Uncategorized

Sun Prairie’s Sunshine Supper $5 Family Challenge

For the past three years, the Sun Prairie community has been hosting the Sunshine Supper, which is a free, nutritious dinner open to the public every Monday evening.  The dinner is sponsored and coordinated by a dedicated bunch of volunteers with the assistance of various community groups within Sun Prairie.  Throughout its three year history, the Sunshine Supper has moved from place to place but for a number of reasons has never been able to establish a permanent home . . . until now.

In May 2013, the Sunshine Supper hopes to move into its new, permanent, location in Sunshine Place at 1632 West Main Street.  In order to support its move and help open its doors, the Sunshine Supper is putting on the $5 Family Challenge.  Due to a generous dollar-for-dollar match donation, all donations to the “Open the Doors Campaign” will be doubled, and the Sunshine Supper is encouraging families to make a donation in the amount of $5 or more in order to maximize the dollar-for-dollar match.

It is very easy to participate:

1.  Send your $5 (or more) to Sunshine Place, $5 Family Challenge, 18 Rickel Road, Sun Prairie, WI  53590 or donate online.

2.  Print this challenge sign.

3.  Get a photo of your family with this sign and post it on the Sunshine Supper facebook page.

4.  Post your sign in your front window so that all your friends and neighbors can see that you participated in the challenge.

For more information or to donate online, visit the Sunshine Supper website at http://sunshinesupper.org/..

Dane County Bar to Celebrate Law Day on May 1, 2013

On the first day of May every year, local bar associations across the country celebrate Law Day, a nationally recognized day celebrating our nation’s commitment to justice and the rule of law.  According to the American Bar Association (ABA), Law Day was first celebrated in 1958, after being established by then-President Dwight D. Eisenhower.  Three years later, in 1961, Congress issued a joint resolution officially declaring May 1 the official date for Law Day.

Each year, a Law Day theme is chosen, and activities are planned which forward the message of that theme.  This year’s theme is “Realizing the Dream – Equality for All.”  To celebrate Law Day, on May 1, 2013, the Dane County Bar Association (DCBA) is hosting an open house at the Dane County Courthouse which includes a variety of activities, including a community mock trial, free legal consultations, free CLE courses for attorneys, and more.

For more information about this year’s Law Day events, please visit:

http://www.dcba.net/programs/lawday13.pdf.

Bench Bar Brawl on April 25, 2013

On Thursday, April 25, 2013, the Dane County Bar Association will host the 27th annual Bench Bar Brawl.  This year’s Brawl will take place at the Elks Lodge (711 Jennifer Street in Madison).  Cocktails and Hors D’ouevres will be served from 5-7 p.m., followed by an hour of entertainment, headlined by emcee Barry Levenson and featuring The Justus Singers.

The Brawl represents a great opportunity for members of the DCBA to mingle with each other as well as with members of the judiciary.  If you practice law in Dane County, we definitely recommend that you attend.  To register, simply click here and you will be transported to the DCBA’s secure registration website.  The deadline for registration is April 22, 2013, so sign up now!.

CA Court Bars Reading Phone GPS Map While Driving

http://www.marketplace.org/topics/tech/california-rules-against-reading-phone-maps-while-driving

A California appellate judge recently held that using a cellphone GPS mapping program while driving violated the State’s recently-enacted hands-free driving law.[1]  The California statute [Cal. Veh. Code § 23123(a)] specifically provides that:

A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone unless that telephone is specifically designed and configured to allow hands-free listening and talking, and is used in that manner while driving.

In finding that the defendant had violated the statute, the Court reviewed the plain language of the statute and determined that

the primary evil sought to be avoided is the distraction the driver faces when using his or her hands to operate the phone … whether the wireless telephone was being used as a telephone, a GPS navigator, a clock or a device for sending and receiving text messages and emails.  (p. 3.)

In 2010, then-Governor James Doyle signed 2009 Wisconsin Act 220 into law, which provides that “No person may drive … any motor vehicle while composing or sending an electronic text message or an electronic mail message.”  Wis. Stat. § 346.89(3)(a).  A driver may, however, send a text or email while driving if using a “voice-operated or hands-free device if the driver of the motor vehicle does not use his or her hands to operate the device, except to activate or deactivate a feature or function of the device.”  Wis. Stat. § 346.89(3)(b)(4).

Given the explicit language “texting” language in Wisconsin’s statute, it seems the defendant may have had better luck defending his claim in Wisconsin.  What do you think?  Given the increased capabilities of cellular phones and wireless devices, do you think a similar broad prohibition is likely in our future?

