Contact: Kristen Durst, State Bar Public Relations Coordinator
2017 Reporters’ Workshop
Friday, September 8, 2017
8:30 a.m.- 5 p.m
State Bar of Wisconsin
5302 Eastpark Boulevard
Madison, Wisconsin 53707


The State Bar of Wisconsin will be holding a free legal workshop for members of the media who currently cover the courts and legal issues, or journalists who simply want to expand their knowledge base.  Topics covered include:  public records and Wisconsin’s open government laws, defamation, new tools in criminal justice reporting, changes in sentencing, immigration law, and the Supreme Court case on redistricting in Wisconsin that could change the future of U.S. elections.

Free lodging is available for Thursday, September 7 for early registrants who will be traveling to attend the Madison conference. Limited quantity available.

We’ll be updating this site with additional information on our speakers/panelists, topics, and materials in the coming month.


8:30 a.m.     Breakfast

9:00 a.m.     Welcome

9:05 a.m.     Public Records:  How to Get the Records You Need

Dee J. Hall, Managing Editor, Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

Paul Ferguson, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Open Government, Wisconsin Department of Justice

Makda Fessahaye, Assistant Legal Counsel, Wisconsin Department of Corrections

10:00 a.m.  Media Law: Defamation, Reporter Shield Law, Open Meetings, Open Records Rulings

Dustin Brown, Attorney, Media and First Amendment Litigation, Godfrey and Kahn

Bill Lueders, President, Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council

10:45  a.m.  Break

11:00 a.m.   Immigration Law and Policy Changes Under the New Administration

Moderator:  Mitch Teich, Co-host/ Executive Producer, Lake Effect, WUWM Public Radio

Grant Sovern, Partner, International Immigration Law Chair, Quarles and Brady, Adjunct Professor University of Wisconsin Law School

Davorin Odrcic, Managing Attorney, Odrcic Law Group, Author, State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE Immigration Consequences of Wisconsin Criminal Offenses

Jean-René Watchou, Director of International Outreach, Christ Presbyterian Church, Board
Member and Organizer, Community Immigration Law Center

Darryl Morin, Past National VP-Midwest, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)

12:00 p.m.   Working Lunch

12:15 p.m.   Q&A Bruce Vielmetti, Legal Affairs Reporter, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

1:00 p.m.     Owning the Problem:  Mass and Disparate Incarceration in Wisconsin

Moderator:  Fran Deisinger, Past-president, State Bar of Wisconsin; Partner, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren Law

Cecelia Klingele, Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin Law School

Michael O’Hear, Professor, Marquette University Law School

Mike Nichols, President, Wisconsin Policy Research Institute

* This panel will be updated.

2:00 p.m.     Evidence-Based Decision Making, New Strategies to Improve the Criminal Justice System

Moderator: Gil Halsted, retired Criminal Justice Reporter, Wisconsin Public Radio

Thomas Reed, Regional Attorney Manager, Wisconsin State Public Defender’s Milwaukee Trial Office, Adjunct Professor Marquette University Law School

David O’Leary, Rock County District Attorney; Chair, Department of Justice Criminal Justice Coordinating Council

Judge Richard Sankovitz, Milwaukee County Circuit Court

Tommy Gubbin, Special Projects Coordinator, Director of State Courts Office, Office of Court Operations

3:15 p.m.    Break

3:30 p.m.    How to Cover the Courts and Access the Records You Need

Judge Brian Blanchard, District IV Court of Appeals


4:00 p.m.    Gill v. Whitford, The Landmark U.S. Supreme Court Redistricting Case that Challenges the Constitutionality of Wisconsin’s Electoral Maps and Could Change the Future of U.S. Elections

Moderator:  Craig Gilbert, Washington Bureau Chief, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Barry Burden, Professor of Political Science, Director of the Elections Research Center, and the Lyons Family Chair in Electoral Politics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Douglas Poland, Attorney, Rathje Woodward, Plaintiff Gill v. Whitford

Rick Esenberg, Attorney, Founder and President, Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty​


Print Friendly, PDF & Email