Risky Precedents: A Brief Overview of the 2018 Wisconsin Lame Duck Laws & the Separation of Powers Doctrine

Posted on Categories Alumni Contributor, Public, Wisconsin Law & Legal System, Wisconsin Supreme Court1 Comment on Risky Precedents: A Brief Overview of the 2018 Wisconsin Lame Duck Laws & the Separation of Powers Doctrine

The Wisconsin Capitol in Madison, Wis.On December 14, 2018, outgoing Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed into law three bills that were rapidly passed by the Republican-held state legislature during an extraordinary session following the November 7, 2018 election that resulted in Democrats winning each statewide elected seat. Along with serving various other goals of the Republican legislative majority, the trio of so-called “lame duck” laws were designed to curb the powers of incoming Governor Tony Evers’ administration before he took office in the following ways:

  • Transfer control over leadership appointments to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (“WEDC”) from the executive branch to the legislature until September 2019. Then-candidate Evers campaigned on disbanding the WEDC.
  • Grant the legislature power to intervene in lawsuits in circumvention of the Wisconsin Attorney General’s office when state statutes are challenged. This provision of the law provides for the use of taxpayer dollars to pay private lawyers to defend the interests of the Republican legislative majority.
  • Give the legislature the ability to sign off on and decide how to spend court settlements – a power traditionally held by the Attorney General’s Office.
  • Provide the legislature the power to permanently block any regulations written by the state’s numerous administrative agencies, which are part of the executive branch.
  • Require the executive branch to get permission from the legislature to make any policy changes within the state’s health care and public benefit programs.

Since December 14, 2018, several lawsuits have been filed raising various legal challenges to the measures imposed by the lame duck legislation. One of the primary legal challenges to the lame duck legislation is constitutional in nature – i.e., that much of the new legislation’s limiting effects on the executive branch violate the principle of separation of powers embodied in the Wisconsin Constitution. Continue reading “Risky Precedents: A Brief Overview of the 2018 Wisconsin Lame Duck Laws & the Separation of Powers Doctrine”

Timbs v. Indiana: SCOTUS Hits the Brakes on Major Source of Revenue for States & Municipalities

Posted on Categories Alumni Contributor, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law & Process, Public, U.S. Supreme CourtLeave a comment» on Timbs v. Indiana: SCOTUS Hits the Brakes on Major Source of Revenue for States & Municipalities

Police Vehicle from Manchester, New HampshireStates and municipalities have increasingly relied on fines and forfeitures as a means to raise revenue, and the ability of law enforcement to impose fines and forfeitures for various criminal and civil offenses has largely gone unchecked by the federal government until recently. The United States Supreme Court’s February 20, 2019 decision in Timbs v. Indiana significantly limits the once broad leeway states and municipalities have enjoyed in imposing fines and forfeitures. Under Timbs, law enforcement must now be additionally cautious not to impose fines and forfeitures that are far out of proportion to the gravity of the offense committed. Continue readingTimbs v. Indiana: SCOTUS Hits the Brakes on Major Source of Revenue for States & Municipalities”

Our March Guest Blogger is Here!

Posted on Categories Alumni Contributor, Marquette Law School, Public, UncategorizedLeave a comment» on Our March Guest Blogger is Here!

Attorney Brandon Jubelirer from the waist up stands in front of a sunlit window with his hands in his pocketsPlease join me in welcoming our Guest Blogger for the month of March.

Our Alumni Blogger of the Month is Attorney Brandon Jubelirer.  He is currently an associate at Hawks Quindel. His law practice primarily consists of litigating a wide variety of worker’s compensation matters on behalf of injured and wrongfully terminated workers. Before joining Hawks Quindel as an associate, Attorney Jubelirer served as a law clerk with the firm for over a year and a half. Throughout his legal education, Attorney Jubelirer also interned for a federal judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, served on the board of directors for the Marquette Labor & Employment Law Society, and performed pro-bono service for the Sojourner Family Peace Center’s Domestic Violence Clinic in connection with Marquette University Law School. Attorney Jubelirer graduated cum laude from Marquette University Law School. Prior to entering law school, Attorney Jubelirer earned his B.A., cum laude, from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee with a double major in political science and history. He also graduated from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Honors College program.

