Volume 2 | Issue 5 | July 2023

Retirement – Wisconsin Supreme Court

After 27 years of judicial service to the state of Wisconsin, including seven years on the Court of Appeals and 20 years on the Supreme Court, Justice Patience Drake Roggensack will retire July 31.

Third Branch eNews asked Justice Roggensack to offer perspective on her career and accomplishments in a Q&A article.

Justice Patience Drake Roggensack

Supreme Court justices, tribal judges connect at joint meeting

Members of the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the Wisconsin Tribal Judges Association met jointly at the Ho-Chunk Nation Community Center in Madison on June 9. Chief Justice Annette Kingsland Ziegler, Justice Jill Karofsky, the Supreme Court’s tribal liaison, and Red Cliff Tribal Judge Gwen Topping, President of the Wisconsin Tribal Judges Association (WTJA), welcomed attendees. Since 2017, tribal court leaders from Wisconsin’s 11 tribal communities and the Court have gathered every other year to exchange ideas and explore areas of mutual interest.

A group of about 30 people, including Wisconsin Supreme Court justices and members of the Wisconsin Tribal Judges Association met to discuss a number of issues of mutual interest on June 9 in Madison.

Retirement - Court of Appeals

Hon. Michael R. Fitzpatrick

District IV Court of Appeals

After serving for the past fifteen years in the Wisconsin judiciary, District IV Court of Appeals Judge Michael R. Fitzpatrick will “semi-retire” at the end of his current term on July 31. He plans to work as a reserve judge and referee, in mediation and arbitration, and continue to teach at the Wisconsin Judicial College, as well as serve on the Civil Jury Instruction Committee.

Judge Michael R. Fitzpatrick

Hon. William W. Brash, III

District I Court of Appeals

Chief Judge William W. Brash, III, District I Court of Appeals, will retire at the end of his term on July 31, 2023, after being defeated in the Spring Election. Brash has served on the Court of Appeals since his appointment in 2015. He has been chief judge of the Court of Appeals since 2021 and previously served on Milwaukee County Circuit Court from 2001 to 2015. He is former presiding judge of the Milwaukee County Civil/Probate Division and previously served as municipal judge for the Village of Fox Point and as a reserve municipal judge.

Hon. William W. Brash, III

Retirements – Wisconsin circuit courts

Circuit court judges from Grant, La Crosse, Milwaukee, Sheboygan and Vernon counties will retire during July, many at the end of their current terms of office on July 31. Third Branch eNews asked them to share a bit about their experiences on the bench and plans for retirement.


2023 Conference on Child Welfare and the Courts:

Stronger Together, Uniting for Children

The Children's Court Improvement Program (CCIP) and the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) are co-sponsoring the multi-disciplinary Conference on Child Welfare and the Courts scheduled for Sept. 27-29, 2023, at Wilderness Resort in Wisconsin Dells. This year's event, featuring the theme of Stronger Together, Uniting for Children, will bring county, tribal, and state stakeholders together to advance sustainable solutions that build on the strengths and improve the lives of children and families.

2023 Conference on Child Welfare and the Courts logo

Critical Issues Survey open through July 31

The Supreme Court’s Planning and Policy Advisory Committee (PPAC) would like the help of judges and other court stakeholders in identifying important issues facing the court system. Feedback gathered through the Critical Issues survey will be presented to the Supreme Court and the Director of State Courts and will help inform strategic goals and priorities.

Wisconsin State Capitol

Judicial district trainings offered on sex trafficking cases

The Office of Court Operations and the Children’s Court Improvement Program (CCIP) are sponsoring a one-day training designed to improve judicial understanding and decision-making related to sex trafficking of children and adults.

Judicial Education

Nielsen recognized for service on State-Tribal Justice Forum

State-Tribal Justice Forum co-chairs, Hon. John P. Anderson of Bayfield County and Hon. Gwendolyn Topping of the Red Cliff Tribal Court, present retired Judge Neal “Chip” Nielsen, III, with a plaque on June 16, 2023.

The award recognized his many years as chair of the Forum and his service as Vilas County Circuit Court Judge from 2004 – 2021.

Nielsen Tribal award