After Michels v. Lyons, What Visitation Rights Do Grandparents Actually Have?

Posted on Categories Constitutional Law, Family Law, Public, Wisconsin Supreme Court2 Comments on After Michels v. Lyons, What Visitation Rights Do Grandparents Actually Have?

grandparents with grandchildrenAlthough the Wisconsin Supreme Court rarely hears family law cases, this year it heard Michels v. Lyons, which involved Wisconsin Statutes Section 767.43(3), also known as the Grandparent Visitation Statute.

There, a child’s maternal grandmother filed a petition for visitation after the parents, who never married and were no longer together, chose to reduce the amount of time the child spent with the grandmother. The circuit court granted visitation rights to the grandmother, and the court of appeals certified the matter to the Wisconsin Supreme Court to clarify the standard of proof that is required for a grandparent to overcome a fit parent’s decision regarding visitation.

Clarifying the standard of proof necessary, Justice Rebecca Dallett, writing for the majority, vacated the order granting the grandmother visitation and discussed the constitutionality of the Grandparent Visitation Statute itself. Continue reading “After Michels v. Lyons, What Visitation Rights Do Grandparents Actually Have?”

The Art of Mentorship

Posted on Categories Alumni Contributor, Legal Practice, Legal Profession, PublicLeave a comment» on The Art of Mentorship

person growing after being wateredAttorneys often speak of mentorship as an essential building block to a career in the legal profession.

Indeed, one of the first pieces of advice bestowed upon young attorneys is to find a mentor, cultivate that relationship, and soak up all advice like a sponge. Mentorship roundtables, “speed networking” events, and student-attorney mixers are stylish events celebrating these connections, encouraging both sides to learn, grow, and expand one’s worldview. And yes, mentorship should be important to legal practitioners across the board, from students fresh from their first briefs to attorneys with long, successful, and active careers.

But why does one need a mentor or a mentee and how does one find a perfect match? Do I click my heels together three times, whisper “Please help me,” and one will magically appear like a fairy lawmother? What if my mentor or mentee doesn’t suit me or even like me? Let’s discuss. Continue reading “The Art of Mentorship”

How Might Courts Interpret the Great Lakes Compact?

Posted on Categories Environmental Law, Public, Water LawLeave a comment» on How Might Courts Interpret the Great Lakes Compact?

When a coalition of environmental advocacy groups challenged the state of Wisconsin’s approval under the Great Lakes Compact of an out-of-basin water diversion to supply the Foxconn project, it came as no surprise to Peter Annin. “It’s not unexpected at all that there would eventually be legal challenges over the Great Lakes Compact,” Annin, the well-known Great Lakes journalist and author, said during an appearance last October at the Great Lakes from spaceLaw School’s Lubar Center. Like any other legal text, the Compact includes ambiguous terminology. For example, the Foxconn challenge centered on whether the application satisfied the Compact’s requirement that any out-of-basin diversion be for “public water supply purposes.” Annin predicted that the Compact’s meaning will be “refined” during such litigation, much as has happened with other important environmental laws such as the Clean Water Act or Clean Air Act.

The Foxconn challenge made history as the first state-level legal challenge based on the Great Lakes Compact; an earlier objection to the Waukesha approval was heard by the Compact Council itself. The Foxconn case never made it all the way to court, however; it ended with an administrative ruling by Wisconsin Administrative Law Judge Brian K. Hayes upholding the diversion approval. The plaintiffs decided not to appeal the decision. As I explained in a previous post, the context of the “public water supply purposes” language admitted of two possible interpretations: that the proposed diversion would be used for “public water supply purposes,” or that the system requesting the diversion, taken as a whole, served “public water supply purposes.” ALJ Hayes adopted the latter, vindicating the position of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. That decision—predicated on a textual analysis of the statute—is the primary takeaway from the case, and certainly important in its own right.

But other features of ALJ Hayes’ decision have been overlooked, and provide important clues about how future courts will interpret the Compact. Continue reading “How Might Courts Interpret the Great Lakes Compact?”

New Academic Year, New Bloggers

Posted on Categories Alumni Contributor, Marquette Law School, Public, Student Contributor, UncategorizedLeave a comment» on New Academic Year, New Bloggers
Attorney Molly Madonia
Law Student Kylie Owens

Please join me in welcoming our guest bloggers for the month of September!

Our Student Blogger of the Month is Kylie Owens.  Kylie grew up in Ogden, Utah and later attended Weber State University where she earned a B.A. in History and Geography. After receiving her undergraduate degree, she taught AP Geography and U.S. History to junior high students for almost seven years before deciding to go to law school.

Since the outset of her legal career, Kylie has worked mainly in family law, and is interested in gaining experience in other practice areas. She is competing in the National Moot Court Competition and is also pursuing an ADR certificate.  In the little free time that she does have, Kylie enjoys practicing meditation, finding all the best restaurants in Milwaukee, and traveling.

