- May 18, 2018
Shareholder Randal Brotherhood, currently Chair of the Business Law Section of the State Bar of Wisconsin and a member of the State Bar Section Leaders Council, has been elected to the position of SLC Representative to the Legislative Oversight Committee, for a two-year term beginning July 1, 2018. By virtue of this position, Mr. Brotherhood will succeed to the position of Vice Chair of the State Bar Section Leaders Council on July 1, 2020, and thereafter to the position of Chair of the Section Leaders Council on July 1, 2022.
- April 24, 2018
In this article, you will get insight into the current estate planning environment in Wisconsin and the changes that have made it better. By “better,” I mean that people who are engaged in estate planning right now have far more freedom in design than they have had in the past. For the most part, this improved environment is attributable to recent changes to the federal estate and gift tax (a 40% tax on property gifted during life and owned at death), but not exclusively. Some important and helpful changes have been made in Wisconsin.
- April 10, 2018
An emerging topic in insurance coverage litigation circles is insurance coverage for cyber loss. This article explains what exactly cyber loss is and the evolution of claims for cyber loss, from claims under traditional liability policies, leading up to the creation of new coverages that are specifically tailored to cyber loss.
- March 27, 2018
One issue that frequently arises in commercial litigation is the application of the economic loss doctrine. Generally speaking, the economic loss doctrine is a legal defense that prevents contracting parties from pursuing tort claims against one another for commercial losses associated with a transaction. The damaged party is limited to its contractual claims. The classic example where the economic loss doctrine comes into play is when the purchaser of a product seeks to hold the manufacturer or seller of the product responsible for any economic losses associated with the product’s deficiencies.
- Attorney Tom Nichols Quoted in Tax Notes Today Article “Decisions to Revoke S Corp Elections Not Just About the Rates”March 21, 2018
Attorney Tom Nichols was recently quoted in a Tax Notes Today article titled “Decisions to Revoke S Corp Elections Not Just About the Rates.” In it, Tom is quoted and advises regarding the new importance of tax-free sale treatment of section 1202 stock after the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).
- March 14, 2018
I am often asked, “What measures can an insured take to make sure their insurance claims will be covered or paid?” Whether a claim is made under a business policy or a policy covering personal assets such as a homeowners, renters, or automobile policy.
- February 27, 2018
Under our free enterprise system, employees frequently leave their employment to work for a competitor or start a new competing venture. Questions often arise about whether an employee may be deemed to have breached their duty of loyalty owed to his or her employer by taking certain preparatory steps, while still employed, to compete with his or her employer after termination. A related issue has to do with whether an employee or a former employee may be deemed to have breached a non-compete agreement by taking such preparatory measures. I have addressed the issue of the validity of non-compete agreements more generally in my video entitled, Enforceability of Non-Compete Agreements in Wisconsin. This article will focus more on how the law views certain steps taken by an employee while still employed to prepare to compete after employment.
- Attorney Tom Nichols Quoted in The Wall Street Journal Article “Pass-Through Businesses Are Rethinking Their Status in Wake of Tax Law”February 23, 2018
Attorney Tom Nichols was recently quoted in The Wall Street Journal Article titled “Pass-Through Businesses Are Rethinking Their Status in Wake of Tax Law”.
- February 13, 2018
The elements for a successful trademark infringement claim have been well established under both federal and state law. Overall, an aggrieved trademark owner—let’s call him the “senior trademark owner”—must show that the use of its trademark by another business has created a likelihood-of-confusion about the origin of the senior trademark owner's products. To do this, the senior trademark owner must first show that it has developed a protectable right in its mark and that it began using it in commerce first. It must then show that the junior party's trademark is likely to cause confusion, mistake or deception by erroneously creating the impression that junior party's products are those of the party owning the senior mark.
- Piercing the Corporate Veil in Wisconsin: When Individuals May be Held Personally Responsible for Business LiabilitiesJanuary 31, 2018
One of the primary reasons business owners choose to organize their business as a corporation or limited liability company is so they are not held personally liable for claims made against the business. The insulation of business owners and managers is known as “limited liability.” Like most states, the general rule on limited liability in Wisconsin is that corporations and LLC’s are legal entities separate and distinct from the individuals who own and manage them.
- Attorney Adam Tutaj’s Article “New Tax Law Creates Barriers for Sexual Harassment Claims” Featured in the State Bar of Wisconsin’s InsideTrack PublicationJanuary 19, 2018
Shareholder Adam Tutaj, a member of Meissner Tierney's transactional practice group, authored an article for the State Bar of Wisconsin's Inside Track publication titled “New Tax Law Creates Barriers for Sexual Harassment Claims.”
