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EDWBA December 2016 Newsletter
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Spotlight on President Wick Schmidt
By April Rockstead Barker
 
Reaching out to new lawyers and law students is a top priority for the Eastern District of Wisconsin Bar Association’s current President, T. Wickham Schmidt. Schmidt, a commercial litigator at Davis & Kuelthau in Green Bay and a father of five, said that the Association can do a better job of appealing to new and soon-to-be lawyers.

“I think you need to emphasize to them the tangible benefits of the organization,” he said. For example, Schmidt said, recently admitted lawyers can benefit from access to judges and other federal practitioners and the affordable continuing legal education programming that the Association offers.  
In addition, Schmidt noted, the Association offers opportunities to become engaged in the process of making rules.  “Judges are eager to have input from the practicing bar,” he said. 
 
Schmidt would also like to see the Association become “more active outside the Milwaukee metropolitan area.” The geographic territory covered within the Eastern District of Wisconsin is large, Schmidt noted, and the Association has made a concerted effort to host more events in Green Bay for the convenience of members who practice in northern communities. 

In federal criminal practice, Schmidt said that he sees a need for a larger portion of the bar to consider practicing in federal court, whether by appointment or otherwise.

Some attorneys are also apprehensive about civil practice in federal court, Schmidt noted. “While the rules in federal court and state court aren’t all that different, it’s more important to know the rules in federal court,” Schmidt said. “That may be what intimidates some people.”

The Association’s recent spotlight on challenges associated with filing under seal is also a topic that resonates with Schmidt, who has frequently confronted these issues in his practice.  For example, he queried, “What do you do when you have people who designate everything as confidential?”  Further modifications to the current rules could add much-needed clarity on these and other questions that remain ambiguous, Schmidt said. “We’re getting close, but we’re not there yet,” he said.
Remembering the Honorable Rudolph T. Randa
Forward: By Judge William E. Callahan Jr.

"There was a side to Judge Randa that many people might not have known. He had a bright, perfectly-timed, and playful sense of humor. He was a great fan of Rodney Dangerfield and could call upon that comedian’s one-liners to bring a smile to all within hearing distance. I recall Rudy’s and my being in California for a judicial conference several years ago. As anyone who knows me can attest, I am not one to shy away from telling a story. But I had a difficult time keeping pace with Rudy as he and I sat after dinner swapping and sharing tall tales (are there any other kind?) and jokes (in my case, Irish) with those at our table. I will dearly miss the twinkle that lodged in Rudy’s eyes just before he launched into his stand-up comedian mode. But I will miss him even more as a good man and colleague. Our loss is Heaven’s gain."
 
Eulogy: By Tom Hrdlick

"Good Morning. My name is Tom Hrdlick. I was the first law clerk hired by Judge Randa after his confirmation by the US Senate back in 1992. I want you to know that the words I share with you today are truly a collaborative effort, that in preparing this talk I sought and received letters, anecdotes, suggestions and support from all of the 17 law clerks that worked for Judge Randa over the years." To read the entire eulogy, click here.
Albee Named Federal Defender Services of Wisconsin’s Executive Director
By Jake Remington
On August 15, 2016, the Federal Defender Services of Wisconsin (FDSW) named Craig W. Albee as its executive director to replace outgoing executive director Daniel W. Stiller. Prior to his new role, Albee practiced as FDSW’s senior trial attorney, a position he had held in the organization’s Milwaukee office for the previous five years. Before that, Albee worked in private practice as a criminal defense attorney. All told, he brings to the position over 25 years of representation of individuals facing charges in state and federal court at both the trial and appellate level. Albee received both his bachelor’s and juris doctor degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

As executive director, Albee will oversee the attorneys and staff working in the FDSW’s three offices located in Milwaukee, Madison and Green Bay. In addition, he will serve as the agency’s principal liaison to the federal judges, prosecutors and other criminal justice agencies located both within Wisconsin’s districts and beyond. Albee also looks forward to being a mentor for the talented and passionate attorneys immediately under his supervision – something he benefitted from as a young lawyer working with Steve Glynn, Jim Shellow, and others – as well as other members of the federal defense bar by facilitating training and other educational programs.

Lastly, as executive director, Albee is tasked with overseeing and facilitating the appointment of private bar attorneys to provide zealous representation for indigent defendants charged in Wisconsin’s federal jurisdictions – a task of critical importance to the proper administration of justice. Indeed, the federal defense bar and its clients will continue to benefit from Albee’s talent and experience, as he intends to continue represent clients in addition to his duties as the executive director.
Humor Us
By Richard J. Sankovitz

Every year the Eastern District of Wisconsin Bar Association remembers and celebrates the rich legacy of the late, great Judge Terence T. Evans of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and in particular his gift for writing and his good humor. As his colleague Judge Diane Sykes wrote in tribute: “Terry Evans filled the lives of his family and friends with joy. He filled our court with his practical wisdom and wit. And he filled the casebooks with lucid opinions, memorably written. 