We look forward to your posts.

It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint

Posted on Categories Alumni Contributor, Legal Education, Legal Practice, Marquette Law School, PublicLeave a comment» on It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint
Jamie Yu after finishing first marathon
Jamie Yu, after finishing her first marathon.

It’s February, which means that for many long distance runners, it is time to emerge from winter hibernation, sign up for the next race, and begin the long and thankless training process. While some would not agree, I, as a lawyer and a long distance runner, have found that the training process for a marathon eerily mirrors the path to becoming a lawyer.

I signed up for my first marathon, somewhat foolishly, during my second year of law school, the race coinciding the first semester of my third year. As I embarked on the first long run of my training schedule, I was filled with excitement and anticipation. Like a 1L, I felt invincible and ready to take on the challenge.

However, as the weeks passed and my mileage, and long run distances increased, so did my frustrations and anxiety. What seemed like a fun adventure was turning in to a daily chore, and my love for running was quickly being replaced with dread.

But when I stopped in at the running shoe store for yet another pair of running shoes, I saw a shirt with the phrase, “It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint…Trust the Process.” Continue reading “It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint”

Our February Bloggers Are Here!

Posted on Categories Alumni Contributor, Marquette Law School, Public, Student Contributor, UncategorizedLeave a comment» on Our February Bloggers Are Here!
Headshot of attorney Jamie Yu.
Attorney Jamie Yu

February is upon us, and it is time to welcome our Guest Bloggers of the Month.

Our Alumni Blogger of the Month for February is Jamie Yu, Vice President and Associate General Counsel at Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated. Ms. Yu joined Baird’s legal department as an intern in 2013 and joined the Baird legal team full time in 2015. Ms. Yu’s primary areas of responsibility include advising Baird’s Fixed Income Capital Markets and Investment Banking business and providing general legal counsel to a variety of areas throughout the firm, including data privacy. Prior to joining Baird, Ms. Yu worked for three years in Taiwan as a legal assistant and translator. Ms. Yu received her J.D. from Marquette University Law School in 2015, where she was the editor-in-chief of the Marquette Intellectual Property Law Review, an Academic Success Program leader, an admissions ambassador, and a Student Bar Association student mentor. She received her B.A. in political science and international studies from Case Western Reserve University in 2009.

Stduent Scott Lyon, dressed in a suit, stands in front of a bookcase holding law books.
Scott Lyon

Our Student Blogger of the Month for February is Scott Lyon.  Scott is currently a 3L at MULS. He graduated from Emory University with a BA in Economics in 2013. Before law school, Scott taught at-risk youth at a high school in Cook County, IL. Scott currently participates in the MULS Prosecutor Clinic. He interned at the Governor’s Office of Legal Counsel through the MULS Supervised Fieldwork Program in 2018 and spent the summer of 2017 in the Marinette County Circuit Court, Branch 2, clerking for Judge James Morrison. Scott focuses his studies on criminal law and litigation. He is the President of the MULS Student Chapter of the Federalist Society, and he participated in the Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition. Scott is proud to attend MULS with his younger brother, Eric Lyon, who is also currently a 3L.

Please join me in welcoming our Guest Bloggers.  We look forward to your posts.

Crypto Liability v. Popularity

Posted on Categories Alumni Contributor, Cryptocurrency, PublicLeave a comment» on Crypto Liability v. Popularity

BitcoinSince 2014 the government has engaged in several prosecutions of Bitcoin exchanging institutions and managers.  Of the charges typically brought in these cases, one relates to the legal requirements surrounding any transactions greater than $10,000, whether involving Bitcoin or not.  In order to conduct such transactions, among other things, the managing institution likely has to be licensed in some fashion under state law, the customer’s identity must be known, and the institution has to report the transaction. These requirements have been imposed with strict liability.  According to the Department of Justice and many federal judges, Bitcoin is subject to these requirements.

