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James Goldschmidt, Sydney Vanberg and Lauren Zenk featured in “Supreme Court Restores Attorney Ghostwriting Rule for Pro Se Litigants”

State Bar of Wisconsin

Last year attorneys James Goldschmidt, Sydney Vanberg and Lauren Zenk filed a petition to the Wisconsin Supreme Court to restore the 2014 "ghostwriting" rule that encouraged pro bono work for pro se litigants. The petition argued the 2018 modification that required attorneys to identify their names and bar numbers on pleadings, motions and documents for self-represented litigants "had a chilling effect on attorney pro bono work."

The court's new rule that will go into a effect on July 1, 2020, states attorneys that draft or assist in pleadings, motions or documents filed by an otherwise self-represented litigant can do so without signing it. However, the document does need a note that says it was "prepared with the assistance of a lawyer." 


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