Terry’s buoyant approach to life and his humane approach to the law, inspired countless others in our community.” The EDWBA celebrates Judge Evans’ legacy in the best way possible to ensure his memory lives on. The Fifth Annual Terence T. Evans Humor and Creativity in Law Competition will be held again this spring. Lawyers and law students are invited to submit an original law-related piece of writing which can be anything from a brief, a letter to a client or even a poem. Satire and parodies are highly encouraged. Our group of distinguished judges (distinguished only by how much they love a good laugh and miss Judge Evans) will pick the best one, publish it, sing its praises at the annual meeting and heap on its author fame and prizes of immeasurable value (literally).
Closing Remarks for EDWBA Internship Program
These remarks were given by Faith Herr, a participant in the EDWBA’s Hon. Charles N. Clevert Jr. Mentoring Program, at the closing breakfast of the internship program. 

Good morning everyone. My name is Faith Herr and this summer I was placed at Michael Best & Friedrich Law Firm during the four weeks of the Eastern District of Wisconsin Bar Association Internship Program. Before I share with you my experience, I would like to thank everyone for coming out this morning to celebrate the 2016 EDWBA interns' completion of the Internship Program. Thank you to those who took the time to organize this program and the special events that we attended. I also want to thank all the mentors, hosts, guest speakers, and sponsors who took the time out of their busy schedules to ensure that we had a fun and meaningful experience. I want to give a special thanks to Judge Joseph for her leadership and kind heart throughout the entire internship.

From the moment that I was informed of the internship program, accepted as an intern, and even to this day, the internship program has been a key that opened many doors allowing me to get an insight of both the legal and non-legal fields. During the last four weeks, the experience that I had during the internship definitely prepared me physically and mentally for college and the real world. It has helped me narrow down the path of my career choice in the near future and has helped me grow confident in my speech, writing, and independence.
 
During my time working at Michael Best & Friedrich, I met with many attorneys who specialize in different areas of law and individuals from support departments such as IT, HR, Marketing and Business Development, and the Library. As a daily routine, I worked on weekly assignments given by Judge Joseph and shadowed my supervisor in meetings that she either participated in or led. Projects that I’ve worked on include researching and writing about the Family and Medical Leave Act for the Michael Best offices in the United States and typing up a PowerPoint presentation about the individuals that I’ve met within the firm. In the past four weeks working at Michael Best, one thing that stuck out to me was that a law firm is not a workplace consisting only of intelligent and sophisticated attorneys, but a workplace filled with jolly and lively people that bring a smile to everyone’s face.
 
I know that each and every single one of us had a slightly different experience, but as the internship comes to an end, I hope that everyone made unforgettable memories in the last couple of weeks. As we continue to chat and enjoy our breakfast, interns, I encourage you to think and share with your mentor and/or supervisor what the internship means to you and your future. Let’s not forget about the experience we had, but share the good news with others and encourage younger individuals to take and an opportunity when it has been given to them. Thank you.
Did You Know?
Judge Stadtmueller has identical twin clerks!  Nathan and Chris Bader are, as far as Judge Stadtmueller could determine, the first identical twins to have clerked for the same judge at the same time in the federal system. Nate and Chris are natives of St. Louis, Missouri.  Both obtained their law degrees from Saint Louis University School of Law.  Nate is an avid Blues and Cardinals fan. Chris enjoys hiking, rock climbing, and playing music.
Wisconsin Supreme Court Approves Allocation of Unclaimed Class Action Funds to Low-Income
Legal Services

 By Jeff Brown

On June 24, 2016, the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued an order amending Wis. Stat. § 803.08 to require the allocation of at least half of unclaimed class action awards to the Wisconsin Trust Account Foundation (WisTAF) for the support of legal services to low-income and indigent persons. The amendment was the result of a petition brought by the Wisconsin Access to Justice Commission and supported by a number of legal organizations throughout the state, including: the State Bar of Wisconsin; the Litigation Section of the State Bar: the Wisconsin Trial Judges Association; the Wisconsin Association for Justice; the Western District Bar Association of Wisconsin; WisTAF; the Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee; Legal Action of Wisconsin; Disability Rights Wisconsin; Wisconsin Judicare; and the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin.

Eighteen other states have adopted rules or passed legislation providing that unclaimed class action funds be earmarked for low-income legal services.  In many of these states, this has resulted in significant increases in the available funding for these services.