The opposing view is that Bitcoin is not a currency and therefore not contemplated by these regulations.  That question, after four years in the courts, seems to remain up in the air.  Continue reading “Crypto Liability v. Popularity”

Welcome Our January Bloggers!

Posted on Categories Alumni Contributor, Marquette Law School, Public, Student Contributor, UncategorizedLeave a comment» on Welcome Our January Bloggers!
Headshot of attorney Daniel Murphy standing in front of a window.
Attorney Daniel Murphy
Student Foley Van Lieshout

We start off the new year with two guest bloggers.

Our Student Blogger for the month of January is Foley Van Lieshout. Foley is a current 1L at Marquette University Law School. She graduated cum laude from Lawrence University in June 2018. She majored in English with a minor in Creative Writing. Ten of her relatives attended Marquette University Law School, but she is the first guest blogger of the family. Foley hopes to focus her studies on criminal law and litigation while at Marquette. She is currently a member of the MULS Association for Women Lawyers and the Federalist Society.

Our Alumni Blogger for the month of January is Daniel Murphy, a recent graduate of Marquette University Law School. Dan provides the following self-introduction:

“After graduating from Marquette Law School in 2016, I was hired  by the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office.  I had participated in the Prosecutor Clinic there working in the Violent Crimes Unit on Drug Team 1 assigned to Judge Timothy Witkowiak’s court. As a newly minted Assistant District Attorney I was fortunate to start in that same position. Judge Witkowiak rotated in January of 2017.  Since that time, I’ve practiced in front of Judge Janet Protasiewicz.  As a member of the Drug Unit, I prosecute felony level drug and gun crimes. My job mainly consists of charging cases, reviewing search warrants, providing discovery, and litigating motions and trials.  My case load fluctuates but is typically around 90 cases. In addition to my normal responsibilities, I’m lucky to have had the opportunity to work closely with a group of officers assigned to the Milwaukee Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Group. Those officers work longer term, more complex investigations.  Through that portion of my work I’ve rode along with officers for take downs and search warrants, I work with the officers on planning investigations, and I help wade through legal issues that crop up during the investigations. I thoroughly enjoy being an ADA in the Violent Crimes Unit.  The work is challenging and exciting.  My colleagues at the DA’s office are excellent attorneys and supportive teammates.  I’ve learned an enormous amount about criminal prosecution in my short time there. My personal life has also seen a significant change since graduating law school with the birth of my son, our first.  And life continues to get more (happily) complicated as my wife and I are expecting our second child, a girl, any day now.  We are very happy with our small but growing family and fortunate to have the support of many close friends and family.”

Welcome! We look forward to starting off 2019 with your posts.

Racial Discrimination in Wisconsin Jury Pool Practices

Posted on Categories Alumni Contributor, Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law & Process, Federal Criminal Law & Process, Judges & Judicial Process, Poverty & Law, Prisoner Rights, Public, Race & Law, Wisconsin Criminal Law & Process1 Comment on Racial Discrimination in Wisconsin Jury Pool Practices

A courtroom is filled with women dressed in long black dresses and wearing hats.
Crowd of women register for jury duty after gaining the right to vote, Portland, Oregon, 1912.

