Legal Articles

Wisconsin State Capitol Justice Mural, Kenyan Cox
The Legal Articles listed in the sidebar were published in the League's monthly print magazine, the Municipality and are listed by date of publication.  They are also indexed by subject matter and provided under Captions.

The information you obtain on the League’s web site is general in nature and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended as and should not be construed as legal advice. Moreover, it is not a substitute for legal advice. While the League’s attorneys are a general resource for our member municipalities, we do not represent any municipalities. Please consult your municipal attorney for matters specifically pertaining to your municipality.

  1. Cats, Rats, Courts and the Constitution

    A federal court decision might be notable simply because it begins with, “Rats. This case is about rats. Giant, inflatable rats . . . Cats too – inflatable fat cats, wearing business suits and pinkie rings, strangling workers.” Daniel Olson December 2016
  2. Municipal Authority to Regulate Drones

    In the past year, the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or unmanned aerial systems (UAS), also known as drones, has proliferated with affordable models making the popular technology increasingly accessible to both commercial and recreational users. by Claire Silverman November 2016
  3. Alcohol Law Changes Allow Municipalities to License Wine/Beer Walks

    Wisconsin statutes regulating alcohol, and more specifically temporary beer and wine licenses, were recently modified to include chambers of commerce among the organizations eligible for Temporary Class B beer and wine licenses. . . . January 2016 Claire Silverman
  4. FLSA Overtime Changes Take Effect December 1, 2016

    . . . the United States Department of Labor has promulgated new regulations governing the application of minimum wage and overtime pay requirements to certain “exempt” employees. Full reprint
  5. Constitutional Home Rule Authority Diminished

    The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently held that the City of Milwaukee’s longstanding charter ordinance1 requiring city employees to reside in the city is unenforceable following the legislature’s enactment of Wis. Stat. § 66.0502 . . . Full reprint
  6. DPPA Exemption Authorizes Release of Unredacted Uniform Traffic Accident Reports

    For several years now, law enforcement record custodians have been navigating difficult, uncharted terrain when responding to requests under Wisconsin’s public records law for law enforcement records Full reprint
  7. Significant Changes to FLSA Overtime Laws Effective December 1, 2016

    On May 18, 2016, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) announced its Final Rule updating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations governing the application of minimum wage and overtime pay requirements . . . Full reprint
  8. Municipal Home Rule In Wisconsin

    Common council and village board members may find it helpful to have a general understanding of municipal authority. The general rule is that municipalities are creatures of the state and have only the powers given them. . . . June 2016 Claire Silverman
  9. Beware the Liability Boogeyman

    When it comes to opposing governmental decision-making, “boogeyman” threats are not just the stuff of bedtime stories. May 2016 Matt Dregne and Kyle Engelke
  10. The 2015-16 Legislative Session Turned Out Well for Municipalities

    Thanks to increased lobbying efforts by municipal officials, the 2015-2016 legislative session was one of the best for municipalities in years. Dozens of items helpful to cities and villages . . . . May 2016 Curt Witynski
  11. Wisconsin's Recreational Immunity Statute: How Much Protection Does it Offer?

    Many Wisconsin municipalities own property used to provide residents and visitors with opportunities for recreation. These include municipal parks, playgrounds, pools, beaches, golf courses, tennis courts, skating rinks, hills used for sledding . . . . Additional Info...
  12. Election Law Changes Impacting You and Your Municipality

    This article summarizes recent developments related to election administration and campaign finance laws which will be in effect for the first time in 2016. February 2016 Michael Haas
  13. Changes to FLSA Overtime Laws Now Predicted for Late 2016

    Last July, the United States Department of Labor (DOL or Department) proposed updating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations governing the application of minimum wage and overtime pay requirements to executive, administrative, and . . . . February 2016 Claire Silverman
  14. Sign Regulation and Reed v. town of Gilbert

    One of the most perplexing local government policy areas is sign regulation. The difficulties arise from sometimes incomprehensible free speech decisions by courts and the uncertain impacts on regulation programs that seek to control signs . . . . November 2015 Daniel M. Olson
  15. On Rehearing, Court Concludes Anti-Panhandling Ordinance is Content Based

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently agreed to rehear a case challenging the constitutionality of a city’s anti-panhandling ordinance in light of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Reed v. Gilbert, 135 S.Ct. 2887 (2015) . . . . November 2015 Claire Silverman
  16. Disciplinary Process - Police and Fire Commission

    Police officers and firefighters manage difficult and often dangerous situations. Fortunately, most protective services employees are dedicated public servants, and smaller communities may see years go by without need for formal disciplinary action... October 2015 Paul Schwarzenbart
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