Wisconsin Supreme Court to Hear Appeal of $150 Sanction by Court of Appeals

Wisconsin court rules require the appellant’s lawyer to certify that an appendix to the opening brief contains “limited portions of the records essential to an understanding of the issues raised.”  The Wisconsin Court of Appeals regularly imposes $150 “summary sanctions” when it determines an appendix is insufficient.  The Wisconsin Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal from such a sanction by the state public defender’s office, which argues the practice violates due process, interferes with established lawyer discipline procedures, and relies on an unconstitutionally vague rule.  The public defender’s office argues it is unfair to impose what may appear to some as a reprimand for an ethics violation, based on subjective standards and without any opportunity for a hearing.