Today, Governor Walker traveled to the Marathon County Courthouse to sign Assembly Bill 825, which has become known as “Sara’s Law.”
This bill was authored by Senator Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon) and Representative Pat Snyder (R-Schofield) in response to a local tragedy that took place last year where a party to a divorce action took the lives of four innocent individuals – Dianne Look, Karen Barclay, Detective Jason Weiland and Attorney Sara Quirt Sann.
“On March 22, 2017 our community suffered a heartbreaking tragedy that resulted in the loss of four innocent lives.” Sen. Petrowski said. “To see the bill signed today in the Sara Quirt-Sann Memorial Courtroom just over a year after the shooting was a very moving experience. By extending this heightened protection to family law practitioners, hopefully we can strongly deter future threats and violence against attorneys like Sara.”
Assembly Bill 825 makes it a Class H felony to intentionally cause, or threaten to cause, bodily harm to a guardian ad litem, corporation counsel, or attorney in relation to their professional role in proceedings affecting the family, including actions under the children’s and juvenile codes, restraining orders, guardianships and protective placements.
Wisconsin statutes already provide this protection to judges, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, witnesses as well as DOR and DSPS employees.
“The tragedy that happened last March is a situation that we never want to see repeated,” Rep. Snyder said. “This law will provide attorneys with extra protections that will help make the workplace safer for them in the future. I thank Governor Walker for traveling to Wausau to commemorate Sara by signing this legislation in the courtroom that has been dedicated to her.”