“It requires little knowledge of human nature to anticipate that those who had long been regarded as an inferior and subject race would, when suddenly raised to the rank of citizenship, be looked upon with jealousy and positive dislike, and that state laws might be enacted or enforced to perpetuate the distinctions that had before existed.” – Strauder v. West Virginia, 100 U.S. 303, 306 (1879)

As ominously foreshadowed by the Supreme Court in 1879, current state and federal laws and practices continuously present disadvantages to people of color. Removed from enslavement and the oppressive nature of the Jim Crow Era, today many of the participants in our justice system and in politics are blind to discrepancies within this nation’s criminal justice system and erroneously believe that the black defendant enjoys the same rights as the white defendant.  The black defendant is seldom given a jury that racially represents him or her, and this lack of representation is a product of case precedent, judicial reasoning, and discriminatory practices. In Wisconsin, these discriminatory practices take the form of both state and federal jury pooling procedures. As such, the purpose of this blog post is to draw attention to the disproportionate jury pooling practices in Wisconsin circuit courts as well as federal district courts in our state, and to provide a forum for debate on this important issue.

Federal Jury Pooling in Wisconsin and the Depleted African American Voting Population

The right to a jury is so critical to the makeup of our system of justice that the Constitution mentions juries in four different sections. However, while individuals have a constitutional right to a jury, the pooling and selection of such juries is not always constitutionally executed. Both the Eastern and Western District Courts of Wisconsin have jury pooling practices that raise constitutional concerns due to the disproportional impact that those practices have on black criminal defendants. Continue reading “Racial Discrimination in Wisconsin Jury Pool Practices”

Meet Our December Guest Blogger

Posted on Categories Alumni Contributor, PublicLeave a comment» on Meet Our December Guest Blogger

Photo headshot of attorney Nicole Muller.We are pleased to welcome Nicole Muller as our Alumni Blogger for the month of December.

Attorney Nicole A. Muller, of Birdsall Law Offices, S.C., graduated from Marquette University Law School in May 2018, and now spends her hours zealously advocating for her clients as a private criminal defense attorney. Before coming to Milwaukee, she received a Bachelors Degree in Political Science and Studio Art from The Catholic University of America and a Masters Degree from Columbia University. During her time at Marquette, Attorney Muller worked on issues surrounding the impact  that cash bail programs have on Milwaukee’s and Wisconsin’s  urban poor, as well as ways to address racial discrepancies in American courtrooms.  A native of New York,  Attorney Muller states that she decided to stay and practice law in Wisconsin because “the beer was just too good to leave behind . . . oh, and due to the serious issues that need to be addressed within the criminal ‘justice’ systems of Milwaukee and greater Wisconsin.”

We look forward to reading your posts!

A Bible for AI: The Need for Ethics in AI and Emerging Technologies

Posted on Categories Alumni Contributor, Business Regulation, Computer Law, Legal Ethics, PublicLeave a comment» on A Bible for AI: The Need for Ethics in AI and Emerging Technologies

Photo of a model of a human skull with the top of the skull removed, revealing computer circuitry inside.Recently, I attended the Compliance & Ethics Institute of the SCCE in Las Vegas. One of the keynote speakers was Amber Mac, a well-known public speaker for business innovation, internet of things, online safety, artificial intelligence (AI), and other topics. That morning, her keynote address was titled “Artificial Intelligence: A Day in Your Life in Compliance & Ethics.”

It was completely mind-blowing.

From her comments, I had a profound realization that ethics will be extremely important for AI and other emerging technologies as society progresses towards integrating these technologies into our daily lives. Note that this integration is starting to be, or is already, in our homes and workplaces. “Alexa” might already be part of your family. This development is growing in an exponential rate, and there’s no slowing it down. In fact, Waymo (the self-driving subsidiary of Google parent Alphabet) is launching the first ever commercial driverless car service next month. Yet, have we stopped to consider if an ethical “backbone” to all of this progress should be put in place as a guide for AI and all emerging technologies?

