Good News about Good Work

Good News about Good Work

On Friday, April 17 the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued an order to reinstate the practice of ghost writing for pro bono attorneys providing brief representation. 

This practice was revoked in the second half of 2019 requiring pro bono attorneys to provide their name and bar number when assisting in pro bono or brief legal advice situations. This requirement diminished pro bono representation throughout the state. Attorneys are less likely to accept pro bono representation and provide drafting assistance to pro se litigants because of the presumption that inclusion of an attorney name and bar number implicates broader representation. This leads to more parties representing themselves, clogging the judicial system and potentially yielding less than positive results for the litigant. This can lead to a myriad of issues for the litigant including but not limited to homelessness, joblessness, disruption of the family unit and general personal turmoil. 

Milwaukee Bar Association President, Aaron Olejniczak of Andrus Intellectual Property Law testified on behalf of the MBA in the hearing to have the original rule reinstated. Many thanks to all those who participated in this effort – especially to James Goldschmidt of Quarles & Brady! This is indeed a huge victory and could not have come at a better time as there is an anticipated influx of pro se litigants to all legal service organizations once they are able to hold in person meetings. We will need as many lawyers to join the pro bono ranks as possible. To have this barrier removed is essential. If you would like to volunteer your services, please reach out to local legal service organizations (many of which can be found here) or contact the Milwaukee Bar Association.

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