The Third Branch
More than 300 attend Judicial Conference
Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson delivers the 2013 State of the Judiciary Address at the Annual Meeting of the Wisconsin Judicial Conference.
More than 300 judges and court staff gathered in the Wisconsin Dells for the 2013 Annual Meeting of the Wisconsin Judicial Conference Nov. 6-8.
The event offered judges professional development and networking opportunities, as well as a chance to provide input on the policy direction of court system through participation on a variety of committees.
Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson delivered the State of the Judiciary Address entitled "Back to the Future." Following the 1985 movie theme, the lesson, according to Abrahamson, is that times change, but human nature is constant. "And so the most important tools we can bring into the future are the ones that do not come from scientists or laboratories. The important tools are the ones our staff and judges already have: commitment, creativity and courage."
During her remarks, Abrahamson touched on the court system budget and issues related to judicial selection, campaign financing and recusal. She also discussed court system initiatives related to criminal justice and family and children's court.
Director of State Courts A. John Voelker delivered the annual State of the Director's Office Address, in which he discussed the importance taking time to reflect on professional and personal goals and assessing whether our work fits with these goals.
Voelker started his remarks by acknowledging the contributions to the court system of the late Director of Judicial Education David Hass, who died unexpectedly Aug. 28. Voelker said Hass's passing led to him reflect more on his own life and work.
This year's conference featured a tribute to Hass, which provided judges and staff an opportunity to share stories during the Thursday evening dinner.
Educational sessions addressed the role of judges as leaders, recent case law development, treatment court best practices, brain development and disorders, and how technology affects the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, among other issues.
Rick Kyte, director of the Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership at Viterbo College, La Crosse, displays a slide of the character Atticus Finch from "To Kill a Mockingbird" during a presentation entitled "Role of Judges as Leaders" at the Judicial Conference. More than a dozen educational sessions were held at this year's conference.
Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson listens as Director of State Courts A. John Voelker delivers his State of the Director's Office Address during the 2013 Annual Meeting of the Wisconsin Judicial Conference held Nov. 6-8 at the Kalahari Resort in Lake Delton.