The workers compensation insurance adjuster is not being reasonable and now I need to go to a Hearing to have a judge decide my benefits? What should I expect?

Attorney Lisa Pierobon Mays represents only Wisconsin injured workers.  Every client scheduled to go to Hearing is litigated by Atty. Pierobon Mays.  Prior to the hearing, Lisa will thoroughly prepare her client for the Hearing.  She meets with them a few days prior to the hearing and works with them over several hours to get them prepared and ready to give testimony – basically telling the Administrative Law Judge with the Office of Workers Compensation Hearings the details of the injury and how it has impacted the injured worker.  Attorney Pierobon Mays’ clients always feel well-prepared for a Hearing.  Lisa believes the more prepared her clients are to give testimony, the more confident they will feel at the Hearing.  Another way she prepares her client is to take the mystery out of it, here is what occurs at a Hearing.


Hearings are scheduled at various locations throughout the state of Wisconsin.  In general, the geographical location for the Hearing is determined by the location of the employee’s residence, or where the injury occurred.  The greatest travel convenience for the injured worker (also called the Applicant) is the priority city for the scheduling of a Hearing.  The biggest city closest to such will be selected.  So, for example. an Applicant who resides in Baraboo will have their Hearing scheduled in Madison.    

After a Hearing date is set, all parties are notified by a written, blue-colored notice. The Notice of Hearing is usually mailed to the parties eight to ten weeks in advance, but hearings can be scheduled with as little as ten days’ notice in emergency cases.


The parties required to attend the Hearing is the Applicant (injured workers), her Attorney, the Attorney (called Opposing Counsel) for the workers compensation insurance company, a representative for the insurance company or employer, if desired by them.  Also, all relevant witnesses, the Judge, and the Court Reporter.


The Office of Worker’s Compensation Hearings schedules Hearings in 4-hour time slots, starting at 8am and finishing at Noon.  Or, starting at 1pm and finishing at 4pm.  If the parties run out of time, then a continued hearing will be scheduled, usually within a few months, as the Scheduler needs to coordinate to ensure that all parties, including the judge, are available.


At Hearing, the Administrative Law Judge is actively involved and in charge of handling all the preliminaries.  The Judge is responsible for making sure that all the necessary parties are present, that the issues of the claim are mutually understood.  The Judge is responsible for protecting the record of the claim by allowing testimony and evidence to be pursued by all the parties.  Any objections to such are resolved by the Judge with a ruling on the record.  The Judge swears in all witnesses who promise to give truthful testimony. The Judge is also protective of the Court Reporter, who transcribes/stenographs testimony and marks exhibits, by making sure that she can properly hear and see the live testimony. 

Hearings are intended to be somewhat informal, and the Judge will often interrupt when the injured worker (Applicant) is giving testimony for clarification or to ask her own questions of the Applicant.  Keep in mind, the Judge wants to make a well-informed and thorough decision so anything that the Judge feels is confusing or not explored, then she will follow-up on. 


At Hearing, the injured worker (Applicant) has the burden to prove that he is entitled to monetary benefits because a work injury caused lost time/wages, medical expense, and permanent disability.  Such issues are proven by the Applicant testifying as to the details of the injury such as who, what, where, when, and why details of their injury.  As to the medical questions, a physician generally does not come to the hearing to testify but instead answers a series of questions on a 2-page form approved by the State of Wisconsin Division of Hearings and Appeals. 

Applicants should be prepared to testify and know what questions are going to be asked of them on direction examination.  Simple rules should be followed by the Applicant such as always speak with audible words.  Nodding or shaking of the head to respond Yes or No is not allowed because the Court Reporter only transcribes verbal words.  Also, “Uh uh” or “Uh huh” means nothing to the Court Reporter and should never be uttered by any witness when testifying.  Other Do’s and Don’ts when testifying, tantamount to winning and losing at Hearing, are taught at Mays Law Office.  Attorney Lisa Pierobon Mays always prepares her client’s a few days before the Hearing so that they are ready and confident to give testimony at the Hearing.


