Disable Preloader

The JMK bLAWg

Probate Is Not Inevitable: Common Avoidance Mechanisms

Probate Is Not Inevitable: Common Avoidance Mechanisms

Each and every one of us is likely to leave something behind upon our death. Whether your estate is valued in the tens of millions or the tens of thousands, you should be concerned how your hard-earned assets will be distributed. The simple solution is through the careful drafting of an estate plan which clearly [Read More…]

John M. Kelly, Attorney at Law, LLC Welcomes Dusty Gross to Firm

John M. Kelly, Attorney at Law, LLC Welcomes Dusty Gross to Firm

John M. Kelly, Attorney at Law, LLC is pleased to announce that Dusty Gross has joined the firm as a Legal Assistant. Dusty is a native of Oshkosh, a graduate of Oshkosh North High School, and is pursuing her Paralegal degree from Fox Valley Technical College. Please join us in welcoming Dusty to the firm!

SCOTUS to Decide Wisconsin Property Rights Dispute

SCOTUS to Decide Wisconsin Property Rights Dispute

Wisconsin is again in the nation’s legal spotlight in a long-standing property rights dispute, calling into question one of the most heavily-litigated and oft-misunderstood constitutional provisions – the takings clause of the Fifth Amendment. The Fifth Amendment prohibits governmental takings of private property without just compensation. Over the years, the high court has expanded the [Read More…]

Wisconsin Court of Appeals Strengthens ‘Recreational Immunity’ Protections

Wisconsin Court of Appeals Strengthens ‘Recreational Immunity’ Protections

If a private property owner negligently maintains their property to such an extent that the safety of others is in jeopardy, they can be held liable for any resulting injuries under the doctrine of comparative negligence. Property owners who install pools, trampolines, and other “attractive nuisances” are often held to a heightened standard of care [Read More…]

SCOTUS Grants Cert in Wisconsin Arbitration Clause Dispute

SCOTUS Grants Cert in Wisconsin Arbitration Clause Dispute

UPDATE to our July, 2016 blog post entitled Seventh Circuit Rules on Individual Arbitration Clauses in Employment Contracts: On January 13, 2017 the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari to hear oral argument in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis. The case has been consolidated with two other claims related to the same legal issue. Software [Read More…]

Attorney Benjamin D. Brand Welcomed as New Member of Firm

Attorney Benjamin D. Brand Welcomed as New Member of Firm

John M. Kelly, Attorney at Law, LLC is pleased to welcome Attorney Benjamin D. Brand as a new member to the firm. Attorney Brand was admitted to the State Bar of Wisconsin in January, 2017 upon earning his Juris Doctor from the University of Wisconsin Law School in December. Attorney Brand is a former Summer [Read More…]

Court of Appeals Brings Clarity to Intentional Trespass Claims

Court of Appeals Brings Clarity to Intentional Trespass Claims

The appropriate statute of limitations governing claims of intentional trespass has confounded property owners and their attorneys for decades. Many lawyers believed that the 6-year statute of limitations provided in Wis. Stat. §893.52 for injury to real or personal property controlled claims of intentional trespass. Others argued that these cases were time-barred after the passing [Read More…]

The Importance of Keeping Up-to-Date Beneficiary Designations in the Estate Planning Process

The Importance of Keeping Up-to-Date Beneficiary Designations in the Estate Planning Process

Payable on Death (POD) and Transfer on Death (TOD) beneficiary designations on bank, credit union, brokerage accounts, and real estate can be an effective means of dispensing of personal property outside of the costly and time-consuming probate process. Likewise for life insurance, IRA’s, retirement plans, and annuities which are not probate assets but pass according [Read More…]

Consumer Alert: Understanding the Financial and Legal Consequences of Payday Lending in Wisconsin

Consumer Alert: Understanding the Financial and Legal Consequences of Payday Lending in Wisconsin

Life is predisposed to the unexpected. Illness, injury, job loss, and other personal tragedies can leave even the most financially sound individual suddenly strapped for cash. In these desperate times, it is often tempting to fall victim to the lure of the seemingly countless payday lending outlets that have taken up shop in Wisconsin including [Read More…]

A Guide to Wisconsin Construction Lien Law*

A Guide to Wisconsin Construction Lien Law*

As a homeowner, contractor, subcontractor, or supplier of construction materials, it is important to have a basic understanding of the laws contained in Chapter 779 of the Wisconsin Statutes governing construction liens for building and remodeling projects. Contractors, subcontractors, and materials suppliers who provide labor for the improvement of property but do not receive the [Read More…]

