Last week, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals affirmed a decision in favor of a student journalist at University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh who sought records about a business professor subject to prior employment investigations. The University agreed to release the records but the professor sued to block release. Pines Bach attorneys Christa Westerberg and Aaron Dumas represented the journalist at the request of the Student Press Law Center.
Last month, the Wisconsin Access to Justice Commission named Attorneys Aaron Dumas and Christa Westerberg to its Pro Bono Honor Society for 2017. Each year, the Commission honors state lawyers who have helped to provide equal access to justice under the law by performing at least 50 hours of qualifying pro bono legal services. Dumas and Westerberg exceeded the requirement, assisting a student journalist obtain public records, representing non-profit organizations, and helping mediate a case for a prisoner who alleged inadequate medical care while incarcerated.
The Wisconsin State Journal published an op-ed by Pines Bach partner, Christa Westerberg, entitled "Government Policies Put Public Health At Risk" which described numerous instances where local and state government agencies in Wisconsin have kept their employees from notifying the public about health risks. Read the full article here: http://host.madison.com/wsj/opinion/column/christa-westerberg-government-policies-put-public-health-at-risk/article_ef1fa4eb-0bb4-5bea-a14d-b6bde411f456.html
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has decided to stay a permit that would allow the destruction of wetlands for a proposed golf course in Sheboygan County. The DNR had granted the permit in January.
Pines Bach partner Christa Westerberg, assisted by attorney Aaron Dumas, prevailed last week in an Open Records law case on behalf journalist and open government advocate Bill Lueders. Lueders had requested copies of emails from a state legislator and was offered over 1,500 pages of printed emails. He then requested electronic copies, was denied, and sued to obtain them.
A Dane County Circuit Court judge issued a decision recently that derailed the state's plan to cut a snowmobile trail through Blue Mound State Park, an area best known for silent sports like cross-country skiing. The ruling came as a win for Attorney Christa Westerberg, who filed suit against the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on behalf of Karl Heil, a former superintendent of the park, and Kenneth Wade, a resident of the village of Blue Mounds.
Last week, a Circuit Court Judge in Winnebago County ordered the University of Wisconsin (UW) to release personnel records to a student journalist represented by Attorneys Christa Westerberg and Aaron Dumas. The journalist, Alex Nemec, went to court after the University blocked his request for records related to the investigation of Will Hagen, a business professor at the UW in Oshkosh.
Pines Bach attorneys Christa Westerberg and Aaron Dumas are partnering with The Student Press Law Center (SPLC) to defend a student journalist who's seeking records from the University of Wisconsin (UW). The student, Alex Nemec, is the news editor of The Advance Titan, the student-led newspaper at UW Oshkosh. His request for records relating to the investigation of a professor has been blocked, and the case is now in court.
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.
On June 1, 2017, Attorney Christa Westerberg won an important ruling in an open meetings case brought against the Governor-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.