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Halbman v. Barrock

Supreme Court of Wisconsin

October 12, 2017

Mark Halbman, Plaintiff-Appellant-Petitioner,
v.
Mitchell J. Barrock D/B/A Barrock & Barrock, Defendant-Respondent.

          Submitted on Briefs: oral argument: September 12, 2017

         REVIEW OF A DECISION OF THE COURT OF APPEAL Reported at 372 Wis.2d 458, 888 N.W.2d 247 (2016 - Unpublished)

         Source of Appeal: Circuit county (L.C. No. 2011CV4993)Milwaukee Court Dennis P. Moroney JUDGE.

          For the plaintiff-appellant-petitioner, there were briefs filed by Robert A. Levine, Jonathan J. Cattey, and Law Offices of Robert A. Levine, Milwaukee. There was an oral argument by Robert A. Levine.

          For the defendant-respondent, there was a brief filed by Mitchell Barrock and Barrock & Barrock, Brookfield. There was an oral argument by Mitchell Barrock.

          PER CURIAM.

         ¶1 Mark Halbman petitioned for review of the decision of the court of appeals, Halbman v. Barrock, No. 2015AP1904, unpublished slip op. (Wis. Ct. App. Oct. 12, 2016), affirming the circuit court's order dismissing Halbman's legal malpractice cause of action against Attorney Mitchell J. Barrock for failure to satisfy his prima facie burden of proof as to damages. After reviewing the record and the briefs of both parties, and after hearing oral arguments, we conclude that this matter should be dismissed as improvidently granted.

         ¶2 By the Court.- The review of the decision of the court of appeals is dismissed as improvidently granted.

         ¶3 SHIRLEY S. ABRAHAMSON, J. (concurring). I agree that review was improvidently granted and should be dismissed.

         ¶4 I do not join the per curiam opinion. I write separately because I believe the court should explain its dismissal to the litigants and to the public.

         ¶5 The parties have, at this court's request, expended significant time, effort, and money in submitting briefs and participating in oral argument in this court on the assumption that the case would be heard and decided on the merits. The parties and the public, in my opinion, are owed an explanation of the court's dismissal at this stage of the appellate proceedings without a decision on the merits.

         ¶6 In recent years this court has often offered an explanation of a dismissal of a matter as improvidently granted; this practice has not been entirely consistent.[1] The United States Supreme Court also has not been consistent in explaining its reasons for dismissing a writ of certiorari as improvidently granted.[2]

         ¶7 I shall explain the background of the case and my reasons for concurring in the dismissal as improvidently granted.

         ¶8 Mark Halbman's petition for review (which at least three members of the court voted to grant) relates to Halbman's claim of legal malpractice against his former attorney, Mitchell J. Barrock, and ...


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