‘Can I really be sued there?’ If you have ever asked that question, you’re not alone—many defendants sued outside of their home state wonder the same thing. For example, if a small family-owned Wisconsin business is sued in a Nevada court, its owners may rightly question whether that is proper. The answer likely depends on […]

Before extending commercial loans, lenders will regularly require an owner or principal of a borrowing entity to personally guaranty payment of the entity’s loan obligations. It is well-settled under Wisconsin law that a personal guaranty contract is separate and distinct from the borrower’s loan contract with its lender. For this reason, lenders are entitled to […]

Arbitration is a common form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) used frequently and effectively in business settings. In arbitration, the parties have flexibility to choose decision-makers, jurisdiction, and many procedural rules, but they limit themselves in terms of discovery and some courtroom protections. While most courts will enforce arbitration clauses in contracts, such clauses should […]

Recently, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court, wrote a letter addressed to “Friends and fellow Americans” discussing her diagnosis with the beginning stages of dementia. In her letter, Justice O’Connor explained that her condition is “probably Alzheimer’s disease.” Justice O’Connor, age 88, was appointed to the Supreme […]

Arbitration clauses in commercial and employment contracts are increasingly popular as a means to try to settle business disputes without going through a court trial. Arbitration clauses should be clear regarding how the arbitration is to be carried out. In addition to detailing who will hear the dispute (the arbitrator), an arbitration clause should designate […]

In an ideal world, parties involved in the sale and purchase of goods would have a signed contract to establish the terms and conditions of the sale. A well-drafted, signed contract confirms the parties’ intentions to create a contract and clearly articulates its material terms in a single document. If a dispute arises, the parties […]

The extended family of a reclusive millionaire secured a large settlement on the eve of trial. As reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, when LeRoy Ern died at the age of 92, he purportedly left his entire $1.6 million estate to his financial advisor. At the time of the changes, Mr. Ern suffered from dementia […]

If you own a family business, you should be thinking about your succession plan, whether you plan to sell the business to fund your own retirement or pass it on to your descendants or other key employees. To get you started, below are six questions to ask yourself. We answer each in our book, The […]

In Wisconsin, anyone who agrees to become a trustee is agreeing to become a “fiduciary.” A fiduciary is a person or corporation that has legal obligations to a trust’s “beneficiaries,” those who will benefit from a trust. In our state, a trustee owes the utmost duty of loyalty to the trust beneficiaries. A trustee’s duty of […]

An increasing number of contracts contain arbitration clauses. But not all arbitration clauses are equally clear, precise, and specific–or equally enforceable. Like other contract clauses, an arbitration clause may be invalidated under general principles of contract law. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that an arbitration clause may be invalid if it is indefinite, fraudulent […]