Family Law Update for January 2020

In this Issue …

A Word from Gregg Herman
New year, new Family Law Update!

Wisconsin Courts Updates
No new cases.

Decisions Across The Nation
SCOTUS hears oral arguments on Hague child custody case.

Family Law Online
Frozen embryos, retirement after divorce and social media.

Business Valuations
Personal vs. professional goodwill case.

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A Word from Gregg Herman …

New Year, New Family Law Update!

Beginning this month, Family Law Update will have a new content focus!

After twenty years (really!), I am changing the focus to concentrate on settlement and mediation. There are several reasons for this repositioning.

For one, my practice is transitioning to primarily mediation. While I will continue to represent some clients traditionally, I expect to be doing more and more mediation.

Second, settlement (including mediation) has become the most common form of family law practice. This is reflected in the very few appellate cases which are being reported in FLU — this very issue, once again, includes no new Wisconsin cases.

So focusing on settlement and mediation is more consistent with the actual practice of family law in the 2020s.

I will continue to summarize Wisconsin cases and legislative updates as knowledge of these are critical even to a settlement based practice. But other parts, notably Cases from Around the Nation, will be discontinued.

Please let me know your thoughts on this change using this form, and any suggestions you may have to make this service useful to you.

To all of our subscribers and their families, we wish you a healthy and prosperous New Year!

Be Sure to Like and Subscribe to Loeb & Herman’s YouTube Channel

• • •

Wisconsin Courts Update

— No New Cases. Sigh. —

• • •

Subscribe to Wisconsin Family Law Case Finder at 10% Off!

Decisions Across the Nation

Monasky v. Taglieri
907 F.3d 404 (2018), No. 16-4128
Oral Argument: Dec. 11, 2019

Background Articles

SCOTUS Resources

Family Law Online

The following articles are provided as informational resources for our subscribers. If you would like to submit a link for consideration, please contact Atty. Gregg Herman by using this form.

Connecticut Supreme Court Rules Against Husband In Divorce Case, Says Frozen Embryos Are Marital Property And Can Be Destroyed

The court decided that an agreement the couple made prior to creating the embryos — an agreement that provided for destruction of the embryos in the event of divorce — was an enforceable contract between Jessica Bilbao and Timothy R. Goodwin. (Hartford Courant)

How to Retool Your Retirement Plan After Divorce

When it comes to retirement, divorce can be disruptive at best and devastating at worst. This is especially true of divorce after age 50. Spouses are at risk of losing a significant amount of their retirement savings and may have relatively few years left to replenish their accounts. Don’t let the end of your marriage derail your savings or reduce your Social Security benefits. (US News & World Report)

What Social Media Is Doing To Marriage— and Divorce — in the U.S.

Social media may not be the reason your marriage lost its spark. However, its role might be more prominent than we’d like to believe. (TechTalks)

Business Valuations

The following information is provided courtesy of Gregory J. Ksicinski, CPA/ABV, MSTSVA Certified Public Accountants, S.C., Brookfield, WI 53045. You can reach Greg at 414-333-1097 or via email.

Personal v. Professional Goodwill

In a “complicated” (court’s word) dissolution case, the Washington Court of Appeals recently made an important ruling on whether a professional limited liability company (PLLC) can have goodwill separate from the goodwill of the professionals.

Focus on Location

In 2005, the plaintiff, through his professional service corporation, acquired an ownership interest in the defendant’s oral surgery practice. In 2014, the doctors’ business relationship broke down. While they negotiated the division of assets, including who would get which practice, the plaintiff sued, and the defendant countersued over alleged breaches of contract and business torts.

The overarching issue was whether, as a matter of law, a business entity providing professional services lacked goodwill because only the individual professionals could possess goodwill.

The court answered no.

“We adopt the rule that a professional business entity may enjoy goodwill as the rule that best follows the phenomenon that some customers or clients chose to conduct business with the professional organization not only because of the individual skill of one professional inside the entity.”

Moreover, the appeals court concluded that, in this specific case, the PLLC had goodwill in that it maintained locations and a website in its name and it had its own phone number which patients called.

The Court of Appeals’ decision includes other goodwill findings, all of which served to affirm the trial court’s decision.


Attorney Gregg Herman is a founding partner of Loeb & Herman, LLC in Milwaukee, WI. He practices family law exclusively, and can be reached via e-mail or by calling (414) 272-5632.