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Defense win – no exigency justified warrantless blood draw

State v. David M. Hay, 2020 WI App 35; case activity (including briefs) Hay was pulled over in the early morning and blew a .032 on the PBT. He had several drunk-driving priors, so it would be illegal for him to drive with a BAC over .02. The officer never sought a warrant; instead he searched the car […]

July 6, 2020

SCOW approves wide police discretion in traffic stops, lets racial bias go unchecked

State v. Courtney C. Brown, 2020 WI 63, 7/3/20, affirming a published court of appeals opinion, 2017AP774-CR, case activity (including briefs) “Supreme Court affirms wide discretion in traffic stops; dissent says implicit bias will go unchecked” That’s the JSOnline’s pithy description of SCOW’s 4-1 decision in this case. Also noteworthy, Justice R.G. Bradley filed a […]

Detection of Deception

Looking for a bit of law-related entertainment this holiday weekend? Then take a listen to this episode from the podcast series The Last Archive, featuring historian Jill Lepore. It’s about the origin of the Frye test. And how that may have led to Wonder Woman. No kidding. Lepore has also written about Clarence Darrow, among […]

July 2, 2020

June 2020 publication list

On June 24, 2020, the court of appeals ordered publication of the following criminal law related cases: State v. Tavodess Matthews, 2020 WI App 33 (motion to adjourn a probable cause hearing is a “preliminary contested matter” under judicial substitution statute) State v. Adam W. Vice, 2020 WI App 34 (confession given after polygraph ordered […]

Refusal to submit to blood draw may be used against driver at OWI trial

State v. Dawn J. Levanduski, 2019AP1144-CR, 7/1/20, District 2 (recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) This published decision resolves an issue arguably left open by Birchfield v. North Dakota, 136 S. Ct. 2160 (2016).  The court of appeals holds that when an officer reads Wisconsin’s “Informing the Accused” form to an OWI suspect, and […]

July 1, 2020

Published precedent plunges in Wisconsin

The percentage of opinions that the court of appeals publishes is going down, down, down. That’s the subject of SCOWstats new post. One might suppose that the rule change allowing the citation of unpublished opinions is to blame, but the data does not support that conclusion. What’s really surprising is that SCOW publishes roughly the […]

Judge’s Facebook friendship created serious risk of actual bias in custody case

Miller v. Carroll, 2020 WI 56, 6/16/20, affirming a published court of appeals opinion, 2017AP2132, case activity (including briefs) You’ve surely read about this case in NY Times, the Journal Sentinel, on or on On Point here or here. A judge’s Facebook friendship with one of the litigants in a child custody case before […]

June 29, 2020

The most popular justice on the the supreme court

Guess which justice has the highest approval rating? We’re talking SCOTUS justices. A recent Economist/YouGov survey found that Justice Ginsburg had the highest favorability rating. Justice Kavanaugh came in last. He was literally the only justice who failed achieve a positive net favorability in the survey. Wouldn’t it be interesting to see a similar poll […]

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