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 Amanda Todd.
Current issue - Summer 2013
Use the links below to navigate the current issue or view the PDF version (printable version)
Celebrating a new term
Elected to a second 10-year term on the Wisconsin Supreme Court in April, Justice Patience Drake Roggensack celebrates with fellow justices and judges, lawyers, lawmakers, law enforcement officers, family and friends at a ceremony in the state Capitol.
Milwaukee courts continue to recover from fire
Two months after an electrical fire shut down the Milwaukee County Courthouse and Safety Building, recovery efforts continue.
Director's column: Research, social appetite for change are converging
Why the time is right for change within the criminal justice system.
DCAs depart in Districts Two and Eight
District Court Administrators Andrew Graubard and John Powell reflect on their experiences as they leave Wisconsin for new opportunities.
New chief judges take office
The Committee of Chief Judges welcomes two new members, Judges James P. Daley from Rock County and James J. Duvall from Buffalo/Pepin. Their new leader – the 'Chief of the Chiefs' – is Judge Mary K. Wagner of Kenosha.
Wisconsin to host Midwest justices
For the first time ever, Wisconsin has been selected to host a Midwest conference that will bring Supreme Court justices and court administrators from 12 states to Madison in October.
Milwaukee Children's Court visits NCJFCJ Des Moines Model Court
Members of the Milwaukee Model Court Team and staff from the Children's Court Improvement Project (CCIP) travel to Des Moines to learn about the successes and challenges that jurisdiction has encountered as its Model Court has evolved over the past 13 years.
New PPAC Critical Issues Survey now live
Now underway: the survey that will help to shape the court system's planning priorities for 2014-16. Those who have not weighed in are encouraged to do so.
Who has served longest?
This question vexed a few judges at the Wisconsin Judicial College, so we've come up with a definitive answer. Meet the 10 current longest-serving judges, the 12 newest judges, and the others who fall somewhere in between.
Motivational interviewing comes to the courtroom
A first-time-ever seminar on Motivational Interviewing (MI) is available to judges this fall. The practice uses open-ended questions and reflective listening to help an individual develop insights into his or her situation – and it's showing signs of helping to improve compliance with court orders and reducing recidivism.
Legislature to return for busy fall floor period
With the state budget wrapped up, the Legislature returned Sept. 17 for a busy fall floor period. The Legislature will be considering individual bills ranging from economic development to transportation to municipal court fees to drunk driving.
Guest column: The difference between law and justice
Court of Appeals Judge Gary E. Sherman ponders the dilemma judges face when the business of law is not necessarily the business of ensuring justice.
Abrahamson, UW professors, Dane County judges teach in Shanghai
Leadership: Dunn County Diversion Court celebrates five years
Started in 2008 as a problem-solving court to address alcohol and drug abuse, mental health issues and other problems that contribute to criminal behavior, the DCDC is celebrating its five-year milestone by collecting data to compare current participant outcomes with outcomes previously achieved.
Sheboygan bench, bar reach out to public at local festival
The Sheboygan County bench and bar hosts its second annual outreach event, setting up shop at a popular festival and meeting with more than 500 people to answer questions about the courts and court-related services.
Unique sentencing means interstate videoconference
In what might be a first for Wisconsin, Judge John P. Hoffmann moves court to a technical school classroom to make use of videoconferencing to sentence a defendant sitting in a different technical school classroom several states away.
Circuit courts across the state celebrated jurors throughout the month of September.