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In re Judicial Disciplinary Proceedings Against Piontek, 2019 WI 51, 5/21/19; case activity The supreme court suspends Judge Michael Piontek from office for five days for “obviously unethical” and “clearly improper” misconduct in two criminal cases. In the first case the judge engaged in ex parte communication with the prosecutor about adjourning a scheduled trial… Read More

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State v. Brantner, 2018AP53, petition for review of a summary order granted 5/14/19; case activity (including briefs) Issues: 1. Do the United States and Wisconsin Constitutional protections against double jeopardy bar the State from punishing a criminal defendant twice for violations of Wis. Stat. § 961.41(3g)(am) for possessing pills containing different doses of the same… Read More

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State v. Christopher L. Gee, 2018AP1069, 5/14/2019, District 1 (recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) Christopher Gee was accused of sexually assaulting two women at knifepoint; one of the women had come to Gee’s apartment building because someone there had agreed to pay her for sex. He admitted to police that he’d had sex… Read More

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Thanks to Margaret Johnson for highlighting this new article on the harmful effects of pre-trial detention. If you’re too poor to post bail you get detained. And people who get detained are more likely to get convicted, receive longer sentences and become involved in the criminal justice system. The article concludes with suggestions for better… Read More

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Many misdemeanor defendants don’t have lawyers. So when prosecutors are negotiating a plea deals with them do they have to ensure that the defendants have an opportunity to obtain counsel or reveal collateral consequences–like deportation or the loss of public services? There’s a new ABA ethics opinion on this topic. Read about it here… Read More

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Take that prosecutor! Click here for the story… Read More

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Yes, federal legislation. You don’t see that very often. Yesterday Senator Kamala Harris introduced the EQUAL Defense Act to provide financial support for public defender systems across the county. Among other things, the proposed legislation aims to track and limit public defender workloads and create pay parity between public defenders and prosecutors within 5 years… Read More

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The transcript of the oral argument in Mitchell v. Wisconsin doesn’t do Andy Hinkel’s argument justice. He stayed impressively cool under tough questioning. Hear for yourself here! If you prefer an eyewitness account of Andy’s argument, click here. His wife, Shelley Fite, a federal defender, blogged about it on the Appellate Section’s new blog… Read More

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