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Please see http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov for the production version.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Discovery procedures
This bill makes certain changes to discovery procedure in court proceedings.
Under the bill, the court must limit the frequency or extent of discovery if it
determines that the discovery sought is cumulative or duplicative, or can be obtained
from some other source that is more convenient, less burdensome, or less expensive
or that the burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit
or is not proportional to the claims and defenses at issue. In addition, the bill limits
the type of electronic information that can be discovered such that a court may not
require a party to keep or provide the following types of electronic information: data
that cannot be retrieved without substantial additional programming or without
transforming it into another form before search and retrieval can be achieved;
backup data that are substantially duplicative of data that are more accessible
elsewhere; legacy data remaining from obsolete systems that are unintelligible on
successor systems; and any other data that are not available to the producing party
in the ordinary course of business and that the party identifies as not reasonably
accessible because of undue burden or cost.
The bill also creates a mandatory disclosure requirement that requires a party,
without awaiting a discovery request, to disclose any agreement under which any
person, other than an attorney who is permitted to charge a contingent fee for
representing a party, has a right to receive compensation that is contingent on and
sourced from any proceeds of the civil action.
CLASS ACTIONS
This bill creates detailed procedures relating to class actions where previously
Wisconsin had few procedural requirements relating to class actions. The
procedures implemented in the bill closely track the federal procedures for filing and
maintaining a class action, and are similar to changes proposed by the Wisconsin
Judicial Council in 2017 petition number 17-03 to the Supreme Court. The bill
creates prerequisites for filing a class action; differentiates between three different
types of class actions that may be certified; creates requirements that the court must
follow with regard to certifying a class, notifying potential class members, and
entering a judgment; enumerates procedures for conducting a class action; requires
the court to be involved in settling a class action; describes certain aspects of
appellate procedure for a class action; requires the court to select counsel for the class
in a class action; and creates a procedure for recovery of attorney fees.
consumer lawsuit lending
This bill creates provisions governing consumer lawsuit lending transactions.
Under the bill, a “consumer" is an individual who is or may become a plaintiff or
claimant in a civil action or other proceeding (dispute). “Consumer lawsuit lending"

means 1) providing money to a consumer, for the consumer to use for any purpose
other than prosecuting the consumer's dispute, with repayment of the money
conditioned on and derived from the consumer's proceeds of the dispute; or 2)
purchasing from a consumer a contingent right to receive a share of the potential
proceeds of the consumer's dispute. In a consumer lawsuit lending transaction, all
of the following apply: 1) the lender may charge interest at a rate of no more than
18 percent per year; 2) the consumer may prepay the transaction at any time and,
upon prepayment in full, is entitled to a refund of unearned interest charged; 3) the
transaction term may not exceed 36 months; 4) the lender may not charge fees of
more than $360 per year; 5) the lender may not pay commissions or referral fees to
attorneys or health care providers; and 6) there must be a written agreement
between the lender and the consumer that contains specified information, including
the interest rate and the consumer's right to receive a refund of interest charged if
prepayment is made in full, as well as provisions that disclose all one-time fees
charged to the consumer, disclose the amount to be received by the consumer and the
amount the consumer assigns to the lender, state that the consumer has a right to
cancel the agreement within five days, state that the lender has no right to make
decisions or otherwise participate in the dispute, and state that the lender may be
paid only from the consumer's proceeds of the dispute and is not entitled to be repaid
if there are no such proceeds. A lender that violates any of these requirements or
restrictions is subject to a civil forfeiture of not less than $25 nor more than $5,000,
unless the lender establishes that the violation was the result of an unintentional
good faith error and the lender had in place policies or procedures designed to achieve
compliance. The Department of Trade, Agriculture and Consumer Protection has
enforcement authority over violations.
The bill requires a consumer, upon commencing a lawsuit or within ten days
after entering into a consumer lawsuit lending transaction, to provide the court and
all parties to the lawsuit with a copy of the consumer lawsuit lending transaction
agreement and any documents the consumer provided to the lender in connection
with the agreement.
Statutes of limitation
Under current law, the statute of limitations for an action for injury to character
is six years. Under the bill, the statute of limitations is shortened to three years.
