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The Third Branch

The Third Branch is a quarterly publication of the Director of State Courts Office, providing news of interest to the Wisconsin Court System. Comments and suggestions may be directed to Tom Sheehan.

Current issue - Spring 2014

Use the links below to navigate the current issue or view the PDF version PDF (printable version)

Featured stories

April elections bring four new judges to bench
Four new judges won election and two incumbents held on to their circuit court seats in the April 1 election. One of the newly elected judges has been appointed by Gov. Scott Walker to take office early.

New laws affect courts
About 60 new laws affecting the courts were adopted during the 2013-14 legislative session.

D-Day has special meaning to the Hassin family
If you want to find out what D-Day means on a more personal level to three generations of Judge Donald H. Hassin, Jr.'s family, just ask them. Judge Hassin's father was among the troops who landed at Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944.

Director's Column: Court system innovation recognized
Innovation and leadership in many areas have brought the Wisconsin state court system national recognition.

Judging runs in the family
This edition of The Third Branch features the first in a series of articles on judges with parents or children who also serve, or have served, as Wisconsin judges. Read about Judge Christopher R. Foley, Milwaukee County Circuit Court, and his father, the late Leander J. Foley.

Columbia County starts OWI treatment court
After more than a year in the planning process, the newly created Columbia County OWI Court accepted its first defendant to appear in court April 22. Columbia County Circuit Court Judge Alan J. White established and presides over the court.

Wisconsin teacher to serve on iCivics panel
Peshtigo High School teacher Joe Schmidt was selected as one of 23 teachers from across the country to participate in the National Teacher's Council for the online civics education program iCivics. The group will convene in Washington, D.C. July 14-17.

Association honors Vel Phillips
The Association for Women lawyers honored Milwaukeean Vel Phillips for her years of public service in state and local government and as a judge at a dinner April 17. Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Maxine A. White spoke at the event, which also was attended by Wisconsin Supreme Court justices Ann Walsh Bradley and Annette Kingsland Ziegler.

Wisconsin interpreter program recognized
Wisconsin tied for fourth in a ranking of states in providing support for people with limited English proficiency, according to findings of the National Center for Access to Justice.

PPAC rule petition approved
The Supreme Court in April approved a rule petition that expands the limited scope representation rules in Wisconsin.

National High School Mock Trial tournament held in Madison
The State Bar of Wisconsin hosted the National High School Mock Trial Tournament in Madison May 8-10. Finals were held in the Supreme Court Hearing Room at the state Capitol.

Wisconsin celebrates Law Day
Courthouses throughout Wisconsin played host to groups of students who gathered to learn about government, the law and the court system during the first week of May.

New subcommittee to address child safety decision making
The Wisconsin Commission on Children, Families, and the Courts has created a new subcommittee to enhance child safety decision-making across the state.

Milwaukee community forum focuses on justice system
The Milwaukee County justice system was a the topic of a Community Brainstorming Conference Breakfast Forum held May 24.

Milwaukee County Bar Association holds memorial service
Judges, lawyers and friends and family of members of the bar who died during the last year gathered May 9 at the Milwaukee County Courthouse.

Court staff boost fund drive
Wisconsin Supreme Court employees were recently recognized by the United Way State Employees Combined Campaign for having the third-highest percent increase in contributions for the 2013 fund-raising campaign.

In every issue:
Wisconsin connects

Featured photos:
Judge Jeffrey A. Kremers and Director of State Courts A. John Voelker were among guests who recently appeared on an episode of WisconsinEye's Legally Speaking.
Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson gives the keynote at the Wisconsin Council for the Social Studies 2014 conference.
Director of State Courts A. John Voelker meets with court reporters.