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Smith v. Kleynerman

Supreme Court of Wisconsin

March 21, 2017

Scott Smith, Plaintiff-Respondent-Cross-Appellant,
v.
Greg Kleynerman, Defendant-Appellant-Cross-Respondent-Petitioner, Alpha Cargo Technology, LLC, Plaintiff, Red Flag Cargo Security Systems, LLC, Defendant.

          ORAL ARGUMENT: January 19, 2017

         REVIEW OF A DECISION OF THE COURT OF APPEALS

         L.C. No. 2011CV18551

          For the Defendant-Appellant-Cross-Respondent-Petitioner, Greg Kleynerman, there were briefs filed by Thomas L. Shriner, Jr., Max B. Chester and Philip C. Babler, Foley & Lardner LLP, Milwaukee, and oral argument by Thomas L. Shriner.

          For the Plaintiff-Respondent-Cross-Appellant, Scott Smith, there was a brief filed by Timothy M. Hansen, Andrew J. Kramer, Danielle M. Nardick and Hansen Reynolds LLC, Milwaukee, and oral argument by Andrew J. Kramer.

          PER CURIAM.

         ¶l The judgment is affirmed by an equally divided Court.

         ¶2 DANIEL KELLY, J., did not participate.

          SHIRLEY S. ABRAHAMSON, J. (concurring).

         ¶3 I write separately to preserve institutional and historical memory. This is the first case since 1979 resulting in a tie vote in which the court does not state the names of the participating justices and each of the justices' votes in the case.

         ¶4 A total of 115 cases from 1885 through 2016 present the names and votes of each participating justice. See Attachment A.

         ¶5 A total of 26 cases from 1849 through 1979 do not present the names and votes of each participating justice. See Attachment B.

         ¶6 These attachments demonstrate, even if my internet search might have missed some cases, that the court is changing its recent and historically dominant practice with this per curiam. The court gives no explanation for this change.

         ¶7 From my perspective, consistency is important. If a court is not consistent in its practice about reporting tie votes, then I believe the court should explain why the voting information is revealed in a particular case and in another it is not.

         ¶8 High courts in other states differ in their practice about setting forth the names of the justices and the votes cast in tie vote cases. The United States Supreme Court does not set forth the line-up of the justices when a tie vote exists.

         ATTACHMENT A

         Equally Divided Court:

         Cases Naming Justices

         1. Zwickey v. Haney, 63 Wis. 464, 23 N.W. 577 (1885) (on appeal).

         2. Church of the Good Shepherd v. Racine Water Co., 116 Wis. 11, 92 N.W. 436 (1902) (on appeal).

         3. Morey v. Lake Superior Terminal & Transfer Ry. Co., 118 Wis. 148, 93 N.W. 1135 (1903) (on appeal).

         4. Gibbs v. Seibt, 118 Wis. 145, 93 N.W. 1097 (1903) (on appeal).

         5. Jacobs v. Queen Ins. Co. of Am., 123 Wis. 608, 101 N.W. 1090 (1905) (on appeal).

         6. Cook v. Minneapolis, St. P. & S.S.M. Ry. Co., 125 Wis. 528, 103 N.W. 1097 (1905) (on appeal).

         7. Zohrlaut v. Mengelberg, 148 Wis. 592, 134 N.W. 1135 (1912) (on appeal).

         8. Nelson v. Fairchild & N.E. R. Co., 163 Wis. 300, 156 N.W. 942 (1916) (on appeal).

         9. Wis. Chair Co. v. Industrial Comm'n of Wis., 163 Wis. 25, 157 N.W. 1103 (1916) (on appeal).

         10. Faust Lumber Co. v. Industrial Comm'n of Wis., 163 Wis. 365, 157 N.W. 1103 (1916) (on appeal).

         11. In re Carter's Estate, 167 Wis. 89, 166 N.W. 657 (1918) (on appeal).

         12. Rathenberger v. Jacob, 167 Wis. 273, 167 N.W. 271 (1918) (on appeal).

         13. Johnston v. City of West Allis, 173 Wis. 463, 180 N.W. 121 (1920) (on appeal).

         14. Racine Auto Tire Co. v. Indus. Comm'n of Wis., 173 Wis. 118, 180 N.W. 124 (1920) (on appeal).

         15. Gruhl Sash & Door Co. v. Chicago, M. & St. P. Ry. Co., 173 Wis. 215, 180 N.W. 845 (1921) (on appeal).

         16. In re Saveland's Will, 173 Wis. 328, 181 N.W. 209 (1921) (on appeal).

         17. South Side Malleable Co. v. Four Wheel Drive Auto Co., 174 Wis. 93, 181 N.W. 749 (1921) (on appeal).

         18. Kahn v. Melaney, 174 Wis. 95, 181 N.W. 737 (1921) (on appeal).

         19. Kroner v. Order of United Commercial Travelers of Am., 176 Wis. 151, 184 N.W. 1037 (1921) (on appeal).

         20. Griffin v. Milwaukee Elec. Ry. & Light Co., 176 Wis. 179, 185 N.W. 639 (1921) (on appeal).

         21. State ex rel. Klefisch v. Wis. Telephone Co., 181 Wis. 519, 195 N.W. 544 (1923) (on appeal).

         22. Fox River Paper Co. v. Railroad Comm'n, 189 Wis. 626, 208 N.W. 266 (1926) (on appeal).

         23. Schafer & Olson v. Varney, 191 Wis. 186, 210 N.W. 359 (1926) (on appeal).

         24. Morse v. State, 193 Wis. 495, 215 N.W. 216 (1927) (on appeal).

         25. Boehlke v. Wallschlaeger, 196 Wis. 570, 219 N.W. 270 (1928) (on appeal).

         26. Barteck v. Rotter, 197 Wis. 303, 222 N.W. 221 (1928) (on appeal).

         27. In re Ott's Will, 198 Wis. 55, 223 N.W. 452 (1929) (on appeal).

         28. Estate of Byrne, 201 Wis. 76, 228 N.W. 436 (1930) (on appeal).

         29. Olson v. Cunningham, 200 Wis. 610, 228 N.W. 895 (1930) (on appeal).

         30. Spring Creek Threshing Co. v. Amundson, 202 Wis. 150, 231 ...


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