Blue Book explores Wisconsin court system

Lady Justice statue in front of Wisconsin state flagState of Wisconsin Blue Book 2005-2006 - The Wisconsin Court System; Demystifying the Judicial Branch (external link)

Ever wonder how a grand jury inquiry differs from a John Doe investigation? How the Supreme Court determines which justice will author the opinion in any given case? How District II of the Court of Appeals came to be headquartered in Waukesha, just down the road from District I in Milwaukee? When judicial elections in Wisconsin became non-partisan?

The 2005-06 Wisconsin Blue Book has the answers in an 85-page feature story (external link) that illuminates the Wisconsin court system, the third—and some might say least understood—branch of state government.

The article explains in plain English the court system's structure and procedures, including how criminal and civil actions begin, how juries are selected, and how the appeals courts operate. It features a timeline of important events in court system history, information on alternatives to court, and 44 color photographs that offer glimpses inside circuit courtrooms, showcase courthouse art, and go behind the scenes at the Supreme Court.

This Blue Book article appears as published by the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau in 2005. Some of the information presented may be outdated. For more current information about the courts, visit More than two dozen informational handouts explaining various aspects of the court system are available here.