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Ruder Ware Attorney Provides Comments on Ag Lending Market

Posted on January 26, 2018 by

Chris Seelen, a member of Ruder Ware’s Banking and Financial Institutions Focus Team, recently provided comments on Wisconsin’s ag lending market for Wisconsin Public Radio.  The WPR story focused on new federal court data that shows the Western District of Wisconsin had the highest number of farm bankruptcies in the country last year.  

Western District of Wisconsin Ranks 1st in the Nation in Chapter 12 Farm Bankruptcy Filings in 2017.

Posted on January 24, 2018 by

Low grain and milk prices have negatively affected Wisconsin’s ag economy for a few years now.  As further evidence of the financial stress on Wisconsin farmers, the national bankruptcy statistics show that, in 2017, more Chapter 12 farm bankruptcy cases were filed in the Western District of Wisconsin than in any other district in the […]

The New Tax Law Provides Estate Planning Opportunities

Posted on January 22, 2018 by

Shortly before Christmas, Congress approved and President Trump signed into law the Tax Cut and Jobs Act.  The new law increases the federal estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax exemptions from $5 million to $10 million, adjusted for inflation.  The inflation-adjusted exemption amount for 2018 has not yet been released by the IRS, but commentators […]

Mental Health Disabilities – What to Do?

Posted on January 18, 2018 by

We are seeing a growth in disability claims based upon mental health conditions which is very troubling for employers because it is hard to understand whether an employee actually has a mental health condition and it is certainly hard to quantify how that condition impacts the performance of the employee.  A recent decision from the […]

Settling Discrimination Complaints in Wisconsin

Posted on January 17, 2018 by

A recent decision from the Wisconsin Labor and Industry Review Commission has placed a cloud over the settlement of discrimination complaints in Wisconsin.  The cloud may not be very dark, but it is a matter that needs to be considered by employers when they pursue an effort to settle a discrimination complaint brought by an […]

What Does New Employee Handbook Standard Mean?

Posted on January 12, 2018 by

Attorney Bob Reinertson wrote recently about a decision of the National Labor Relations Board that significantly changed how the NLRB will review workplace policies and employee handbooks to determine whether they are in compliance with federal law.  The issue has always been that workplace policies (normally included in an employee handbook) may not interfere with […]

Using Prenuptial Agreements to Protect the Family Farm

Posted on January 8, 2018 by and

The family farm is a special asset. The family may have worked hard through decades, maybe even generations, to accumulate and develop the farm’s land, equipment and livestock. The children may be grown and successors to farming operations. The older generation may be worried what would happen to the farm if a child were to […]

Conference of State Bank Supervisors Urges Federal Regulators to Simplify Regulatory Capital Rules

Posted on January 5, 2018 by

On September 27, 2017, the FDIC, the Federal Reserve, and the OCC (the “Agencies”) issued a proposed rule that simplifies the compliance requirements of the existing regulatory capital rules and is intended to reduce the regulatory burden imposed by it. Developed with small- and medium-sized banks in mind, the proposed rule would: replace the complex […]

The NLRB Announces a Major Reversal on Employee Policies and Handbooks

Posted on December 21, 2017 by

We have reported in blog articles and seminars in recent years on decisions by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that invalidated employee policies and handbook provisions which sought, among other things, to promote workplace civility and reasonable behavior.  Last week the NLRB overturned the 2004 case that started that trend. In the 2004 case, […]

2018 IRS Standard Mileage Rates Reflect Rising Fuel Prices

Posted on December 15, 2017 by

The Internal Revenue Service has announced the optional standard mileage rates for computing the deductible cost of operating an automobile for business, medical, and moving expenses for 2018, and the increased rates reflect the increase in gasoline prices. Effective January 1, 2018, the optional standard mileage rates will increase to 54.5 cents per mile for […]