Justia Wisconsin Supreme Court Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Communications Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court's dismissal of Plaintiff's complaint against Armslist, LLC, holding that because all of Plaintiff's claims for relief required Armslist to be treated as the publisher or speaker of information posted by third parties on Armslist's firearm advertising website, armslist.com, the circuit court properly dismissed Plaintiff's complaint. This tort action arose from a mass shooting in a Wisconsin spa that killed four people, including Plaintiff's motion. In her action, Plaintiff alleged that the shooter illegally purchased the firearm used in the shooting after responding to a private seller's post on armslist.com. The circuit court dismissed the complaint, concluding that the federal Communications Decency Act (CDA), 47 U.S.C. 230, barred all of Plaintiff's claims against Armslist. The court of appeals reversed, holding that the CDA does not protect a website operator from liability for its own actions in designing and operating its website. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that section 230(c)(1) prohibits claims that treat Armslist, an interactive computer service provider, as the publisher or speaker of information posted by a third party on its website, and therefore, Plaintiff's claims are barred by section 230(c)(1). View "Daniel v. Armslist, LLC" on Justia Law

Posted in: Communications Law

by
A referee recommended that Attorney Sommers' license to practice law be suspended for 60 days for professional misconduct. He did not appeal. The Wisconsin Supreme Court held that the misconduct warrants public discipline, but deemed a public reprimand sufficient and imposed the full costs on Attorney Sommers, which total $5,033.16. Sommers was admitted to practice law in Wisconsin in 1992. His Wisconsin law license is currently suspended for nonpayment of State Bar dues and for noncompliance with continuing legal education requirements. Sommers was previously suspended for 30 days as discipline based on a related matter: allegations relating to improper ex parte communications, press releases, and other statements involving the judiciary. View "Office of Lawyer Regulation v. Sommers" on Justia Law

by
An accountant and the company he owned (collectively, MBS), filed suit against Defendants, telecommunications companies, asserting claims for damages under Wis. Stat. 100.207 and other statutes, arguing that Defendants' telephone bills contained unauthorized charges. The circuit court dismissed MBS's claims for relief, determining that although the complaint properly alleged violations of section 100.207, the voluntary payment doctrine barred any entitlement to monetary relief. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded, holding (1) the Supreme Court had not decided whether the legislature intended the voluntary payment doctrine to be a viable defense against any cause of action created by a statute; and (2) under the circumstances, the conflict between the manifest purpose of section 100.207 and the common law defense left no doubt that the legislature intended that the common law defense should not be applied to bar claims under the statute. Remanded. View "MBS-Certified Pub. Accountants, LLC v. Wis. Bell Inc." on Justia Law