Rotunda Report: State Bar President Names New Judicial Election Steering Committee:

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  • State Bar President Names New Judicial Election Steering Committee

    Cale Battles

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    Nov. 4, 2013 – State Bar of Wisconsin President Patrick J. Fiedler has appointed a new committee to promote and forward the recent policy position of the State Bar's Board of Governors that would limit the term of office for a Wisconsin Supreme Court justice to one, 16-year term. The 16-year proposal was passed by the Board of Governors in a 37-4 vote and was recommended by the Judicial Task Force, a group created by Past President James Brennan to study the public’s confidence in the court.

    “I can’t thank the Judicial Task Force enough for the amount of work and deliberation that they put into their recommendation,” Fiedler stated. “The Board will now move to the next phase of the process by having a productive and open conversation with our members, policy makers and the public to garner support for the proposed constitutional change.”

    The one, 16-year term proposal will require an amendment to the Wisconsin Constitution (Art. VII § 4). The amendment process requires the approval of a joint resolution by two consecutive legislatures and a ratification vote by a majority of the electorate. Fiedler named Board of Governors' member Attorney John Orton of Curran, Hollenbeck & Orton to chair the steering committee.

    Cale BattlesCale Battles is a government relations coordinator with the State Bar of Wisconsin. He can be reached at org cbattles wisbar wisbar cbattles org, or by phone at (608) 250-6077.

    “The Judicial Task Force did an excellent job in laying the ground work and getting us started in this process,” Orton said. “I am looking forward to continuing to work with the task force and my colleagues to have a meaningful conversation with the legislature and the public on how we can improve the public’s perception of the court.”

    Besides the appointment of Orton as chair, Fiedler appointed all of the members from the previous Judicial Task Force to the committee: Attorneys Joe Troy (vice chair), Christine Bremer Muggli, Catherine Rottier, and Thomas Shriner. In addition, Fiedler appointed four current members of the Board of Governors to serve: Attorneys Brett Ludwig, John Danner, Laura Skilton-Verhoff, and Michael Cohen.

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