Under current law, the statute of limitations for an action for injury resulting
from improvements to real property is ten years. Under the bill, the statute of
limitations is shortened to six years.
Under current law, the statute of limitations for an action upon a liability
created by statute when a different limitation is not prescribed by law and for an
action for relief on the ground of fraud is six years. Under the bill, the statute of
limitations is shortened to three years.
Third-party tax audits
This bill prohibits the secretary of revenue from entering into an agreement to
allow a person to engage in an audit on a contingent fee basis of another person's
documents or records in order to administer the unclaimed property law or to

purchase information arising from the audit, except for information received by the
federal government.
Timely payment of claims
This bill changes the interest rate that an insurer must pay for overdue
insurance claims from 12 percent to the Federal Reserve Board's bank prime loan
rate on January 1 of the year in which the insurer is furnished written notice of the
fact of a covered loss plus 1 percent. Current law requires an insurer to promptly pay
every insurance claim and, generally, a claim is considered overdue if the claim is not
paid within 30 days after the insurer has written notice of the fact and amount of a
covered loss.
For further information see the state fiscal estimate, which will be printed as
an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
AB773,1 1Section 1. 100.56 of the statutes is created to read:
AB773,4,2 2100.56 Consumer lawsuit lending. (1) In this section:
AB773,4,43 (a) “Consumer" means an individual who is or may become a plaintiff or
4claimant or demandant in any dispute.
AB773,4,65 (b) “Consumer lawsuit lender" means any person that engages in consumer
6lawsuit lending.
AB773,4,77 (c) “Consumer lawsuit lending" means any of the following:
AB773,4,118 1. Providing money to any consumer, for the consumer to use for any purpose
9other than prosecuting the consumer's dispute, with repayment of the money
10conditioned on and derived from the consumer's proceeds of the dispute, regardless
11of whether these proceeds result from a judgment, settlement, or other source.
AB773,4,1412 2. Purchasing from any consumer a contingent right to receive a share of the
13potential proceeds of the consumer's dispute, regardless of whether these proceeds
14result from a judgment, settlement, or other source.
AB773,4,1515 (d) “Dispute" means any of the following:
AB773,5,1
11. Any civil action.
AB773,5,22 2. Any alternative dispute resolution proceeding.
AB773,5,43 3. Any administrative proceeding before any agency or instrumentality of the
4state.
AB773,5,6 5(2) (a) A consumer lawsuit lender may charge or contract for interest in a
6consumer lawsuit lending transaction at a rate not exceeding 18 percent per year.
AB773,5,107 (b) A consumer lawsuit lending transaction may be prepaid by the consumer
8at any time in whole or in part. Upon prepayment of the consumer lawsuit lending
9transaction in full by cash, renewal, or refinancing, the consumer is entitled to a
10refund of unearned interest charged, which shall be determined as follows:
AB773,5,1811 1. On a consumer lawsuit lending transaction that is repayable in substantially
12equal, successive installments at approximately equal intervals of time and the face
13amount of which includes predetermined interest charges, the amount of the refund
14shall be as great a proportion of the total interest charged as the sum of the balances
15scheduled to be outstanding during the full installment periods commencing with
16the installment date nearest the date of prepayment bears to the sum of the balances
17scheduled to be outstanding for all installment periods of the consumer lawsuit
18lending transaction.
AB773,5,2319 2. On any consumer lawsuit lending transaction other than one under subd.
201., the amount of the refund shall not be less than the difference between the interest
21charged and interest, at the rate contracted for, computed upon the unpaid principal
22balances of the consumer lawsuit lending transaction from time to time outstanding
23prior to prepayment in full.
AB773,5,25 24(3) (a) The term of a consumer lawsuit lending transaction may not exceed 36
25months.
AB773,6,3
1(b) The maximum total annual fee charged by a consumer lawsuit lender in a
2consumer lawsuit lending transaction, including any underwriting fee, organization
3fee, or other fee or charge, may not exceed $360 per year.
