Marquette Law School: 1989 v. 2019

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The Year 1989: The Berlin wall came down, the world wide web was invented, Seinfeld first aired, and, not quite as significant for the planet, my dad, Michael Haggenjos, graduated from Marquette Law School. (He also felt the need to remind me that it was the year certain celebrities, such as Taylor Swift and Danielle Radcliffe, were born.)

My dad devoted a large portion of his earlier blog post talking about some of the events in my life leading up to my decision to go to law school, and the subsequent direction my law school career has taken towards litigation. While it’s true that it took me longer to realize what I wanted to be when I grew up, I did eventually have that moment where I knew I wanted to go to law school. It happened around my junior year of college, when I was studying at UW-Madison.

I found myself at a crossroads: Do I go to grad school and get my doctorate in English Literature so that I can teach at the university level? Or, do I follow in my dad’s footsteps and go to law school? In order to find an answer, I decided to take the philosophy of logic at the suggestion of my advisor. It may sound cheesy, but after a single class I was hooked, and I knew from that moment on that I was going to attend law school.

Although my dad and I have now both attended Marquette Law School, our law school experiences are quite different in several very important ways. Continue reading “Marquette Law School: 1989 v. 2019”

Introducing our August Bloggers

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We welcome our alumni and student bloggers for August.

head shot of Rebeca Lopez
Rebeca Lopez

Our alumni contributor is Rebeca López (L’12). Rebeca is an attorney on Godfrey & Kahn, S.C.’s Labor, Employment & Immigration Law Practice Group, where she counsels and assists clients in navigating complex legal issues arising in the employment relationship, including addressing disability and leave accommodation requests, wage and hour complaints, and employment discrimination allegations. Rebeca represents employers in matters before federal and state courts and equal rights agencies, and conducts internal investigations into employee complaints and allegations.

Rebeca also serves on various boards of directors in the legal and non-profit community; she was appointed by Mayor Tom Barrett to the Wisconsin Center District Board of Directors from 2016 to 2018 and was appointed by Governor Tony Evers to the Governor’s Judicial Selection Advisory Committee in 2019. In 2015, Rebeca was named to Milwaukee Business Journal’s “40 under 40,” and in 2016, she was recognized as one of Wisconsin’s 48 most powerful Latinos by Madison 365.

Rebeca López worked as an immigration caseworker and a regional coordinator for seven years before attending Marquette Law School and graduating magna cum laude in 2012. While in law school, Rebeca served as Business Editor of the Marquette Law Review and interned at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin for Judge Lynn S. Adelman. Her student-written law review article was quoted by CNN in April.

head shot of Randal Finger
Randal Finger

Our student contributor is 2L Randal Finger. Randal was born and raised in Germantown, Wisconsin, and lives there now. He attended Ripon College and where he received a Politics & Government degree. While at Ripon College, Randal had a practicing attorney as an adjunct professor, which, he said, solidified his decision to attend law school. Over the summer, he worked downtown at Northwestern Mutual as a summer clerk, working on a variety of projects throughout the company. He noted that he has grown fond of real estate law throughout his short time in law school and his time at Northwestern and is the treasurer of the Real Estate Law Society at Marquette. As of now, Randal said he hopes to practice “somewhere in the real estate realm,” but is open to other areas. “I understand that my limited exposure to law in the real world could mean that there is something out there that I enjoy much more.”

Welcome to Rebeca and to Randal. We look forward to your contributions.

 

Stare Decisis and Fractured Majorities

Posted on Categories Alumni Contributor, Judges & Judicial Process, Public, Wisconsin Law & Legal System, Wisconsin Supreme CourtLeave a comment» on Stare Decisis and Fractured Majorities

The Wisconsin Capitol in Madison, Wis.[The following is a guest post from Daniel Suhr ’08, a prior guest alumni contributor to the Blog.]

On June 25th the Wisconsin Supreme Court handed down its decision in Koschkee v. Evers, 2019 WI 76, which is in many ways a rerun of questions raised in Coyne v. Walker,  2016 WI 38.  Coyne was, to put it mildly, a jurisprudential mess: “Our mandate resulted from a one-justice lead opinion, a two-justice concurrence, and a one-justice concurrence, all of which agreed only on the outcome of the case” (Koschkee, ¶ 5), plus a principal dissent representing the views of three justices, and a secondary dissent representing the views of only two justices.

Chief Justice Roggensack’s Koschkee majority (which commanded four votes on everything except ¶ 17) briefly discussed the stare decisis weight of Coyne in an early footnote, stating, “When we are asked to overturn one of our prior decisions, lead opinions that have no common legal rationale with their concurrences are troublesome.” (¶ 8, n.5.)  They are troublesome, the Court continues, because it is hard to run their rationale through the traditional stare decisis analysis when there is no definitive rationale to analyze.

