Justice Louis J. CeciWisconsin Supreme Court Justice: 1982–1993
Louis J. Ceci was born September 10, 1927, in New York, New York. In 1941, he moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin and in 1945, at age 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served in the Southwest Pacific during World War II.
Ceci graduated from Theodore Roosevelt Evening High School (NYC) in 1947 and earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy and law degree from Marquette University in 1951 and 1954, respectively. He immediately began his own law practice and then served as a principal assistant city attorney of Milwaukee from 1958 to 1963.
In 1964, Ceci successfully ran for the state Assembly. He was a Republican candidate for attorney general in 1966. In 1968, he was appointed county judge for Milwaukee County and was elected to that seat a year later. In 1973, he was elected to the Milwaukee County circuit court. He served as presiding judge of the civil division of Milwaukee from 1980 to 1982.
While on the bench, Ceci was an active lecturer for the state judicial conferences. He served as delegate to the Trial Judges Association of the American Bar Association and was co-author of the standards of judicial education adopted by the American Bar Association in 1982.
When Ceci ran for the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 1980, he was defeated by less than 5,000 votes out of 1.3 million cast. Governor Lee S. Dreyfus appointed Ceci to the Supreme Court in 1982 and said he was "pleased to be able to appoint someone who has already received 658,000 votes from the people of this state."
Ceci was unopposed when he ran for a 10-year term on the Supreme Court in 1984. In September 1993, after 32 years of public service, Ceci stepped down from the Supreme Court to spend more time with his family. When he is not golfing, he and his wife Shirley enjoy traveling. He currently serves as a reserve judge for Wisconsin and is a certified mediator.
Ceci has been married twice and has six children and eight grandchildren.