We are one of the few Wisconsin law firms aggressively focused on systemic policy and legal change.
Our impact litigation and advocacy has led to a number of legal milestones, including eliminating racial and gender discrimination in Milwaukee Fire and Police departments, marriage equality, and the right to correct misinformation on criminal records. Impact work aims to make change that effects as many people as possible. We have a proven track record of impact work throughout our history and today.
Current Impact Advocacy
Legal Action of Wisconsin filed a Rules Petition with the Wisconsin Supreme Court today with the goal of helping more Wisconsin families find and maintain safe and affordable rental housing.
You can see the Court's request for public comment, due Auguest 25, on their website here: https://www.wicourts.gov/scrules/docs/2203_interestedpersons.pdf
We hosted a Facebook Live event sharing information about evictions, our petition, and how to support. Watch the recording and follow our page to learn more at www.facebook.com/legalactionWI We are hosting an interactive Zoom Q&A event on August 16 at noon to answer questions about how to submit comments and get involved. The Zoom link is https://bit.ly/3PhS0XR with passcode Housing. More information is on our Facebook page.
Fighting Racial and Gender Discrimination
Our impact litigation efforts paved the way forward for two important milestones at the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission. Men of color were admitted to the fire training academy for the first time in 1975 following racial discrimination cases we filed around the same time that the NAACP filed. Because of this work, the Department of Justice was able to continue to file cases that ultimately led to Milwaukee becoming the second city nationwide to admit women into the Fire Department.
Because past cases are often cited as precedent in new lawsuits, impact litigation can influence the legal outcomes of important issues for decades. One such case was the Zablocki v. Redhail right to re-marry suit which we took all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Almost 40 years later, it was one of the leading cases cited to establish the right to LGBT+ marriages in the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court case.
More than 15 years before the Americans with Disabilities Act, we sued members of the Milwaukee County Transit Board and other transportation officials to secure greater access for people with disabilities to public mass transportation. As a result of our successful lawsuit, the city of Milwaukee added accessible busses to its fleet and the city of Madison did the same voluntarily.
Ensuring Worker’s Rights
An employer was not paying farmworkers with H-2A visas correctly and forced them to work 12-hour days, 7 days a week. The employer also confiscated the farmworkers’ passports and discouraged them from speaking with anyone outside of the workplace. Following a discrete meeting with the affected farmworkers who were afraid of retaliation, we reported the employer’s activities to law enforcement. Additionally, we filed a federal civil complaint against the employer claiming unpaid wages, violations of Wisconsin’s migrant labor laws, and labor trafficking. The employer agreed to settle the case and our clients received payment for hours worked and compensation for some of the abuses endured.