The Third Branch
Judge Dee R. Dyer
Outagamie County Circuit Court
Judge Dee R. Dyer
As Outagamie County Circuit Court Judge Dee R. Dyer went through his desk drawers, he said he found many old notes that brought back memories of the various cases he had presided over during his 26 years on the bench. Dyer retired from the circuit court on July 31.
A graduate of UW-Stevens Point and the University of San Fernando Valley College of Law, Dyer worked as a district attorney and assistant district attorney for Winnebago County, and in private practice before his election to the circuit court in 1988.
Dyer said presiding over the Outagamie County Mental Health Court program he helped create has been incredibly rewarding. This July, the court celebrated its second anniversary. Created with a $250,000 federal grant, the program teams the circuit court with the Outagamie County Health and Human Services Department and the Fox Valley affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness to help non-violent offenders with mental illness in the probation system with mental health treatment, stable housing, and employment.
After his retirement, Dyer said he would miss the people he has worked with, as well as the opportunity to help people that his position provided. He credits the computerization of the court system, especially digital filing, with assisting him in his job.
Dyer said he plans to spend his retirement enjoying life. This will include traveling with his wife, spending time at his homes in Door and Outagamie counties, and spending time with his family.
Judge Michael D. Guolee
Milwaukee County Circuit Court
Judge Michael D. Guolee
At the time of his retirement on July 31, Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Michael D. Guolee was the longest serving active judge in the state of Wisconsin. Guolee left the bench with 38 years under his belt, and many memories. Though some of the cases he presided over were more high profile than others, he said he tried to not give priority to any individual ones.
"Every case is important," Guloee said. "As a judge, you're solving people's problems."
He said it was the opportunity to serve the people of the county, by moving their problems through the judicial system to reach a resolution that he is the most proud of.
"The law is like a lubricant to make society run," he said. "It helps move commerce along, it helps people move through personal problems, it allows people and society to move on. The law makes sure things happen."
Guolee received his law degree from Marquette University Law School. He has served as an adjunct professor at the law school, chief staff attorney for the Legal Aid Society's Public Defender Program, and an assistant district attorney in Milwaukee County. He was first appointed to the Branch 32 bench in 1976 by then-Gov. Patrick Lucey. He has served as a presiding judge for the Children's Division, chair of the Circuit Court Facilities Committee, and on the Circuit Court Security Committee.
Over the years, Guolee has seen the Milwaukee County courts and the state court system grow. When he was first appointed, he was one of 27 judges. Now there are 47 in the county. He said they now have more cases on their calendars, but is thankful for the computerization of the court system, which he said has simplified the work in getting orders out. He also credits the people who work in the court system, whose hard work, he said, makes the system work.
Guolee said he will miss the people in the courthouse, but he will also miss the building itself.
"I have walked these halls for 45 years," he said. "These marble floors have made an impression on me, though I haven't made an impression in them."
Guolee said he plans to keep busy in his retirement through volunteer work, mediation and reserve work.
"My wife said, 'You have so much energy, you need to get out of the house,'" Goulee said. And after spending a lifetime getting up in the morning and going to work, he admitted that shouldn't be hard for him to do.
Judge Mark A. Mangerson
Court of Appeals, District III
Judge Mark A. Mangerson
When he first ran for the circuit court bench in Oneida County in 1988, Judge Mark A. Mangerson promised to keep a fair courtroom where everyone who entered could count on their side being heard. Mangerson said he believes he kept that promise during his time in the trial court, keeping a well-run courtroom where the rules were adhered to. Mangerson retired from the bench July 31.
After receiving his bachelor's and law degree from Valparaiso University, Mangerson served as district attorney in Vilas and Oneida Counties and worked in private practice. He served on the Oneida County Circuit Court until his appointment to the District III Court of Appeals in 2011. He was elected to the appellate court the following year.
During his time on the trial court bench he said he noticed an increase of cases being settled out of court by alternative dispute resolution. While he believes this shift is good for the parties involved as it leads to quicker resolution, he said it does make things a little less exciting for the judiciary as judges miss out on hearing some of the more fun cases.
He said he was impressed by the high caliber of the court system from day one, both on the trial and appellate levels. He gives credit to the "highly capable and dedicated" staff in the court system for their hard work, especially in the past few years when faced with a decrease in funding.
"There's an expectation by the Legislature that courts can do more and more with less and less," Mangerson said. "This transfers the financial responsibilities to the counties, which they can't handle."
Mangerson has served on the Executive Committee of the Wisconsin Judicial Conference, Judicial Council, Chief Judges Committee on Child Support, Wisconsin Judicial College, and the Criminal Jury Instruction Committee. He is a former deputy chief judge for District Nine, and was the 2006 ABOTA Judge of the Year.
Mangerson plans to keep busy during his retirement. He's been catching up with some projects, including working on his deck and dock. He said he hopes to keep a hand in the law through reserve and arbitration work, but plans to relax and travel, mostly to visit his eight grandchildren in five different states.
"It has been a ride I never would have expected," Mangerson said of his time in the judiciary. "It has been a fun and fulfilling experience."