2013 Wisconsin Solo & Small Firm Conference | October 24-26, 2013 | Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells

Looking for a way to get ahead?

If you're a solo or small firm practitioner, there's only one conference dedicated to helping you build your business while also improving your life - the 2013 Wisconsin Solo and Small Firm Conference, October 24-26 at the Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells.

Produced by the State Bar of Wisconsin in cooperation with founding sponsor, the Milwaukee Bar Association, the Solo/Small Conference has grown in stature and importance over the years because it works - helping members achieve a balance between professional success and personal sanity.

Tuition Table

Choose from 32 breakout sessions in four concentrations

The unique aspect of the Solo/Small Conference is that you're in charge of selecting sessions that fit your interests and needs to earn up to 14.5 CLE / 11.0 EPR Credits. Over a three-day period, you can choose from educational sessions in four different tracks:

Practice Management — Maximize your own and your staff's effectiveness and position your firm for success with sessions in the Practice Management track including: human resource fundamentals; managing and using social media platforms; virtual law practices, their risks and rewards; critical considerations before adding staff and partners; setting prices, developing benchmarks, and measuring success; enhancing your networking skills to grow your practice; recapturing your time and refocusing your efforts to increase productivity, and the effect of the healthcare reform on you and your practice.

Quality of Life/Ethics — Ethics and quality of life sessions help you achieve calm in the storm. Discover how to balance work with living through proper planning. Prepare your practice for uncertainty in the event you are unable to practice law. Explore the ethical issues encountered by estate planners. Hear what to do when the OLR calls. Learn to effectively and appropriately deal with opposing pro se litigants. See ways to work and communicate with generational styles. Find ways to increase profits by complying with the rules. Explore various rules of ethics through film.

Substantive Law — With sessions on developments in the tax code, landlord-tenant issues, emerging issues in estate planning, handling a rogue business partner (your own or a client's!), tax implications that are stemming from the current tide of bankruptcies, foreclosures, short-sales, and other debt settlement actions; keeping the family farm in the family and functioning, and tips for succeeding in negotiations, the substantive law track is packed with useful and relevant content - for both your legal clients and for you as a business owner.

Technology — Find insights for putting your technology to full use. See what Office 365 can offer law firms. Discover whether you and your office should be using Windows 8. Increase your productivity by automating and standardizing processes using technology. Learn to create your own fillable forms with software you already have. Explore the pros and cons of hosted services and whether this solution is right for you. Hear 40 ways to save time and money. See how to go paperless while increasing overall productivity.

Earn up to 14.5 CLE / 11.0 EPR Credits!

The topics are right on the money, and the presentations are fresh. For example:

  • Workplace Social Media Traps – Nilesh P. Patel
  • The Future Started Yesterday: Estate Planning After the Fiscal Cliff – Eido Walny
  • "Help! My Partner's Gone Crazy!" – Governance and Transfer Terms in LLC Operating Agreements – Mark Siler, Steve Szymanski
  • A Life Versus Billable Hours – Rick A. Huedepohl, J. David Krekeler
  • Health Care Reform: What Small Businesses Need to Know – Mark J. Goldstein
  • I Went Mobile and Paperless and So Can You – Dan Norland
  • Office 365: The Future of Office Technology? – Craig Bayer
  • Cinema and Ethics: What Can We Learn From Hollywood? – Carl Edenhofer, Bryce Lehman, Johanna Kirk

Thursday morning pre-conference sessions are a good warm-up

  • Blueprinting for Success: Developing Plans for Success in Mentoring, Promotion, Flexibility, Networking & Leadership – 9 to 11 a.m. – Deborah Epstein Henry will help you uncover your skills and develop your own "blueprint" for success at this small groups workshop.
  • New Trends in Malpractice & Ethics Complaints, and 10 Tips to Avoid Top Attorney Errors – 11 a.m. to noon – Todd C. Scott examines the latest trends in malpractice and ethics matters, and shares advice on the systems successful firms use to keep matters on track and avoid malpractice claims.

Plenary sessions benefit all

The mix of plenaries examines a cross-section of past, current, and emerging legal trends, giving you a more complete picture of the evolution of the practice of law — and insights of what you can expect in the future. Position yourself to succeed with the knowledge and information you need in the rapidly evolving practice of law.