- Attorney Joseph Sarmiento Authors Article “Phishing for Coverage: Insurance Coverage for Phishing Schemes Under Computer Fraud Provisions” for the Defense Research InstituteOctober 16, 2017
Attorney Joseph Sarmiento, a member of Meissner Tierney’s litigation practice group, recently authored an article for the Defense Research Institute’s Insurance Law Committee Newsletter entitled, "Phishing for Coverage: Insurance Coverage for Phishing Schemes under Computer Fraud Provisions."
- Attorney Henry Weiner Authors Article “You Snooze, You Lose: The Doctrine of Laches in Trademark Enforcement” for the State Bar of WisconsinJune 8, 2017
Attorney Henry Weiner’s recent State Bar of Wisconsin article titled, “You Snooze, You Lose: The Doctrine of Laches in Trademark Enforcement,” has been selected for inclusion in the State Bar of Wisconsin statewide publication InsideTrack.
- November 17, 2016
One issue that frequently arises in construction projects is the need to file a construction lien. Generally speaking, a construction lien is a mechanism by which general contractors, subcontractors, architects, suppliers and certain other individuals involved in construction projects can secure payment for the labor, services and/or materials that they performed or provided as part of the improvement of real estate. Depending on the person or entity seeking to perfect the construction lien and the type of project at issue, Wisconsin law has different procedures that a claimant must follow before the lien can be perfected. My goal here today is to provide you with an overview of how a general contractor can perfect a construction lien on a privately funded construction project. Thus, the following information does not apply to subcontractors or suppliers, or for projects involving payment bonds. Separate procedures apply in those situations.
- Attorney Randy Brotherhood's Article, “The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016: A New Federal Civil Cause of Action for Trade Secret Theft,” Published by The State Bar of WisconsinNovember 15, 2016
The State Bar of Wisconsin’s Business Law Blog recently published an article authored by Meissner Tierney shareholder Randy Brotherhood entitled “The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016: A New Federal Civil Cause of Action for Trade Secret Theft.” The article examines The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (Pub. L. No. 114-153), signed into law by President Barack Obama on May 11, 2016, establishing a new federal civil cause of action for trade secret theft.
- October 28, 2016
Attorney Adam Tutaj was featured in the October 21, 2016 edition of the Milwaukee Business Journal. The “Table of Experts” article titled, “Entrepreneurial Energy: Understanding the importance of nurturing startups to grow the region’s economy,” highlights the importance of startups to the local Milwaukee economy and what can be done to help develop an entrepreneurial ecosystem.
- October 19, 2016
So you're thinking of going into business with somebody else? Maybe a friend or a family member. Or perhaps somebody who already is a business acquaintance. There are a couple things that you might want to consider as you think about going into a venture with a partner.
- October 14, 2016
Earlier this summer, the IRS released a Private Letter Ruling taking the position that a non-spouse IRA beneficiary would be liable for federal income tax on assets transferred from an inherited IRA to the IRA decedent’s former spouse as required by the state’s community property laws. I.R.S. Priv. Ltr. Rul. 201623001 (June 9, 2016).
- August 3, 2016
With the advent of social media, one of the more common calls I get, is about civil defamation claims. Today’s digital climate enables people and entities to disseminate information at the speed of light, regardless of whether that information is true or false.
- July 13, 2016
The Wisconsin Supreme Court makes clear that an insurer’s defense obligation is controlled by the four-corners rule, and that policy exclusions can be considered in making a duty to defend determination.
- July 11, 2016
Once a business selects a trademark, the key next steps consist of, first, searching the trademark and clearing it for use, and, second, applying for federal registration of the mark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO).
- June 28, 2016
A question we are often asked is "What type of entity should my business choose for income tax purposes?" These so-called "choice of entity" issues are, of course, important for startup enterprises, but they can be even more important for successful, established businesses.
- Attorney Scott Brunner Co-Authors Article Titled: “Crowdfunding: A New Federal and State Form of Securities Offering”May 23, 2016
The State Bar of Wisconsin’s Inside Track Newsletter recently published an article co-authored by Meissner Tierney’s Scott Brunner, titled “Crowdfunding: A New Federal and State Form of Securities Offering,” which examines the new federal and state rules on equity crowdfunding.