2008 News

2008 News

Bach Named “Top Lawyers”

Steve Bach ( Family Law) is recognized in Madison Magazine’s 2009 Top Lawyers Survey, published in the January 2009 issue. Steve was selected from 2,300 Dane County lawyer in thirty-eight areas of law.

Top Lawyers is a biennial peer survey of Dane County lawyers. Steve has been named in every Top Lawyers survey since Madison Magazine began the surveys in 1994. The Firm attorneys have also been selected for inclusion over the years. December 2008.

CWPB Reflects Equal Opportunity

50% of CWPB attorneys are female; no other Wisconsin law firm with 14 or more attorneys has a higher percentage of female attorneys, according to statistics published in a recent issue of the Wisconsin Law Journal. 44% of our partners are female (four out of nine), and 60% of our associates are female (three out of five). The firm’s Equal Employment Opportunity Officer, Tamara Packard, explained that the firm’s desire to hire and retain the best and brightest attorneys has naturally led to equal numbers of male and female attorneys, including at the partnership level. “Our firm’s history and progressive philosophy have helped us avoid much of the subconscious gender discrimination that has plagued the legal community for many years.” Pines Bach LLP was co-founded in 1979 by Cheryl Rosen Weston, who continues to serve as of counsel to the firm. Weston is CEO of the largest female-run Wisconsin company, the Douglas Stewart Company, and also a member of the faculty at the University of Wisconsin Law School. December 2008.

Dirty Coal Defeated

For the third time in a month, CWPB attorneys earned a significant victory against dirty coal, this time on behalf of the Sierra Club. A Kentucky Hearing Officer found that a power plant developer’s permit to build a 600 MW coal-fired plant had expired and therefore could not be built. The expired permit had outdated pollution limits that would have posed a serious risk to health and the environment. This victory also included the award of sanctions against the developer’s attorney for violating procedural rules. November 2008.

2008 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars at CWPB

Nearly half of CWPB attorneys have been selected for inclusion in this year’s lists of Wisconsin Super Lawyers and Rising Stars, published by Milwaukee Magazine. Only five percent of the lawyers in the state are chosen for inclusion in the Super Lawyers list, and only 2.5% are chosen for the Rising Stars list. CWPB attorneys honored in the 2008 Super Lawyers list, and the practice areas in which they are honored, are: Attorney Lester Pines ( Criminal Defense), Attorney Steve Bach (Family Law), and Attorney Jordan Loeb ( Criminal Defense). Steve Bach was additionally honored among the top 50 Super Lawyers, all practices.

The selections for Super Lawyers are made by Law & Politics, a division of Key Professional Media, Inc. of Minneapolis. Each year, Law & Politics undertakes a rigorous multi-phase selection process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, independent evaluation of candidates by Law & Politics’ attorney-led research staff, a peer review of candidates by practice area, and a good-standing and disciplinary check. November 2008.

PSC Unanimously Rejects Coal Plant Proposal

CWPB secured a major victory on behalf of the Citizens Utility Board before the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin. CUB and a number of other interested parties objected to Alliant Energy’s proposed $1.26 billion coal plant as harmful to ratepayers and the environment. In a 3-0 decision, the Commission agreed, and denied Alliant Energy permission to build the proposed plant. November 2008.

UW Defeats Harvard, But Cleaner Air Is The Real Winner

In an appeal handled by Attorney Lester Pines on behalf of the Sierra Club, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld a District Court’s ruling that the permit obtained by EnviroPower of Houston to build a 500 megawatt coal-fired power plant in Benton, Illinois had expired and that building the plant would violate the Clean Air Act. After losing in the trial court, EnviroPower hired noted Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz to present its case to the court of appeals, but he and his colleagues were no match for Lester. October 2008.

Voting Rights Victory

Adopting the arguments made by Attorneys Lester Pines and Tamara Packard on behalf of their client the Government Accountability Board, Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Attorney General of Wisconsin and the Republican Party of Wisconsin. In their suit, the AG and RPW claimed that the Board was violating state and federal elections law. It was widely believed that the upcoming Presidential election in Wisconsin would have been disrupted if the lawsuit had succeeded. October 2008.

Justice Prevails

Attorneys Tamara Packard and Lester Pines, who represented Action Wisconsin (now Fair Wisconsin) in a case involving free speech, gay rights, allegations of defamation, and a frivolous lawsuit, prevailed before the Wisconsin Supreme Court in a decision issued on June 5, 2008. The Court held that Action Wisconsin’s publicized interpretation of a nationally-known minister’s speech that apparently advocated the murder of gay and lesbian people was a fair interpretation and that the defamation suit brought by him against Action Wisconsin was frivolous. The Court affirmed the trial court’s order that the minister’s attorney pay over $87,000 in fees and costs for bringing a lawsuit he should have known was frivolous. June 2008.

Green Efforts Recognized

Pines Bach LLP was recently featured in a Wisconsin Law Journal article about “green” efforts at Wisconsin law firms. To read the full article, “Firms Give Environmental Efforts the Green Light,” click here. May 2008.

Court of Appeals Victory

Attorneys Lester Pines and Tamara Packard won an appeal before the Wisconsin Court of Appeals early this month. The case was brought on behalf of a northern Wisconsin telephone cooperative, Chibardun, against telecommunications giant Wisconsin Bell (d/b/a AT&T), over Wisconsin Bell’s refusal to pay for services that the co-op provided to it. Earlier, a trial court had dismissed the case on procedural grounds without considering the merits of Chibardun’s case. The Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal and sent the dispute back to the trial court for further proceedings. Read the Court of Appeals decision here. April 2008.

Founding Partner Honored

The YWCA of Madison has named CWPB founding partner Cheryl Rosen Weston a 2008 ” Woman of Distinction.” Weston is the CEO of Wisconsin’s largest woman-run company, The Douglas Stewart Company, and is also a professor at the UW Law School. She continues her relationship with CWPB in “of counsel” status. The YWCA began recognizing Women of Distinction in 1974 to commend Madison women who exemplify the organization’s mission of “empowering women and eliminating racism.” March 2008.

Powered by 100% Renewable Energy

As of January 8, 2008, Pines Bach LLP is the second largest law firm in the country to have committed to purchasing 100% Green Power through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Green Power Partners program. Only the Washington DC law firm Arnold & Porter is larger. Pines Bach LLP is the only Wisconsin law firm that has made this commitment to our planet and our future. For more information about the Green Power Partner program, including a list of all 100% Green Power Partners, click here. February 2008.

Right to Information Enforced

The Citizens Utility Board and Clean Wisconsin, represented by CWPB, received an award of sanctions of $10,500 against the Wisconsin Electric Power Company for its failure to fully reply to requests for information. The rare order came from a Public Service Commission administrative law judge, who also granted CUB and Clean Wisconsin’s motion to compel. February 2008.

Labor Arbitration Victory Affirmed

The Wisconsin Court of Appeals affirmed an arbitrator’s decision that a Madison teacher was wrongly disciplined for sharing redacted student special education records with her attorney while challenging a disciplinary action. Attorney Tamara Packard achieved this latest victory for Madison Teachers Inc., after first prevailing before the arbitrator and then in the Dane County Circuit Court. To read the Court of Appeals decision, click here. February 2008.

We Are Fighting Global Warming

Pines Bach LLP has been named by the federal Environmental Protection Agency as a ” Green Power Partner” for using 100% renewable energy for our operations effective January 1, 2008. Reflecting our dedication to finding creative solutions to complex problems, we have enrolled in Madison Gas and Electric Company’s “Green Power Tomorrow” program, enabling us to secure clean energy sources to power our offices. January 2008.

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