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The Third Branch

New chief judges take office

Chief Judge Mary K. Wagner Chief Judge James P. Daley
Chief Judge Mary K. Wagner

Chief Judge James P. Daley

Chief Judge James J. Duvall

Chief Judge James J. Duvall

Two new chief judges and a new 'chief of the chiefs' (chair of the Committee of Chief Judges) began their terms on August 1. he two new chief judges – from Rock County and Buffalo/Pepin counties – were appointed by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in June. The new 'chief of the chiefs', Chief Judge Mary K. Wagner, Kenosha County Circuit Court, was elected by fellow members of the Committee of Chief Judges.

Chief judges help to oversee administrative matters in the circuit courts. The Committee of Chief Judges consists of 10 chief circuit court judges, one from each of the state's 10 judicial administrative districts.

The new chief judges are:

James P. Daley, Rock County Circuit Court, who was appointed to lead the Fifth Judicial Administrative District, which encompasses Dane, Green Lafayette and Rock counties. Daley succeeds Chief Judge C. William Foust, Dane County Circuit Court, who served on the committee the maximum of three, two-year terms, including one year as its chair. Foust remains on the bench in Dane County.

Daley, who has served as presiding judge in Rock County since 1998, was appointed to the bench in 1989. He was elected in 1990 and re-elected in 1996, 2002 and 2008.

James J. Duvall, who serves in Buffalo/Pepin counties, was appointed as the new chief judge of the Seventh Judicial Administrative District. Duvall succeeds Chief Judge William D. Dyke, Iowa County Circuit Court, who has served the maximum three, two-year terms on the committee, including a year as chair.

Duvall was appointed to the bench in 2005, elected in 2006, and re-elected in 2012. Prior to this, he served as Buffalo County district attorney and also worked in private practice.

Working as a team with a deputy chief judge and a professional court administrator, chief judges manage the flow of cases, supervise personnel, develop budgets, and meet monthly as a committee to work on issues of statewide importance. With the exception of Milwaukee County (First Judicial Administrative District), where the chief judge is a full-time administrator, chief judges and their deputies maintain court calendars in addition to handling administrative matters.

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