Nominate Our Firm for “Best Law Firm” in the 2023 Best of Winnebago County Competition
In 2022, Kelly & Brand, Attorneys at Law, LLC won “Best Law Firm” in the Best of Winnebago County competition, and we’d like to win again! To make nominations, go to this link: https://thenorthwestern.gannettcontests.com/Best-of-Winnebego-County-2023/. Nominate our firm for “Best Law Firm” in the “Services” category. You can nominate us once a day, every day, from [Read More…]
Tips for Potential Jury Members
Some people view jury duty as an inconvenience and are not enthusiastic about serving on a jury. However, serving on a jury is not only part of every citizen’s civic duty, it also offers the opportunity for a deep and personal look into the court and justice system. While it may feel like being called [Read More…]
How to Become a Notary in Wisconsin
Having the authority to perform notarial acts can be useful in your career, and some kinds of jobs may even require it. However, the process of becoming a notary can sometimes be confusing without a guide to inform you of the necessary steps. Continue reading for a brief overview of the process of becoming a [Read More…]
Tips For Clients In Mediation
Mediation is becoming a popular method for settling disputes to avoid the long, stressful, and costly process of preparing for a trial. Mediation allows the parties to communicate their views in a safe and confidential setting with the goal of settling the case in a mutually beneficial manner. However, the mediation process can bring its [Read More…]
Tips for Clients Preparing for Deposition
Preparing for a deposition can be stressful if you are unfamiliar with the process. It can be intimidating for a client to sit in the “hot seat” and answer a battery of questions from the opposing party’s attorney. Ideally, your attorney will help prepare you for a deposition by explaining what to expect throughout the [Read More…]
How Does a Legal Gift Work?
While most gifts we give and receive on birthdays and holidays are simple, the legal concept of the gift is more complicated. Continue reading to receive a brief introduction to the legal concept of the “gift” and why someone might choose to include a gift in their estate plan. First, let us discuss what a [Read More…]
Tips For Finding an Attorney
For many, finding an attorney can be a daunting process. Usually, people do not start looking for an attorney to represent them until a conflict or an issue has occurred. In that case, not only do they have to deal with the toll of a conflict on their mental, emotional and financial health, now they [Read More…]
What Is an Easement?
For individuals who own or might want to buy real properties, it is important to be familiar with easements. An easement on your property may constrain the developments you can make or can require or prohibit you to taking certain action. An easement that prevents you from doing something is called a negative easement. An [Read More…]
A Case’s Journey Through The Courts
When a new conflict arises and you find yourself beginning the litigation process, it can be stressful if you’re unfamiliar with the process. Last week we discussed the general process of litigation. If you missed the discussion, click here https://kellybrandlaw.com/blog/detail/id/304/An-Overview-of-the-Litigation-Process. This week we will discuss the path a case travels through the different levels of [Read More…]
An Overview of the Litigation Process
When a new conflict arises and you seek the advice of an attorney, the unfamiliar process of litigation can be intimidating. It may feel like the uncertainty of the outcome, time, costs, and effort make it difficult to know whether to pursue legal action. In this blog post, we will discuss the general process of [Read More…]
Common Questions About the Landlord-Tenant Relationship
Whether you’re a landlord or someone who rents from a landlord, you may have questions about the process of renting and your legal rights and responsibilities. If you’re looking for a place to live, it can be tempting to do whatever the landlord asks simply so you have shelter. If you’re a landlord, it can [Read More…]
What Is Small Claims Court?
Some legal matters involve a relatively small amount of money. These kinds of matters can be settled in small claims court. Continue reading for a brief introduction to small claims court, the kinds of disputes settled there, and when it’s a good idea to involve an attorney in these kinds of matters. In Wisconsin, small [Read More…]
What are the Common Types of Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is the legal process in which people who cannot repay their debt obligations (called debtors) can be discharged of most kinds of debt. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are the two kinds of bankruptcy that are most common. Continue reading to receive a brief introduction to Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies. Even [Read More…]
Why Would Someone Hire an Attorney When Buying or Selling a House?
Last week’s blog was about the importance of being honest when disclosing material defects for a property you are selling. If you missed that post, click here. https://kellybrandlaw.com/blog/detail/id/276/The-Importance-of-Being-Honest-When-Disclosing-Material-Defects-of-a-Property In that blog, we noted that an attorney can provide legal advice on what constitutes a “defect.” This week’s blog will provide a quick overview of the [Read More…]
Kelly & Brand, Attorneys at Law, LLC Named “Best Law Firm” in 2022 Winnebago County Community Choice Awards!