  • Limited Scope Representation: What is Allowed Under the Supreme Court Rules – Stephanie Kimbro
  • How to Capitalize on the Tumultuous Legal Market – Deborah Epstein Henry
  • What I Did Right and What I Did Wrong in My Practice – Gary Bakke
  • Being Smart with Social Media: Ethics & Effectiveness When Engaging Online – Joshua King

Networking Lunch and the Lederer Award

Friday 11:20 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.
The John Lederer Solo and Small Firm Service Award will be presented at this time. (11:20 - 12:00 luncheon, 12:00 - 12:20 Lederer Award presentation, 12:20 - 1:15 networking by practice areas)

Thursday Evening Reception

Enjoy beer, wine and soda, plus a cash bar and hors d'oeuvres from 4:50 - 6:30 p.m., compliments of West Bend Mutual Insurance and WILMC – the Wisconsin Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company.

Thursday evening Family Movie Night – New!

New this year! After the Thursday Evening Attendee Reception, join us for the Family Movie Night. You'll have the perfect opportunity to reconnect with your family after the first day of CLE sessions. General Session Room 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. We'll be watching Secondhand Lions.

Refreshment Breaks

Visit the exhibitor hall to recharge between sessions and get your "Passport to Prizes" signed by exhibitors to be entered to win great prizes! Learn the latest on products and services designed to enhance your practice.

More food and drink

  • Friday, 7:45 - 8:30 a.m. Registration and Deluxe Continental Breakfast compliments of Hupy and Abraham S.C.
  • Friday, 5:15 - 7:30 p.m. Hospitality Room - enjoy wine and refreshments compliments of Lawton & Cates S.C.

Don't miss the event of the year for solo and small firms!

Whether you're going it alone as a sole practitioner or are part of a small firm, the Wisconsin Solo and Small Firm Conference offers the information, flexibility, and connections you need.

Ready to register?

If you're a returning enrollee, you already know the value of the Solo/Small Conference and won't hesitate to enroll again - for the networking, the knowledge, and some fun! And if this is your first time at WSSFC, welcome!

We're at the Kalahari

Other Dells hotels brag and boast, while the Kalahari Resort just is! The indoor waterpark and indoor theme park are kept warm, while the award-winning meeting and convention facilities are very cool. Speaking of which, we have a cool special room rate that starts at $109 a night two days before and after the Solo/Small (October 22-23 and 27-28), then it works out as shown on the chart:

Kalahari/State Bar room rates

Wednesday 10/23 $109
Thursday 10/24 $109
Friday 10/25 $129
Saturday 10/26 $149

To get the conference rate, call 877-253-5466 and ask for the Solo and Small Firm Conference 2013 rate. Cut-off date is Monday, September 23, 2013.

Conference Information

Questions regarding scheduling, pricing, and overnight accommodations can be directed to Tim Clark at tclark@wisbar.org

Registration Closed

Thursday Schedule

  Substantive Track
Sponsored by Laufenberg, Jassak, & Laufenberg, S.C.
Practice Management Ross Kodner
Technology Track
Sponsored by
Bakke Norman, S.C.
Quality of Life/Ethics Track
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Preconference Session

9:00 - 11:00 a.m.

Blueprinting for Success: Developing Plans for Success in Mentoring, Promotion, Flexibility, Networking & Leadership

Deborah Epstein Henry, Flex-Time Lawyers LLC
(0 CLE)

What are the intangibles that differentiate those lawyers who thrive and those who wither? You will learn the five challenging areas where attorneys should focus their attention. After gaining a better understanding of the challenges, you will have tangible steps to better navigate your way. Armed with this feedback and inspiration, attendees will have the skill set to develop what they need to gain the success and status that they want.

Deborah Epstein Henry is the author of LAW & REORDER: Legal Industry Solutions of Restructure, Retention, Promotion & Work/Life Balance, the #1 best selling ABA Flagship Publishing book for 2011. A former practicing litigator, Henry is president of Flex-Time Lawyers LLC, an international consulting firm she founded in the late 1990s, which runs the Best Law Firms for Women survey. She also co-founded Bliss Lawyers, a firm that provides high caliber temporary part-time and full-time lawyers who work at in-house legal departments yet are employed by Bliss. She received her B.A. from Yale and her J.D. cum laude from Brooklyn Law School. She is married with three sons, ages 17, 14 and 12.

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

New Trends in Malpractice & Ethics Complaints, and 10 Tips to Avoid Top Attorney Errors

Todd C. Scott, Minnesota Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company
(1.0 CLE / EPR)

There's new data showing which lawyers are reporting the most malpractice claims and the type of errors that attorneys are most likely to commit, according to the ABA Standing Committee on Lawyers Professional Liability. This program will examine the latest trends in malpractice and ethics matters, and provide top advice on the habits and systems good firms use to keep client matters on track and avoid malpractice claims.

