Committee hears proposal for "Sara's Law" in Madison - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Committee hears proposal for "Sara's Law" in Madison

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MADISON, Wis. (WAOW) -

The story of a Marathon County shooting victim was told in Madison Tuesday, as loved ones, lawyers and legislators presented a new proposal.

It's called "Sara's Law," and it was introduced by Rep. Pat Snyder (R-Schofield) and Sen. Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon). The bill came to fruition following the tragedy on March 22, when Sara Quirt-Sann was killed by rampage shooter Nengmy Vang. She was his estranged wife's divorce attorney. 

At an emotional hearing at the Capitol, her coworkers and husband tried to convince an Assembly Committee to create harsher punishments for anyone who threatens lawyers who deal with emotional cases. The legislation would make that action a Class H Felony. 

"It was an emotional testimony as our firm went through a lot on March 22," said Jessica Tlusty, a partner at Tlusty, Kennedy and Dirks Law Offices in Schofield, where Quirt-Sann ran her own practice.

In her testimony, Tlustly said threats are common in family law. 

"Parents often don't realize we're just doing our job," she said. "They feel attacked, they get angry, they get emotional, and look to the lawyer or the judge as the cause of their problems."

On March 22, that anger turned into action.

"This became a harsh reality for me personally when my coworker and friend Sara Quirt Sann was murdered in our office building,"Tlusty said. 

She, along with Quirt-Sann's husband Scott, hope "Sara's Law" can prevent this from happening to anyone else.

"It doesn't bring Sara back," Scott said. "But, you know, if it can prevent something like this happening again, and maybe going forward to other states to help other attorneys, that would be wonderful."

Committee members will meet to discuss the bill later this week and determine if they are going to send it to the Assembly floor. 

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