Inside Track: Harold Froehlich and Jeffrey Kremers Receive Judicial Awards in November:

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    October
    16
    2013

    Harold Froehlich and Jeffrey Kremers Receive Judicial Awards in November


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    Oct. 16, 2013 – Retired Outagamie County Circuit Court Judge Harold V. Froehlich will receive the Lifetime Jurist Achievement Award. Milwaukee County Circuit Court Chief Judge Jeffrey A. Kremers will receive the Judge of the Year Award. The State Bar Bench and Bar Committee will present both awards on Nov. 7 at the annual Judicial Conference in Wisconsin Dells.

    Lifetime Jurist Achievement Award

    Harold V. FroehlichJudge Harold V. Froehlich, whose background is among the most diverse in the Wisconsin judiciary, retired on April 8, 2011, after 30 years on the bench in Outagamie County.

    “During his 30 years of service, Judge Froehlich demonstrated high ideals, exemplary personal character, and judicial competence,” said Outagamie County Circuit Court Judge Mark J. McGinnis in his nomination letter. “Judge Froehlich was actively involved in the community in ways that enhanced the judicial system. Judge Froehlich made the judicial system extremely better in Outagamie County and throughout the state of Wisconsin.”

    As a chief judge, and as president of the Wisconsin Trial Judges Association, he worked on issues such as judicial compensation and improving the system for reimbursing counties for guardian ad litem and interpreter fees.

    When Froehlich received the State Bar Judge of the Year Award in 1999, a nominator said: “He was a fierce defender of juidicial independence, he led the effort to compel state government to fund and expand the judicial system and organized the judges of Wisconsin into a collective voice. He was responsible for moderninzing the Wisconsin Legislature, improving legislative pay and staff support, and championing the growth and professionalism of the legislative agencies.”

    More about Judge Froehlich

    Judge of the Year Award

    Jeffrey A. KremersMilwaukee County Circuit Court Chief Judge Jeffrey A. Kremers was among the first to survey the damage caused by the electrical fire that shut down the Milwaukee County Courthouse and Safety Building in early July. The fire caused millions of dollars in damage.

    “Although Jeff would be an outstanding candidate in any year, he is especially deserving of this distinction in 2013, with near heroic levels of services to our court and our community,” said Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Richard J. Sankovitz in his letter of nomination. “As a result of Jeff’s hard work, many of our courtrooms were fully functioning by the end of the same week and the rest of the courthouse was fully back in service in two weeks. With Jeff’s leadership and tenacity, the backlog caused by the fire was put behind us long ago.”

    In his letter of nomination from the Milwaukee Trial Judges Association (MTJA), President Paul Van Grunsven, Milwaukee County Circuit Court, included the following comment from the Hon. Charles Kahn, MTJA Board member: “His hands-on direction of the restoration of court services after the July 2013 fire was nothing less than awesome.”

    More about Judge Kremers


    2013 Lifetime Jurist Achievement Award: Harold V. Froehlich

    Harold V. FroehlichThe Lifetime Jurist Achievement Award recognizes a jurist who has served more than one full term as a circuit court judge and who has demonstrated outstanding, long-term judicial service during his or her years as a sitting judge.

    The following is reprinted from The Third Branch, Spring 2011.

    Judge Harold V. Froehlich, whose backbround is among the most diverse in the Wisconsin judiciary, retired on April 8, 2011, after 30 years on the bench in Outagamie County.

    Appointed to the bench in 1981 by then-Gov. Lee Sherman Dreyfus, Froehlich won five subsequent elections. In 1999, Froehlich was named the State Bar of Wisconsin Judge of the Year.

    Froehlich brought to the bench a high aptitude for numbers (he is a certified public accountant and a real estate broker) and has a keen understanding of politics and government – especially the importance of an independent judiciary.

    He was elected as a Republican to the State Assembly in 1963, just one year after graduating from the U.W. Law School. He served in a number of leadership positions, including four years as Assembly speaker, over the next decade. He left the Assembly in 1973 after being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served one term.

    Froehlich’s time in Washington was tumultuous. He arrived in the nation’s capital with a laundry list of initiatives, including restoration of the Menominee Tribe. But as a member of the House JudiciaryCommittee, he was consumed with the Watergate scandal. Ultimately, Froehlich was one of only a handful of Republicans to recommend that President Richard M. Nixon be impeached (Nixon instead resigned in August 1974).

