State Supreme Court Rules (chapters 32, 33 and 75 ) require Wisconsin judges to receive continuing education. Justices of the Supreme Court, judges of the Court of Appeals, and circuit court judges must earn 60 credits of approved judicial education during each six-year period they are on the bench. Reserve judges and municipal judges must meet similar continuing judicial education requirements.
The Office of Judicial Education, located in the Director of State Courts Office, plans and conducts educational seminars and training activities for Wisconsin judges, assesses the value of courses offered elsewhere, and tracks credits earned by judges.
The Judicial College
Held annually, the Wisconsin Judicial College focuses on the tools and techniques of judging. It is designed as an introduction to the bench for newly elected or appointed judges and a refresher for sitting judges, each of whom is required to attend the Judicial College at least once every period of six years. Sessions are interactive. Experienced judges share their solutions to the new and recurring problems that arise in litigation and their insights on judicial decision-making. Newer judges, in turn, share their perspectives from the other side of the bench.
The Judicial Conference
Held annually, usually in the fall, the Judicial Conference is attended by almost 300 Wisconsin judges. The chief justice delivers the annual State of the Judiciary Address and the director of state courts gives the State of the Director's Office address at this conference. Judges also attend educational presentations, hold their annual business meeting, and participate in workshops on timely topics affecting the judiciary and the judicial process.
Programs for municipal courts
Each new municipal judge is required to attend the Municipal Judge Orientation and Institute held in May immediately following their appointment or election.Sitting municipal judges must earn at least four credits of approved continuing education per year (May 1 to April 30). In addition to the Orientation and Institute Seminar, Trial, Traffic and Special Topic Seminars are held each year. A day and a half Municipal Court Clerks' Seminar is also held. Updates about municipal judge education activities, new laws and other news concerning the municipal court community are published in the Muni View newsletter.
New Laws and New Cases
For your convenience, the most current edition of New Laws and New Cases is provided. The Office of Judicial Education wishes to thank the committee members who research, write and present this information at seminars: Hon. John D. Hyland, village of Waunakee, Hon. Daniel P. Koval, city of Madison, and Commissioner Todd Meurer of Dane County Circuit Court.