AB773,6,6 4(4) (a) A consumer lawsuit lender may not enter into a consumer lawsuit
5lending transaction unless there is a written agreement between the consumer
6lawsuit lender and the consumer that includes all of the following:
AB773,6,87 1. The rate of interest agreed upon in terms either of simple interest computed
8on the declining principal balance or of the actual interest cost in money.
AB773,6,119 2. A statement that the consumer lawsuit lending transaction may be prepaid
10in full or in part and that, if the consumer lawsuit lending transaction is prepaid in
11full, the consumer may receive a refund of interest charged.
AB773,6,1612 3. On the front page of the agreement, a disclosure of the amount of money to
13be provided to the consumer and the total amount of money to be assigned by the
14consumer to the consumer lawsuit lender, described in 6-month intervals for a total
15period of 36 months, along with an itemization of all one-time fees to be charged to
16the consumer.
AB773,6,2117 4. A provision that the consumer may cancel the agreement, without penalty
18or further obligation, within 5 business days after entering into the consumer
19lawsuit lending transaction if, during this period, the consumer returns to the
20consumer lawsuit lender either the lender's unnegotiated check or all money
21provided to the consumer as well as notice of cancellation.
AB773,6,2522 5. A provision that the consumer lawsuit lender has no right to, and will not,
23make any decisions with respect to the conduct of the dispute or any settlement or
24resolution of the dispute and that those decisions remain solely with the consumer
25and the consumer's attorney.
AB773,7,3
16. A provision that the consumer lawsuit lender has no right to participate in
2the prosecution of the dispute or to obtain documents or evidence connected with the
3dispute.
AB773,7,84 7. A provision that the consumer lawsuit lender accepts only an assignment of
5an amount of the potential proceeds from the dispute and does not accept an
6assignment of the consumer's legal claim. This provision shall also specify that the
7consumer lawsuit lender has no right to pursue the consumer's legal claim on behalf
8of or in lieu of the consumer.
AB773,7,169 8. A provision that the consumer lawsuit lender may be paid only from the
10consumer's proceeds of the dispute. This provision shall also specify that the
11consumer does not owe the consumer lawsuit lender anything if there is no recovery
12by the consumer in the dispute unless the consumer violates the terms of the
13agreement. This provision shall also specify that, if there are insufficient proceeds
14to pay the consumer lawsuit lender in full, the consumer lawsuit lender may be paid
15only to the extent that there are available proceeds from the dispute, unless the
16consumer violates the terms of the agreement.
AB773,7,1917 9. A provision that, if the consumer is represented by an attorney, any proceeds
18from the dispute paid to the consumer lawsuit lender may be paid only from the trust
19account of the consumer's attorney.
AB773,7,2220 (b) Each provision or disclosure required under this subsection shall be in
21boldface type and of a type size no smaller than 12-point, except that the provision
22under par. (a) 8. shall be of a type size no smaller than 15-point.
AB773,7,25 23(5) (a) In this subsection, “health care provider" has the meaning given in s.
24146.81 (1), but also includes any individual licensed or certified in another state for
25the same or equivalent profession.
AB773,8,4
1(b) A consumer lawsuit lender may not pay or offer to pay commissions or
2referral fees to any attorney or employee of a law firm, or to any health care provider
3or employee of a health care provider, for referring a consumer to the consumer
4lawsuit lender.
AB773,8,7 5(6) (a) Except as provided in par. (b), any consumer lawsuit lender that violates
6this section is subject to a forfeiture of not less than $25 nor more than $5,000 for each
7violation.
AB773,8,118 (b) It is a defense to a violation of this section if the consumer lawsuit lender
9establishes that the violation was the result of an unintentional good faith error and,
10at the time of the violation, the consumer lawsuit lender had in place policies or
11procedures designed to achieve compliance with this section.
AB773,2 12Section 2. 138.04 of the statutes is amended to read:
AB773,8,18 13138.04 Legal rate. The rate of interest upon the loan or forbearance of any
14money, goods, or things in action shall be $5 upon the $100 for one year and according
15to that rate for a greater or less sum or for a longer or a shorter time; but parties may
16contract for the payment and receipt of a rate of interest not exceeding the rate
17allowed in ss. 100.56 (2) (a), 138.041 to 138.056, 138.09 to 138.14, 218.0101 to
18218.0163, or 422.201, in which case such rate shall be clearly expressed in writing.