Justice Bradley’s dissent, by contrast, says the majority “throws the doctrine of stare decisis out the window.” (¶ 62.) To the Court’s argument from the lack of a common rationale in Coyne, she replies, “[T]he split nature of the Coyne opinion is of no import. The mandate of Coyne was clear despite the fractured nature of the opinions. Although the four justices in the majority subscribed to differing rationales, they agreed on the essential conclusion….” (¶ 73.)

In my view, the Chief Justice has the better of the argument.  Continue reading “Stare Decisis and Fractured Majorities”

MULS Legal Education: Following Footsteps and Forging Your Own Path

Posted on Categories Alumni Contributor, Legal Education, Legal Practice, Legal Profession, Legal Writing, Marquette Law School, Public, Student ContributorLeave a comment» on MULS Legal Education: Following Footsteps and Forging Your Own Path

Sensenbrenner Hall

zilber forum
From Sensenbrenner Hall (left) to the Zilber Forum at Eckstein Hall.

When I was asked if I would—together with my daughter Micaela—write a blog for the Marquette University Law School Faculty Blog, I wanted to make sure it was known I haven’t practiced law full-time in fifteen years.  So, fair warning, this is not going to be a technical legal discussion.

Let’s start with a short background: I graduated from MULS in 1989.  In fact, I just celebrated my thirty-year reunion (quick shout out to my classmates:  You guys rock!  We had the highest turnout of any reunion class!).  It was wonderful catching up with old friends, some I have kept in touch with; regrettably, some I have not.

As I stood in the Zilber Forum (as I have done several times previously, more on that later), I reflected on my law school experience at Sensenbrenner Hall, and, despite feeling envious of the students who are privileged to study law in such a marvelous facility, was transported in back thirty years to the year I graduated from MULS.  I remember the hope, the promise, coupled with the uncertainty and anxiety I was feeling at the time. Not to mention the excitement of my impending marriage one month later to my beautiful wife of thirty years, Ellen, whom I met while we were both studying at Marquette (she was earning her Masters in Analytical Chemistry at the time).

Flash forward thirty years and imagine my pride when Micaela announced to us that she would be attending MULS. In fact, Micaela is officially a 3L and is on track to graduate in May 2020. While it may not be shocking for a child to follow in a parent’s footsteps, it didn’t look like that would be happening with Micaela. Continue reading “MULS Legal Education: Following Footsteps and Forging Your Own Path”

Guest Blogging is a Family Affair!

Posted on Categories Alumni Contributor, Marquette Law School, Public, Student Contributor, UncategorizedLeave a comment» on Guest Blogging is a Family Affair!
Photo of father and adult daughter standing in front of a brick wall, smiling.
Mike and Micaela Haggenjos

For the month of July, we welcome father-daughter pair Mike and Micaela Haggenjos as our alumnus and student bloggers.

Mike grew up in Prophetstown, Illiniois, attended the University of Iowa and received a B.S. degree in Political Science and Economics.  He graduated from Marquette Law in 1989.  He was in private practice until 2004 at the Port Washington, Wisconsin law firm of Ansay & Haggenjos (now O’Neill, Cannon, Hollman, DeJong & Laing, S.C.).  Mike left the practice of law to become an owner and officer of Voeller Mixers, Inc., in Port Washington, a manufacturer of equipment used to make concrete products.  Mike has been married to Ellen for 30 years and has two children, Micaela and Matthew.  Mike enjoys golf, boating and performing as the lead singer in a rock band that plays in Ozaukee and Washington County.

Micaela grew up in Port Washington, Wisconsin and received her B.A. in English Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. During her time at MULS, Micaela interned with the Honorable Rebecca Bradley of the Wisconsin Supreme Court and is currently working for the firm Alan C. Olson & Associates in New Berlin. Micaela is a member of the Association of Women in Law and the Business Law Society at MULS and has volunteered for the MJC Family Law Forms Clinic and the Eviction Defense Project. Micaela and her competition partner, Brooke Erickson, were the champions of Marquette’s 2019 Jenkins Honors Moot Court Competition and won the Franz C. Eschweiler Prize for Best Brief. She looks forward to representing MULS at the National Moot Court Competition this fall and serving on the 2019-2020 Moot Court Executive Board as Associate Justice of Intramural Competitions. Micaela hopes to work in litigation and appellate practice after graduation.

We hope that this is the first of many family pairings on the Faculty Blog.