Protecting Critical Company Data in the 21st Century

Protecting Critical Company Data in the 21st Century

If you are a business owner, your worst nightmare is likely having a trusted employee steal client lists and other valuable company data and use that information for their own self-interested purpose. Unfortunately, this nightmare is a frequent reality for many in the digital age. The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), originally promulgated by [Read More…]

Does the Shoe Fit? Key Considerations in Picking the Proper Business Model to Suit Your Needs*

Does the Shoe Fit? Key Considerations in Picking the Proper Business Model to Suit Your Needs*

For those who are in the process of forming a new business, or those that are pondering the idea of revising a pre-existing business model, choice of entity is an important administrative decision with real-life consequences. The entity type chosen for your business affects everything from the ownership and control, to the potential for tax [Read More…]

Re-defining ‘Property’ in the Digital Age: New Estate Planning Options in Wisconsin

Re-defining ‘Property’ in the Digital Age: New Estate Planning Options in Wisconsin

On March 30, 2016, Governor Scott Walker signed the Wisconsin Digital Property Act into law which recognizes the changing concepts of ‘property’ in the digital age. The proliferation of Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, iCloud, PayPal, and other electronic services poses the question of who should or should not be given access to these accounts should the [Read More…]

What Are Your Rights When You Don’t Trust a Trustee?

What Are Your Rights When You Don’t Trust a Trustee?

The revocable living trust is beginning to overtake the last will and testament as the most commonly utilized estate planning instrument for the distribution of assets upon death. Much of this popularity is due to recent updates to the Wisconsin Trust Code which took effect July 1, 2014, making the implementation of trusts substantially more [Read More…]

Beyond Merely Medicine: Combating Malpractice within Various Professions

Beyond Merely Medicine: Combating Malpractice within Various Professions

Malpractice is traditionally thought of in the medical context, using lawsuits to hold hospitals, doctors, surgeons, nurses, and other medical professionals accountable for negligent and reckless conduct resulting in death or serious injury. However, the legal realm of malpractice encompasses a multitude of other occupations and imposes liability upon those who perform negligent or reckless [Read More…]

You CAN Take It With You: Avoiding Unnecessary Costs In Home Buying

You CAN Take It With You: Avoiding Unnecessary Costs In Home Buying

A recent July 8, 2016 article by The New York Times memorialized an age-old issue that occurs in nearly every residential real estate transaction: the seller leaves behind an unwieldy piece of furniture, an out-of-commission air conditioning unit, or a decades-old chest freezer and leaves the buyer to wonder how they will dispose of this [Read More…]

The Non-Compete Revolution: What You Need to Know Before Signing Your Next Employment Contract

The Non-Compete Revolution: What You Need to Know Before Signing Your Next Employment Contract

Non-compete agreements (commonly referred to in Wisconsin as restrictive covenants) have garnered the attention of the national news media in recent years, thanks in part to massive class-action lawsuits waged against sandwich chain Jimmy Johns and other well-known corporations. Jimmy Johns came under fire when it was alleged that their employment contracts contained a highly-restrictive, [Read More…]

Understanding Wisconsin Statutes of Limitations and their Impact on your Claim

Understanding Wisconsin Statutes of Limitations and their Impact on your Claim

The Wisconsin Statutes of Limitations in civil actions impose a time limit upon injured parties to file suit after an injury occurs. Once this time limit expires, claims arising from that injury are generally barred from inclusion in any subsequent civil action. According to Wis. Stat. § 893.04, an applicable statute of limitations begins to [Read More…]

Rules of the Road: Wisconsin Motorcycle Safety Tips

Rules of the Road: Wisconsin Motorcycle Safety Tips

Each spring, summer, and fall, thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts take to the pavement of Wisconsin roadways with friends old and new to enjoy all of the scenic landscapes our state has to offer. However, with this influx of two-wheeled motorists comes the increased risk of accidents. The Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) reported that [Read More…]

Wisconsin Supreme Court Update: Notice to Condominium Owners and Associations

Wisconsin Supreme Court Update: Notice to Condominium Owners and Associations

In Walworth State Bank v. Abbey Springs Condominium Association (2016), the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled 5-2 that condominium associations may not prohibit present and future unit owners from the use and enjoyment of recreational facilities as a penalty for unpaid condominium association assessments. Condominium associations generally impose monthly or yearly “assessments” on individual unit owners [Read More…]