Todd Scott is the Vice President of Risk Management for Minnesota Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company. He is a frequent author and guest lecturer on the topics of malpractice, ethics, and practice management systems. Much of his duties include helping lawyers select and implement software systems appropriate to their particular practice. Mr. Scott had previously served as Attorney/Claims Representative for MLM, and was the head of their technology subsidiary, Mutual Software. Todd is also an adjunct professor in the Legal Studies Department at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is a graduate of Hamline University School of Law and is a member of the American Bar Association, the Nebraska State Bar Association, and the Minnesota State Bar Association, where he has served as past Chair of the Practice Management & Marketing Section.

12:00 p.m. Conference Registration and Exhibit Hall Open - Lunch on your own
Session 1
12:45 - 2:00 p.m.

Opening Plenary – Limited Scope Representation: What is Allowed Under the Supreme Court Rules

M. Sue Talia, Law Offices of M. Sue Talia
(1.5 CLE / EPR)

For many firms, limited scope representation — also known as à la carte or unbundled legal services — may be the solution to delivering their services efficiently and effectively while attracting new types of clients. By providing representation for a clearly defined portion of the client's legal needs, such as preparing a legal document or making limited court appearances, lawyers may give their firm a competitive advantage.

Stephanie Kimbro, MA, JD, is a member of Burton Law LLC, a virtual law firm offering online unbundled and traditional full-service representation in North Carolina and Ohio. She received the 2009 ABA Keane Award for Excellence in eLawyering. She has written three books on the online legal world: Virtual Law Practice: How to Deliver Legal Services Online (2010), Limited Scope Legal Services: Unbundling and the Self-Help Client (2012), and The Consumer Law Revolution: The Lawyers' Guide to the Online Legal Marketplace (2013). She also writes a blog about ethics and the online delivery of legal services at www.virtuallawpractice.org. Kimbro is a member of the ABA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services and Chair of the ABA LPM's Ethics and Professional Responsibility Committee. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Dayton School of Law and has developed the school's online Digital Lawyering Program.

2:00 - 2:30 p.m. Refreshment Break - Visit the Exhibit Hall and get your "Passport to Prizes" signed to be entered to win great prizes!
Session 2
2:30 - 3:20 p.m.

The Tax Man Cometh: What Are the IRS, Dept. of Revenue and Local Authorities Up to in Audits, Appeals and Collections

Robert B. Teuber, Weiss Berzowski Brady LLP
(1.0 CLE)

Catch up on current developments in tax controversies at each level of government. For instance, a discussion of the IRS’ continued pursuit of taxpayers holding offshorefinancial accounts and recent developments affecting tax audits and collections where the Department of Revenue is focusing its audit and collection efforts, and whether municipalities are making proper adjustments to assessed property values.

Workplace Social Media Traps

Nilesh Patel, Mahadev Law Group
(1.0 CLE)

Social media has quickly become a key part of networking and marketing. Lawyers must find ways to embrace social media while avoiding legal, ethical, and business traps. You will learn the social media issues law firms must anticipate when managing their professional staffs and attorneys. For example, employers need to retain property rights to their social media accounts, monitor organization accounts for comments that are potentially defamatory, and preserve social media evidence when litigation is pending or foreseeable. Whistleblower laws and freedom of speech will also be discussed.


Office 365: The Future of Office Technology?

Craig Bayer, Lawtopia, LLC
(1.0 CLE)

What is Office 365 and what does it offer law firms? Learn about cloud based word processing, anytime access and hosting your email through Microsoft Hosted Exchange.

After All You Are Only Human: Planning for Death and Disability

Johanna R. Kirk, Torvinen, Jones, Kirk & Routh, S.C.
(1.0 CLE / EPR)

Disability and death are not expected events but you can prepare your practice for them. This session explores options for solo practitioners in planning ahead if you are temporarily or permanently unable to practice law. Topics discussed include: selecting an attorney to manage your practice; planning ahead for sale or transfer of your practice after death; and guidance for the attorney who takes over a solo practice. The ethical considerations of conflict of interest, informed consent, and ownership of a law practice will be interwoven along the way.

3:30 - 4:30 p.m. Sponsor Refreshment Break - Visit the exhibitor hall and get your "Passport to Prizes" signed to be entered to win great prizes!
Session 3
4:00 - 4:50 p.m.

