2011 News

Loeb Secures Acquittal

Attorney Jordan Loeb won an acquittal in a LaCrosse County case of homicide by negligent operation of a motor vehicle. His client was a LaCrosse County Deputy Sheriff who was accused by the Wisconsin Department of Justice of criminal negligence for driving too fast in response to an emergency call and causing a collision that took the life of a 16 year old driver. The LaCrosse Tribune described the verdict as " an unprecedented victory for emergency responders comforted by a special privilege that protects their conduct under state law." November 2011.

Super Lawyers and a Top Tier Firm

Whether it is a complex divorce, defending against criminal charges, civil litigation, a dispute with your employer, or an issue requiring the persuasive skills of a lobbyist, other lawyers and clients agree that Pines Bach attorneys are among the best. In their annual listing of top attorneys in Wisconsin, Super Lawyers and Milwaukee Magazine named four of our partners as "Super Lawyers" for 2011. One of our partners, Steve Bach, was ranked among the top ten attorneys in the state regardless of practice area. CWPB's "Super Lawyers" and the areas in which they were ranked are as follows:

Steve Bach ( Family Law)

Lester Pines ( General Litigation)

Jordan Loeb ( Criminal Defense)

Tamara Packard ( Employment & Labor)

But that's not all. Best Lawyers and US News & World Report has just released its second annual listing (2011-2012) of the best law firms in the nation, and CWPB is again ranked as a top tier firm in numerous practice areas. According to the list publishers, "The rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in their field, and review of additional information provided by U.S. law firms as part of the formal submission process." Here are the practice areas in which we are considered "Tier 1:"

Employment Law--Individuals

Energy Law

Family Law

Family Law--Mediation

Government Relations

Labor Law--Union

Litigation--Labor & Employment

We are proud of the excellent work that our attorneys and staff do for our clients every day, and pleased to be recognized for our efforts. November 2011.

The project will feature two state-of-the-art 2.5-megawatt wind turbines, supplying clean, renewable electricity for approximately 1,500 homes per year. The project will use local contractors and sell power to a local utility under a long-term power purchase agreement that will help provide energy cost predictability and stability for ratepayers.

Despite a challenging environment, CWPB has remained active in representing renewable energy businesses in project development, regulatory matters, and governmental relations. This project is the second wind energy project CWPB has helped develop in Wisconsin in the past two years. October 2011.

Best Lawyers in America

Eight of the attorneys at Pines Bach -- more than half -- have been named to the peer-selected 2012 Best Lawyers in America listings. From Criminal Defense to Energy Law to Collaborative Divorce and Labor Law and more, we have the skill and respect needed to get the job done. Steve Bach has been listed for more than 25 years, and is honored this year for his work in Family Law, including collaborative divorce and mediation. Alison TenBruggencate and Elise Clancy Ruoho are also listed for their Family Law practices. Lester Pines appears for the tenth year and is recognized for his work in the areas of Criminal Defenseand Employment Law.

Packard Invited Into Trial Lawyer Society

Attorney Tamara Packard has been invited to become a Fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America, an invitation-only honorary society of trial lawyers. Fewer than 60 Wisconsin attorneys and less than 1/2 of 1% of attorneys in the US are members. According to the LCA, selection for membership is "based upon effectiveness and accomplishment in litigation, both at the trial and appellate levels, and superior ethical reputation." July 2011.

DP Registry Law Upheld

On a motion filed by Attorneys Lester Pines and Tamara Packard, Dane County Judge Moeser dismissed a lawsuit challenging Wisconsin's Domestic Partner Registry for same-sex couples and declared the Registry constitutional. Attorneys Pines and Packard had filed the motion in December 2010 on behalf of Governor Jim Doyle and other State officials. In explaining why the Registry did not violate Wisconsin's "marriage amendment," Judge Moeser said "The state does not recognize domestic partnership in a way that even remotely resembles how the state recognizes marriage." June 2011.

Crawford: Advocate for Kloppenburg & Voters

Susan Crawford served as lead counsel for Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate JoAnne Kloppenburg in the first statewide election recount in Wisconsin in over twenty years. While the vote margin proved to be too large to overcome, Crawford scored victories in Dane County Circuit Court that ensured every vote was counted and election day data was properly preserved. Crawford also advocated for a GAB investigation of the Waukesha County Clerk, who misreported election results on election night and withheld the release of correct data for two days after the election. May 2011.

Sumi Voids Anti-Collective Bargaining Law

Dane County Circuit Court Judge Maryann Sumi has ruled that a committee meeting of the Wisconsin Legislature violated the Wisconsin Open Meetings Law on March 9, 2011, the governmental actions taken during that meeting are void and, consequently, 2011 Wisconsin Act 10, which severely restricted the rights of public sector union employees, has no force or effect. Attorney Susan Crawford, with the assistance of attorneys Tamara Packard and Lester Pines, represented Senator Mark Mille r in the case and advocated for this result. Read the decision and the findings of fact and conclusions of law. May 2011.

