Former judges

Judge Edward R. Brunner

Judge Edward R. Brunner

Court of Appeals–District III: 2007–2011

Edward Brunner and his wife of 38 years, Linda, moved to Rice Lake in June of 1977. They have two children: Jason of Rice Lake, and Alexis of Dryden, New York. Ed graduated with a B.A. degree from Marquette University in 1970 and with a J.D. degree from the University of Akron School of Law in 1974. Ed also received his E.M.T. responder training from Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College (WITC) in 1995.

Brunner has been a developer and facilitator of Restorative Justice Projects, first in Barron County, and then statewide since 1998. He served on the Balanced and Restorative Justice National Judicial Advisory Committee. He has lectured both statewide and nationally on Restorative Justice. In May 2006, the Bench and Bar Committee of the State Bar of Wisconsin named Judge Brunner the recipient of the 2005 Lifetime Jurist Achievement Award for his innovative and progressive leadership in the community, bench and bar. It is awarded to a jurist who "made a difference" during a long tenure as Judge. This award is given to one Wisconsin Judge each year. On November 16, 2006, at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., Judge Brunner was awarded the 2006 William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence, one of the most prestigious judicial honors in the country, awarded to one judge annually. He was only the 11th jurist to receive this award and the first Wisconsin Judge ever to receive it.

Judge Brunner over his career helped develop and initiate many innovative programs for Barron County:

  • 1979: Co-founder of Barron County Family Support Guardianship Agency
  • 1990: Created the Barron County Circuit Court Children in the Middle Program (for divorcing parents and their children)
  • 1992: Developed the Barron County Inmate Services Task Force which brought alcohol/drug abuse assessment/treatment, and educational/job skills testin jail prisoners.
  • 1992: Created the Barron County Offender Community Service Program—Community Service Project involving governmental and non-profit agencies, offering community service placement for juveniles and adults
  • 1993: Formed the Barron County Domestic Abuse Task Force—Studying the issues of domestic abuse and violence to adults and children of our community
  • 1993: Original incorporator of the Barron County Domestic Abuse Project—Designed to offer services for victims and offenders of domestic abuse in the community
  • 1994: Assisted in development of the Electronic Monitoring Program for Barron County offenders
  • 1999: Original developer and planner for Barron County Restorative Justice Programs
  • 1999: Creator of the Barron County Child Advocacy Teams, for abused and neglected children
  • 2000: As Chief Judge, developed a Tenth Judicial District Self-Represented Litigants Initiative and Program
  • 2002: Tenth Judicial District State Court and Tribal Court Initiative—linking State Court Judges and Tribal Court Judges and creating an operational agreementbetween the two Court systems
  • 2004: Lead Judge and planner for Barron County Drug Court

Community organizations

  • 1977–Present: Member of Barron Association for Retarded Citizens
  • 1979–1980: Past President, Rice Lake Optimist Club
  • 1982: One of six original Incorporators of the Rice Lake Area Men's Club
  • 1982–1987: Served as Board Member and President, St. Joseph School Board
  • 1984–1987: Organizer-Chairman, Indianhead Special Olympics
  • 1986–1988: Member, State of Wisconsin Special Olympics Board of Directors
  • 1986–1989: Member and Chair of the State Department of Public Instruction's Council on Exceptional Education Needs
  • 1989–1996: Original Board of Directors, Rice Lake Kinship Program
  • 1995–1999: Founding Board Member, Barron County Habitat for Humanity
  • 1998–2001: Board of Directors, Barron County Chapter of the Red Cross
  • 2008–present: Member, Iron River Lions
  • 2008–present: Volunteer, Big Top Chautauqua, Bayfield, Wis.

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