Our Alumni Blogger of the Month is Molly Madonia.  Molly is the Staff Attorney at Milwaukee World Festival, Inc., the producers of Summerfest™, the World’s Largest Music Festival™. Her primary areas of responsibility include managing MWF’s trademark portfolio, which includes the well-known Summerfest Smile™; liaising to Marketing teams on issues related to sponsorship, exhibitorship, and marketplace; advising the Human Resources department on compliance-related matters, including navigating the ADA and input on employee training; writing those Sweepstakes/Promotions rules for use on social media; and, of course, “other duties as assigned.”

She was honored to join the MULS graduating class of 2016, receiving her J.D. and the Certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution. For more work by Molly, please see her pieces published in the Marquette University Law School Intellectual Property Law Review.

Thanks for joining us and we look forward to your posts.

Insights and Anecdotes from an American Sports Legend, Bud Selig

Posted on Categories Public, Speakers at Marquette, Sports & LawLeave a comment» on Insights and Anecdotes from an American Sports Legend, Bud Selig

Do Milwaukeeans – or at least enough Milwaukeeans  – appreciate what an amazing figure Bud Selig is? Not only in terms of changing baseball, but in terms of changing things that are now big parts of the fabric of American culture?

As Selig often says, baseball is a social institution. It’s a key part of American culture. The game is not called the national pastime without good reason.

Major league baseball today is a far different game than it was, say, 40 years ago. And Selig, who grew up on the west side of Milwaukee and took a hard-to-imagine route to become the commissioner of baseball from 1992 to 2015, has been at the center of just about every change. Continue reading “Insights and Anecdotes from an American Sports Legend, Bud Selig”

Study Abroad Information Session

Posted on Categories International Law & Diplomacy, Legal Education, Marquette Law School, Public, UncategorizedLeave a comment» on Study Abroad Information Session
Large group of students and faculty standing on the steps of an official university building and posing for a group portrait.
Participants in the 2019 Giessen Program

Any law student interested in Study Abroad opportunities during calendar year 2020 — which includes the Spring 2020 academic semester, the summer 2020 semester, and the Fall 2020 academic semester —  should plan on attending an information session that will take place on Thursday September 5 from 12:00 pm until 1:00 pm in Room 257 of the Law School.

Attendance at this information session is MANDATORY for any student who wishes to participate in a semester long exchange at the University of Copenhagen, the University of Comillas (Madrid), or the University of Poitiers (France) during the year 2020.

This information session will provide details on fast-approaching application deadlines for the semester exchanges, and will also discuss how to apply for the 2020 Summer Session in Giessen Germany and the International Conflict Resolution trip over Spring Break.

Contact Professor Ed Fallone for more information at edward.fallone@marquette.edu.

Group photo of students standing on stage holding certificates at a graduation ceremony.
Closing Ceremony in Giessen August 2019

Did Justice Ginsburg Stay Too Long?

Posted on Categories Judges & Judicial Process, Political Processes & Rhetoric, Public, U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme CourtLeave a comment» on Did Justice Ginsburg Stay Too Long?

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a liberal stalwart. An icon of a generation. She has fought for everything in her life, and, in recent times, she has been fighting for her life. RBG has had an incredible career and has often been a voice for people who didn’t have one. Her liberal ideology has been a light shining through times of darkness. Through all of her incredible work, I believe that two questions still need to be asked. Was RBG selfish by not resigning toward the beginning of President Obama’s second term in office? Would that have been the right decision to allow President Obama to appoint someone who may last longer on the court? It may not be worth arguing over since it is long in the past, but there is a discussion to be had, nonetheless.

It is always tough to foresee when someone’s health will falter. With RBG, that sadly seems to be the norm rather than the exception at this point. Half of the country is left hanging every time her name comes up on a major news network or trends on Twitter. Thankfully, she has come out on top of everything she has battled thus far, but it is not outlandish to say that one of these times the country may not be so lucky. Continue reading “Did Justice Ginsburg Stay Too Long?”

What’s going on with Milwaukee’s population?

Posted on Categories Milwaukee, Public1 Comment on What’s going on with Milwaukee’s population?

The US Census Bureau releases two main annual estimates of population. Both indicate the City of Milwaukee’s population has slipped in recent years. This is a reversal of gains made in the first half of the 2010s.

The most current statistics are from the Population Estimates Program (PEP).1 These numbers are calculated using a combination of administrative records and a recent estimate of housing units. Details are available here. According to this method, Milwaukee’s population grew from 594,500 in the 2010 census to 600,700 in the summer of 2014. By the summer of 2018, this had fallen to 592,000.

The second method used by the Census Bureau is the American Community Survey (ACS), which replaced the long form of the decennial census after 2000. It is randomly distributed to 3.5 million addresses a year, and participation is mandatory.2 The ACS estimates that Milwaukee’s population reached 600,000 in July 2015 before falling to 595,000 in 2017 (the most recent data available).

