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More than 300 Wisconsin judges gather to learn, share ideas at conference

Madison, Wisconsin - November 13, 2015

More than 300 Wisconsin judges participated in a wide range of educational opportunities at the 51st annual meeting of the Wisconsin Judicial Conference held Nov. 11-13 in Middleton.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Patience Drake Roggensack opened the conference with her first “State of the Judiciary” address since she was elected as chief justice by her colleagues on the Supreme Court.

Roggensack acknowledged the significant contributions of justices and judges at all levels of the court system, including reserve judges who serve in the Court of Appeals and in the circuit courts. Former Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson received a standing ovation when Roggensack recognized her for her work as chief justice.

Roggensack told the group, which also included court staff and administrators, that she has learned much since becoming chief justice, and she is very optimistic about the future of the Wisconsin court system.

Roggensack said the court system must take advantage of new technology, such as electronic filing of court documents (eFiling), to ensure that courts meet the needs of the public efficiently. eFiling may soon become mandatory in certain case types statewide.

Roggensack also touched on court innovation and leadership in other areas, such as trauma-informed decision making and treatment courts, which address addictions faced by some individuals who become involved with the courts.

“Above all, the most compelling aspect of treatment courts is the lives they transform and save—the members of our communities who become productive, healthy citizens and actively engaged parents…” Roggensack said.

Roggensack also announced during her remarks that Director of State Courts J. Denis Moran, who began as interim director in June 2015, has agreed to terms that will extend his contract as director for a year.

Following the “State of the Judiciary,” Moran gave a brief update on activities in his office. Staff resources are already being assigned within Consolidated Court Automation Programs (CCAP) to help accommodate the anticipated increase in workload that will result from the expansion of eFiling, Moran said.

Noted author Lynne Cheney presented on the biography she wrote, James Madison: A Life Reconsidered (Viking, 2014). Cheney holds a Ph.D. in 19th century British literature from UW-Madison and served as chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities from 1986 to 1993. She also taught at UW-Madison.

Tom Sheehan
Court Information Officer
(608) 261-6640

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