Obviously, ELSA does not condone the use of electronic devices while driving and urges you to avoid any distractions which result in you taking your eyes off the road.  Stay safe!



[1] The entire opinion may be found here.

.

Sun Prairie Business Attorney Makes Public Service Part of His Practice

Click on Link to read article.

Kindkeppel_WI Law Journal_04 05 2013

 .

Views on the Spring Judicial Elections 2013

Last year by this time, Mother Nature bestowed upon us several warm, summer-like days.  This year, she decided not to repeat herself, which has lead to a splendid winter full of skiing, snow-shoeing, ice skating, and curling up by the fire.  With that being said, most of us are ready to move into spring and put away our shovels. 

Spring is a busy and exciting time for the Dane County Bar Association.  Elections for new officers are coming up in May, committee and section budgets are due soon, excitement is in the air for the Bench Bar Brawl, the Law Day Celebration and Pro Bono Breakfast are just around the corner, and the excellent Program luncheons continue to be held on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month. 

UPCOMING JUDICIAL ELECTIONS

On April 2, 2013, Dane County voters will decide the most hotly contested Dane County circuit court race in recent years.  Over the past few months, I have had the pleasure of speaking with and getting to know both candidates.  As with all contested elections, only one candidate will win the race. 

In this particular election, I believe that is an unfortunate outcome.  If I could create an alternative ending to this election, I would have both of these candidates win the race.  As winners, their first task would be figure out how to co-exist as the judges of Branch 16.  Maybe the “morning person” could take the bench for the first half of the day, and the night owl could take the latter half. 

Back to reality…I know the system does not allow for this sort of outcome.  At the end of the day on April 2, I will be genuinely happy for the winner and truly sad for the loser.  I believe both candidates embody the essential qualities of a sitting judge, i.e., a keen intellect, tireless in the search for justice, empathetic, firm, decisive, and honest. Even though you may disagree with my above-stated assessment of the candidates, I think we can all agree that running for judge takes a lot of courage, time, energy, and resources.  Both candidates deserve a round of applause for giving this race their all and for promising to uphold the standard of excellence we have come to expect from judges in Dane County.       

On April 2, Wisconsin residents will also decide whether to re-elect Justice Patience Roggensack or to elect Attorney Edward Fallone to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.  Judicial elections are an excellent opportunity for us, as attorneys, to explain the importance of the judicial system to our family, friends, and neighbors.  See you at the polls.       

BENCH BAR BRAWL – APRIL 25   

The Bench Bar Brawl (“BBB”) is the premier social event of the year.  Attorneys, judges and justices show up in droves for the good food, great conversations, and excellent entertainment.  The beautiful view of Lake Monona adds to the charm of the evening.  The BBB will be held on Thursday, April 25, 2013 at the Elks Club. 

The emcee for the evening is trivia extraordinaire Barry Levenson.  Levenson is the Mayor of the National Mustard Museum in Middleton, author of several books, and former assistant attorney general at the Wisconsin Department of Justice.  Please mark your calendar and encourage your colleagues to attend!            

In closing, if Mother Nature is reading this month’s column, please be reminded that spring officially started on March 20, 2013, and, therefore, I respectfully request that you provide us with reasonably prudent spring-like weather. 

– Written by Joshua J. Kindkeppel, President of the Dane County Bar Association and shareholder at Eustice, Laffey, Sebranek & Auby, S.C. This column originally appeared in the April 2013 edition of the DCBA Newsletter. .

ANNOUNCEMENT!

Eustice, Laffey, Sebranek & Auby, S.C. was ranked in the top 25 law firms in Dane County by In Business Magazine’s 2013 “Book of Lists,” based on the number of attorneys.  That makes ELSA one of the largest firms in the Greater Madison area, and we are right here in Sun Prairie!.

Leadership Sun Prairie

I began my career as a full time attorney with ELSA back in August 2011.  Although I had spent some time in Sun Prairie while in law school at UW, I knew relatively little about the city and its people.  Eager to learn more, I enrolled in the Sun Prairie Chamber of Commerce’s “Leadership Sun Prairie” course.  The seven-session course is designed to expose participants to various different aspects of life in Sun Prairie, including business and industry, education, government, media and communications, and community health and wellness.  Additionally, each Leadership Sun Prairie class is responsible for completing one community service project.

