The Wisconsin Supreme Court has announced its schedule for oral arguments for the remainder of 2021. Earlier this year, the court heard cases in January through April and one case in May, then took a break over the summer and began hearing cases again in September. Below is a summary of the court’s schedule for the last four months of the year, including notable cases with political implications or those affecting employers and the civil justice environment in state courts.
Of the nine cases that the court heard in September, four were criminal matters and one was an involuntary commitment matter. Another case involved a vehicle repossession and related issues. The other three cases heard by the court were:
- Friends of Frame Park v. Waukesha (2019AP96): Whether a draft contract may be withheld from disclosure under the Public Records Law and whether the litigant is entitled to attorney’s fees in this case.
- Brey v. State Farm (2019AP1320): Does the definition of “underinsured motorist [UIM] coverage” under state law void UIM policy provisions requiring an insured to sustain a bodily injury, thereby overruling the prior Court of Appeals decision in Ledman v. State Farm?
- Townsend v. ChartSwap (2019AP2034): Whether Wis. Stat. § 146.83(3f)(b), which limits the amount that a “health care provider” may charge for providing copies of patient health records, applies to entities that are not “health care providers” and whether, under Wis. Stat. § 990.001(9), an agent is directly liable for any conduct that violates any statutory requirement applicable to the principal.
Of the ten cases that the court heard in October, three were criminal matters and another involved a legal malpractice suit brought by a former criminal defendant against his former criminal defense attorney. Another case dealt with whether the City of Waukesha could seek certiorari review of a decision by its own Board of Review. The other three cases heard by the court were:
- Friends of the Black River Forest v. DNR (2019AP299/534): Whether the plaintiff has standing to sue DNR over the agency’s decision to swap state park land with a private entity.
- Cree v. LIRC (2019AP1671): Whether the state appropriately applied the substantial relationship test under the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act to determine that an applicant’s prior assault and battery convictions were not substantially related to the terms of the job he sought with Cree.
- Friendly Village Nursing and Rehab v. DWD and LIRC (2020AP520): Whether LIRC reasonably concluded that the petitioner’s filing of an application for unemployment account successorship was both untimely and not permitted due to excusable neglect.
In November, the court will hear oral arguments in six cases, including one criminal matter and one property tax assessment case. The court will also hear a case from Brown County on whether the county appropriately used its sales and use tax to fund new capital projects without reducing the property tax levy. The other three cases the court will hear this month are:
- Waity v. LeMahieu (2021AP802): Concerning the Wisconsin Legislature’s authority to enter into contracts for legal services, including on litigation that is impending but not yet filed.
- Bauer v. Wisconsin Energy Corporation (2019AP2090): Concerning prescriptive easements and property rights between property owners and utilities.
- Sewell v. Racine Unified School District Board of Canvassers (2020AP1271-AC): Does Wis. Stat. § 7.54 vest in challenging parties the right to review in open court ballots they assert were miscounted such that an incorrect election outcome will be sustained unless the errors alleged by the challengers are corrected by the circuit?
In December, the court will hear oral arguments in eight cases, including five criminal matters and two involuntary commitment matters. In another case, Doubek v. Kaul (2020AP704), the court will consider whether previous Wisconsin case law related to concealed weapons permits remains “good law” following the United States Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Castleman.
For a list of all cases currently pending before the Wisconsin Supreme Court, click here.