Kelly & Brand, Attorneys at Law, LLC is pleased to announce that it has been named the Best Law Firm in the Oshkosh Northwestern’s 2022 Community Choice Awards. We would like to thank all of the local community members who supported us throughout the nomination and voting phases of the contest. Our team is proud [Read More…]
The Importance of Being Honest When Disclosing Material Defects of a Property
Let’s say you have found a buyer for a house you’re selling. You’ve probably gone through the long process of listing the house, holding public viewing events, finding a buyer, and making arrangements for moving your personal property. Additionally, you may feel a little anxious about preparing documents, like the Real Estate Condition Report, because [Read More…]
Attorney Catherine A. Drayna Welcomed as New Member of Firm
Kelly & Brand, Attorneys at Law, LLC is pleased to welcome Attorney Catherine A. Drayna as its newest member of the firm. Attorney Drayna was admitted to the State Bar of Wisconsin on June 1, 2022, upon earning her Juris Doctor from the University of Wisconsin Law School in May. Attorney Drayna is a former [Read More…]
How does an LLC differ from an LLP?
An LLC and an LLP look structurally similar, but there are many differences between the two kinds of business entities. Perhaps you’re thinking of starting your own business, or maybe you’re just curious to know what those letters really mean when you see them after a business name. Continue reading to find out the main [Read More…]
What Should I Do When I Receive A Subpoena?
An order to appear in court can be quite intimidating when you aren’t a party in a legal case and the language used in the order is formal and commanding. It’s also hard to know exactly what to do after you are served with a subpoena. Continue reading for a few important notes on subpoenas. [Read More…]
How Do I Legally Change My Name?
People decide to change their names for many reasons. Once a person chooses a new name, it can be difficult to know what steps to take next. For Wisconsin residents who want to legally change their names, there are a few requirements that must be completed. While these requirements do not necessarily need to be [Read More…]
Am I responsible for the debts of my recently deceased family member?
When a family member passes away after time in a hospital or other long-term care facility, the stress of settling and closing the family member’s estate is often overwhelming. In addition to funeral arrangements, it can be difficult to understand what happens next, and how your family member’s debts and medical expenses will get paid. [Read More…]
You are now the Representative in the Administration of an Estate—What Now?
When a friend or family member passes away naming you as Personal Representative of their estate, it can be difficult to focus on both grieving and fulfilling your legal duties. You may feel overwhelmed because, amid making funeral arrangements, you must also contend with the unfamiliar responsibilities as Personal Representative. This blog post will provide [Read More…]
What is the Public Trust Doctrine?
Through the Public Trust Doctrine, Wisconsin’s state constitution protects the bodies of water within the state. In the summer we take advantage of this doctrine by relaxing on the beaches of lakes and boating or kayaking on rivers. Continue reading to receive a short introduction to this doctrine and its effects on the lives of [Read More…]
What does that Latin legal phrase mean?
This week’s blog post will take a look at the law in entertainment. Television shows and movies that feature the law often include legal phrases in Latin. Not everything you see on legal TV is true, but often the phrases do have a legal meaning! Have you ever wondered what these phrases mean? If so, [Read More…]
More Information on Wills
A couple weeks ago, we posted a blog about how to create a valid will in Wisconsin. Since then, we have received several follow-up questions about wills. In this blog post we will cover two of these questions. First, what happens if I die without a will? Second, how can I legally change my will? [Read More…]
An Overview of the Probate Process in Wisconsin
Many people have heard the term “probate” as part of the estate administration process but are unsure how the term interacts with certain estate planning tools like wills or trusts. Continue reading for a brief overview of the probate process. In general, probate is the legal process of administering the estate of someone who [Read More…]
How to Create a Valid Will in Wisconsin
Many people avoid the topic of creating a will because death can be a difficult subject to confront, or they simply don’t believe they have that much property to convey. However, making a will is an important task because the document dictates what happens to your property after your death. For example, you might have [Read More…]
What is “Gap Insurance” in a Real Estate Transaction?