Workers’ Compensation Hearings are generally amicable.  Contentious behavior at a Hearing is deemed unproductive and Judges will be protective of a witness being treated with disrespect.  However, Cross-Examination questions feel different than those on direct.  For instance, a witness who is asked, “What is the weather like outside today?” is given broad freedom to answer the question.  On Cross-Examination, the questions will not be so open-ended, instead the same question will be asked “Isn’t is true that the weather is cloudy and cold today?”  A simple is suggested in the question, that answer being a “Yes” or “No”.  Applicants often feel cornered by questions on Cross-Examination because they are unable to break free and speak their own words.  Attorney Lisa Pierobon Mays always prepares her clients for this type of questioning.  She reminds them that she always gets the last word with her client on Redirect Examination where she can circle back to any questions asked on Cross-Examination that need further detail or explanation.


Absolutely Yes you can bring someone to support you at the Hearing.  Attorney Lisa Pierobon Mays encourages a supporting person come to the Hearing.  A Workers Compensation Hearing can be intimidating with the presence of a Judge, Court Reporter and Opposing Counsel.  Nervous feelings are expected so Lisa tells her clients that if they are feeling nervous when giving testimony then their support person will be seated in a visible spot where they can see a friendly face supporting them. 

If your support person is also going to be a witness, then the Opposing Counsel will likely make a Motion to Sequester your witness which means that the witness needs to remain out of the Hearing room until it is time for him to give testimony.  Once the testimony is done then they can stay and watch the rest of the Hearing.   


No, the Administrative Law Judge has a lot to consider after the Hearing.  They like to thoroughly review all the Exhibits, read portions of the testimony transcript, and allow the parties a few weeks to follow-up on anything that was discussed but not resolved at the hearing, such as updated medical records or billing itemizations.  Once the record is closed then the Judge should have a written decision in 90 days, however this is not mandatory, just suggested.


Workers Compensation claims often do settle after the Hearing.  A Hearing gives both sides the opportunity to see the strengths and weaknesses of their case.  An Applicant who testifies well at Hearing and if very little damaging evidence is presented by Opposing Counsel, then it is a good sign that the claim will likely go in favor of the Applicant.  In those cases, Opposing Counsel will go back to their client, the Worker Compensation Insurance Carrier, to update and advise them of such and encourage them to reinitiate settlement discussions.  Attorney Lisa Pierobon Mays always keeps her clients updated on all settlement discussions, patiently answering all questions, and addressing all concerns that her client’s may have.

A Wisconsin injured worker should never feel forced to settle their workers compensation claim.  It is their right to have a Hearing decided by an Administrative Law Judge.  When hiring a Wisconsin workers compensation attorney, the injured worker needs to choose carefully who they want as their advocate.  Too many attorneys want to just settle claims and move on to the next client.  Attorney Lisa Pierobon Mays never stops advocating for her client.  She always keeps the client’s best interest as a priority.      

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Can You Get a DUI on a Snowmobile in Wisconsin?

Can You Get a DUI on a Snowmobile in Wisconsin?

The general public does not view recreational vehicles (snowmobiles, ATV’s and UTV’s, etc) as they would a regular car or automobile. And in turn, the general public doesn’t consider the consequences for recreational vehicle drunk driving offenses. However, under Wisconsin law, a snowmobile meets the definition of a “motor vehicle” (i..e., engine-driven vehicle) and thus the question of whether one can be cited for a drunk driving offense (i.e., OWI or DUI) when operating a snowmobile in Wisconsin – is answered “Yes.”
Wisconsin law treats driving or operating a snowmobile while under the influence of alcohol or drugs very similar to driving or operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. The legal – or illegal – blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for operating a snowmobile in Wisconsin is typically the same as for driving a car, which is 0.08%.

Who May Operate A Snowmobile In WI?

A driver’s license is not required to operate a snowmobile. However, there are restrictions based on age and birth year. No person under 12 may use a snowmobile unless accompanied by a parent or guardian or someone over 18. The statute defines “accompany” as being on the same snowmobile as the operator.

In addition, any snowmobile driver who is at least 12 years of age and born on or after January 1, 1985, may only operate a snowmobile if they hold a valid snowmobile safety certificate. If a snowmobile driver is required to have a safety certificate, they must carry proof of the certificate and display it upon request from law enforcement.

What Is The Legal Alcohol Limit On A Snowmobile?

