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The Third Branch

The Third Branch is a quarterly publication of the Director of State Courts Office, providing news of interest to the Wisconsin Court System. Comments and suggestions may be directed to Tom Sheehan.

Current issue - Winter 2014

Use the links below to navigate the current issue or view the PDF version PDF (printable version)

Featured stories

Spring judicial elections bring challengers
The April 1 ballots will include five contested races, including three incumbent judges who will face challengers. Three Court of Appeals and 36 circuit Three incumbent judge swill face challengers in the spring election; three Court of Appeals judges and 36 circuit court judges will run unopposed.

Judge Marshall B. Murray recognized for work with children and families in court
Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Marshall B. Murray has been named a recipient of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families Commissioner's Award for his work on improving the process for families and children involved in the court system.

Sibling judges in Wisconsin
Wisconsin's three pairs of sibling judges share their stories of growing up, entering the legal field, and influencing each others' decisions about legal careers.

Director's column: Creating awareness of court funding
Director of State Court A. John Voelker discusses raising awareness around the state about how the courts are funded and the impact of budget cuts.

WICWA established quality improvement project
The Children's Court Improvement Program has launched a new project to review Wisconsin counties' compliance with the Wisconsin Indian Child Welfare Act. The program will be conducted in partnership with the state Department of Children and Families.

Evidence-Based Decision Making summit brings criminal justice partners together
Local criminal justice system partners from around Wisconsin met to share information on integrating evidence-based decision making in their jurisdictions.

Wisconsin Connects
Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson traveled to Dubai to sit on a panel at the International Conference on Court Management, co-hosted by the International Association for Court Administration, the Dubai Courts, and the Dubai International Financial Centre Courts.

Three long-serving staff members leave the court system
Court Information Officer Amanda Todd, Tenth District Court Administrator Scott Johnson, and Wisconsin State Law Library Director of Reference and Outreach Services Connie Von Der Heide have accepted new opportunities outside the Wisconsin court system.

Former chief deputy clerk of court exemplifies dedication
District Seven Court Administrator Patrick Brummond writes that former Grant County Chief Deputy Clerk of Circuit Court Jan Udell exemplifies dedication shown by court staff.

Owens chosen as new district court administrator
Former Executive Assistant to the Chief Justice Theresa M. Owens makes transition to serve as new Second Judicial District court administrator.

State Law Library celebrates 12 years in current location
This year marks the 12th anniversary of the Wisconsin State Law Library's move to the Risser Justice Center. Along with the Milwaukee Legal Resource Center and the Dane Court Legal Resource Center, the State Law Library offers updated technology to provide resources to its users.

PPAC subcommittee releases progress report
The Effective Justice Strategies Subcommittee presented its report to PPAC on the progress of the EJS initiative.

TAD grants award to specialty courts
The state Department of Justice has named 12 counties and one tribe to receive grant money to help establish or support specialty treatment court programs.

Interpreter program receives grant
The State Justice Institute has awarded a grant to help asses the needs of the Court Interpreter Program and for new resources in some counties.

Two Milwaukee judges to serve as web course faculty
Chief Judge Jeffrey A. Kremers and Milwaukee Circuit Court Judge Marshall B. Murray are among the presenters in a new series of web courses offered by the American Judges Association.

Training sessions held for volunteers in pro bono clinics
Attorneys, paralegals and coordinators attend training sessions at the Dane County Courthouse to help provide some legal assistance for self-represented litigants.

Court staff and law enforcement attend court security conference
Current issues in court security, as well as recent high profile cases, were examined at a court security conference offered in Appleton.

Oral argument draws a crowd
Overflow space was made available for members of the public and press who came to the Capitol to hear argument in two cases challenging voter photo identification laws.

Outreach column offers insight on legal information vs. legal advice
As part of an ongoing public education effort, Barron County Clerk of Circuit Court Sharon Millermon offers guidelines on what constitutes legal information and legal advice.

In every issue:
New faces
People
Retirements