Many people have heard of “gap insurance” in the context of insuring an automobile against excessive damage, but gap insurance in the real estate context is different. Let’s say that you are in the process of making an offer to buy a house. You probably know that you need to obtain title insurance to protect [Read More…]
An Introduction to Common Deeds to Real Property
As you buy, sell, convey, and perhaps inherit real property you may have encountered that there are several types of deeds for the transfer of real property. Maybe you’re simply curious to know why more than one kind of deed exists, or maybe you’re on the verge of buying or selling a real property and [Read More…]
An Introduction to Trusts as Estate Planning Tools
The term “trust” may sound vaguely familiar as a kind of estate planning tool, but it can be difficult to understand the different types and the advantages they offer. Keep reading to receive an introduction to the different kinds of trusts recognized by the State of Wisconsin and whether a trust is the right fit [Read More…]
More on Powers of Attorney
A few weeks ago, we introduced you to the different types of power of attorney (POA) designations. If you missed that primer on POAs, you can click here to catch up. Whether you are a principal considering who to name as your agent, or an agent whose powers have recently gone into effect, you likely [Read More…]
Using a “Transfer on Death” Deed As an Estate Planning Tool in Wisconsin
A “Transfer on Death” (TOD) Deed can be a useful tool when creating an estate plan. This particular type of deed can streamline the process of conveying real property incident to your death. A Transfer on Death Deed must be recorded with the Register of Deeds in the county where the real property is located. [Read More…]
Know Your Rights and Responsibilities: Navigating Surface Water Runoff Disputes
The Spring and Summer months usually bring substantial rainfall to Wisconsin. While this rain supports the growth of our home gardens and yards, it can also lead to unforeseen disputes between neighbors. Let’s say your neighbors just landscaped to create a large patio, but in the process they altered the natural slope of the land [Read More…]
What is a “Power of Attorney”? What are the different kinds?
For many people the term “power of attorney” (or POA for short) can be confusing because it is often used interchangeably in different contexts. To add to the confusion, powers of attorney can operate in different ways and for different purposes. In this blog post we will provide a general overview of the main kinds [Read More…]
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Part Two
This blog post is the final installment in a two-part series on alternative dispute resolution. If you haven’t read the first part yet, you may follow this link to receive an introduction to the two primary forms of ADR: https://kellybrandlaw.com/blog/detail/id/177/Alternative-Dispute-Resolution-ADR-Part-One . In this blog post, we will answer more questions about alternative dispute resolution. First, [Read More…]
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Part One
Filing a lawsuit and the ensuing litigation can be financially costly and drain your time and energy. In addition, filing new lawsuits can burden an already slow court system. Alternative dispute resolution provides a set of other options that parties can use to solve their conflicts. There are two main kinds of alternative dispute resolution: [Read More…]
Five Informative Legal Podcasts for Non-Lawyers
While most cities and neighborhoods are in the process of re-opening after the pandemic, spending the last year without much of our usual entertainment have led many to discover that podcasts are a great way to learn while performing other daily tasks. A legal podcast might seem like something you’d rather sleep through than listen [Read More…]
Do I Have a Valid Lemon Law Claim?
When people think of buying or leasing a new vehicle, they often fully anticipate the stress of the buying process. After the purchase has been made, however, buyers are often unprepared when their new vehicle doesn’t operate as expected. When this occurs, a new owner must begin the process of attempting to fix the vehicle’s [Read More…]
Kelly & Brand, Attorneys at Law, LLC is pleased to announce that we have recently relocated all office operations to 303 Pearl Avenue, Suite A, Oshkosh, Wisconsin. This move will allow us to better serve you in a more spacious setting. Please feel free to stop in and say hello. Should you have any questions, [Read More…]
John M. Kelly, Attorney at Law, LLC Renames, Adds New Partner
The Oshkosh law firm formerly known as John M. Kelly, Attorney at Law, LLC is pleased to announce that Attorney Benjamin D. Brand has been named an equity partner in the firm and will take on a more active role in all operations of the firm. The two lawyers will now conduct their practice under [Read More…]
John M. Kelly, Attorney at Law, LLC Congratulates Paralegal Dusty Gross
The Firm is very pleased to announce that its Legal Assistant, Dusty Gross, recently graduated from Fox Valley Technical College with an Associates of Applied Science Degree in Paralegal Studies. Going forward, Dusty will be pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh while continuing her Paralegal duties at the Firm. Please join us [Read More…]
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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*
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
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*
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
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?
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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…]
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
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
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
“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
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
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
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
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
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…]