Much like operating motor vehicles, it is illegal to:

  1. Operate a snowmobile under the influence of an intoxicant “to a degree which renders the person incapable of safe snowmobile operation.”
  2. Have an alcohol concentration of .08 or more when operating a snowmobile.
  3. If the person is not 19, they may not operate the snowmobile with an alcohol concentration of more than 0.0 but not more than 0.08.
  4. Have a detectable amount of a restricted controlled substance in their blood.

If Stopped On A Snowmobile, Do I Have To Provide A Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) Sample?

Wisconsin state law requires a person to provide a sample of their breath for a preliminary breath screening test if the officer has “probable cause to believe” the person is operating while intoxicated. The PBT is only for the purpose of confirming that the officer had probable cause to arrest. There is no penalty for refusing the preliminary breath test.

Where Can I Be Arrested For Drunk Snowmobiling In WI?

Snowmobile operators can be arrested for drunk driving on publicly or privately owned land regardless of whether a fee is charged for using that property.
On private land not designated as a snowmobile trail, it does not apply unless an accident involving injury occurs and the snowmobile was operated on the private land without the consent of the land owner.

Do I Have To Provide A Chemical Sample If Arrested For Drunk Snowmobiling?

According to Wis. Stat. §350.103, any person who operates a snowmobile on the public land highways of Wisconsin has already given (implied) consent to provide a sample of their breath, blood or urine.

Before requesting the sample, law enforcement must inform the person that:

  1. They are deemed to have consented to the tests under Wis. Stat. §350.103.
  2. A refusal to provide a sample is subject to the same penalties and procedures as a violation of operating while under the influence while snowmobiling.
  3. Besides the test requested by the officer, the driver may have an additional chemical test.

What about an unconscious person who is incapable of withdrawing consent for a chemical test. In such a situation, Wisconsin law presumes that the person did not withdraw consent (but only if law enforcement has probable cause to believe the person was operating while intoxicated.)

What Happens If I Refuse To Provide A Sample?

The refusal to provide a sample is subject to the same penalties and procedures as a violation of operating under the influence while snowmobiling.

What Are The Penalties For Snowmobiling While Intoxicated?

A first-time offender will be fined not less than $400 nor more than $550.

A second offense with a prior snowmobile OWI (or refusal conviction) within five years of the current offense will be fined no less than $300 or more than $1,000 and imprisoned for less than five days or more than six months.

A person who, within five years before their arrest for the current violation, was convicted two or more times of a snowmobile OWI or refusal violation will be fined not less than $600 nor more than $2,000 and shall be imprisoned not less than 30 days nor more than one year in the county jail.

Any person who fails to stop at the request of law enforcement or causes injury to another while operating a snowmobile while intoxicated will be fined not less than $300 nor more than $2,000 and may be imprisoned for not less than 30 days nor more than one year in the county jail.

In addition to the penalties listed above, a conviction will result in an order by the court to submit to, and comply with, an assessment of the person’s use of alcohol or controlled substances.

Consult With Counsel

If you’ve been arrested for drunk driving on a snowmobile in Wisconsin, don’t wait to contact a competent legal defense. The experienced drunk driving defense attorneys at Mays Law Office, LLC will fight for you and help you through the legal process.

Our firm has nearly 80 years and a proven track record of success in representing our clients in all sorts of drunk driving and other criminal and workers compensation cases. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

10 Reasons to Hire a Lawyer for Your Wisconsin DUI Case

10 Reasons to Hire a Lawyer for Your Wisconsin DUI Case

If you are facing a DUI charge in Wisconsin, you do not want to try to handle your case on your own. While this might seem like the best (or cheapest) option, trying to handle your case without a lawyer can end up being extremely costly. Successfully defending against a DUI charge is not easy, and getting convicted can have serious consequences. As a result, it is strongly in your best interests to seek experienced legal representation as soon as possible.

Why You Should Hire a DUI Lawyer in Wisconsin

Were you arrested for driving under the influence in Wisconsin? If so, here are 10 reasons why you should hire a lawyer to handle your DUI case:

Reason #1: You Are Facing Substantial Penalties

Regardless of whether this is your first offense or you are a repeat offender, a DUI conviction can lead to substantial penalties. For first-time offenders, potential penalties include up to a nine-month driver’s license suspension, hundreds of dollars in fines and surcharges, and mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle (if your BAC was 0.15% or above). If you have a prior DUI within the past 10 years, you are facing even greater penalties—including jail time.