Out of the Shadows: Peremptory Juror Strikes At Issue in Flowers v. Mississippi

Posted on Categories Alumni Contributor, Constitutional Interpretation, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law & Process, Federal Criminal Law & Process, Public, Race & Law, U.S. Supreme CourtLeave a comment» on Out of the Shadows: Peremptory Juror Strikes At Issue in Flowers v. Mississippi

The exterior of the U.S. Supreme Court building with white stone columns and a white facade.On June 20, 2019, the United States Supreme Court reversed the conviction of Curtis Flowers.  The most recent appeal marks the sixth time that Mr. Flowers has been tried for charges arising from a quadruple homicide that occurred at the Tardy Furniture Store in Winona, Mississippi.  Mr. Flowers has been incarcerated for over 20 years, as he awaits trial.  Throughout this time, Mr. Flowers has consistently maintained his innocence. By way of background, Mr. Flowers is black.  Douglas Evans, the prosecuting attorney of all six trials, is white.

APM’s investigative podcast titled In the Dark conducted an in-depth analysis of the case.  The podcast explores the nature of the circumstantial evidence that the prosecution relied upon.  It scrutinizes the methodology of the investigating officers and explores alternative innocent interpretations of the evidence proffered.  But, for the purpose of the appeal, sufficiency of evidence is not at issue.  The narrator, Madeleine Baran, explains that “we’ve talked to hundreds of people who live in this part of Mississippi and it’s clear that the way people think about the Curtis Flowers case for the most part depends on whether they are white or black.”  And it is the issue of race, which is at the heart of the appeal recently decided by the United States Supreme Court. Continue reading “Out of the Shadows: Peremptory Juror Strikes At Issue in Flowers v. Mississippi”

Implicit Bias and the Gender Leadership Gap

Posted on Categories Alumni Contributor, Feminism, Labor & Employment Law, Legal Practice, Legal Profession, PublicLeave a comment» on Implicit Bias and the Gender Leadership Gap
A woman carrying buckets looks up at a ladder leading to the sky; the ladders' rungs are labeled with the various opportunities that have been historically available to women, beginning with "Slavery" at the bottom and "Presidency" at the top.
E.A. Bushnell cartoon from the New York Times, October 1920

On April 29, 2019, I moderated a panel discussion for the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Diversity Counsel Program titled “Closing the Gender Leadership Gap.”  The following statistics were shared at the program.  According to a study by the American Bar Association, “A Current Glance at Women in the Law,” half of the students graduating from law school with a J.D. are women.  Yet, only 22.7% of law firm partners are women, 22% of state court judges are women, and 26.4% of Fortune 500 general counsel positions are held by women.  A significant barrier for women in the workplace is implicit bias.  After serving on this panel, I was curious to explore how the concept of implicit bias might contribute to the gender leadership gap in the legal profession.

Implicit bias is the term that describes how the subconscious mind categorizes people.  The concept was first developed by psychologists Mahzarin Banaji and Anthony Greenwald in the 1990s.  Through the use of implicit association tests (“IAT”) Banaji and Greenwald evaluated the time it took for a participant to categorize concepts such as family or career with gender.  The quicker the applicant could categorize concepts, the stronger the implicit association.  The most frightening aspect of implicit bias is that a person may be consciously opposed to gender discrimination but may unknowingly discriminate against women due to an implicit bias that exists only in the subconscious mind.

Studies suggest that implicit bias may play a role in explaining why men are systematically preferred for positions over women.  For example, a Yale study demonstrated a statistically significant preference for men in the field of science.  The study involved sending a fictional resume to 100 faculty members at top universities.  The only difference was that 50 fictional students were named John, while the other 50 fictional students were named Jennifer.  Even though the candidates had identical experience and qualifications, faculty members were more likely to find John competent and were more likely view him as a suitable candidate for lab positions. Continue reading “Implicit Bias and the Gender Leadership Gap”

The June Bloggers Have Arrived!

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Let’s welcome our Guest Bloggers for the month of June.

Nicholas Wanic

Our Student Blogger of the Month is Nicholas Wanic.

Nick is from Crystal Lake, Illinois, a town which has recently become somewhat infamous in the legal community. Nick received his bachelors from Illinois State in Business Administration, but knew he wanted to go to law school long before he graduated high school. While here at Marquette Law, Nick has worked for the Honorable Joan Kessler of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals and has worked with the Milwaukee City Attorney’s Office prosecuting ordinance violations and working on civil litigation including the recently resolved and much publicized Bird Scooters case. He was a finalist in the Jenkins Competition this past April and looks forward to representing Marquette at the Chicago Bar Association Competition this Fall.

He is currently working toward his litigation certificate and hopes to work in litigation and appellate practice after graduation. In his free time Nick enjoys painting, cooking, and golfing.

