Elizabeth K. Miles

Location: Milwaukee
T: 414.225.1491
F: 414.278.3691
111 E. Kilbourn Avenue, Suite 1400
Milwaukee, WI 53202-6613

Publications: Attorney Elizabeth K. Miles

  • Knock, Knock…Tips for Managing a Regulatory Inspection

    February 16, 2017

    Many state and federal regulatory agencies, including OSHA, EPA, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, may inspect a business with or without advance notice to ensure compliance with applicable rules and regulations. Here are a few tips to help ensure that your inspections go smoothly. Before an inspection. As the saying goes, to be prepared is half the victory. Plan for an inspection before it occurs: conduct internal audits of compliance keep relevant documents organized e.g. permits, sampling data, compliance documents keep attorney-created documents separate, marked “privileged” create an inspection plan designate a facility contact and his/her backup identify where relevant records are located identify where...

  • Looking Ahead: Restricting Mandatory Arbitration Clauses

    April 28, 2016

    Does your business include mandatory arbitration clauses in its contracts? Such clauses are increasingly common, but restrictions may be imminent. One source of restrictions may be through rulemaking by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Congress, through the Dodd-Frank Act, required the CFPB to study the use of mandatory arbitration clauses in consumer contracts and to issue regulations based on its study. In October 2015, the CFPB announced that it is considering proposing rules that ban arbitration clauses that prohibit consumers from participating in class action lawsuits for products and services the CFPB oversees. These products and services include credit cards,...

  • Time-of-Sale Requirements Now Prohibited for Sellers, Buyers, and to Take Occupancy

    April 27, 2016

    The Wisconsin Legislature recently doubled down on its prohibition of municipal time-of-sale requirements. As of July 14, 2015, municipalities could no longer require an owner to make certain improvements and show code compliance before selling a property. As of March 2, 2016, those prohibitions also apply to buyers of real property and to take occupancy of residential property. Under Wis. Stat. § 706.22, created by budget bill 2015 Wisconsin Act 55, a municipality may not restrict an owner’s ability to sell, transfer, or refinance property by requiring the following actions with respect to the property before, at, or immediately after...

  • Construction Projects Gone Wild: Evaluate Potential for Misrepresentation Claims in Advance

    September 15, 2014

    When making a pitch to perform work on a construction project, architects, engineers, and contractors often tout their experience and their ability to bring a project within budget. When a project goes bad, it may be tempting for an owner to characterize the contractor’s, architect’s, or engineer’s statements about experience, capabilities, or projected cost of the project as misrepresentations. However, an owner claiming misrepresentation – and the party against whom the claim is made – should carefully consider whether the contract will allow such a claim. The first inquiry to consider is whether there has been a representation at all. To...

  • Buyers, Owners and Lenders Take Note: HUD Adopts New Standards for Phase I Environmental Site Assessments

    April 23, 2014

    On April 16, 2014, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published notice that it has adopted an updated standard for conducting the Phase I environmental site assessments required by the Office of Housing and Federal Housing Administration’s guidance documents. Those planning to buy or refinance property after May 16, 2014 or serve as a lender to real estate purchasers for property subject to HUD’s guidelines should be aware of the new requirement, outlined below. HUD Requires a Phase I Assessment: HUD requires all property proposed for use in its programs be free of hazardous materials, contamination, toxic chemicals and gasses,...

  • EPA Recommends Schools Replace PCB-Containing Fluorescent Fixtures

    January 6, 2011

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently set its sights on older fluorescent lighting fixtures as part of its effort to address exposure to PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) in schools. If a school was built before 1979 or has not had a complete lighting retrofit since 1979, the EPA recommends replacing all PCB-containing fluorescent light ballasts. When a ballast breaks, PCBs leak and contribute to increased levels of the chemical in the air students breath. PCBs are toxic chemicals that can affect the immune system, nervous system and endocrine system, and they are potentially cancer causing. PCBs were widely used in electrical...

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