AB773,3 19Section 3. 177.30 (6) of the statutes is created to read:
AB773,8,2420 177.30 (6) The administrator may not enter into a contract or other agreement
21to allow any person to engage in an audit on a contingent fee basis of another person's
22documents or records as part of an effort to administer this chapter or to purchase
23information or documents arising from the audit, except that this subsection does not
24apply to information received from the federal government.
AB773,4 25Section 4. 218.0125 (7) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB773,9,14
1218.0125 (7) A claim made by a franchised motor vehicle dealer for
2compensation under this section shall be either approved or disapproved within 30
3days after the claim is submitted to the manufacturer, importer or distributor in the
4manner and on the forms the manufacturer, importer or distributor reasonably
5prescribes. An approved claim shall be paid within 30 days after its approval. If a
6claim is not specifically disapproved in writing or by electronic transmission within
730 days after the date on which the manufacturer, importer or distributor receives
8it, the claim shall be considered to be approved and payment shall follow within 30
9days. A manufacturer, importer or distributor retains the right to audit claims for
10a period of one year after the date on which the claim is paid and to charge back any
11amounts paid on claims that are false or unsubstantiated. If there is evidence of
12fraud, this subsection does not limit the right of the manufacturer to audit for longer
13periods and charge back for any fraudulent claim, subject to the limitations period
14under s. 893.93 (1) (1m) (b).
AB773,5 15Section 5. 218.0126 of the statutes is amended to read:
AB773,9,25 16218.0126 Promotional allowances. A claim made by a franchised motor
17vehicle dealer for promotional allowances or other incentive payments shall be either
18approved or disapproved within 30 days after the claim is submitted to the
19manufacturer, importer or distributor in the manner and on the forms the
20manufacturer, importer or distributor reasonably prescribes. An approved claim
21shall be paid within 30 days after its approval. If a claim is not specifically
22disapproved in writing or by electronic transmission within 30 days after the date
23on which the manufacturer, importer or distributor receives it, the claim shall be
24considered to be approved and payment shall follow within 30 days after approval.
25A manufacturer, importer or distributor retains the right to audit a claim for a period

1of 2 years after the date on which the claim is paid and to charge back any amounts
2paid on claims that are false or unsubstantiated. If there is evidence of fraud, this
3section does not limit the right of the manufacturer to audit for longer periods and
4charge back for any fraudulent claim, subject to the limitations period under s.
5893.93 (1) (1m) (b).
AB773,6 6Section 6. 426.110 (4m) of the statutes is created to read:
AB773,10,87 426.110 (4m) Actions commended under this section shall be conducted in
8accordance with the procedures set forth in s. 803.08.
AB773,7 9Section 7. 426.110 (5) to (13) of the statutes are repealed.
AB773,8 10Section 8. 426.110 (16) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB773,10,1311 426.110 (16) The administrator, whether or not a party to an action, shall bear
12the costs of notice except that the administrator may recover such costs from the
13defendant as provided in sub. (11).
AB773,9 14Section 9. 628.46 (1) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB773,11,715 628.46 (1) Unless otherwise provided by law, an insurer shall promptly pay
16every insurance claim. A claim shall be overdue if not paid within 30 days after the
17insurer is furnished written notice of the fact of a covered loss and of the amount of
18the loss. If such written notice is not furnished to the insurer as to the entire claim,
19any partial amount supported by written notice is overdue if not paid within 30 days
20after such written notice is furnished to the insurer. Any part or all of the remainder
21of the claim that is subsequently supported by written notice is overdue if not paid
22within 30 days after written notice is furnished to the insurer. Any payment shall
23not be deemed overdue when the insurer has reasonable proof to establish that the
24insurer is not responsible for the payment, notwithstanding that written notice has
25been furnished to the insurer. For the purpose of calculating the extent to which any

1claim is overdue, payment shall be treated as being made on the date a draft or other
2valid instrument which is equivalent to payment was placed in the U.S. mail in a
3properly addressed, postpaid envelope, or, if not so posted, on the date of delivery.