A Sobering Reality: Pursuing Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Wisconsin

A Sobering Reality: Pursuing Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Wisconsin

The wrongful death of a loved one due to the intentional, negligent, or reckless conduct of another person is an unfortunate occurrence that takes place all too often in our society. While no amount of money can truly compensate for the loss of human life, there are legal remedies in place that can help to [Read More…]

No Image Available

All about the Benjamins: A Wake-up Call to Wisconsin Entrepreneurs, Venture Capital to the Rescue

“Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard.” – Guy Kawasaki, CEO Alltop/Venture Capitalist On paper, the State of Wisconsin is home to a host of innovative entrepreneurs equipped with the skills and ideas necessary to create sustainable startup companies that will play a vital role in the improvement of state and local economies in the years [Read More…]

Everything You Need to Know about Wisconsin’s “Right to Cure” Law

Everything You Need to Know about Wisconsin’s “Right to Cure” Law

On October 1, 2006, Wisconsin’s Right to Cure Act came into effect, changing the landscape of the residential construction industry like never before. In the event that a dispute arises between a homeowner and a building contractor over an alleged defect in the construction or renovation of a residential dwelling, the Wisconsin court system is [Read More…]

Hook, Line & Sinker: Rules and Regulations on Wisconsin’s Fisheries

Hook, Line & Sinker: Rules and Regulations on Wisconsin’s Fisheries

With its wealth of navigable streams, rivers, ponds, and lakes, Wisconsin is home to some of the best fishing opportunities that the Midwest has to offer. Whether you are wetting a line in search of panfish on the Wolf River, jigging for walleye in the depths of Lake Winnebago, or trolling for salmon off the [Read More…]

Planning for Your Financial Future: The Importance of Drafting a Will

Planning for Your Financial Future: The Importance of Drafting a Will

“I just don’t have the time.” “I don’t need a will, my family already knows my wishes.” “I don’t like the prospect of planning for my own death.” These are all common excuses proffered by the nearly fifty-percent of Americans who do not have a will. Whether you are single, married, young, old, wealthy, or [Read More…]

Wisconsin Supreme Court Update: The Rights of Insureds in Subrogation Claims

Wisconsin Supreme Court Update: The Rights of Insureds in Subrogation Claims

In July, 2016, the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued an opinion in Dufour v. Progressive Classic Ins. Co, 2016 WI 59, in which a five justice majority determined that an insurance company rightfully withheld $15,589.00 in damages from its own insured as a result of a subrogation claim. Mr. Dufour sustained personal injuries and property damage [Read More…]

What You Need to Know Before Getting Behind the Wheel on Wisconsin Rivers and Lakes

What You Need to Know Before Getting Behind the Wheel on Wisconsin Rivers and Lakes

The summer season is upon us, and as a result, many Wisconsin residents take to the state’s numerous lakes and rivers in boats of all sizes with friends and family in tow. For those Wisconsin boaters looking for some relaxation on the water with an alcoholic beverage in hand, it might be beneficial to think [Read More…]

Make Sure You’re Solid Before You’re Sold: Important Duties on Buyers and Sellers in Real Estate Transactions

Make Sure You’re Solid Before You’re Sold: Important Duties on Buyers and Sellers in Real Estate Transactions

As the Wisconsin weather continues to improve, so too does the local real estate market. Each spring/summer, scores of individuals and families young and old take to the streets in search of their dream home. Whether you are a first time home-buyer or a veteran of the process, there are some important duties on the [Read More…]

Seventh Circuit Rules on Individual Arbitration Clauses in Employment Contracts

Seventh Circuit Rules on Individual Arbitration Clauses in Employment Contracts

The Wisconsin-based software giant Epic Systems was recently involved in a federal lawsuit concerning an email sent to its employees mandating arbitration of all individual wage and hour claims, thereby prohibiting collective suits. The email further indicated that continued employment with Epic Systems constituted knowledge and acceptance of these new contractual terms. In Lewis v. [Read More…]

Changes in the Landscape of Worker’s Compensation

Changes in the Landscape of Worker’s Compensation

The Worker’s Compensation Advisory Committee periodically proposes changes to the body of law governing worker’s compensation in Wisconsin. These changes are generally adopted by the legislature without issue and signed into law by the governor. One of these proposals has taken the form of 2015 Wisconsin Act 180 which took effect on March 2, 2016. [Read More…]