A resource for family law cases.

AuthorHerman, Gregg


Without question, the biggest change in family law in my years of practice is the trend to settle cases rather than litigate. What was once routine has become rare.

For objective proof, since fewer litigated cases result in fewer appeals, we can look at the dwindling number of appellate cases in this field. Since I arrange case law update programs for the AAML, State Bar family law section and state court judges, I have those numbers.

Ten years ago, the average number of cases to report on, between Wisconsin Supreme Court and Court of Appeals (published and citeable unpublished cases) was 15-20 per year. So far this year, there have been zero Supreme Court cases, one published Court of Appeals case and four citeable unpublished Court of Appeals cases.

While this is good for parties going through a divorce (on the belief that settlement is almost always better than litigation), it creates a problem more severe than my trying to fill in time for my case law update program. Citeable cases give lawyers an objective analysis to convince clients to settle or to convince mediators or judges at pretrials to convince the other side to settle. After all, if a client knows in advance the results of litigation, they...

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