Our Alumni Blogger this month is April K. Toy.

April Toy

April is an attorney in Meissner Tierney’s commercial litigation practice group. April represents businesses, insurance companies and individuals in a wide range of civil matters including liability and insurance coverage. She also defends businesses against professional liability claims and advises insurers on extra-contractual claims handling issues, including bad faith and duty to defend issues.  April graduated from Marquette University Law School in 2010.

April is a member of the Hispanic National Bar Association and Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee.  In addition, she volunteers at the Milwaukee Justice Center.

The Rewards of Being a Small Town Lawyer

Posted on Categories Alumni Contributor, Legal Practice, Legal Profession, Public, Uncategorized1 Comment on The Rewards of Being a Small Town Lawyer
A path forward with trees on either side going through a forest.
Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

When asked to write a blog for the Marquette University Law School blog, I was provided several general topics that I could have considered, as I have never blogged.  But it was also suggested that I have an interesting personal story:  I always wanted to be a lawyer in my hometown, a city with fewer people than are enrolled as students at Marquette.  I have always had a desire to return to Ashland, Wisconsin, and practice law, raise my family and live the lifestyle that I enjoy.  I don’t find my situation to be unique or interesting, but maybe that’s because northern Wisconsin is such a wonderful location that it pulls many people home, and my story isn’t unique among residents here.  However, someone who grew up in an urban area may be apprehensive that there will be “nothing to do” in a small town.  To that I say: only boring people get bored.  So rather than discuss a legal topic, I plan to discuss my legal practice, and why being a small-town lawyer is a fulfilling and interesting career.  The State Bar of Wisconsin has also recently encouraged small town practice and tried to connect new lawyers or those looking for a change with lawyers in rural areas. Small towns need lawyers.

I grew up in Ashland, located on the shores of Lake Superior, enjoying the big lake and the big woods (Chequamegon National Forest). In the summer and fall the activities were hunting and fishing, in winter it was hockey rinks and ski slopes, and the in the spring, well that was just mud season.  I have been teased for the pride I take in talking about my home, my high school, and the general area I grew up in.  Unlike larger areas, my high school represents my community and is smaller than most.  Ashland has just over 8,000 people and the county has just twice that many.  There was no other high school, so it represented us as an area.  It represents my home, so I take pride in its success and sorrow in its failures.

In law school I had academic success having offers from large firms and was a summer associate at one.  I graduated magna cum laude and moved back to Ashland the day after being sworn in to the Bar.  While my big firm experience was positive, I knew my long-term happiness was north.  When asked why would you want to live up there, my response was typically the same: “Why do you vacation in northern Wisconsin?”  To many people, Elkhart Lake was “up north,” while I consider Highway 8 to be the dividing line between north and south Wisconsin.   I find cities great places to visit on weekends but I find the small town is the place to live.   I think many lawyers would find small town practice rewarding both professionally and personally. Continue reading “The Rewards of Being a Small Town Lawyer”

Welcome May Bloggers!

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Please join me in welcoming our guest bloggers for the month of May.

Tyler Wickman

Our Alumni Blogger of the Month is Tyler Wickman.   Tyler was born in Ashland, Wisconsin.  He is a member of the Wisconsin Bar and received his education at St. Norbert College (B.A., 2005 summa cum laude, majored in political science and education) and Marquette University (J.D., 2008, magna cum laude). While in law school, Tyler published in the Marquette Law Review and served as an academic support program leader. Also during law school, he was an extern for the Hon. William Griesbach of the Western District of Wisconsin, a law clerk for Hupy & Abraham, and a summer associate at Von Briesen & Roper.

Following law school, Tyler returned to his hometown of Ashland and has been with Dallenbach, Anich, & Wickman, S.C. for his entire career. His practice areas include criminal defense, family law, personal injury, municipal law, estate planning, business formation, and civil litigation, among others. He has handled jury trials and has argued before the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Tyler lives in the Ashland area with his wife, Michaela, and their five children. He is living the dream with a beautiful family, in a beautiful area, with a satisfying career.

Karen Heineman

Our Student Blogger of the Month is Karen Heineman. Karen grew up in a small college town in western New York. She prefers to say that because no one understands what upstate New York refers to.

She graduated from Williams College with a degree in chemistry. Although her goal was to attend veterinary school, at the time there were only 27 schools (only 31 now, I think) with class sizes around 80, so there were/are few opportunities open to those pursuing that profession. She looked for back-up plans and took the LSAT with some thoughts of law school. Fortunately, she was able to pursue her primary goal, so the possibility of law school was dropped for the time being. She received her doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Minnesota. Continue reading “Welcome May Bloggers!”

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”