Update on Wisconsin Landlord-Tenant Law

Tristan R. Pettit, Petrie & Stocking, S.C.
(1.0 CLE)

Landlord-tenant law in Wisconsin is in flux. On March 31, 2012, Act 143 was signed into law, and changed portions of landlord-tenant law as we knew it in Wisconsin. Currently Assembly Bill 183 and Senate Bill 179 are being debated in Madison and if signed into law will make further modifications to Wisconsin law including, but not limited to changing Act 143. This seminar will focus on the recent changes of Act 143 and any new landlord-tenant law that may be passed in 2013.

Health Care Reform: What Small Businesses Need to Know

Mark J. Goldstein, Goldstein Law Group, S.C.
(1.0 CLE)

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act dramatically changed the playing field for health care in the United States. But with its rollout over a number of years, with Wisconsin deciding not to set-up an exchange, and with recent delays to the implementation of some of the provisions it is hard for businesses to know what they should be doing... including law firms. This session will wade through the new rules, let you know what is currently in place, when other pieces are set to come on line, and offer suggestions as to what small businesses should be doing now.


Using Technology to Systematize Your Law Practice

Jeff Krause, Krause Practice Management LLC
(1.0 CLE)

Every good business runs on systems. Does yours? Learn how technology can help your firm increase efficiency and productivity by automating and systematizing processes.

Ethical Issues Faced by the Estate Planning Practitioner

Philip Miller, Weiss Berzowski Brady LLP
Catherine Priebe, Certus Legal Group Ltd.

(1.0 CLE / EPR)

We will disuss the rules and principles of professional conduct that are most often encountered by estate planners. Among the principles covered will be loyalty, advocacy, impartiality, competence, and diligence. The particularly sticky issue of joint versus separate representation for spouses as well as parents and children will be covered.

4:50 - 6:30 p.m. Attendee Reception - Enjoy beer, wine and soda, plus a cash bar and hors d'oeuvres compliments of West Bend Mutual Insurance Company and WILMIC (dinner on your own).
7:30 - 9:30 p.m. Family Movie Night - General Session Room

Friday Schedule

  Substantive Track
Sponsored by Laufenberg, Jassak, & Laufenberg, S.C.
Practice Management Track Ross Kodner
Technology Track
Sponsored by
Bakke Norman, S.C.
Quality of Life/Ethics Track
7:45 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Exhibit hall is open - Today is your last chance to meet with companies that can help your practice.
7:45 - 8:30 a.m. Registration and Deluxe Continental Breakfast compliments of Hupy and Abraham, S.C.
Session 4
8:30 - 10:00 a.m.

Plenary - How to Capitalize on the Tumultuous Legal Market

Deborah Epstein Henry, Flex-Time Lawyers LLC
(1.5 CLE)

This program will discuss the changing nature of legal work and legal department expectations. It will explore trends in client demands, new legal models, billing practices, law firm structure, career paths, compensation, recruiting, and talent management. Attendees will leave the program empowered with new information and tools to:

   • understand how the market is changing and what to do about it
   • rethink how law is practiced and whether it is sustainable for law firms, clients and lawyers
   • redefine and redesign what makes a legal employer thrive in the future

10:00 - 10:30 a.m. Refreshment Break - Visit the Exhibit Hall and get your "Passport to Prizes" signed to be entered to win great prizes!
Session 5
10:30 - 11:20 a.m.

The Future Started Yesterday: Estate Planning After the Fiscal Cliff

Eido Walny, Walny Legal Group LLC
(1.0 CLE)

Since the passage of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (a/k/a the Bush Tax Cuts), the business of estate planning has been in flux. In 2013, we fell over the "Fiscal Cliff" when the Tax Relief Act of 2010 expired, only to finally get some clarity a few days later with the passage of the American Tax Relief Act. Between changes in the law, advances in technology, and the evolution of the American economy, the business of estate planning is forever changed. We will discuss what these changes are, how they affect your practice, and what the future of estate planning looks like.

What is a Virtual Practice?

Diane Ebersole, State Bar of Michigan
(1.0 CLE)

Virtual practices are all the rage but what are they? This session will discuss what it means to practice virtually, the costs and benefits of running your practice this way, technology that may be required, potential enhanced confidentiality concerns, how it can impact the practice of law, and any other considerations to take prior to starting a virtual practice.


40 Tips, Tricks, Sites, and Ways to Save

Craig Bayer, Lawtopia, LLC
Jeff Krause, Krause Practice Management LLC
Nerino Petro, State Bar of Wisconsin

(1.0 CLE)

A fast-paced "tips" program - covering anything and everything technology. Four legal technologists will each give their top ten tips and tricks to save you time and money.

