Court of Appeals
Charles Benjamin Schudson
District I (1992-2004)
Charles B. Schudson was born in Milwaukee in 1950. He graduated from Dartmouth College (Phi Beta Kappa) where he was a Senior Fellow, and from the University of Wisconsin Law School (Law Review). His honors include a Fulbright Fellowship selection, the Wisconsin Committee for Prevention of Child Abuse's first Certificate of Special Achievement, Career Youth Development's “Wisconsin Judge of the Year” Award, the 1998 National Human Rights Leadership Award, the 2000 Foundation for Improvement of Justice Award, and the 2004 National Exchange Club Book of Golden Deeds Award.
From 1975 to 1982, Schudson was a state and federal prosecutor. He developed the nation's first battered women's program in a prosecutor's office, leading to a guest appearance on The McNeil-Lehrer Report, and to the presentation of a paper to the U. S. Commission on Civil Rights: "The Criminal Justice System as Family: Trying the Impossible for Battered Women." He directed precedent-setting prosecutions of nursing home homicide and patient abuse, and Medicaid fraud, for which he received the U. S. Justice Department's Award for Superior Performance.
In 1982, Schudson was appointed to the circuit court by Governor Lee Sherman Dreyfus, elected in 1983 and re-elected in 1989. For ten years, he served in the juvenile and criminal courts of Milwaukee County. He developed techniques to assist child victims and witnesses, and co-authored On Trial: America's Courts and Their Treatment of Sexually Abused Children (Beacon Press: 1989; 2d ed., 1991). On Trial was featured on Oprah, and presented to each Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court. Chicago Tribune Pulitzer Prize winning journalist John Crewdson called Judge Schudson "one of the few judges around the country at the forefront of the effort to ease the burden of child witnesses ... knowledgeable, forthright, courageous ... a decade ahead of his time."
A national leader in judicial education, Judge Schudson keynoted conferences and presented seminars throughout the nation, and in Canada, Iceland, Israel, and Russia. He testified before congressional committees on battered women, and on the impact of unemployment on children and families. In 1990, he was the lead witness on child sexual abuse before the U. S. Senate Judiciary Committee.
In 1992, Judge Schudson was elected to the Court of Appeals; he was re-elected in 1998. In addition to hundreds of published appellate opinions, he authored many published works, primarily in the field of child sexual abuse. Throughout his judicial career, he served on the faculties of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, and the National Judicial College. Since 1999, he has been on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin Law School, where he teaches Trial Advocacy.
Judge Schudson is married to Karen Schudson, a marriage and family therapist, executive coach and consultant. They have two sons: Benjamin, a graduate of Vassar College and the Dell' Arte International School of Physical Theatre, and a rabbinical student; and Joel, a graduate of Dartmouth College, and a music composer and performer.