likewise, mediations and depositions can also be conducted remotely. While remote technology can provide an alternate solution to certain aspects of litigation, not every court will be as sympathetic as others with regard to extensions, and parties need to remain mindful of existing deadlines. 

Last week, Governor Tony Evers instituted a Stay-At-Home Order, ordering the non-essential workforce to stay at home. While necessary to fight COVID-19, the governor’s order will have significant and wide ranging legal consequences.

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Milwaukee, WI real estate lawyer coronavirus eviction foreclosureBy Russell J. Karnes

Because of the public health emergency caused by the rapid spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), on March 27, 2020, Wisconsin’s Governor and the Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services issued an emergency order prohibiting landlords from moving forward with eviction actions and mortgagees from moving forward with foreclosures. In doing so, the Governor is mirroring what had effectively already been done by court order in Milwaukee and Dane Counties.

The Governor’s statewide order goes further than the prior court orders by prohibiting landlords from serving notices for failure to pay rent (five-day notices) and any other notices terminating tenancy unless necessary to protect against serious physical harm to another (i.e. in cases of domestic violence). Landlords are also prohibited from filing eviction actions and from having writs of restitution served by the sheriff.

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Milwaukee, WI insurance coverage litigation lawyer coronavirusBy Attorney Chris Strohbehn

A restaurant in New Orleans, LA filed a lawsuit last week asking a judge to declare that its business interruption insurance policy will cover lost revenue as a result of mandated closures from government authorities due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The restaurant serves cajun style food in a large space that can seat up to 500 people in the French Quarter, a popular tourist district in New Orleans. While the restaurant is normally busy, the coronavirus crisis has caused crowds to diminish greatly. To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the governor of Louisiana has prohibited gatherings of over 250 people, required bars to remain closed, and restricted restaurants to filling takeout orders. This order will remain in effect until April 13, 2020.

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Milwaukee landlord/tenant lawyer coronavirus evictionsBy Attorney Russell J. Karnes

The public health emergency caused by the rapid spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has caused Wisconsin Circuit Courts in Dane County and Milwaukee County and the Wisconsin Supreme Court to issue orders that significantly affect the rights of landlords and tenants. The City of Milwaukee and State of Wisconsin health departments will also issue Stay-at-Home, or Safer-at-Home orders that further limit the activities of landlords and tenants. 

How Do Court Orders Staying Evictions Impact Landlords and Tenants?

On March 18, 2020, a Judge in Milwaukee County issued an order suspending the enforcement of all pending writs of restitution (evictions) in Milwaukee County. Dane County’s presiding Judge issued an order suspending all evictions as of March 17, 2020. The basis for these orders was the need to prevent homelessness during the pandemic. On March 22, 2020, the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued an order suspending in-person hearings in most civil actions that will effectively stop any new eviction actions from being heard until at least May 1, 2020.

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Milwaukee business litigation attorney COVID-19By Attorney Chris Strohbehn and Law Clerk Nathan Froemming

Business Interruption Insurance Coverage

With COVID-19 spreading rapidly, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers issued an executive order on March 17th forcing restaurants and bars across the state to close their doors. As a result, restaurant and bar owners are losing significant income, and they will be likely to incur additional expenses because of the coronavirus pandemic. These disruptions are likely to lead to a significant increase insurance claims by tavern owners against insurance policies that offer business interruption coverage. Whether these claims will be covered will depend on the terms and conditions included in a policy, as well as the circumstances surrounding the losses suffered by the bar or tavern.

Successful business interruption insurance claims regarding infectious diseases are uncommon. In fact, the law regarding business interruption coverage related to epidemics or pandemics of infectious diseases is limited in the U.S., and these types of cases are often unique.

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Milwaukee, WI employment attorneys for sexual harassment claimsBy Attorney Erin Strohbehn

In the United States of America, everyone has the right to work in a professional setting free of sexual harassment, discrimination, and intimidation. In Wisconsin, sexual harassment and discrimination of any kind is prohibited in the workplace. According to the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, victims of sexual harassment and discrimination may be able to recover financial damages if the proper measures were not taken to address these issues. Damages may include loss of income and physical and emotional suffering. When addressing these matters, employers will want to work with an experienced employment law attorney.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment occurs when a person experiences unwelcome sexual advances, demands for sexual favors, or inappropriate verbal or physical conduct. Sexual harassment in the workplace typically falls into one of two categories:

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Milwaukee doctor license defense attorney coronavirusBy Attorney Kristen Nelson

Over the past week, we have entered unprecedented times. Daily, new Coronavirus cases are confirmed, and the death toll continues to rise. Social distancing has become the norm, and it is now considered the polite thing to do.

It is easy during these unsettling times to want to bend the rules. However, for licensed healthcare professionals, bending the rules during this health crisis could result in long-term consequences professionally. It is important to remember that the regulations governing licensed professionals still apply even during these times.

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