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A power of attorney is a document that allows someone to appoint an agent to act on their behalf in the event that they become incapacitated or unable to make decisions on their own. These documents relate to financial and healthcare matters. One of the greatest benefits of a power of attorney is that it allows the agent to act quickly in a crisis. Having your college-age children sign a power of attorney for healthcare…
In Milwaukee Block 10 Properties v. City of Milwaukee, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals reaffirmed two key principles in its reversal of a circuit court decision which ordered the City of Milwaukee to revise its property tax assessment for the Aloft Hotel. First, Wisconsin affords substantial deference to property tax assessments prepared by municipalities. Property assessments enjoy a presumption of correctness which can rebutted only if the challenging party can present significant contrary evidence…
The Wisconsin Court of Appeals recently held that Wisconsin law precludes enforcement of a provision in an insurance policy that purported to limit underinsured motorist (“UIM”) coverage to only those insureds who sustain bodily injury or death. Ryan Johnson died from injuries sustained in a collision involving an underinsured vehicle. Johnson’s minor son, Elliot Brey, filed a claim against State Farm—his mother’s automobile insurance carrier—seeking to recover damages resulting from his father’s wrongful death. State…
Title VII is the portion of the federal Civil Rights Act that prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. It was first adopted by Congress in 1964. Last week, in a 6-3 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court interpreted Title VII to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and transgender status. The Court’s ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, 590 U.S. (2020), consolidated three decisions…
Last week Governor Evers announced a $200 million program for local leaders entitled “Routes to Recovery: Local Government Aid Grants.” The program intends to address Wisconsin communities’ urgent and unique situations surrounding COVID-19 recovery. Funded by federal CARES Act dollars, these grants are in addition to the $1 billion in state-wide COVID-19 related aid that includes free test kits, personal protective equipment, contact tracing, public testing sites and other resources. Routes to Recovery grants will…
Recently the Court of Appeals released an opinion holding that municipal pier regulations enacted pursuant to Wis. Stat. § 30.13(2) cannot be applied to a pier that qualifies for a state permit exemption under Wis. Stat. § 30.12(1g)(f).  As a result, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s decision in order to rule in favor of the pier owner.  In this case, the pier owner was represented by Stafford in conjunction with Attorney Adam…
The Seventh Circuit has weighed in on the highly publicized advertising dispute between beer giants Molson Coors and Anheuser-Busch.  See Molson Coors Beverage Company v. Anheuser-Busch Companies, LLC, Nos. 19-2200, 19-2713, 19-2782, 19-3097 & 19-3116 (7th Cir. May 1, 2020). In early 2019, Anheuser-Busch began advertising that Miller Lite and Coors Light use corn syrup as a source of sugar that yeast ferments into alcohol, whereas Bud Light uses rice.  Molson Coors (then MillerCoors)…
On May 1, 2020, Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul reversed his predecessor’s opinion prohibiting the Department of Natural Resources (“DNR”) from considering the cumulative impacts of high capacity wells[1] on waters of the state.  The events leading up to this reversal are critical to understanding the current and future effects of this new Attorney General Opinion. Wisconsin’s Constitution mandates that the state has jurisdiction over all navigable waters in the state and that navigable…
State and local governments have a variety of powers. They can take private property for public use, but they have to fairly compensate the property owner. They can also use their police power—a broad array of authority to protect public health and safety—to regulate the use of property. The Wisconsin Court of Appeals’ recent decision in United America v. Wisconsin Department of Transportation, 2018AP2383 (Wis. Ct. App. April 28, 2020), illustrates the limited damages…
The scope of the Clean Water Act (“CWA”) expanded under the Supreme Court’s ruling in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund, 590 U.S. ___ (2020). The Court found that the CWA requirement for a permit prior to discharging a pollutant to navigable water could apply to pollutant discharges to groundwater that subsequently travel to navigable waters. The CWA forbids the addition of any pollutant from a point source to navigable waters without the…