What to Do When the Office of Lawyer Regulation Calls: The Use of Deception in the Practice of Law

Claude Covelli, Boardman & Clark LLP
Stephen Hurley, Hurley, Burish & Stanton, S.C.

(1.0 CLE / EPR)

This session will discuss practices and procedures of the OLR and recommended ways of handling these situations. Then the session will focus on an OLR case involving the permitted use of limited deception in the defense of a criminal case.

Session 6
11:20 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.

Lederer Award and Networking Lunch

Sponsored by LexisNexis

11:20 - 12:00 lunch served
12:00 - 12:20 Lederer Award presented
12:20 - 1:15 network

(0 CLE)

Topics will include: Appellate law, Business law, Criminal law, Employment law, Estate planning, Health care law, Landlord-tenant law, Mediation, Probate practice, Real Estate law, Technology (probably could be two or three of these tables), Suggested topics, Legal project management, Rural practice, Solo practice (maybe a couple of these tables), Social media, Time management, Professional networking, Virtual law practice, Enjoying life, Starting a firm, Closing a firm

1:15 - 1:30 p.m. Refreshment Break - visit the Exhibit Hall and last chance to get your "Passport to Prizes" signed.
Session 7
1:30 - 2:20 p.m.

Help! My Partner has Gone (Crazy)! – Governance and Transfer Terms in LLC Operating Agreements

Mark Siler, Weiss Berzowski Brady LLP
Steve Szymanski, Weiss Berzowski Brady LLP

(1.0 CLE)

Governance terms, transfer restrictions and other succession issues should be addressed in any LLC Operating Agreement. Should an LLC be member or manager managed? Should you use traditional corporate officers in an LLC? What happens when managers, members or officers disagree on where to take the company? Steve Szymanski and Mark Siler will discuss these issues, as well as, transfer restrictions, anticipating and solving disagreements between partners and navigating the complicated issues that can arise when a deceased partner is succeeded by his or her spouse or children.

Expanding Your Practice and Adding a Partner: What You Need to Know

Angela Campion, Campion Law LLC
(1.0 CLE)

This presentation will explore the key considerations for a solo practitioner before adding a partner. What are the motivations for entering into a partnership? What benefits can be expected? What drawbacks should be considered? In addition to examining the pros and cons of adding a partner, the practical implications of such a decision will also be discussed, including the necessary filing requirements, key provisions to include in ownership agreements, potential tax implications, and ethical considerations.

Creating Forms in Word and Adobe

Diane Ebersole, State Bar of Michigan
(1.0 CLE)

Are you typing the same documents over and over again? Why not save time and make your documents more consistent by using the software you already have to create fillable forms?

A Life vs. Billable Hours

Rick A. Huedepohl, The Entrepreneur's Source
David Krekeler, Krekeler Strother, S.C.

(0 CLE)

How do you balance living a fulfilling life against the need to produce an appropriate amount of billing hours? How do you do so and still comply with the rules of ethics? There is only so much of you to go around. How do you make it all work? We will explore the tools that can help you balance a fulfilling life with the proper amount of billing hours. These tools include: ILWE (income, life style, wealth, and equity); strategic plan; key performance indicators; and profit equation. This is not rocket science but it is about Awareness, Education & Accountability and compliance with Supreme Court Rules.

2:20 - 2:50 p.m. Sponsor Refreshment Break - Prize winners announced.
Session 8
2:50 - 3:40 p.m.

Tax Consequences of Deeds in Lieu, Foreclosure, and Cancelled Credit Card Debt

David Krekeler, Krekeler Strother, S.C.
(1.0 CLE)

Benjamin Franklin said, "Nothing is certain except death and taxes." We will explore the tax aspects of Foreclosure Sales, Short Sales, and Deeds in Lieu of Foreclosure. We will also review the tax consequences of Debt Settlement and Bankruptcy. Learn to avoid malpractice claims that could come from failing to inform clients about these not-so-obvious consequences.

Pricing Legal Services: What Financial Benchmarks Can You Use?

Diane Ebersole, State Bar of Michigan
(1.0 CLE)

Meeting the ethics standards for fees, establishing competitive pricing, using billing to build your clientele, and measuring your success are covered in this session. A variety of pricing scenarios will be discussed as they related to current spending habits. Establishing financial benchmarks and making business decisions to help you meet your financial goals will round out this information packed session.