4All overdue payments shall bear simple interest at the annual bank prime loan rate
5of 12 percent per year as reported by the federal reserve board in federal reserve
6statistical release H. 15 in effect on January 1 of the year in which the insurer is
7furnished written notice of the fact of a covered loss, plus 1 percent
.
AB773,10 8Section 10. 801.01 (2) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB773,11,149 801.01 (2) Scope. Chapters 801 to 847 govern procedure and practice in circuit
10courts of this state in all civil actions and special proceedings whether cognizable as
11cases at law, in equity or of statutory origin except where different procedure is
12prescribed by statute or rule. Chapters 801 to 847 shall be construed , administered,
13and employed by the court and the parties
to secure the just, speedy and inexpensive
14determination of every action and proceeding.
AB773,11 15Section 11. 802.06 (1) of the statutes is renumbered 802.06 (1) (a).
AB773,12 16Section 12. 802.06 (1) (b) of the statutes is created to read:
AB773,11,2117 802.06 (1) (b) Upon the filing of a motion to dismiss under sub. (2) (a) 6., a
18motion for judgment on the pleadings under sub. (3), or a motion for more definite
19statement under sub. (5), all discovery and other proceedings shall be stayed during
20the pendency of the motion unless the court finds good cause upon the motion of any
21party that particularized discovery is necessary.
AB773,13 22Section 13. 803.08 (1) of the statutes, as affected by Supreme Court Order
2315-06, is renumbered 803.08 (1) (intro.) and amended to read:
AB773,12,624 803.08 (1) Class actions may be maintained action prerequisites. (intro.)
25When the question before the court is one of a common or general interest of many

1persons or when the parties are very numerous and it may be impracticable to bring
2them all before the court, one
One or more members of a class may sue or defend for
3the benefit of the whole, except that no claim may be maintained against the state
4or any other party under this section if the relief sought includes the refund of or
5damages associated with a tax administered by the state.
be sued as representative
6parties on behalf of all members only if all of the following apply:
AB773,14 7Section 14. 803.08 (1) (a) to (e) of the statutes are created to read:
AB773,12,98 803.08 (1) (a) The class is so numerous that joinder of all members is
9impracticable.
AB773,12,1010 (b) There are questions of law or fact common to the class.
AB773,12,1211 (c) The claims or defenses and type and scope of injury of the representative
12parties are typical of the claims or defenses and type and scope of injury of the class.
AB773,12,1413 (d) The representative parties will fairly and adequately protect the interests
14of the class.
AB773,12,1715 (e) The members of the class are objectively verifiable by reliable and feasible
16means without individual testimony from putative class members and without
17substantial administrative burden.
AB773,15 18Section 15. 803.08 (2) of the statutes, as created by Supreme Court Order
1915-06, is renumbered 803.08 (11).
AB773,16 20Section 16. 803.08 (3) to (10) of the statutes are created to read:
AB773,12,2221 803.08 (3) Types of class actions. A class action may be maintained if sub. (1)
22is satisfied and if the court finds that any of the following applies:
AB773,12,2423 (a) Prosecuting separate actions by or against individual class members would
24create a risk of one of the following:
AB773,13,3
11. Inconsistent or varying adjudications with respect to individual class
2members that would establish incompatible standards of conduct for the party
3opposing the class.
AB773,13,74 2. Adjudications with respect to individual class members that, as a practical
5matter, would be dispositive of the interests of the other members who were not a
6party to the individual adjudications or would substantially impair or impede
7another member's ability to protect his or her interests.
AB773,13,108 (b) The party opposing the class has acted or refused to act on grounds that
9apply generally to the class, so that final injunctive relief or corresponding
10declaratory relief is appropriate respecting the class as a whole.
AB773,13,1511 (c) The court finds that the questions of law or fact common to class members
12predominate over any questions affecting only individual members, and that a class
13action is superior to other available methods for fairly and efficiently adjudicating
14the controversy. In making this determination, the court shall consider all of the
15following factors:
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