Court of Appeals
District IV (1985-2000), Chief Judge (1989-1998)
William Eich was appointed to the District IV Court of Appeals by Governor Anthony Earl in 1985 after serving for more than a decade as a circuit court judge in Madison. He was elected in 1987 and re-elected in 1993 and 1999. He served as the Court’s chief judge for nine years, retiring in 2000.
Born in Park Ridge, Illinois, Eich earned a bachelor's degree from Beloit College in 1960 and a law degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1963. In 1963-64 he served as law clerk to a Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice, and after that practiced law in Madison for a year, joining the Wisconsin Department of Justice in 1965 as an assistant, and then deputy, attorney general. In 1971, he was appointed chairman of the Wisconsin Public Service Commission by then-Governor Patrick J. Lucey. In 1975, Lucey appointed him to the Dane County Circuit Court, where he served until joining the court of appeals ten years later.
Since retiring from the court, Judge Eich has been active as a commercial and labor arbitrator, serving on commercial and complex litigation panels of the American Arbitration Association. He is also on the labor arbitration panel of the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission, serves as a reserve circuit court judge and a Supreme Court referee in lawyer disciplinary cases, and regularly consults with lawyers and law firms on briefing, oral argument and other areas of appellate practice. He is the legal advisor to the Wisconsin State Journal /Wisconsin Public Television "We the People" series and recently completed a term as member and chair of the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board
Eich has written for law reviews and legal periodicals on a variety of law- and government-related topics over the years, and since 2007 has been listed in the national publication Best Lawyers in America in the area of alternative dispute resolution.
He is an avid, if mediocre, tennis player, and he and his wife, Lynne, the former director of the Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission, enjoy reading, walking, and exploring the arts and the countryside here and abroad. They have four grown daughters.