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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 One might suppose that the rule change allowing the citation of unpublished opinions is to blame, but the data does not support that conclusion.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… Read More

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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… Read More

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OLR v. Kovac, 2020 WI 58, 6/23/2020, per curiam; case activity  “Attorney Kovac’s habit of procrastination and dilatory practices continue,” says SCOW. So it has again suspended his license to practice law in Wisconsin for 5 months, concurrent to another 5-month suspension. Plus he must pay the full costs of his OLR proceeding. In one… Read More

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Fond du Lac v. S.N.W., 2019AP2073, 6/17/20, District 2 (1-judge opinion, ineligible for publication); case activity We detect the unmistakable odor of SCOW bait. One of two court appointed medical experts failed to submit his examiner’s report within 48 hours before the final hearing for an original commitment of a prisoner. S.N.W. argued that this… Read More

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State v. Alfonzo C. Loayza, 2018AP2066-CR, petition for review of a per curiam opinion granted 6/16/20; case activity Issue (from the State’s petition for review): It is well established that a DOT record is competent proof of a defendant’s prior conviction and can therefore be used to enhance the defendant’s sentence. It is also  well… Read More

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Detecting mens rea in the brain

A group of researchers wanted to find out whether, using brain-imaging technology and AI, they could examine human brain activities and distinguish between an intentional and a reckless state of mind. Given that criminal law punishes defendants more harshly for acting with intent, it’s a good thing the answered turned out to be “yes.” The… Read More

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Sexually violent predator laws

If you handle Chapter 980 cases, you make like this new paper on sexually violent predator laws. It argues that our nation’s SVP laws are a “miserable failure” and that foreign SVP laws based on international human rights law are more effective… Read More

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Due to COVID-19 courts have been considering large scale prison releases, but usually only for people convicted of nonviolent crimes. Are fears of violent crime recidivism warranted? What does it say about our justice system when we release some inmates but leave others is prisons with large COVID outbreaks? If you’re working on a motion… Read More

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