Court Information Officer
Madison, Wis. – The public is invited to observe oral argument before a panel of Wisconsin Court of Appeals’ judges at the La Crosse County Courthouse and Law Enforcement Center on Dec. 20.
Three judges from the District IV Court of Appeals, headquartered in Madison, will travel to La Crosse to hear argument in Melinda Wagner v. Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance, case number 2018AP162. The visit is part of a public outreach and education effort designed to make the court system more accessible to more people without requiring extensive travel. District IV oral argument is normally held in Madison.
The case being heard in La Crosse originated in La Crosse County Circuit Court and examines how the timing of bankruptcy claims may affect liability for medical expenses arising from injuries sustained in a car accident.
As the state’s intermediate appellate court, the Court of Appeals’ primary role is to correct errors that may have occurred at the trial court level. The Court of Appeals often decides cases on written briefs, but hears oral argument when it would be beneficial to the judicial decision-making process.
During oral argument, attorneys present their strongest reasons the court should decide in their favor. The three-judge panel hearing the case consists of Judge Gary E. Sherman, Judge Brian W. Blanchard, and Judge Michael R. Fitzpatrick.
Once complete, oral argument is taken under advisement, and a case decision is rendered at a later date. Published opinions of the Court of Appeals establish precedent, unless and until, overruled by the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
District IV is one of four state Court of Appeals’ districts, and includes 24 counties in the southwest and central part of the state, including La Crosse.
Oral argument is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. in the Branch 2 courtroom of the courthouse, located at 333 Vine St., La Crosse. Seating is available on a first-come; first-served basis.