The text of the rule change is as follows:
    1.  “Residual Funds” means funds that remain after the payment of all approved class member claims, expenses, litigation costs, attorney fees and other court-approved disbursements in an action under this section.
    2.  “WisTAF” means the Wisconsin Trust Account Foundation, Inc.
            (b) 1.  Any order entering a judgment or approving a proposed compromise of a class action that establishes a process for identifying and compensating members of the class shall provide for disbursement of any residual funds.  In class actions in which residual funds remain, not less than fifty percent of the residual funds shall be disbursed to WisTAF to support direct delivery of legal services to persons of limited means in non-criminal matters.  The circuit court may disburse the balance of any residual funds beyond the minimum percentage to WisTAF for purposes that have a direct or indirect relationship to the objectives of the underlying litigation or otherwise promote the substantive or procedural interests of members of the certified class.
    2. This subsection does not prohibit the trial court from approving a settlement that does not create residual funds.

The effective date of the rule is January 1, 2017. The new amendments will apply to proceedings commenced after the effective date and, “insofar as is just and practicable,” to proceedings pending on the effective date.
Rules Update
Effective December 1, 2016, amended Rule 6(d) Fed.R.Civ.P. removes service by electronic means from modes of service that allow three days to act after being served.
 
The local ECF rules do include a statement that service by electronic means is one of those modes of service that allow three extra days to act.  Do not rely on this ECF rule – first, the ECF rules will not “trump” the FRCP; second, the ECF rules likely will be amended to mirror the FRCP.

This amendment is posted on the website for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
Case Update - Bankruptcy
By Victoria Moran

Adeli v. Barclay (In re Berkeley Delaware Court, LLC), --- F.3d ---, 2016 WL 4437616 (9th Cir. 2016).

In this case, the bankruptcy trustee entered into a settlement with a creditor under which the creditor would purchase the estate’s claims against it in exchange for cash and a waiver of the creditor’s claims against the estate. The bankruptcy court required the settlement to be subject to Bankruptcy Code section 363(b). The debtor appealed, but did not seek a stay of the sale.

The Ninth Circuit concluded that a settlement involving an estate cause of action may be treated as a section 363(b) sale and that parties must comply with section 363(m)’s requirement to seek a stay. Because debtor did not seek a stay, the appeal was moot under section 363(m). 
Pro Bono Recognition
On Tuesday, October 18, the Pro Bono Committee hosted its annual Pro Bono Recognition Luncheon.  Attorneys were honored for their service to the Bankruptcy Help Desk and the Federal Legal Assistance Program. In addition, attorneys who accepted an appointment on behalf of the District Court, whose case closed in the last year, were honored. The Court and the bar association thank the following attorneys:
 
Dillon Ambrose, David Anstaett, Robert Arthur, Krista Baisch, Tony Baish, April Barker, Priya Barnes, Erin Block, Brett Boyer, Mark Cameli, Andrea Davenport, Douglas Dehler, Larry Dupuis, Elizabeth Eddy, Vanessa Eisenmann, Brian Fahl, David Frank, Kerry Gabrielson, John Gallo, Mark Gauthier, Kate Gehl, Jeffrey Guerard, Rollie Hanson, Timothy Hassell, Janet Heins, Matthew Hoenig, Jane Howard, Kadie Jelenchick, Ksenija Kokanovic, David Konkel Lissa Koop, Brandon Lewis, Joseph LoCoco, Brett Ludwig, Joshua Maggard, Douglas Mann, Jonathan Mas, John McCauley, Chelsey Metcalf, Lance Mueller, Daniel Narvey, Matthew O’Neill, Benjamin Payne, Robert (Rock) Pledl, Steven Porter, Patrick Proctor-Brown, Agatha Raynor, Philip Rosenkranz, Edward Sarskas, Samatha Schmid, Mark Schmidt, Kevin Scott, Nancy Sennett, David Simon, Brian Smigelski, Angela Soltis, Emily Stedman, Anthony Steffek, Deborah Stencel, Eric Van Schyndle, James Walrath, Patricia Wheeler, Adam Witkov, Matthew Wuest, Jamie Yu, Lilah Zajac.
An Evening at the Courthouse – September 15, 2016
A nice crowd gathered after work for networking in the courthouse atrium. Guests heard briefly from EDWBA President Wick Schmidt and Chief Judge William C. Griesbach.
The EDWBA’s annual meeting is April 24, 2017. This year the program features Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean and Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law.
Meet Our Contributors!
April Barker:
What is your favorite TV show to binge watch?
 
A: Buffy the Vampire Slayer. My husband and I have all seven seasons on DVD. Vicariously slaying vampires can be great inspiration for a blocked writing project! 
Jake Remington:
What is your favorite spot in Wisconsin?
 

A: Although our great state offers so much, my mind is immediately drawn to the lakes and trails surrounding my family’s cabin near Iron River, Wisconsin.
Victoria Moran
Do you have any pets?
 
A: I have an English Mastiff named Lilly that I’ve had since she was a puppy, and an English Bulldog named Drake that I adopted from a bulldog rescue while in law school.  They are both cuddly oversized lap dogs, which explains why I have such large couches.  
For questions please contact Katy Borowski at 414-276-5933 or kborowski@milwbar.org.
Copyright © 2016 EDWBA, All rights reserved.


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