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Supreme Court selects chief judges

Madison, Wisconsin - April 8, 2008

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has selected Deputy Chief Judge Mary K. Wagner, Kenosha County Circuit Court, to serve as the new chief judge of the Second Judicial Administrative District. The Second District encompasses Kenosha, Racine and Walworth counties in southeastern Wisconsin. Wagner will take over chief judge duties from Chief Judge Gerald P. Ptacek, Racine County, who will have served the maximum of three two-year terms as chief judge.

The Supreme Court also re-appointed four other circuit court judges to continue serving as chief judges in their respective judicial administrative districts. The new terms run from Aug. 1, 2008 to July 31, 2010:

  • Chief Judge J. Mac Davis, Waukesha County, Third Judicial District (Waukesha, Jefferson, Ozaukee and Washington counties)
  • Chief Judge John R. Storck, Dodge County, Sixth Judicial District (Adams, Clark, Columbia, Dodge, Green Lake, Juneau, Marquette, Portage and Sauk counties)
  • Chief Judge Sue E. Bischel, Brown County, Eighth Judicial District (Brown, Door, Kewaunee, Marinette, Oconto, Outagamie and Waupaca counties)
  • Chief Judge Dorothy L. Bain, Marathon County, Ninth Judicial District (Florence, Forest, Iron, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Menominee, Oneida, Price, Shawano, Taylor and Vilas counties)

Wagner, who was first elected to the Kenosha County bench in 1991, has helped develop several court innovations during her tenure. Among them: the Family Integrated Court, which helps families with frequent court contact navigate the many agencies that can be involved in family court issues; the Kenosha County Community Justice Workgroup, which brings together a wide range of stakeholders in the justice system to address effective justice strategies; and the Juvenile Justice Report Card, a comprehensive tool to measure the success of holding juveniles accountable, promoting public safety and restoring victims of juvenile crime.

Chief judges are responsible for supervising judicial administrative business in each of the state’s ten judicial districts. 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. They manage the flow of cases, supervise personnel, develop budgets, and meet monthly as a committee to work on issues of statewide importance.

Chief judges in the other judicial administrative districts who will continue in their terms, which expire July 31, 2009:

  • Chief Judge Darryl W. Deets, Manitowoc County, Fourth Judicial District (Calumet, Fond du Lac, Manitowoc, Sheboygan and Winnebago counties)
  • Chief Judge C. William Foust, Dane County, Fifth District (Dane, Green, Lafayette and Rock counties)
  • Chief Judge William D. Dyke, Iowa County, Seventh District (Buffalo, Crawford, Grant, Iowa, Jackson, La Crosse, Monroe, Pepin, Pierce, Richland, Trempealeau and Vernon counties)
  • Chief Judge Kitty K. Brennan, Milwaukee County, First District (Milwaukee County)
  • Chief Judge Benjamin D. Proctor, Eau Claire County, Tenth District (Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Burnett, Chippewa, Douglas, Dunn, Eau Claire, Polk, Rusk, St. Croix, Sawyer and Washburn counties)

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