Congratulations to Pines Bach partner, Susan Crawford, who was elected on April 3 to be a Dane County Circuit Court judge. She will start her new position on August 1. Crawford is an outstanding attorney and wonderful colleague who has done great work at Pines Bach. She will be a wonderful addition the judiciary.
Susan Crawford, a Pines Bach partner, was honored yesterday as one of the top members of the Wisconsin's legal community, receiving a prestigious "Leader in the Law" award for her legal expertise and career achievements. The award was presented by the Wisconsin Law Journal at its annual awards dinner and ceremony held at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee.
Attorney Susan Crawford co-authored an amicus brief in Gill v. Whitford on behalf of the League of Conservation Voters, the National Education Association, the Wisconsin Education Association Council, the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Anthony Evers, and former DNR Secretary George Meyer. The case, now before the U.S. Supreme Court, raises a constitutional challenge to the Wisconsin legislative districts enacted in 2011 based on partisan gerrymandering. The amicus brief describes the effects of the partisan gerrymandering on Wisconsin policy-making to provide context to the Supreme Court as it weighs its decision in this important case.
The Best Lawyers in America©, a highly regarded publication of top lawyers and law firms, lists eight Pines Bach LLP attorneys in the newly-released 2018 Wisconsin Edition. Compiled using a rigorous peer-review process, the list is designed to showcase those lawyers who are highly regarded in their field.
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.
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.
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.
Susan Crawford participated in a spirited panel discussion of Wisconsin's strict Voter ID law hosted by the American Constitution Society and the Federalist Society on October 27, 2016 in Madison. The panel also featured Wisconsin's solicitor general Mischa Tseytlin, Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell and University of Wisconsin Law School professor emeritus Bill Whitford. UW Law assistant professor Rob Yablon led the discussion. Read more about the event here: http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/govt-and-politics/election-matters/wisconsin-solicitor-general-says-state-s-voter-id-law-is/article_4ea15b3d-7a84-5944-aea8-354d056f3ec0.html
On September 12, 2016, Susan Crawford prevailed in a public records dispute in the Dane County Circuit Court on behalf of Madison Teachers, Inc. (MTI). The circuit court ruled that James Scott, Chairman of the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission, violated the public records law by refusing to release to MTI a record of the public school employees who had voted as of the midpoint of the union's annual recertification election in 2015. The court found that Chairman Scott's rationale for withholding the records due to the potential for "voter coercion" was pretextual, and did not overcome the strong presumption in favor of openness recognized under Wisconsin law. The decision was an important win for open government and public sector labor unions. Under 2011 Wisconsin Act 10, public sector unions must be recertified annually by a vote of at least 51% of all employees in the bargaining unit, not just the employees who cast a ballot. Employees who do not cast a ballot before the close of the election are treated the same as if they voted against the union. Receiving the voter lists during the election thus will help unions to focus their get-out-the-vote efforts on employees who have not yet cast a ballot. Given that the recertification elections are now conducted electronically, receiving timely voter lists is the only means for unions to monitor voter turnout. An appeal is expected.