The 2013-14 Lawyers Low-Budget/No-Budget Technology Survival Guide

Nerino Petro, State Bar of Wisconsin
(1.0 CLE)

Many lawyers are increasingly opting for solo and small firm practice. The difference between feast or famine, eating v. starving, can rest on choosing and deploying the right technology tools to power up a new practice.

Dealing With Pro Se Litigants: More Art Than Science

Brian C. Anderson, Wisconsin Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company
Paul F. Angel, Angel & Angel, S.C.
Daniel Floeter, Dane County Family Court Commissioner's Office
Johanna Kirk, Torvinen, Jones, Kirk & Routh, S.C.
Thomas J. Watson, Wisconsin Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company

(1.0 CLE / EPR)

As lawyers increasingly encounter unrepresented opposing parties, they must learn to effectively and appropriately deal with them. This program considers how lawyers can handle cases involving opposing pro se parties in ways that do not compromise the representation of their own clients and are consistent with the Supreme Court Rules of Professional Conduct.

Session 9
3:50 - 4:40 p.m.

Legal Issues Facing Family Farms: Succession Planning, Divorce, and Lawsuits

Paul Curtis, Axley Brynelson LLP
Bridget Finke, Bakke Norman, S.C.
Steven Weber, Weber Law Offices
Troy Schneider, Twohig Rietbrock Schneider & Halbach, S.C.

(1.0 CLE)

Running a family farm is a lot of hard work. Family farm owners put their whole lives into the business and they are very proud of their farm's legacy. But how do you continue that success generation after generation? This session will cover some of the forces that can adversely affect the family farm from divorce to liability risks to the big issue of succession.

Create a Networking Strategy to Grow Your Practice and Reach Your Goals

Jenna Weber, SVA Professional Services
(0 CLE)

As an attorney in a small or solo firm, the success of your business relies heavily on your personal brand and the relationships you build. In this session, attendees will learn about the different methods of developing new win-win relationships and building on existing relationships to help grow your business. Get step-by-step tips to help define your networking objectives and create a strategy to effectively meet your business development goals. Whether you are an experienced professional or brand new to the industry, this is a must see presentation that is guaranteed to leave you with actionable takeaways to grow your practice!

The New Windows: Introduction to Windows 8

Nerino Petro, State Bar of Wisconsin
(1.0 CLE)

Windows 8 is here - should you and your office be on it? What are the new features and functions and are there ways to ease the transition?

Cinema and Ethics: What Can We Learn From Hollywood?

Carl Edenhofer, Edenhofer Law Offices, S.C.
Bryce Lehman, Edenhofer Law Offices, S.C.
Johanna Kirk, Torvinen, Jones, Kirk & Routh S.C.

(1.0 CLE / EPR)

Explore various rules of ethics via the cinema! We will use clips from movies and/or television shows to exemplify (un)ethical conduct and discuss the rule(s) implicated. The session is intended to be interactive and entertaining as well as educational.

5:15 - 7:30 p.m. Hospitality Room - enjoy wine and refreshments compliments of Lawton & Cates, S.C. (Dinner on your own.)

Saturday Schedule

  Substantive Track
Sponsored by Laufenberg, Jassak, & Laufenberg, S.C.
Practice Management Track Ross Kodner
Technology Track
Sponsored by
Bakke Norman, S.C.
Quality of Life/Ethics Track
Session 10
7:30 - 8:20 a.m.

Plenary - Past is Prologue: How Did We Get Here and Where are We Going?

Gary Bakke, Bakke Norman, S.C.
(1.0 CLE / EPR)

This session will review a half century of our professional progress... or lack thereof, and what we can learn for the future. It will touch on areas of practice, competition, fee setting, technology and the choices we have as lawyers.

Gary Bakke is senior attorney at Bakke Norman. After retiring from his litigation and family law practices, he now concentrates on supporting the firm on complex business litigation, complex family law issues, small business counseling, and municipal law. He also serves as mediator, arbitrator and as an expert witness on legal issues. A founder of Bakke Norman, Bakke has practiced law in New Richmond for more than 48 years. His significant contributions to the State Bar of Wisconsin include serving as president, and several other leadership positions. As State Bar president, he wrote and spoke frequently about the future of the practice of law and the need for professional changes. He has been a guest instructor at the University of Wisconsin Law School and spoken at numerous American Bar Association events.

Session 11
8:30 - 9:20 a.m.

An Overview of OWI Cases From Both Sides of the Courtroom

Kathryn Harrell McKnight, Lawton & Cates, S.C.
David Stegall, Lawton & Cates, S.C.

