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Supreme Court appoints chief judges

Madison, Wisconsin - April 3, 2007

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has selected circuit court judges from Dane, Iowa and Manitowoc counties to serve as the new chief judges for their respective judicial administrative districts. Judges from Milwaukee and Eau Claire counties were reappointed. Terms run from August 1, 2007 through July 31, 2009.

Chief Judges are responsible for supervising judicial administrative business in each of the state's ten judicial districts. They 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, where the chief judge is a full-time administrator, chief judges and their deputies maintain court calendars in addition to handling administrative matters.

Each district has a management team consisting of a chief judge, a deputy chief judge, and a district court administrator. Districts range in size from one county to 13 counties. A chief judge can serve up to three, two-year terms, which are staggered.

In the Fourth Judicial District, which encompasses Calumet, Fond du Lac, Manitowoc, Sheboygan and Winnebago counties, Deputy Chief Judge Darryl W. Deets, Manitowoc County, succeeds Chief Judge L. Edward Stengel, Sheboygan County.

Judge Deets, who has been deputy chief judge since August 2001, has served on the Supreme Court's Judicial Education Committee and on the planning committee for the 2005 Bench and Bar Conference at which he was a presenter.

In Manitowoc County, he led several initiatives, including setting up a CASA (court-appointed special advocates) program and a victim impact panel for repeat drunk drivers in Sheboygan, Manitowoc and Calumet counties. He also started a mentoring program and served as a mentor for youth in the juvenile justice system. Judge Deets was appointed to the bench in 1998 and has been re-elected since 1989.

Judge Stengel, who has served as chief judge since August 2001, is president of the Wisconsin Voluntary Trial Judges Association. He is a past deputy chief judge and has served on the Executive Committee of the Judicial Conference and on the Criminal Benchbook Committee. Judge Stengel was first elected in 1985 and will continue as a judge.

Judge Darryl W. Deets

In the Fifth Judicial District, which encompasses Dane, Green, Lafayette and Rock counties, Judge C. William Foust, Dane County, succeeds Chief Judge Michael N. Nowakowski, Dane County.

Judge Foust is a former Dane County District Attorney, who was appointed as a judge in 1997 and elected in 1998. He served as presiding judge of the Dane County criminal division from 2001 to 2005 and has headed the Criminal Benchbook Committee since 2002.

Foust is a member of the Dane County Criminal Justice Group and has served on the Coordinated Community Response Task Force, first as a district attorney, and then as a judge, since 1989.

Judge Nowakowski became chief judge in 2001 and was selected as chair of the Committee of Chief Judges in August 2006. During his administrative tenure, he has served in a variety of key posts, including as chair and secretary of the Judicial Conference. He also has served on the Civil Benchbook Committee and the Supreme Court's Planning and Policy Advisory Committee's Planning Subcommittee.

Most recently, Judge Nowakowski chaired the committee that developed the new weighted-caseload study, and he helped oversee completion of the new Dane County Courthouse. Judge Nowakowski helped found the Dane County Criminal Justice Group, on which he still serves, in 2002. He was first elected in 1985 and will continue serving on the bench.

Judge C. William Foust

In the Seventh Judicial District, which encompasses Buffalo, Crawford, Grant, Iowa, Jackson, La Crosse, Monroe, Pepin, Pierce, Richland, Trempealeau and Vernon counties, Judge William D. Dyke, Iowa County, succeeds Chief Judge Michael Rosborough.

As a circuit court judge in Iowa County, Judge Dyke has overseen a variety of innovative outreach and diversion programs, including a successful teen court. He's a member of the Supreme Court's Planning and Policy Committee's Subcommittee on Effective Justice Strategies. Under his leadership, Iowa County became one of five counties in the state participating in Assess, Inform and Measure (AIM) to help assess the needs and risks of criminal offenders. Judge Dyke was appointed in 1997 and has been re-elected since 1998.

During his 12 years in judicial administration - six years each as chief judge and deputy chief judge -- Judge Rosborough has become known for his collaborative and supportive management style. His district-wide training programs for judges on topics such as domestic violence, child abuse and neglect became models for training programs statewide. Judge Rosborough has headed the Policy and Planning Advisory Committee's Court Finance Committee and the Chief Judges Juror Selection and Treatment Subcommittee. Judge Rosborough was appointed in 1986 and has been re-elected since 1987.

Judge William D. Dyke

Chief judges re-appointed to their posts include First District Chief Judge Kitty K. Brennan, Milwaukee County, and Tenth District Chief Judge Benjamin D. Proctor, Eau Claire. The First District encompasses Milwaukee County; the Tenth Judicial District encompasses Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Burnett, Chippewa, Douglas, Dunn, Eau Claire, Polk, Rusk, St. Croix, Sawyer and Washburn counties.

Other Chief Judges include:

  • District 2, Judge Gerald Ptacek, Racine County (District 2 encompasses Racine, Kenosha and Walworth counties)
  • District 3, Judge J. Mac Davis, Waukesha County (District 3 encompasses Jefferson, Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha counties)
  • District 6, Judge John Storck, Dodge County (District 6 encompasses Adams, Clark, Columbia, Dodge, Green Lake, Juneau, Marquette, Portage, Sauk, Waushara and Wood counties)
  • District 8, Judge Sue Bischel, Brown County (District 8 encompasses Brown, Door, Kewaunee, Marinette, Oconto, Outagamie and Waupaca counties)
  • District 9, Judge Dorothy Bain, Marathon County (District 9 encompasses Florence, Forest, Iron, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Menominee, Oneida, Price, Shawano, Taylor and Vilas counties)
For more information contact:
Tom Sheehan
Court Information Officer
(608) 261-6640

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