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The Third Branch

Awards

Judge Christenson recognized for Drug Court work

Judge Karen E. Christenson
Judge Karen E. Christenson

Retired Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Karen E. Christenson was honored by the State Bar of Wisconsin as a Legal Innovator for 2014. Christenson was recognized for her work in establishing the Milwaukee County Family Drug Treatment Court in 2011. She also served as the treatment court's first presiding judge. The treatment court includes a team of legal professionals, drug treatment counselors, service coordinators, and child welfare professionals to help parents with substance abuse problems in the judicial system to end the drug abuse cycle and be reunited with their children when possible.

Christenson retired from the Milwaukee County Circuit Court in August after 16 years on the bench. She has served on the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and the Juvenile Jury Instruction Committee, and is a former presiding judge of the juvenile division.

Christenson, along with the other four honorees, were featured in the cover story of November's Wisconsin Lawyer magazine.

Judge Kuhnmuench receives Founders Award

Judge Kitty K. Brennan and Judge Mary M. Kuhnmuench
District I Court of Appeals Judge Kitty K. Brennan and Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Mary M. Kuhnmuench at the Association for Women Lawyer award ceremony.

Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Mary M. Kuhnmuench was recently honored by the Association for Women Lawyers with its Founder's Award. The award is presented to a member of the legal community who has significantly contributed to the advancement of women in the legal profession and whose career demonstrates dedication to the highest levels of professional ethics and excellence. Kuhnmuench was joined by her colleagues, family and friends at the awards ceremony held on Sept. 16 at the Italian Community Center in Milwaukee.

Kuhnmuench has served on the Milwaukee County Circuit Court since 1998. She is a former presiding judge of the family division and domestic violence court. She has previously received the 2005 Mentor Award and 2011 Community Service Award from the association. In 2011 she was named a Leader in Law by the Wisconsin Law Journal.

Triggiano named Justinian Society's 'Jurist of the Year'

Judge Mary Triggiano
Judge Mary Triggiano

Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Mary Triggiano was recently honored by the Wisconsin chapter of the Justinian Society of Lawyers with its Jurist of the Year Award. The award is presented to a judge or lawyer who has demonstrated a career of high accomplishment and exceptional contributions to the law. Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge John DiMotto, a past president of the Justinian Society of Lawyers, presented Triggiano with the award at the group's annual Columbus Day celebration on Oct. 17. Triggiano was joined by several of her Milwaukee County Circuit Court colleagues, as well as family and friends.

The Wisconsin chapter is an affiliate of the National Italian American Bar Association and represents Italian American lawyers and judges throughout the state. According to the society, Triggiano was recognized for her outstanding qualifications as a judge and her unending commitment to justice.

Triggiano has served on the Branch 13 bench for 10 years. She has served on the National Council on Juvenile and Family Court Judges, Milwaukee Community Justice Council, Joint Legislative Council Special Committee on Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect, and the Child Welfare Partnership Council.

Vocke named to Law Foundation

Former Vilas County Circuit Court Judge Timothy L. Vocke, now a reserve judge, has been named a fellow of the Wisconsin Law Foundation.

"Over my career, I've been involved in various activities of the State Bar such as bar representative to the Judicial Council, a presenter at various seminars and a member of the Wisconsin Lawyer Assistance Program Committee, as well as a volunteer to assist attorneys, judges and family members in crisis," Vocke said in a press release. "But, I didn't see this coming until I was nominated."

Vocke served on the Vilas County bench from 1979 to 1983. He previously worked as the district attorney and as an assistant district attorney in Vilas County, and worked in private practice. He also works as a mediator for a Wisconsin-based consulting group.

The Wisconsin Law Foundation is an educational public service organization that funds and supports programs that educate the public on the law.

Court reporter receives national certifications

Michelle Gudex, a court reporter for Sheboygan County, has achieved the nationally recognized certifications of Certified Broadcast Captioner and Certified CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) Provider by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA).

"Earning these professional certifications offered by NCRA recognizes a reporter's highly specialized skills as well as their commitment and dedication to the court reporting profession," NCRA CEO and Executive Director Jim Cudahy.

Gudex has served as a court reporter for Sheboygan County Circuit Court Judge James J. Bolgert for more than 10 years. She also holds three other nationally recognized court reporter professional certifications.

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