: Governor announces judicial, district attorney appointments:

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  • Governor announces judicial, district attorney appointments

    Tom Solberg

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    Oct. 12, 2011 -- Governor Scott Walker has announced two judicial and one district attorney appointment.

    Nelson Phillips will serve as judge for the Milwaukee County Circuit Court in Branch 17. He began his legal career in the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office as an Assistant District Attorney. While in this position he served as lead prosecutor on criminal felonies and misdemeanors. Phillips then joined the United States Attorney’s Office in Milwaukee as an Assistant United States Attorney and Special Assistant United States Attorney. Phillips will be leaving private practice at Godfrey & Kahn, S.C., in Milwaukee where he was a Senior Litigation Associate. Phillips earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature at the University of Michigan and a Juris Doctor from the University of Wisconsin Law School. Phillips is very active in the community, serving on the Board of the Federal Defender Services of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation and as a youth sports coach. 

    Jon M. Theisen was appointed to serve as the next judge for Circuit Court Branch 4 in Eau Claire County.  After Theisen received a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Notre Dame in 1990 he volunteered in an inner-city Chicago school where he was active in the community, speaking out against the infestation of gangs and drugs. Mr. Theisen then went on to receive a Master of Library Science from the University of Pittsburgh and his Juris Doctor from the University of Northern Illinois Law School. He began his legal career in 1999 at the firm Herrick and Hart in Eau Claire. He was elected District Attorney of Chippewa County and has been reelected to that post twice. As District Attorney he gained substantial trial experience, including three convictions in first degree homicide trials in 2011. He also solved a double homicide cold case in 2006 and was nominated as Prosecutor of the Year in 2007.

    Jennifer Harper, who has served as an Assistant District Attorney the past eleven years in Richland, Monroe, and Sauk Counties, has been appointed to serve as Richland County District Attorney. In addition to prosecuting thousands of criminal cases, since 2008 she has been a Richland County Circuit Court Commissioner, presiding over approximately 530 hearings. She has also worked as an Attorney Law Clerk with Judge Leineweber of Richland County Circuit Court and as an Assistant Corporation Counsel to Richland County. Harper is the President of Richland County Court and Community, a non-profit organization that seeks to educate the general public on the work of the county’s circuit court. She is also a member of the Richland County Bar Association. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and in Political Science from Indiana University and her Juris Doctor from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1999. 


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