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The Third Branch

New chief judges and 'chief of chiefs' selected

Chief Judge William D. Dyke Chief Judge C. William Foust
Chief Judge William D. Dyke

Chief Judge Randy R. Koschnick

Deputy Judge Lloyd V. Carter Chief Judge Neal A. "Chip" Nielsen
Deputy Chief Judge Lloyd V. Carter Chief Judge Neal A. "Chip" Nielsen
Deputy Chief Judge Gregory B. Huber Chief Judge Gregory J. Potter
Deputy Chief Judge Gregory B. Huber Chief Judge Gregory J. Potter
  Deputy Chief Judge Guy D. Dutcher
  Deputy Chief Judge Guy D. Dutcher

The Wisconsin Supreme Court in late June selected circuit court judges from Jefferson, Vilas and Wood counties to serve as new members of the Committee of Chief Judges, effective Aug. 1. In addition, the Committee of Chief Judges elected a new chair ('chief of the chiefs'): Chief Judge William D. Dyke, Iowa County Circuit Court, will serve in that capacity for one year, replacing Chief Judge C. William Foust, Dane County Circuit Court.

The Court also re-appointed judges from Brown and Kenosha counties to continue serving on the committee, which, along with the Supreme Court, helps oversee administrative matters in circuit courts statewide. The Committee of Chief Judges consists of 10 chief judges, one from each of the state's 10 judicial administrative districts.

Chief Judge Randy R. Koschnick, Jefferson County Circuit Court, was appointed to lead the Third Judicial Administrative District, which covers Jefferson, Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha counties. He selected Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Lloyd V. Carter to serve as his deputy chief judge.

Koschnick replaces Chief Judge J. Mac Davis, Waukesha County Circuit Court. Davis served the maximum three, two-year terms on the committee, including one year as its chair.

Koschnick has served as deputy chief judge of the Third District since 2008. He was elected to the Jefferson County bench in 1999 and re-elected in 2005 and 2011. He served as an assistant State Public Defender from 1985-99.

Chief Judge Neal A. "Chip" Nielsen III, Vilas County Circuit Court, was appointed to lead the Ninth District, which encompasses Florence, Forest, Iron, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Menominee, Oneida, Price, Shawano, Taylor and Vilas counties. Nielsen selected Marathon County Circuit Court Judge Gregory B. Huber to serve as his deputy.

He succeeds Chief Judge Gregory E. Grau, Marathon County Circuit Court. A former deputy chief judge, Grau had served as the district's chief judge since Sept. 8, 2008.

Nielsen was appointed to the Vilas County bench in 2003, elected in 2004 and re-elected in 2010. He worked as a corporate attorney from 1999-2003 and in private practice from 1981-99. He serves as chair of the State-Tribal Justice Forum, which works to promote and sustain communication, education and cooperation among tribal and state court systems.

Chief Judge Gregory J. Potter, Wood County Circuit Court, will lead the Sixth Judicial Administrative District, which encompasses Adams, Clark, Columbia, Dodge, Green Lake, Juneau, Marquette, Portage, Sauk, Waushara and Wood counties. Potter selected Waushara County Circuit Court Judge Guy D. Dutcher to serve as his deputy.

Potter replaces Chief Judge John R. Storck, Dodge County Circuit Court. Storck served the maximum number of terms, and served as chair of the committee.

Potter was appointed to the Wood County bench in 2001, elected in 2002 and re-elected in 2008. He served as Wood County district attorney from 1987-2000 and was in private practice from 1984-87.

The Supreme Court also re-appointed two chief judges.

Chief Judge Donald R. Zuidmulder, Brown County Circuit Court, will continue as chief judge of the Eight Judicial Administrative District. Zuidmulder was elected to the bench in 1997 after a 22-year career in private practice. He was re-elected in 2003 and 2009. Zuidmulder also served as district attorney, and as an assistant attorney general.

The Eighth District encompasses Brown, Door, Kewaunee, Marinette, Oconto, Outagamie and Waupaca counties.

Chief Judge Mary K. Wagner, Kenosha County Circuit Court, was re-appointed chief judge of the Second Judicial Administrative District. Wagner was first elected to the bench in 1991, and re-elected in 1997, 2003 and 2009. She served in the state Assembly from 1978-82 and as clerk from 1976-78. She also has served as a deputy chief judge in the Second District and was a teacher from 1971-76. District Two encompasses Racine, Kenosha and Walworth.

Working as a team with a deputy chief judge and a professional court administrator, chief judges manage the flow of cases, supervise personnel, develop budgets, and meet several times a year as a committee to work on issues of statewide importance. With the exception of Milwaukee County (First Judicial Administrative District), where the chief judge is a full-time judicial administrator, chief judges and their deputies maintain court calendars in addition to handling administrative matters.

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