Judicial Exchange Program

hand connecting puzzle piecesThe Judicial Exchange Program swaps judges between the trial courts and the Court of Appeals. Established in 1996, it was created to help Court of Appeals judges understand the practices, procedures and problems of the trial courts, and to improve trial judges' understanding of what it takes to create a trial court record that will pass appellate review.

Program history

Court of Appeals District III started the Judicial Exchange Program in late 1996, continuing into 1997. In the District III program, six circuit court judges participated in the exchange: Gary L. Carlson, Taylor County; Douglas T. Fox, Price County; Patrick J. Madden, Iron County; Mark A. Mangerson, Oneida County; James B. Mohr, Vilas County and J. Michael Nolan, Lincoln County.

The judges were assigned to Court of Appeals panels and participated in deciding six cases. In addition, each was assigned to author one opinion for the Court and to supervise the preparation of one per curiam opinion.

In exchange, all three judges (now retired) on the District III Court of Appeals - Thomas Cane, Daniel L. LaRocque and Gordon Myse - sat on the bench in various trial courts in northcentral Wisconsin.

District IV (headquartered in Madison) participated in early 1998. In the District IV exchange, the following six Dane County Circuit Court judges participated: Angela B. Bartell, Mark A. Frankel, Paul B. Higginbotham, P. Charles Jones, Gerald C. Nichol and Michael W. Nowakowski.

The judges were assigned to Court of Appeals panels and participated in deciding eight cases. Each of them was assigned an opinion to write for the Court and, in addition, was responsible for supervising the preparation of at least one per curiam opinion.

In exchange, three Court of Appeals (District IV) judges—William Eich, Charles P. Dykman and David G. Deininger—moved to the trial bench in Dane County for a short period of time. There, they handled everything from intake to divorces to traffic court and presided over jury trials.

District II of the Court of Appeals (headquartered in Waukesha) participated in early 1999. Three Court of Appeals judges – Richard S. Brown, Neal P. Nettesheim and Daniel P. Anderson – took circuit court cases in a number of southeastern Wisconsin counties while circuit court judges from those counties participated in Court of Appeals cases. The following circuit court judges took part in the exchange: Dale L. English, Fond du Lac; Gary J. Langhoff, Sheboygan; Robert G. Mawdsley, Waukesha; Emily S. Mueller, Racine; S. Michael Wilk, Kenosha; Annette K. Ziegler, Washington.

All judges participating in the program proclaimed it a success, and consideration is being given to similar exchanges in other districts.