TenBruggencate Shows Talent

Family law attorney Alison TenBruggencate volunteered her time and talent in a recently-released video segment about what to expect in a divorce mediation. She appears as the mediator in the segment, which you may watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQRmePdYr9Q&feature=youtu.be. The segment was part of a longer video, Preparing for Mediation, produced by the Dane County Bar Association and funded through a grant from the State Bar of Wisconsin. The video received an Award of Outstanding Achievement from the State Bar. Of course, we think Alison deserves an Oscar! May 2011.

Another Labor Arbitration Victory

In a case argued by Attorneys Lester Pines and Laurie Mlatawou for Madison Teachers, Inc., an arbitrator ruled that an occupational therapist had been wrongly fired by the Madison Metropolitan School District and ordered her reinstatement. This is the latest in a number of cases in which CWPB attorneys have been successful in overturning disciplinary actions taken against MTI members. May 2011.

Lisa Fox Elected to WALA Board

Lisa Fox, Firm Administrator for Pines Bach, has been elected to the Board of Directors for the Wisconsin Association of Legal Administrators("WALA"). Her role on that Board is Vice President of Business Partner Relations. WALA is a professional resource for law office management in Wisconsin. WALA's mission is to enhance the legal administrative profession by providing opportunities for professional growth, leadership development and peer networking. WALA is a chapter of an international professional association, the Association of Legal Administrators. April 2011.

Contempt and Arrest Orders Illegal

Hours after Wisconsin Senate Republicans ordered law enforcement officers statewide to arrest Senate Democrats and bring them to the Senate Chambers, Attorneys Lester Pines and Susan Crawford prepared and distributed amemorandum explaining how the Senate has no authority to do so. The opinion from attorneys Pines and Crawford has been relied upon by the media in reporting about the Senate's actions. On March 3, Wisconsin Senate Republicans passed a resolution directing Senate Democrats to appear in the Senate Chambers in order to achieve a quorum on a bill that would gut collective bargaining rights for public sector employees, among other things. When the Democrats failed to do this bidding, the Republicans found them "guilty of contempt and disorderly behavior." They also issued to law enforcement Orders to Detain the Senate Democrats and bring them to Senate Chambers. These Orders claim to be akin to a warrant to arrest and deliver. March 2011.

CWPB At The Forefront of Assisting Public Employee Unions

Pines Bach has provided vital advice and counsel to its Wisconsin public employee union clients during the crisis caused by the introduction of legislation in Wisconsin to eliminate public sector collective bargaining. Most notably, Lester Pines defeated an attempt by the Madison Metropolitan School District to obtain a court order from the Dane County Circuit Court ordering members of Madison Teachers, Inc., the teachers union, to return to work. MTI members have led the way in protesting the proposed legislation by participating in the demonstrations, speaking at the rallies and legislative hearings, and otherwise acting collectively both during and after the work day. February 2011.

Pines Chosen as Leader in the Law

At an awards ceremony on February 16 in Milwaukee, Lester Pines was honored as a Leader in the Law by the Wisconsin Law Journal. Read the full story and watch the video:

http://wislawjournal.com/blog/2011/02/16/pines-has-big-goal-left-isn%e2%80%99t-slowing-down/ February 2011.

Governor Doyle's Chief Legal Counsel

Joins Pines Bach

Pines Bach is pleased to announce that Susan M. Crawford has joined the firm as a senior associate. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Crawford served as the Chief Legal Counsel to Governor Jim Doyle from 2009 to 2010. In that role, she was the chief legal advisor to the Governor and his staff and as the Governor's liaison to the Wisconsin Department of Justice, the Government Accountability Board, the Department of Military Affairs, the Wisconsin Homeland Security Council, and the Wisconsin court system. Ms. Crawford will be practicing with the firm's energy and telecommunications and litigation practices, focusing on administrative, utility, environmental, lobbying and political law.

While serving as the Governor's chief legal counsel, Ms. Crawford was also the chair of the Governor's Pardon Advisory Board and a member of the Judicial Selection Committee and the Wisconsin Claims Board. Previously, during the Doyle administration, Ms. Crawford held executive-level positions at several state agencies, including serving as Administrator of the Division of Enforcement and Science with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Ms. Crawford also served as an Assistant Attorney General at the Wisconsin Department of Justice for several years, representing the State of Wisconsin in criminal appeals before the Wisconsin Court of Appeals and Wisconsin Supreme Court, and prosecuting health care fraud and abuse cases. Ms. Crawford was the director of the Wisconsin DOJ's Criminal Appeals Unit from 2000 to 2003. February 2011.

Guardian of Civil Liberties

Members of the ACLU of Wisconsin have re-elected Attorney Terri Gabriel to its Board of Directors. This is Attorney Gabriel's second two-year term on the Board. ACLU of Wisconsin is an affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, the nation's primary advocate of an individual's civil rights and civil liberties as guaranteed by the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The ACLU of Wisconsin is a non-profit, non-partisan private organization, governed by a 27 member Board of Directors from around the state. There are currently more than 8,000 members in the state. February 2011.