With over 20,000 arrests each year for OWI in Wisconsin, the odds are good that solo and small firm practitioners will have potential clients. Since 2010, the penalties for OWI cases have significantly increased and state legislators continue to call for harsher sentences. During this session, we'll discuss the most effective strategies for defending OWI cases. You'll gain insights from both sides of the courtroom that will benefit attorneys looking to expand their practices and experienced criminal defense attorneys alike.


Time Management: Productivity and How to Capture Your Time

Chris Carman, ActionCOACH Business Coaching
(1.0 CLE)

One of the biggest concerns for lawyers centers on time. There is not enough time in the day. Lack of time leads to the biggest complaint received by the Office of Lawyer Regulation that there was not timely communication. This session will offer tips on managing one's time, becoming more efficient, and properly capturing time for billing purposes. It will touch on beneficial technology and hopefully remove the risk of a complaint being filed.

Hosted Services

Jeremy Cherny, Tobin Solutions Inc.
(1.0 CLE)

Tired of servers, backup and all of the other things that go with having your own server and desktops? Today, someone else can do all of that work for you. What are the pros and cons and what will it cost?

Ethical Considerations of Law Office Operations

Thomas G. Schober, Schober Schober & Mitchell, S.C.
Jeff Krause, Krause Practice Management LLC

(1.0 CLE / EPR)

Lawyers solve people's problems. Hopefully at a profit. Get tips on making your practice more profitable while complying with our ethical rules. In fact, learn how compliance with those rules can help you increase your profits.

9:20 - 9:50 a.m. Break/Hotel Checkout
Session 12
9:50 - 10:40 a.m.

Common Negotiation Mistakes

Joanne Lipo Zovic
(1.0 CLE)

For many of us, negotiation can be daunting. The process can be complex and nuanced and requires specific skills and thorough preparation. Add to this the many pitfalls that await the wary negotiator. This session will discuss common negotiation pitfalls, why they happen and ways to avoid them, resulting in better outcomes.


Human Resources Basics for Law Firms

Nilesh P. Patel, Mahadev Law Group

Solo and small practices have to comply with employment laws just like any other business entity. An understanding of human resources fundamentals can help law firms comply and minimize workplace problems without reinventing the wheel. This session will provide an overview of employment law obligations faced by all businesses, with an emphasis on workplace concerns faced by law firms.

I Went Mobile and Paperless and So Can You

Dan Norland, Norland Law Firm LLC
(1.0 CLE)

This program will focus on the use of mobile devices and laptops and how a few simple steps can greatly increase your efficiency and lead you down the path of a "paperless office." Atty. Norland will show technology tips and tricks used in his own practice which are easily implemented without the need for an IT background. This program is designed to show one way that technology can be implemented to streamline your practice and increase your caseload while actually reducing your need for staff time.

The New Era in Professionalism and Civility: Communicating Across the Generations

Patrick Nehring, UW Extension
(1.0 CLE / EPR)

This presentation is designed to help participants recognize what defines the four generations and to identify the forces that shapes their attitudes and expectations. Participants should increase their knowledge and understanding of the four generations and expand their capacity to work and communicate with diverse generational styles.

Session 13
10:50 a.m. - 12:05 p.m.

Closing Plenary - Being Smart with Social Media: Ethics & Effectiveness When Engaging Online

Joshua King, Avvo, Inc.
(1.5 CLE / EPR)

Social Media - blogging, Facebook, Twitter, etc. - offers attorneys many new avenues to reach clients, potential clients, and referral sources. But using these tools for business development requires a different approach than that used with traditional marketing. In this session, Avvo's General Counsel and head of Business Development will look at how social media can be used effectively to build a practice - and at how ineffective use can lead to a variety of potential ethical problems.

Registration Closed

Be an Exhibitor or Sponsor

Keep your connections to the legal market strong by exhibiting or sponsoring a special event.

Exhibitor Prospectus (PDF 1.7 MB)

For more information on exhibiting or becoming a sponsor, contact Karen Richter at (800) 444-9404 ext. 6132 or at krichter@wisbar.org

Founding Sponsor

Milwaukee Bar Association

2013 Sponsors

Who should attend The Wisconsin Solo and Small Firm Conference?

PINNACLE conferences and institutes bring together lawyers, legal staff, and legal vendors for multiple days of learning and networking. These events offer in-depth CLE programming for flexible learning opportunities and social activities.

What are Conferences?

