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Resources for defenders during the pandemic


On Point is posting resources to assist defense lawyers during the pandemic. The list will remain here at the top of the blog so you can find it easily.  Help your colleagues and clients. Alert us to new information through email or the comment section, and we will add it. Also, we’ll be working to […]

March 22, 2020


SCOW suspends statutory deadlines for certain non-criminal jury trials until further notice


On March 22, 2020, the supreme court issued an order temporarily suspending or continuing all jury trials scheduled to commence between March 22 and May 22, 2020. As a follow-up, on March 31 the supreme court issued a new order adopting an interim rule that suspends until further notice the following statutory deadlines for the conduct […]

April 1, 2020


SCOTUS: Constitution doesn’t require insanity defense to cover person whose mental illness prevents recognition of wrongfulness of conduct


Kahler v. Kansas, USSC No. 18-6135, 2020 WL 1325817, 3/23/20, affirming State v. Kahler, 410 P.3d 105 (Kan. 2018); Scotusblog page (including links to briefs and commentary) Kansas amended its insanity defense to limit to defendants whose mental illness prevents them from forming the required intent to commit a crime. A majority of the Supreme […]

March 26, 2020


Mike Tobin guest posts: Video and telephone hearings during the health crisis


Many thanks to Mike Tobin, retired Deputy State Public Defender and co-author of Wisconsin Criminal Practice and Procedure for today’s thoughtful and timely guest post: Two main resources are available to assist attorneys in preparing for hearings conducted by video or telephone:

March 25, 2020


New orders from the Wisconsin Supreme Court


On March 25th, SCOW issued two new orders. One postponed the April and May bar admission ceremonies and authorized the admission of qualified applicants in absentia. The other authorized court reporters transcribing depositions to administer oaths via remote audio visual equipment.


Lawyer’s deficient response to TPR summary judgment motion wasn’t prejudicial


S.L.H. v. J.J.D., 2019AP1554, District 2, 3/25/20 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity The lawyer representing J.J.D. (“John”) in his TPR proceeding failed to mount a sufficient defense to the summary judgment motion brought by S.L.H. (“Sarah”). But that deficient performance didn’t prejudice John. The evidence the lawyer failed to present wasn’t enough to […]


NACDL is seeking volunteers–lawyers, social workers, and medical professionals–to help seek compassionate release for federal prisoners


The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is looking for volunteers to work on motions for compassionate release under the federal First Step Act. Interested folks can find more information and a sign-up form here.

March 24, 2020


Mass incarceration: the whole pie


Many are calling for the release of prisoners due to the pandemic.  That makes the Prison Policy Initiative’s new graphics showing who is being held in our jails and prisons and why very timely. Take a look at them here.


Appellate arguments by video conference?


The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is doing it. Maybe it will be the new trend. Click here to see what one is like.


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