Irrespective of method, the trend is the same. Milwaukee’s population grew steadily during the first half on the 2010s, but it has declined just as steadily since then.

Continue reading “What’s going on with Milwaukee’s population?”

Advice to Myself

Posted on Categories Legal Education, Marquette Law School, Public, Student Contributor4 Comments on Advice to Myself
John Kircher teaches a law school class, 1986

Law school is a wonderful experience. It’s terrifying, I have to admit, but it’s an opportunity that few people get and it’s something that shouldn’t be taken for granted. Coming into law school, I heard many a rumor including things like: you won’t have much, if any, free time; the workload is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before; and on-calls are really, really scary. If I could send a message to incoming 1L’s and my pre-1L self from right now, there are a couple of things that I would tell myself. The main thing that I would say is that all of those things are true, with some caveats.

In the beginning of 1L year, I found myself with little to no free time. Days were spent in class and nights were spent doing the reading assignments for said classes. (Side note: don’t use the word “said” to refer to something. It’s old “legalese” and it’s out of fashion. While I’m at it, forget how you thought attorneys spoke and wrote. You were wrong.) At first, I had no idea what I was doing. I read the cases, briefed the cases, and hoped to god that I got the right things out of those cases. Those three things consumed most of my time every day during the week and weekend. This is exactly what I feared law school would be: a never-ending stream of work that I didn’t know what to do with. However, as time went on, I started to understand what I needed to look for in cases and how to be more efficient with my time. It wasn’t an overnight process, but the saying that “practice makes perfect” applies directly to law school. If there was one thing that I could tell myself prior to the first day of class on this topic, it would be to remain patient. Learning “how to law school” takes time and the assignments will be hard to get through for a while. Continue reading “Advice to Myself”

A Big Bang in Germany

Posted on Categories International Law & Diplomacy, Legal Education, Marquette Law School, PublicLeave a comment» on A Big Bang in Germany
Field Trip to Brussels.

This summer marked the 11th year that the Summer Session in International and Comparative Law was held in the town of Giessen, Germany.  The program brings together law students from the United States, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America to learn and live together for four weeks.  This one of a kind program is a partnership between the Marquette University Law School, the University of Wisconsin Law School, and the Justus Liebig University.

I was proud to address our 37 participants at this year’s Closing Ceremony on August 15, 2019.  Here is the text of my remarks.

Herr Doctor Professor Marauhn, Vice President Kampfer, Honored Guests, Faculty and Graduates:

It all started with a Big Bang.

No, I am not referring to the American television show about young scientists that is apparently popular in every country on the planet.  I am talking about the original Big Bang, that sudden burst of light and energy that began our universe.

Imagine if you had been there when the Big Bang occurred.  At first, there was chaos, disorder, and confusion.  But slowly, the gases cooled and became planets, and the planets formed orbits around suns, and the universe took shape.  And it was beautiful.

Four weeks ago, you arrived in Giessen, Germany with your very own Big Bang.  And yes, there was chaos. Continue reading “A Big Bang in Germany”

Cigarette Packaging and Smokers’ Rights

Posted on Categories Business Regulation, Health Care, Political Processes & Rhetoric, PublicLeave a comment» on Cigarette Packaging and Smokers’ Rights

I had the delightful opportunity at the beginning of the summer to deliver a conference paper in Portugal.  Lisbon’s cobblestone alleyways and bustling riverfront were exciting, but odd as it might seem, Portuguese cigarette packaging also caught my eye.

All cigarette packs in Portugal have graphic images related to the dangers of smoking cigarettes: rotted teeth, amputated toes, diseased lungs, stitched-up chests, and naked corpses sprawled out on coroners’ metal tables.  The images and the accompanying verbal warnings take up the fronts and backs of the packs, and brand names such as “Marlboro” appear only on the narrow bottoms of the packs.

None of the Portuguese smokers to whom I spoke – and there were plenty – seemed particularly offended by the packaging.  So-called “scare messages,” after all, are genuinely intended to get smokers to stop.  They are consistent with the World Health Organization’ s directives regarding cigarette packaging, and graphic images appear on cigarette packs in most European countries.

What about graphic images in the United States?  It briefly seemed that they would begin appearing after the passage of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act in 2009.  The Act in fact mandated them, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) formally approved nine graphic images that it considered especially likely to make people afraid of smoking.

However, the tobacco industry and assorted neo-liberal pundits immediately rose up in arms.  The former, of course, worried about its profits, and the latter championed the “right to smoke.”  The graphic warnings, the pundits argued, interfered with freedom of choice.  They were the efforts of the nefarious “nanny state.” Continue reading “Cigarette Packaging and Smokers’ Rights”

Marquette Law School: 1989 v. 2019

Posted on Categories Alumni Contributor, Legal Education, Marquette Law School, Marquette Law School History, Public, Student ContributorLeave a comment» on Marquette Law School: 1989 v. 2019

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”