Andrew Frank and Anne Plichta Join Mallery & Zimmerman

Mallery & Zimmerman, S.C. is pleased to announce that Andrew G. Frank and Anne M. Plichta have joined the firm as shareholders in the Milwaukee office.  Andy and Anne add substantial, quality experience to the firm’s growing litigation practice, ensuring that the firm can provide its clients with the best possible representation.

Andy has substantial experience defending national and international manufacturers, automobile manufacturers and other companies from products liability claims, prosecuting and defending large-scale construction defect cases and defending trucking and bus companies in accident cases. He also has substantial experience in securities litigation and general commercial litigation. Andy is a graduate of Miami (of Ohio) University and the University of Wisconsin Law School.

Anne has substantial experience in general commercial litigation, UCC/contract disputes, media and defamation law and litigation involving construction/real estate, insurance, probate and shareholder/partnership disputes. She is a certified mediator. Anne is a graduate of Harvard College and Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law.

Please join M&Z in welcoming Andy and Anne.

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What to do When an Employee Sues Your Company

No matter how compliant and good intentioned a company may be with its legal obligations, it does not eliminate the possibility that a disgruntled employee will file a discrimination claim against the company.  It is important to rationally approach the situation and the following steps are recommended to minimize the company’s exposure.

  1. First and foremost, the company should create an organized response with a single person in charge of overseeing the response.
  1. It is critical to immediately identify all relative documents whether those are paper or digital. Once these documents have been identified, the company should make sure they are secured and preserved for future use.
  1. Under no circumstances should the company take any action against the employee if that employee is still currently with the company. The law prohibits retaliating against employees who have engaged in protected activity.  The worst thing the company can do is to take what might have been a meritless claim and turn it into a real problem by retaliating against the employee.
  1. The company should also check to see if it has employment practices liability insurance. If so, a timely claim should be filed.  If the policy allows the company to select its own attorneys, it should do so as soon as possible.

If the company does not have insurance, it should immediately obtain experienced counsel to help it through the process.  There are many nuances in defending employment claims that an unexperienced attorney or lay person will not have the necessary expertise to handle appropriately.

  1. Finally, it is important to insulate the claim as much as possible from the workforce. Steps should be taken to make sure that communications regarding the claim be privileged and confidential.  The matter should not be openly discussed in front of other coworkers unless they are witnesses and have a meaningful need to participate in the defense.

If you have any questions about this article, please contact its author, Mark Sauer, at 715-845-8234 or msauer@mzattys.com.

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Mallery & Zimmerman Attorney Jon Sacks to Present at National Business Institute Seminar on School Law

Mallery & Zimmerman Attorney Jon Sacks will be presenting on November 9, 2018 as part of the NBI seminar: School Law Expert Panel: How to Handle Your Biggest Challenges at the Holiday Inn Pewaukee-Milwaukee West.  Jon will address recent developments, including issues related to technology in the classroom, social media, cyberbullying, and sexual harassment.

For more information and to register, follow this link: School Law Expert Panel: How to Handle Your Biggest Challenges

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Scott Wagner Joins Mallery & Zimmerman

Mallery & Zimmerman, S.C. is pleased to announce that K. Scott Wagner has joined the firm as a shareholder in the Milwaukee office.  Scott has over 29 years of experience successfully representing clients in highly complex commercial litigation, including shareholder disputes and derivative actions, contract disputes, and class actions involving anti-trust, securities fraud and breaches of fiduciary duties by majority shareholders.  Scott is annually listed in The Best Lawyers in America and SuperLawyers.  Scott’s significant litigation experience is a welcome addition to the firm’s established litigation and business/corporate practices, enhancing the firm’s ability to provide clients with superior legal services.  Please join M&Z in welcoming Scott.

An attorney page and formal biography for Scott will follow shortly.  You may contact Scott at 414-727-6270 or swagner@mzmilw.com.

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Rezoning Protest Petitions Under State Law Become a Thing of the Past as of January 1, 2019

As of January 1, 2019, rezoning protest petitions for cities will become a thing of the past, at least as required by the Wisconsin Statutes. 2017 Wisconsin Act 67 eliminated the statutory rezoning protest petition provisions. Read More… “Rezoning Protest Petitions Under State Law Become a Thing of the Past as of January 1, 2019″

Jon Sacks Appointed to Board of Directors for Three Area Non-Profits

In the last few months, Jonathan Sacks was appointed to the board of directors of three separate non-profit organizations in Washington County.

Jon was nominated and appointed as the President Nominee and member of the board of directors for the West Bend Sunrise Rotary Club.  Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change – across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.

Jon was also appointed to the board of directors for the Washington County Historical Society, Inc.  The Historical Society operates three museums and houses the historical archives for all of Washington County.  The Historical Society strives to educate, preserve, interpret, and provide access to the history of Washington County, Wisconsin, through its collections, archives, and programs.

After serving as a volunteer and program leader for a number of years, Jon was also recently appointed to the board of directors of NAMI Washington County, Inc., the Washington County affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.  NAMI works to raise awareness and provide education, advocacy, and support programs for people living with mental illness and their friends and families.  NAMI provides various outreach activities in the community, including training for law enforcement professionals and educational programming in local schools.

You can find out more about these organizations and their missions below:

West Bend Sunrise Rotary: https://www.westbendsunriserotary.org/

Washington County Historical Society: http://www.historyisfun.com/

NAMI Washington County: http://www.nami-positiveimage.org/

Please join us in congratulating Jon.

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The Rules of Attraction: Do Employers Need Workplace Dating Policies?

In light of the recent spotlight on sexual harassment in the workplace, it is important for employers to think about the somewhat squeamish topic of workplace romance.  As long as employees interact with each other during the workday, there is always a chance that romantic relationships may develop.  This issue presents an interesting balancing act between respecting the privacy of employees and protecting an employer from legal liability.  Read More… “The Rules of Attraction: Do Employers Need Workplace Dating Policies?”

Using Arbitration Agreements With Employees To Control Costs and Exposure

A useful tool that I do not see enough employers using is arbitration agreements with their employees.  There is no doubt that using arbitration agreements has positives and negatives, but it is one of the very few, limited ways in which an employer can force an employee to forego the rather ridiculously lengthy and expensive processes involved with defending claims for discrimination, retaliation, or the like.  As such, more employers should be using arbitration agreements to proactively address such situations. Read More… “Using Arbitration Agreements With Employees To Control Costs and Exposure”

Optimizing Social Security Spousal Benefits

Managing your way through the Social Security system can be a very challenging maze and proper planning can sometimes increase the benefits to which you are entitled.  As the Social Security website states:  “Even if you have never worked under Social Security, you may be able to get spouse’s retirement benefits if you are at least 62 years of age and your spouse is receiving retirement or disability benefits.”  Note that you can also receive the spouse’s benefit no matter what your age is if you are caring for the spouse’s child who is also receiving benefits.  Based upon the way the Social Security system works, both spouses can request benefits based on their partner’s Social Security work record.  When you apply for Social Security benefits based upon your work record, the Social Security Administration considers you as filing for both your individual and your spousal benefits.  You are supposed to receive the higher of your own accumulated benefit or one-half (1/2) of your spouse’s benefit provided your spouse has already applied for Social Security. Read More… “Optimizing Social Security Spousal Benefits”