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State v. Angel Mercado, 2018AP2419-CR, District 1, 2/4/20 (recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs)

The court of appeals orders a new trial for Mercado on the grounds the circuit court erred in admitting the video statements of three children who accused him of sexually assaulting them. The circuit court didn’t comply with the requirements of § 908.08(2) and (3) in admitting the videos, and the videos also weren’t admissible under the residual hearsay exception or as prior inconsistent statements. Read more

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Ban on firearm silencers is constitutional

State v. Thomas Michael Barrett, 2018AP2324-CR, District 1, 2/4/20 (recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs)

The court of appeals rejects Barrett’s facial and void-for-vagueness challenges to Wisconsin’s prohibition on firearm silencers, § 941.298. Read more

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Consent to draw blood was voluntary

State v. Justin T. Kane, 2018AP1885-CR, District 4, 2/6/20 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs)

Kane’s consent to a blood draw after his arrest for OWI was voluntary under all the circumstances. Read more

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City of Cedarburg v. Ries B. Hansen, 2020 WI 11, 2/11/19 (on bypass of the court of appeals); case activity (including briefs)

Municipal courts have subject matter jurisdiction over ordinance violations (e.g. an OWI 1st), and circuit courts have subject matter jurisdiction over misdemeanors and felonies (e.g. an OWI 2nd or subsequent). In this 4-3 decision, SCOW holds that a municipal court had subject matter jurisdiction over an OWI 2nd that was mischarged as an OWI 1st.  Read more

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Terez Cook v. Brian Foster, Warden, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals No. 18-2214, 1/29/2020

Pursuing a federal writ of habeas corpus is always a long shot; in non-capital cases fewer than 1% of petitions are successful. Terez Cook gets it done here, convincing the Seventh Circuit his lawyer was ineffective at his trial for a home-invasion robbery (and that the Wisconsin court of appeals’ decision to the contrary was not just wrong, but unreasonable). The federal court is puzzled by a few aspects of our state court’s denial of Cook’s claims. But the thing that seems to push that denial over the line into unreasonableness–AEDPA‘s stringent requirement for habeas relief–is that it got a crucial fact wrong. The state court’s opinion relies on a confession by Cook–a confesssion for which there’s apparently no evidence. How did our court go astray? Well, the state described the (non-existent) confession in its brief, and then Cook’s direct-appeal counsel apparently didn’t check the facts, and neither did the court of appeals. Read more

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SCOW: Precedent? What precedent? ¯\_(ヅ)_/¯

State v. Anthony James Jendusa, 2018AP2357-CRLV, review of a decision of the court of appeals denying the state’s petition for leave to appeal; case activity

Before turning to the issues presented, we’ll start with an observation about how this case might seem to affect appellate litigation in all kinds of cases, civil and criminal. Read more

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Wisconsin Judicial Commission v. Kenneth W. Gorski, 2020 WI 5, imposing a public reprimand on a court commissioner; case activity

Gorski, a part-time court commissioner, earns a public reprimand for failing to recuse himself from a case being handled by a lawyer who is a close friend and for his treatment of the pro se litigant in that case.

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January 2020 publication list

On January 29, 2020, the court of appeals ordered publication in the following criminal law related cases:

State v. James L. Jackson, Jr., 2020 WI App 4 (requiring internet identifiers of sex offender registrants doesn’t violate First Amendment)

Dane County DHS v. J.R., 2020 WI App 5 (rejecting an “as applied” challenge to amended § 48.415(2)(a))

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