Slamka v. Gen. Heating & Air Conditioning

Decision Date04 November 2022
Docket Number2020AP128
Citation2022 WI 68
PartiesRobert L. Slamka, Petitioner-Appellant-Petitioner, v. General Heating and Air Conditioning Inc. and Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission, Respondents-Respondents.
CourtWisconsin Supreme Court

ORAL ARGUMENT: September 9, 2022

Circuit Court Dane County Mario White Judge L.C. No 2019CV1704

REVIEW OF DECISION OF THE COURT OF APPEALS Reported at 397 Wis.2d 959 N.W.2d 89 (2021 - unpublished)

For the petitioner-appellant-petitioner, there were briefs filed by Walter W. Stern III and Walter W. Stern & Associates Kenosha. There was an oral argument by Walter W. Stern III.

For respondent-respondent General Heating and Air Conditioning Inc., there was a brief filed by Daniel A. Kaplan, Scott T. Allen, and Foley & Lardner LLP, Madison. There was an oral argument by Daniel A. Kaplan.

For respondent-respondent Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission, there was a brief filed by Steven C. Kilpatrick, assistant attorney general, with whom on the brief was Joshua L. Kaul, attorney general. There was an oral argument by Steven C. Kilpatrick, assistant attorney general.

ANN WALSH BRADLEY, J., filed a concurring opinion, in which DALLET, J., joined.


¶1 Robert Slamka petitioned for review of a decision of the court of appeals, Slamka v. General Heating &Air Conditioning Inc., No. 2020AP128, unpublished slip op. (Wis. Ct. App. Mar. 11, 2021) (per curiam), that affirmed an order of the circuit court affirming the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission's decision to dismiss Slamka's complaint against General Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc. under Wis.Stat. § 111.04(3)(a) (2017-18). After reviewing the record and the briefs, and after hearing oral arguments, we conclude that this matter should be dismissed as improvidently granted. 3

The review of the decision of the court of appeals is dismissed as improvidently granted.

¶2 ANN WALSH BRADLEY, J. (concurring). I write separately because I believe that this court should explain to the litigants and the public the reason for its dismissal. The litigants, after all, have expended substantial effort and resources arguing the case before us.

¶3 We granted review in order to address what we then thought was an issue that would result in the development of the law. And now, without explanation, the court disposes of the case in a terse per curiam decision, dismissing the case as improvidently granted. An examination of such dismissals in recent years reveals a largely inconsistent practice with regard to whether this court provides any explanation for its decision.[1]

¶4 The result of the court's inconsistent practice is a lack of guidance for potential litigants and the public, as well as an effective negation of the numerous hours of work and sums of money spent seeking a decision on the merits. Because there is a strong public policy rationale behind providing reasons for a dismissal as improvidently granted, the court's general practice should be to provide an explanation for such a dismissal, and as such it should have provided an explanation in this case.

¶5 After reviewing the court of appeals opinion, together with the record and the briefs, and after hearing oral arguments, I agree with the per curiam that this review should be deemed improvidently granted because the issue for which we took this case will not lead to any further development of the law. See Wis.Stat. § (Rule) 809.62(1r) (2019-20). Thus, further review by this court and publication of an opinion would not serve any meaningful purpose.

¶6 Accordingly, I respectfully concur.

¶7 I am authorized to state that Justice REBECCA FRANK DALLET joins this concurrence. ---------

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