Reason #2: You Are Also Facing Serious Collateral Consequences

Along with these penalties, a DUI conviction can have several other serious consequences. For one thing, your auto insurance rates will skyrocket for the next several years. Having a DUI conviction on your record can also make it hard to land a job; and, if you have a professional license, are a member of the military, or are a foreign citizen, you could face consequences in these areas as well.

Reason #3: You May Need to Assert Multiple Defenses to Avoid a Conviction

To successfully fight your DUI charge, you may need to assert multiple defenses in court. Prosecutors may have several forms of evidence against you, and they will be able to secure a conviction by proving that either: (i) your BAC was over the legal limit, or (ii) your driving abilities were impaired. They do not need to prove both. As a result, if you challenge the prosecution’s evidence of impairment but not your BAC (or vice versa), you will still be at risk for a conviction.

Reason #4: Your Lawyer Can Seek to Negotiate a Plea Bargain if Warranted

In some cases, negotiating a plea bargain will be your best option. However, you should not pursue a plea bargain unless you are certain that there are not better options available. While a “wet reckless” carries substantially fewer consequences than a DUI, you should not subject yourself to any consequences unnecessarily.

Reason #5: Your Lawyer Can Help You Enter Into a Diversion Program (if Possible)

One way that you may be able to avoid consequences entirely is by entering into a diversion program. These programs “divert” your case from trial; and, if you complete all of the program’s requirements, your DUI case will be dismissed. An experienced DUI lawyer will be able to determine if your case qualifies for diversion; and, if so, your lawyer will be able to help you decide if entering into a diversion program is your best option.

Reason #6: You May Have Several Defenses Available (Even if You Were Drunk)

There are several ways to fight a DUI charge in Wisconsin. If you have grounds to fight your charge, you should not accept a plea or subject yourself to the requirements of a diversion program. Your lawyer will be able to evaluate your case and determine which defenses he or she can assert on your behalf. Based on this evaluation, you can then make an informed decision about how best to handle your case.

Reason #7: Prosecutors Win DUI Convictions All the Time

Despite the fact that there are several defenses to DUI charges in Wisconsin, prosecutors win DUI convictions all the time. Many prosecutors are extremely good at what they do; and, in many respects, the legal system is built in their favor. As a result, avoiding a conviction requires a knowledgeable and strategic approach—and this requires experienced legal representation.

Reason #8: Prosecutors May Not Be Able to Use Their Evidence Against You

Even if prosecutors have enough evidence to secure a conviction (as is often the case), they may not be able to use their evidence against you. For example, if the police stopped you without reasonable suspicion or arrested you without probable cause, this may render the prosecution’s evidence inadmissible. However, to keep the prosecution’s evidence out of court, you must be able to prove that the police violated your constitutional rights. Prosecutors aren’t going to withhold their evidence voluntarily, and it isn’t the judge’s responsibility to protect you.

Reason #9: A Wrongful Conviction or Unjust Sentence is a Very Real Possibility

Given these considerations, a wrongful conviction is a very real possibility. Additionally, even if a conviction is warranted, you could face a far greater sentence than necessary if you try to handle your case on your own. Simply put, hiring an experienced DUI lawyer is the best way to minimize the risks you are facing.

Reason #10: Hiring a Lawyer is Your Least Costly Option

While you will need to pay for your lawyer’s services, hiring a lawyer is ultimately likely to be your least costly option. If your lawyer helps you avoid fines, surcharges, or increased insurance premiums—and if your lawyer protects your driver’s license or keeps you out of jail—your legal representation will more than pay for itself.

Schedule a Free Initial Consultation with a WI DUI Lawyer Today

If you are facing a DUI charge in Wisconsin, we strongly encourage you to contact us for more information. We provide free initial consultations, and we can help you make smart decisions about your next steps. To discuss your case with an experienced WI DUI lawyer in confidence, please call 608-257-0440 or send us a message online today.