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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.

The town's Transportation Utility Fee was imposed in addition to the property taxes the town collected. While property taxes are based on the value of a property, the TUF was based on the usage of the town's roads that a property was estimated to generate. The annual fee ranged from around $300 for most residential homes to $8,000 for certain commercial properties.


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.

Understanding Money Laundering

Money laundering typically involves taking actions to conceal the source of money generated through criminal activity. Specifically, Wis. Stat. § 943.895 states that a person may be charged with money laundering if they receive money or anything else of value that they knew was acquired illegally, facilitate financial transactions that are meant to conceal the source of money, or otherwise receive, transfer, or conceal money that will be used to further criminal activity.


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.


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.

The property owner sought damages against Engerman and Downes for deficient construction, requesting compensation for the demolition of the old pool and construction of the new pool. Downes also brought a third-party claim against Otto Jacobs, claiming that the shotcrete provided for the project was inferior. The insurers for Engerman, Downes, and Jacobs sought a summary judgment to declare that their commercial general liability (CGL) policies did not provide coverage for these damages. The insurers' claims were based on the integrated systems rule. Since the pool itself was damaged by improper construction methods and defective materials, as opposed to other property, the insurers argued that they were not required to pay for the demolition and new construction.


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.

Factors That May Play a Role in Decisions to Award Spousal Support

While there are numerous situations where one spouse may believe that spousal maintenance is appropriate, spousal support is usually based on need. It is meant to ensure a fair and equitable outcome for both parties in a divorce. The purpose of spousal maintenance is to make sure a spouse who relied on their former partner's income will be able to maintain their standard of living. When determining spousal maintenance—including the amount one spouse will pay to the other and the length of time that payments will last— the court may consider the following factors:


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.


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. 

Issues that May Be Addressed Through Fiduciary Litigation

Multiple parties may be able to pursue litigation against a person who was responsible for managing an estate and following the instructions of the deceased. These cases may seek to address financial concerns or other matters, including:


b2ap3_thumbnail_adam-.pngBy: Attorney Adam Schleis and Law Clerk Nancy Cattani

For those who are facing criminal charges, it is important to understand the distinction between different types of property crimes. These cases involve accusations of taking another’s property without permission..Criminal charges for theft can range from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class F felony with the specific penalties being based on the value and type of property that was allegedly stolen. However, if a person is accused of taking property directly from a person by using force or the threat of force, robbery charges may apply. Since robbery is considered a violent crime, more serious felony charges will apply, and a person may also face other related charges, such as assault. By understanding when an alleged offense may lead to robbery charges and the penalties that may apply for a conviction, criminal defendants can make sure they are taking the correct steps to defend themselves.

Understanding Robbery Charges Under Wisconsin Law

Wis. Stat. § 943.32 defines the offense of robbery, and states that a person can be charged with  robbery if they took money or property from someone else through the use of force or by threatening to use force. 


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.


b2ap3_thumbnail_jorge.pngBy: Attorney Jorge Fragoso

Drinking and driving is a dangerous act, and in Wisconsin, it can result in severe consequences. Those who operate motor vehicles after drinking alcohol or using drugs could potentially be pulled over and arrested, and they may be charged with the offense of Operating While Intoxicated (OWI). While a single OWI charge is serious enough, multiple arrests or convictions for drunk driving will result in more severe charges. Drivers should be aware of when they could be charged with a felony due to multiple OWI convictions on their record, and they will also need to understand the penalties that will apply if they are convicted on felony OWI charges.

Felony Charges for Multiple OWI Offenses

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