Wisconsin Appellate Law

The Seventh Circuit’s decision in Brickstructures, Inc. v. Coaster Dynamix, Inc., No. 19-2187 (March 11, 2020), highlights the challenges that a party faces when appealing a district court’s finding that it has waived the right to arbitrate.  The parties in Brickstructures entered into a joint-venture agreement to create a LEGO-compatible model rollercoaster kit. When the collaboration fell to pieces, Brickstructures sued Coaster Dynamix. Citing the joint-venture agreement’s arbitration clause, Coaster Dynamix moved to dismiss the complaint on…
This week, two federal appellate courts published notable opinions on the intersection between personal jurisdiction jurisprudence and Rule 23 class action procedure. The defendants in both cases face nationwide class actions, and each argued that the Supreme Court’s 2017 decision in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California, 137 S. Ct. 1773, precludes district courts from exercising specific jurisdiction over the claims of unnamed putative class members from other states. The majority of a…
Wisconsin’s Chapter 128 has long been something of a “wild west” of insolvency proceedings. Modeled on the provisions of the federal Bankruptcy Act of 1898, the statute empowers a circuit court to appoint a receiver to administer a debtor’s estate and to issue a protective order enjoining creditors from taking enforcement actions. But it lacks any direction for subjects addressed in detail in the modern Bankruptcy Code, such as the treatment of executory contracts or…
In 2017, the Wisconsin Supreme Court adopted a new class action rule, modeled after Fed. R. Civ. P. 23, with the avowed purpose of aligning state class-action practice with the federal practice and encouraging resort to the body of case law interpreting the federal rule.  In the first published appellate opinion of which I’m aware that undertakes that charge, written by Judge Kitty Brennan of District I, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals affirmed certification of…
This article is the third installment in our series on the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s recently completed 2017-18 term.  For previous installments, see here and here. One decision of the past term merits special attention: Tetra Tech EC, Inc. v. Wis. Dep’t of Revenue, 2018 WI 75. As we predicted (see prior post), Tetra Tech was the court’s chosen vehicle to revisit and restrict, on its own motion, previously mandated judicial deference to Wisconsin administrative agency…
Wisconsin’s Supreme Court issued an important decision last week in Marx v. Morris, 2019 WI 34, holding that “[c]orporate principles of derivative standing do not apply to the distinct business form of an LLC.” Id. ¶ 4. In a 4-3 decision written by Chief Justice Patience Roggensack, the court explained that the statutory scheme applicable to LLCs does not distinguish between direct and derivate claims and that the court would not “judicially import” one from…
This article is the fourth and final installment in our series on the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s recently completed 2017-18 term. For previous installments, see herehere, and here. Last term, the United States Supreme Court was expected to clarify its decision in Marks v. United States, 430 U.S. 188 (1977), which adopted a rule governing the precedential value of 4-1-4 decisions of the Court. Under Marks, the Court adopted the following rule…
This installment is the second in our series on the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s 2017-18 term.  For the previous installment, click here. The United States Supreme Court made headlines earlier this year for getting behind on its work.  Fortunately, Wisconsin’s supreme court has been trending in the opposite direction.  What is behind this development? We wrote in December 2014 about the Wisconsin court’s new opinion drafting procedure.  As we discussed then: A series of deadlines…
Over the course of the past two weeks, the Seventh Circuit has issued two separate opinions that limit the ability of state and local governments to craft their own labor law policy. In doing so, the court created a circuit split and raised an interesting question of the ability of the lower courts to disregard Supreme Court summary dispositions when the dispositions have arguably been undermined by later case law. The first case, International Association
The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s 2018-19 term began with arguments last month, and the first opinion of the term is expected tomorrow. Before we dive into this year’s term, we thought we would review the statistics of the 2017-18 term and highlight a couple of the court’s important decisions from the term, which saw the conclusion of Justice Michael Gableman’sservice and the election of his successor, Justice Rebecca Dallet. In 2017-18, the court issued 60 merits…