Justice N. Patrick Crooks will not seek another term on Wisconsin Supreme Court

Madison, Wisconsin - September 16, 2015

Justice N. Patrick Crooks today announced that he will not seek re-election to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. His current term ends on July 31, 2016, at which time he will have served nearly 39 years as a Wisconsin judge, including 20 years as a Supreme Court justice.

“Today is the 38th anniversary of my swearing in for the Brown County bench and marks an occasion that had a dramatic effect on my life and my career in the law,” Crooks said. “I have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to serve as a judge and justice and to have had the support of the voters of Brown County and Wisconsin over the years.”

“I appreciate the support that I have had during my career from Kris, my wife of more than 50 years, and our children and grandchildren. I have been fortunate to serve with many outstanding and dedicated women and men judges and justices and to have been mentored by persons, including Judge Robert Parins and Justice William Bablitch and Justice Donald Steinmetz. Working with talented judicial assistants, law clerks, and judicial interns has been a pleasure as well for me,” Crooks said.

In 1977, then-Acting Gov. Martin Schreiber appointed Crooks as a Brown County judge. In 1978, Crooks was elected a Brown County Circuit Court judge when the court system underwent formal reorganization. He was re-elected to the Brown County Circuit Court in 1985 and 1991.

Crooks was elected to his first 10-year term on the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 1996, and he was re-elected in 2006 without opposition. His retirement date coincides with the end of his current term and will give voters a chance to choose his replacement on the Supreme Court in the 2016 spring election.

“Supreme Court justices play a crucial role in our legal system and in our form of government. People rely on all judges, including Supreme Court justices, to decide cases fairly and impartially, according to the law and the facts of each case. A judge must be nonpartisan and independent in deciding cases, and in carrying out her or his role in a co-equal branch of government,” Crooks said.

A native of Green Bay, Wisconsin, Crooks received his bachelor's degree from St. Norbert College in 1960 and his law degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1963. From 1964 to 1966, he served as a U.S. Army officer at the Pentagon, in the Office of the Judge Advocate General. He also worked in private practice in 1963, and again from 1966 to 1977. While in private practice, he taught business law at the UW-Green Bay. Crooks was named Trial Judge of the Year in 1994 by the Wisconsin chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates. He is a member of the American Bar Association (ABA) and has served as a law school evaluator for the ABA’s Legal Education and Admissions Section, as well as a member of the Wisconsin Law Foundation Board and the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Media-Law Relations Committee. He is a past member of the Wisconsin Judicial Council and was a director of the Notre Dame Law Association. He is a member of the St. Thomas More Society at Notre Dame Law School and the James E. Doyle Chapter of the American Inns of Court, and serves on the Federal-State Judicial Council, and as an ABA Fellow.

Justice Crooks and his wife have four daughters and two sons. Five of their children are lawyers, and one is a social worker.

Additional biographical information can be found on the Wisconsin court system website at: http://www.wicourts.gov/courts/supreme/justices/crooks.htm

Tom Sheehan
Court Information Officer
(608) 261-6640

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