Produced by PINNACLE (the State Bar of Wisconsin's CLE department) in cooperation with founding sponsor, the Milwaukee Bar Association, the Wisconsin Solo and Small Conference has grown in stature and importance over the past eight years because it works - helping members achieve a balance between professional success and personal sanity.

The conferences and institutes are designed to be places for practitioners to spend time networking, meeting and listening to experts in their fields, and to check out exhibitors of products and services that can help them in their law practices.

What's included in my registration fee?

Your Wisconsin Solo and Small Firm Conference registration includes access to the Legal Expo, CLE sessions, breaks, plenary speakers (Thursday luncheon attendees will receive a ticket at registration if they selected that option), continental breakfasts on Thursday and Friday, and the chance for entry into prize drawings. Registration also includes Conference course materials on a flash drive.

Bonus Replay Opportunities!

Video CameraAs a special bonus, registrants will have the opportunity to watch future webcasts of selected programs that will be recorded at the Conference - for additional credits at no extra charge! Please check back to see which titles will be recorded and scheduled for replay at a later date.

Registration Details

Ultimate PassState Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE Ultimate Pass Gold holders will not be charged any tuition to attend the Wisconsin Solo and Small Firm Conference. Single-day tuition options are not available for this event. Ultimate Pass Silver holders receive half off of tuition (see tuition box). A fee of $20.00 is required for the ticketed luncheon for UPass Gold.

ALL attendees must register for the Conference and have a name badge to access CLE sessions, meals, continental breakfasts, receptions, and the Legal Expo. There are no exceptions to this rule. Pre-registration is available until 5 p.m. on Monday, October 21, 2013. There will be on-site registration at the Kalahari Resort including Thursday's luncheon based on availability.

Registration Rates

Tuition Table

How do I register?

Pre-registration is open until Monday, October 21, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. After that time all registrations must be done on site at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells.

About CLE Credit:

The Conference will be submitted for CLE credits to the Wisconsin Board of Bar Examiners. For applicable programs, Ethics/Professional Responsibility (EPR) credits also will be submitted for approval. Only individuals registering as State Bar of Wisconsin members will be recorded for CLE credits. Please note: We will not be applying for Minnesota or Illinois CLE for this event; however, attendees can self-report. Attendance verification forms will ONLY be completed onsite at each individual session.

What will I receive for Conference Materials?

Registrants will have access to course materials before the Conference in a downloadable format at wisbar.org. Course materials will also be distributed via flash drive to all attendees at the event. Thank you to our flash drive sponsors Johnson Bank and Johnson Insurance.

flash drive   Johnson Bank   Johnson Insurance

What is the cancellation policy?

Registration cancellations received by 4:30 p.m. CT on Wednesday, October 9, 2013 will receive a full registration fee refund. We're sorry, no refunds will be granted after that date. However, you may transfer the full value of your registration fee to another person's registration for this event. No refunds will be issued for any missed sessions or events, including sessions missed due to travel delays or cancellations.

Take advantage of special Conference rates at the Kalahari Resort

A limited number of rooms have been reserved for Conference attendees. Be sure to reserve your rooms early to ensure you receive these outstanding rates!

Reservation Deadline: Monday, September 23, 2013

To make your reservation: Call (877) 253-5466 and "ask for the Solo and Small Firm Conference 2013."

Room rates:

Tuesday, October 22nd $109
Wednesday, October 23rd $109
Thursday, October 24th $109
Friday, October 25th $129
Saturday, October 26th $149
Sunday, October 27th $109
Monday, October 28th $109

Kalahari Resort and Convention Center
1305 Kalahari Drive
Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965
(877) 253-5466

Additional Attendee Information:

Special Needs and Accommodations: If you need special accommodations, please contact us at (608) 250-6110 at least three weeks prior to the Conference date so we can make appropriate arrangements.

Attire: Comfortable, casual clothing is appropriate for this event.

Registration and Cancellations
State Bar of Wisconsin Customer Service, (800) 728-7788

Contact Information

Tim Clark
State Bar of Wisconsin – PINNACLE
(608) 250-6110

Karen Richter
State Bar of Wisconsin
(800) 444-9404, ext. 6132 or (608) 250-6132

CLE Credits
Toni Wood
State Bar of Wisconsin – PINNACLE
(608) 250-6142

Business Meetings
Reggie Driscoll
State Bar of Wisconsin
(608) 250-6100


By attending this State Bar event, you understand and agree that you may be photographed and/or electronically recorded during the event and you hereby grant to the State Bar the right to use and distribute your name and likeness for promotional or educational purposes without monetary compensation. The State Bar assumes no liability for such use.