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2012 News Archives

Pines Profiled by Capital Times

Madison's Capital Times newspaper ran a front page profile of CWPB partner Lester Pines today.  The article highlights Lester's acumen as a trial lawyer, the respect he has earned from others in the legal community, and the Firm's recent successes in enjoining three unconstitutional laws enacted in the 2011 legislative session:  the Wisconsin Voter ID law, the collective bargaining law, and the administrative rules law.  

The Act 10 Ruling and Reactions by the State, Employers and Unions

On September 14, 2012, Dane County Circuit Judge Juan Colas ruled that significant portions of Act 10, the drastic revisions made in 2011 to the law that governed Wisconsin's public employee unions and the scope of collective bargaining, were unconstitutional. Among other things, the judge struck down Act 10's severe limitation on the unions' and municipal employers' ability to bargain wages and prohibition against bargaining other employment terms, the prohibition on dues deductions from union members' salaries, and the requirement of annual recertification elections by supermajorities. Plaintiff Madison Teachers, Inc. is represented in the case by CWPB attorneys Lester Pines, Susan Crawford and Tamara Packard.

CWPB Assists with First Dane County Wind Project

Adding to the list of wind projects we have provided legal services to in recent years, CWPB helped secure final town approval for a new wind project in Dane County last week. The new project is owned by Epic Systems, a Madison-based medical software company, and will significantly expand the company's existing portfolio of renewable energy generation that also includes the largest solar energy system in the state.

Numerous CWPB Attorneys Identified as Best Lawyers for 2013

More than half of our attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2013 listing of Best Lawyers in America, including 75% of our family law attorneys and 100% of our Employment Law attorneys.  Here's the breakdown:

Voter ID Update

Attorney Susan Crawford presented an update on the League of Women Voter's legal challenge to the Wisconsin Voter ID law to a group of over 50 attorneys at an informational session held in Madison on August 22, 2012. The session, coordinated by Obama for America, trained and prepared attorneys to serve as volunteer election observers. Susan presented an overview of the provisions of 2011 Wisconsin Act 23, which requires Wisconsin voters to show a photo ID in order to vote; explained the legal theory of the League of Women Voter's constitutional challenge to the law; and provided a procedural history of the litigation to date. Pines Bach is proud to be representing the League in this challenge. August 2012.

New Trial Granted

The Wisconsin Court of Appeals has granted Attorney Tamara Packard's client Carl Schoh a new trial, after a Green County judge erroneously ordered that an employee's wage claim case be tried by a jury. The jury trial was ordered at the defendant New Glarus Brewing Company's request, made after attorneys for both parties had waived their clients' rights to a jury. The trial court granted the request based on the fact that defense counsel had failed to timely ask his client about whether it wanted to demand a jury. The Court of Appeals found that "it was not reasonably prudent" for defense counsel to waive his client's right to a jury without consulting with his client. It therefore ruled that the trial court could not excuse this neglect and allow the defendant to make a belated jury request. The Court of Appeals went on to find that the trial judge's error was not harmless. The Court reasoned that "common sense and experience tell us that judges and juries frequently view cases differently," and therefore granted Schoh a new trial. May 2012.

CWPB Mourns

It is with great sadness that Pines Bach announces Attorney Laurie Mlatawou's death on Saturday, May 19, 2012. Mother, attorney, friend to many and seeker of justice for all, she fought her battle with cancer just as she did everything else: with strength and determination. Laurie joined CWPB as an associate in September 2010 with the aim of developing a bilingual general practice, to provide a wide variety of legal services to the Spanish-speaking community.

Statewide Wind Siting Rules Go Into Effect

On behalf of the wind energy industry, CWPB's governmental relations team helped score a major victory in the Wisconsin Legislature when the legislature adjourned without indefinitely suspending PSC 128, the rule governing the siting of wind energy facilities adopted by the Public Service Commission.

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