Wisconsin Supreme Court appoints Samuelson to head OLR

Madison, Wisconsin - July 14, 2021

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has appointed U.S. Assistant Attorney and former circuit court judge Timothy C. Samuelson as Director of the Office of Lawyer Regulation (OLR), effective Aug. 15. Samuelson will replace retiring Director Keith Sellen, who has led the office since it was established in 2000.

Samuelson is currently the Civil Division Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, where he heads the division and represents the United States government in civil litigation.

Samuelson served as a Dane County Circuit Court judge from 2017 to 2018, and he was an assistant attorney general for the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) from 2012 to 2017, and again from 2018 to 2020.

During his tenure with the state DOJ, Samuelson worked as the director of the state Medical Fraud Control and Elder Abuse Unit and as deputy director of the Special Litigation and Appeals Unit. He also handled criminal appeals as an assistant attorney general. Before joining DOJ, Samuelson worked in private practice as a civil litigator in Chicago, handling a range of complex civil cases in federal and state courts.

Samuelson graduated from Valparaiso University and Indiana University School of Law. He lives in Middleton with his wife and daughter.

Sellen is OLR’s first and only director to date. Under direction of the Supreme Court and the Board of Administrative Oversight, Sellen oversaw the office as it first transitioned from the former Board of Attorneys Professional Responsibility (BAPR) to OLR in 2000. He ushered in a number of other changes over the years, including more recently the process for handling OLR investigations.

“We are grateful to Keith for his dedicated work for the Supreme Court and for his many contributions to the lawyer regulation system in Wisconsin. The state’s legal community is better off as a result of his work,” said Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Annette Kingsland Ziegler. “We will miss him and wish him the best in his next pursuit.”

Sellen said he is thankful to the Supreme Court, appreciates the dedication and professionalism of the OLR staff, and has enjoyed working with the lawyer regulation system’s Board of Administrative Oversight and Preliminary Review Committee over the years. Sellen said he has also enjoyed collaborating with the State Bar of Wisconsin on many initiatives, including the Lawyer Support and Monitoring Program and the Law Firm Self-Assessment Program, which assist lawyers and law firms in identifying and addressing issues that may affect professionalism.

Sellen, who grew up on a dairy farm north of Green Bay, joined the court system after having retired from the U.S. Army as a legal officer.

The OLR is the agency of the Wisconsin Supreme Court that receives grievances relating to lawyer misconduct. The office is responsible for screening, conducting investigations, and prosecuting violations of lawyer ethics rules.

More information about the OLR and the lawyer regulation system in Wisconsin can be found here.

Tom Sheehan
Court Information Officer
(608) 261-6640

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