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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 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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Milwaukee, WI business law attorney for litigation or mediationBy Attorney Jaclyn Kallie

Litigation refers to the activities and procedures of filing and prosecuting a court case. In civil cases, litigation involves a plaintiff seeking redress (compensation) from a defendant. A business can be included in all kinds of commercial litigation, but due to the cost of civil litigation, many businesses instead opt for mediation or arbitration. Business owners are understandably reluctant to engage in costly and possibly brand-damaging legal cases. However, there are instances where civil litigation is unavoidable. The decision to pursue litigation should always be made with the help of a knowledgeable attorney, and a business owner should consider all the relevant factors present in their potential case.

1. Is it Worth The Cost?

Any good business owner spends their money wisely. Litigation can be costly and time-consuming. A plaintiff may spend years in court pursuing a lawsuit, and much of an award resulting from a favorable verdict or settlement may go towards court costs, defeating the purpose of their claim. In other cases, a business that is a defendant might eventually win the case but have their ability to do business harmed due to a loss in reputation. In such circumstances, mediation or negotiation may be preferential.

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Milwaukee, WI criminal record expungement attorney

 By Ray Dall’Osto & Erin Strohbehn

So far in 2019, Wisconsin has seen the beginning of the reinstitution of pardon policy by the Governor and passage of an expungement reform bill by the state Assembly. If approved by the state Senate, this bill would expand the age range in which expungements are available to previous offenders and go a long way to address unnecessary restrictions that have been placed on expungement petitions by several court of appeals decisions. A Pardon Advisory Board was named by Governor Evers this summer, which will help to facilitate the pardon process, and will allow pardons to be considered and approved, for the first time in over eight years.

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Milwaukee elder abuse attorneyBy Attorney Chris Strohbehn

Elder abuse and neglect is all too prevalent in today’s world. As baby boomers continue to age, the number of individuals in nursing homes continues to increase. In order to monitor and attempt to reduce the number of abuse victims, the National Center on Elder Abuse studies the trends and prevalence of elder abuse in America. According to one of their studies, it is estimated that 1 in 13 older adults had been victims of at least one form of elder abuse in the previous year. One of the most devastating statistics reveals that those who suffer from dementia become even greater targets. According to a 2009 study, almost 50% of people with dementia experience some form of abuse. 

These statistics are discouraging, especially for those whose only option is residing at a nursing home. Knowing the different types of abuse and recognizing their identifiers can help save elderly victims and hopefully lower the number of individuals that suffer from nursing home abuse.

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Milwaukee civil litigation attorney for real estate disputesBy Attorney Jaclyn Kallie

Misrepresentation is the misstating of facts relevant to a property during a real estate transaction, and it is the most common claim made in real estate litigation cases. Misrepresentation typically takes the form of massaging facts to seduce the buyer into purchasing. Misrepresentation can include outright fraud, but it is mostly thought of as the gross exaggeration of the features relevant to real estate.  

Misrepresentation in Real Estate Litigation

Misrepresentation is a thorny issue, because it can be subjective. Real estate agents use hyperbole and exaggeration constantly when dealing with clients. A seller may use colorful language to entice a person to buy real estate, but if an exaggeration or misstatement has a significant financial impact, the buyer may have recourse to seek compensation. Misrepresentation mainly pertains to the hard facts and whether the approximation of the seller is more correct than wrong.  

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