For example, a few years ago Microsoft released an AI chatbot on Twitter where the AI robot named Tay would learn from conversations it had. The goal was that the AI would progressively get “smarter” as it discussed these topics with regular people over the Internet. However, the project was an embarrassment. In no time, Tay blurted out racist slurs, defended white supremacists and even advocated for genocide.  So, how did this happen? Well, the problem was that Tay’s learning was not supported with proper ethical guidance. Without proper guidance, such as the difference between truth and falsehood or the general knowledge of the existence of racism, it was vulnerable to learning unethical thought and behavior. Continue reading “A Bible for AI: The Need for Ethics in AI and Emerging Technologies”

Compliance: The Emerging Career Path for Lawyers

Posted on Categories Alumni Contributor, Business Regulation, Corporate Law, Legal Practice, Legal Profession, PublicLeave a comment» on Compliance: The Emerging Career Path for Lawyers

Political cartoon from Puck Magazine in 1908 showing Moses holding the Ten Commandments and various business and Wall Street figures reacting with alarm.
From Puck Magazine, 1908. Various Wall Street figures react to Moses and the Ten Commandments.

When entering law school, and sometimes even before law school, students are put in front of this metaphorical “fork-in-the-road.”

Transactional or litigation?

In most law schools today, those are the two apparent options. However, this is just not the case anymore. There is at least one more, and emerging, option: the compliance route. It’s not completely transactional nor is it at all litigation. In some cases it takes ideas from both, and involves a bit of work in areas that would not necessarily be considered “practicing law.”

Oh, I’m sure I just hit a nerve for many of you. “Why would you go to law school and get into mountains of debt, and then get a job where you’re not completely practicing law?”

Bear with me and let me explain.

o In June 2016, a car manufacturer was forced to spend $14.7 billion to settle allegations of cheating emissions tests and deceiving customers on its diesel vehicles.

o In September 2016, a banking giant was hit with $185 million in fines by governmental authorities after thousands of its employees illegally opened unauthorized bank accounts. Earlier this year, new regulatory restrictions were imposed against the bank essentially halting the growth of the business until there has been sufficient improvement in its business practices. Continue reading “Compliance: The Emerging Career Path for Lawyers”

Meet Our November Bloggers

Posted on Categories Alumni Contributor, Marquette Law School, Public, Student Contributor, UncategorizedLeave a comment» on Meet Our November Bloggers

Headshot photo of law student Emily Gaertner
Emily Gaertner

Headshot photo of attorney Alen Lagazo
Alen Lagazo

We are happy to have two guests submitting blog posts during November.

Our Student Blogger of the Month is Emily Gaertner.  Emily is a 3L at Marquette University Law School.  She is Chief Justice of the Marquette Moot Court Association and Vice President of the Legal Writing Society.  During her time at Marquette Law School, Emily has competed in the Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition, and will represent Marquette Law at the National Moot Court Competition.  Emily has also interned for Judge Paul Reilly at the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, District II, and currently interns for Judge Diane Sykes at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.  Emily serves as a Student Ambassador and tour guide, and volunteers her time at the Domestic Violence Injunction Clinic.  Prior to coming to law school, Emily graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2015 and earned a dual baccalaureate in philosophy/pre-law and criminology.

Our Alumni Blogger of the Month is Alen Lagazo.  Ioua Alen Marcyn Lagazo (“Alen”) serves as Compliance Counsel to CNH Industrial, a leading global manufacturing company for industrial equipment. In addition, he is a board member and co-Director of Social Media and Marketing for BYU Alumni Association – Chicago Chapter.

He is a 2018 graduate of Marquette University Law School, where he completed internships at SoftwareONE, BloodCenter of Wisconsin, BP Peterman Law Group, and CNH Industrial. He is a 2014 graduate of Brigham Young University, where he focused on international studies and business management. For 26 months between 2009 and 2011, Alen served a full-time voluntary assignment as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Prior to that, in 2007, he received his Eagle Rank from the Boy Scouts of America.

Ioua Alen Marcyn has been married to Glenna for 6 years and together they have a daughter, Hermione, born just before entering law school. He enjoys spending time with his family, coaching his daughter’s soccer team, entertaining guests and networking. He also volunteers as an adult leader for the youth program for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Welcome Emily and Alen!