    In an interview many years later with the Los Angeles Times, Froehlich said his vote likely cost him re-election, but that he had no regrets.

    “I didn’t dwell on it then, but it was certainly a problem in getting re-elected,” he was quoted as saying. ”I have no regrets, however, because I based my vote on the evidence.”

    Froehlich’s independence, integrity, and leadership served him well on the bench, and have been a boon to the entire state judiciary. As a chief judge, and as president of the Wisconsin Trial Judges Association, he worked hard on issues such as judicial compensation and improving the system for reimbursing counties for guardian ad litem and interpreter fees.

    “Harold Froehlich as had an enormous impact on Wisconsin government,” said David T. Prosser, a longtime friend who served as Froehlich’s administrative assistant in Washington. “As a legislator, he strengthened the legislative branch by firming up legislative service agencies, When he became a circuit judge, he worked to strengthen and modernize the Wisconsin judiciary. His truly historic work for the judiciary will be remembered long after many other significant accomplishments with the judiciary have been forgotten.”

     


    2013 Judge of the Year: Jeffrey A. Kremers

    Jeffrey A. KremersThe Judge of the Year Award honors an outstanding circuit court trial judge who has exceeded the call of judicial office and who has improved the judicial system in the past year.

    Milwaukee County Circuit Court Chief Judge Jeffrey A. Kremers was among the first to survey the damage caused by the fire that shut down the Milwaukee County Courthouse and Safety Building in early July. Even with emergency generators, the courthouse operated on one-third power for a month, during a heat wave.

    In his letter of nomination, Milwaukee Circuit Court Judge Richard J. Sankovitz said, “Jeff was among the first to survey the damage, and as soon as he set foot in the wreck he got to work patching it back together, reviving as much of our operation as he could, piecing together personnel and temporary computers in some of the untouched corners of the building to restore as many court functions as possible. He devised master calendars to maximize the use of the limited space that could be occupied while the clean-up began. He applied his considerable creativity and mastery of detail to see that operations as diverse as probate and felony court and the restraining order clinic and courthouse weddings could be resumed. His dedication and perseverance rallied us.

    “As a result of Jeff’s hard work, many of our courtrooms were fully functioning by the end of the same week and the rest of the courthouse was fully back in service in two weeks. With Jeff’s leadership and tenacity, the backlog caused by the fire was put behind us long ago,” said Sankovitz.

    In his letter of nomination from the Milwaukee Trial Judges Association (MTJA), President Paul Van Grunsven, Milwaukee County Circuit Court, included the following comment from the Hon. Charles Kahn, MTJA Board member: “His hands-on direction of the restoration of court services after the July 2013 fire was nothing less than awesome.”

    Kremers was appointed Chief Judge in September 2008, following 16 years as a Milwaukee Circuit Court Judge. Some of his accomplishments as chief judge include:

    • Overseeing the development and implementation of the Praxis evidence-based bail setting system, which saves taxpayer money and allows people who would otherwise languish unnecessarily in pretrial detention to get back to work and their families.

    • Redeveloping and enhancing the Day Reporting Center to reduce recidivism by providing education and rehabilitative services to nonviolent offenders.

    • Working with the County Board and County Executive to return the House of Correction to a meaningful model of correction. New management has instituted realistic programs to teach convicts pro-social behaviors they can use upon release from their short-term confinement.

    • Supporting the Milwaukee Justice Center that former Chief Judge Skwierawski worked so hard to develop. This vital service provides pro bono consultation for thousands who need help with civil legal issues.

    Service to the Profession

    Associate Dean of the Wisconsin Judicial College; judicial education lecturer on a variety of topics including criminal procedure, domestic violence, and Chapter 980 cases; faculty of National Seminars on Enhancing Judicial Skills in Domestic Procedure, Domestic Violence, and Chapter 980 cases; Violence Cases presented jointly by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and The Family Violence Prevention Fund; member Wisconsin Bar Association; Milwaukee Bar Association; Supreme Court Planning & Policy Advisory Committee; Wisconsin Criminal Jury Instruction Committee; adjunct professor, Marquette University; lecturer, Wisconsin Prosecutor Training Program; Village of Shorewood Board of Appeals; chairman, Board of Directors, Sunburst Youth Homes; Milwaukee Common Council Task Force on Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence; co-chair, Milwaukee School Board Curriculum Advisory Committee on Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policies; Childhood Sexual Assault Task Force; Milwaukee County Board Task Force on Child Abuse/Neglect.