Volume 1 | Issue 11 | February 2023

Circuit court statistics transitioning to interactive dashboard

The Office of Court Operation’s Court Statistics Project Team has released the first in a series of statistical updates built on a more robust data architecture and presentation platform.

Annual circuit court statistics will now display in an interactive “dashboard” that is publicly available for free via the Wisconsin court system’s website.

Wisconsin Circuit Court Statistics

Employee Assistance Program available to all judges, state court staff

The State of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Court System offer Employee Assistance Program (EAP) services to state court employees, including judicial officials at no charge. Employees are eligible to access confidential wellness, management consultation, financial and legal referral services through Kepro, the state’s EAP provider. Services include confidential consulting in the areas of stress and mental health, family and relationship concerns, and substance abuse dependency. Household members are also eligible.

Employee assistance program Kepro

Wisconsin court group studies The Miami Model mental health courts

In December 2022, a group of Wisconsin circuit court judges and Office of Court Operations staff attended a workshop in Miami to learn about an innovative mental health court program model. Judges James A. Morrison, Marinette County Circuit Court; Scott L. Horne, La Crosse County Circuit Court; Carolina M. Stark, Milwaukee County Circuit Court; and Evidence-Based Program Manager Heather Kierzek, took part in the workshop, entitled Decriminalizing Mental Illness: The Miami Model.

Courtroom gavel

Security identified as top court system priority

A Feb. 7 article published by the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Wisconsin Lawyer magazine explores issues related personal safety and court security in Wisconsin. The article recounts recent security incidents and steps being taken by the court system to help promote safety and security for judges, lawyers and everyone involved the legal process.

“Two primary goals of the justice system are to protect individuals' rights and resolve disputes. Threats and completed acts of violence in courthouses and to court system employees thus pose a special danger to society at large,” the article’s preface states.

The full article can be found here.

Wisconsin courtroom

UW Law School Dean Tokaji admitted to the Wisconsin Bar

Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Annette Kingsland Ziegler administered the Attorney’s Oath to UW Law School Dean Daniel P. Tokaji in the Supreme Court Hearing Room on Jan. 18. Tokaji, who holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and law degree from Yale Law School, was admitted to the California Bar 27 years ago, but has spent much of his career in academia.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Annette Kingsland Ziegler administers the Attorney’s Oath to UW Law School Dean Daniel P. Tokaji in the Supreme Court Hearing Room Jan. 18

State senator rides along with judges on the Racine County bench

Sen. Van Wanggaard, a Racine Republican, participated in judicial ride-along on the Racine County Circuit Court bench Jan. 13. Wanggard, a retired police officer, sat in on proceedings in the courtrooms of Racine County Circuit Court Judge Eugene A. Gasiorkiewicz and fellow Racine County Circuit Court Judge Robert Repischak, as reported in The (Racine) Journal Times.

Sen. Van Wanggaard, right, observes the work of Racine County Circuit Court Judge Eugene Gasiorkiewicz during a judicial “ride-along” at the Racine County Courthouse on Jan. 13, 2023

Judicial Education ‘bootcamp’ examines digital evidence

About two dozen judges from across the state gathered in Green Bay Jan. 25-27 for the 2023 Digital Evidence Bootcamp. Here, Matthew Olesen, Digital Forensics Supervisor with the state Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigations, walks participants through a video of a phone data extraction exercise relevant to search warrants. The annual program provides training on search and seizure, statements, and admissibility issues presented by digital evidence, among other issues.

Digital Evidence Bootcamp