Fun at Campaign Open House
I have no "program". The last thing you want from that person on the bench is an agenda. The first duty of a judge is to faithfully apply the law as it is handed to him by the State Legislature and the Supreme Court. As Chief Justice Roberts said "A judge should be like an umpire, calling balls and strikes".
There are important issues in this campaign, but those issues concern the experience and ability of the candidates.
In a recent survey of attorneys, 85% said that only those with substantial courtroom experience should be chosen as judges. (Curran, "Choosing Judges with Courtroom Experience", 2016 Wisconsin Lawyer). The reason is that in Wisconsin we call on trial judges to decide issues at the time they come up. It helps to have "been there, done that".
I have 35 years of experience as a trial attorney and ten years as a trial court judge. I've served this county as an Assistant District Attorney, Circuit Court Commissioner, and as Chair of the Supreme Court Ethics Committee. I have handled roughly 170 jury trials and countless contested pretrial, discovery, and administrative hearings. I teach evidence and procedure to other trial attorneys and judges. I believe this level of experience would be valuable for any judge to have attained.
A judge should be grounded in the community he or she seeks to serve. I have lived in Racine Couty all my life. I was born here, educated here, and returned here after law school. I went on to establish my legal practice and raise my daughters here. It's where I have done my professional and personal volunteering. To know the values of your community through first hand experience is unmatchable.
A judge should have proven legal ability which merits the confidence of the public and the legal community. I received my legal training at Harvard Law School and learned to try cases as a prosecutor under then District Attorney Dennis Barry, going on to practice with and against the trial bar of Racine. I am proud to have earned a perfect 5.0 rating in legal ability and ethics from the Martindale Hubbell peer ratings agency. More than any of that, I am proud to have earned a reputation as a strong legal scholar, hard working lawyer, and a fair man among my colleagues and neighbors.