Our Leadership class is the 15th in the program’s history and we packed a lot into our seven sessions.  We delivered meals with the Meals on Wheels program, volunteered at the Sunshine Supper, wrote letters to Badger Honor Flight honorees, filmed vignettes for the local cable access channel, and helped out in local elementary school classrooms.  For our service project, we organized a night out for 10 local kids to have dinner at a local restaurant and attend a UW men’s basketball game.  With each session, I found myself more and more impressed with not only the abundance of talented people here in Sun Prairie, but also with the strong sense of community that is pervasive throughout the city.

ELSA has a history of involvement with Leadership Sun Prairie.  Three other ELSA team members, Kathy Curran, Connie Birkrem and Eric Ristau, each graduated from the course.  This past fall, Attorney Ristau gave a presentation to our class about the importance of having properly executed power of attorney documents as a part of a comprehensive estate plan.

The Leadership Sun Prairie course has helped confirm what the other members of ELSA have known for a long time; namely, that there’s more to Sun Prairie than meets the eye and that it is a great community in which to have our legal practice..

Three ELSA Attorneys Named Super Lawyers

Eustice, Laffey, Sebranek & Auby, S.C. is proud to announce that Kevin M. Laffey and Kimberly P. Sebranek have been named by Wisconsin Super Lawyers Magazine as two of the top attorneys in the state for 2011.  Additionally, Joshua J. Kindkeppel has been named a Wisconsin Rising Star as one of the top up-and-coming attorneys in the state for 2011.  Each year, no more than 5% of lawyers in the state receive these honors.

From the Super Lawyers website (www.superlawyers.com/about):

Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.

Attorney Laffey is a shareholder in the firm with 26 years of experience representing financial institutions, businesses and individuals in the areas of business law, creditors’ rights, civil litigation, commercial transactions and real estate law.  He is a graduate of the UW-Eau Claire and received his law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School.

Attorney Sebranek is a shareholder in the firm with significant experience representing financial institutions and commercial clients.  Attorney Sebranek focuses her practice in the areas of creditors’ rights, bankruptcy, banking, lender liability, business litigation and business formation.  She is a graduate of Berea College in Berea, Kentucky and received her law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School.

Attorney Kindkeppel is also a shareholder in the firm and is licensed to practice law in both Wisconsin and Minnesota.  This is the third time he has been recognized as a Rising Star. In addition, Attorney Kindkeppel was recently elected president-elect of the Dane County Bar Association and will assume that position for the 2012-2013 years.  Attorney Kindkeppel concentrates his practice in the areas of business law, civil litigation, real estate, employment law and administrative agency matters.  He is a graduate of Ripon College and received his law degree from the Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota.

If you would like to meet with one of our Super Lawyers about your legal needs, feel free to contact us at (608) 837-7386.

Disclaimer:  Please note that reading and/or commenting on this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship with Eustice, Laffey, Sebranek & Auby, S.C. absent an express agreement between the firm and the client.  Contacting Eustice, Laffey, Sebranek & Auby, S.C. or any of its attorneys or employees via this website or via email does not create an attorney-client relationship.

We would be pleased to communicate with you by email. However, please note that if you communicate with us-through this website, via email, or otherwise-in connection with a matter for which we do not already represent you, your communication may not be treated as privileged or confidential and may be disclosed to other persons..

National Estate Planning Awareness Week

If you are amongst the estimated 120,000,000 Americans who do not have up-to-date estate plans, you probably do not know that this week, October 17–23, 2011, is National Estate Planning Awareness Week.  In 2008, the House of Representatives passed a bill making the third week in October a week to build awareness of the need for estate planning and to educate the public regarding estate planning resources and services.

This bill was passed in response to the general lack of awareness that many Americans have as to the importance of estate planning and the consequences of not having a plan in place.  Many Americans assume that only the wealthy need estate planning, but in a time when life expectancies are rising along with the cost of healthcare and retirement planning is falling increasingly on the shoulders of the individual, no one can afford to be without a plan for the future.

So if you are one of those Americans without an updated estate plan, this is a great time for you to take that step to safeguard your future security and that of your family and loved ones.  Careful estate planning can be an essential tool to ensure that you have adequate funds for retirement, that the assets you have built up over your lifetime are preserved for the benefit of your family and heirs, and that, should you in the future be unable to make healthcare or financial decisions, the person of your choice is designated to do so for you.

If you are interested in learning more about the estate planning options that would be most appropriate for your situation, you can visit the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils (NAEPC) website for educating the public about the many aspects of estate planning (http://www.estateplanninganswers.org/) or you can call and make an appointment to speak to one of our firm’s estate planning attorneys..