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Pines Bach News

Pines Featured in Isthmus Cover Story

Founding partner Lester Pines was featured in a cover story of the Isthmus, an independent news weekly in Madison. The article recounts Lester's family roots, professional history, and life-long commitment to social justice. The story also highlights Pines Bach's progressive values, its past achievements, and ongoing succession planning to ensure the firm's success well into the future.

Westerberg Pens Op-Ed for Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council

Christa Westerberg recently wrote an op-ed for the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council (WFOIC), which publishes a monthly Your Right to Know column with state-wide distribution. The Wisconsin State Journal, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and The La Crosse Tribune were among the many sources that carried her piece to print.

Packard Prevails in Supreme Court

In a rare unanimous decision, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has granted Attorney Tamara Packard's client the privilege to practice law in the State of Wisconsin. The Court reversed the ruling of the Wisconsin Board of Bar Examiners, which denied the law student admission to the Wisconsin Bar because in a final law school paper he quoted the work of others without attribution. The Court found that evidence of the student's positive character offset the concerning conduct, and that with an appropriate mentoring relationship at the start of his legal career, he could be admitted.

Pines Bach Attorneys Help Reunite Family of Syrian Refugees

Pines Bach attorneys Tamara Packard, Alison TenBruggencate and Lester Pines, along with Vincent Levy and Kevin Benish, attorneys from the New York law firm of Holwell Shuster & Goldberg LLP, on behalf of a Syrian man who had been granted political asylum because he had been tortured and threatened with death in Aleppo, Syria, obtained a temporary restraining order in federal court against President Trump's travel ban. The restraining order allowed our client's wife and three-year-old daughter, who were in hiding because they had been threatened with death, to escape from Aleppo, complete the necessary asylum processing and reunite with him in Madison, where they are living in safety.

Crawford Wins Key Rulings for the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors

On April 27, 2017, Susan Crawford won key rulings for the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors in a declaratory judgment action brought against Milwaukee County Executive Christopher Abele in the Milwaukee County Circuit Court. The County Board sought to clarify its powers and responsibilities under the Wisconsin Statutes over the compensation of Milwaukee County employees. County Executive Abele raised several counterclaims seeking the court's interpretations on related statutory issues.

Westerberg Scores Victory in Open Meetings Case against DNR Board

On June 1, 2017, Attorney Christa Westerberg won an important ruling in an open meetings case brought against the Govenor-appointed Wisconsin Natural Resources Board. The circuit court ruled that the board broke state law by discussing the public's business during a private meeting on January 26th of 2016.

Ruoho Appointed Board Member to The Madison Area Sports Commission

An official press release details:

The Madison Area Sports Commission (MASC) is pleased to announce the appointment of its new board members, including Justin Oeth, [Pines Bach Attorney] Elise Clancy Ruoho and Marc Sherry, to the Board for three-year terms beginning on April, 2017. MASC was created in September 2010 as an offshoot of the Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Westerberg Settles Case with DNR to Speed Improvements in Water Quality for Wisconsin Lake

Attorney Christa Westerberg recently settled a case to speed improvements in water quality for a Northern Wisconsin lake. As reported by the Wisconsin State Journal, Lac Courte Orielles near Hayward has suffered from excessive phosphorus that threatens the lake's prize muskie fishery. As part of the settlement, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has agreed to initiate its rulemaking process to set a new phosphorus standard for the lake, the first step towards reducing phosphorus levels.

Pines Bach Wins Court Order for Supplemental Relief for Medicaid Providers

Professional Homecare Providers garnered another key victory in Waukesha County Court on February 14, following up on that court's ruling last September that the Department of Health Services may only recoup past payments to Medicaid providers if the Department cannot verify that the services were provided or if the Department determines that the amount paid was inaccurate or inappropriate for the services. On the Professional Homecare Providers' motion, brought by Attorney Diane Welsh, the court determined that the Department has failed to comply with the September order, violating its order and the injunction it imposed by continuing to pursue recoupments against individual nurses for prohibited reasons. As a result, the court issued a warning to the Department and ordered it to pay the providers' fees and costs for bringing the motion. Attorneys Susan Crawford and Aaron Dumas assisted in obtaining the supplemental relief sought by the Plaintiffs.

Crawford Co-authors Amicus Brief Suggesting Remedies in State Partisan Gerrymandering Case

Attorney Susan Crawford co-authored an amicus brief on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin in Whitford v. Gill, in which the federal court found the redistricting plan enacted by the Wisconsin Legislature in 2011 to be an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander. The League's brief, filed on January 5, 2017, addresses the appropriate remedy for the violation and discusses procedures the Wisconsin Legislature could use to create a new redistricting plan that would avoid the extreme partisanship that led to the court's ruling. Read about it here.

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Madison, WI 53703-2718

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