Sept. 16, 2015 – Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice N. Patrick Crooks, who has served 38 years as a judge and almost two decades as a supreme court justice, announced today that he will not seek reelection when his term ends on July 31, 2016.
“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,” Justice Crooks said in a press release issued by the court. “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.”
State Bar of Wisconsin President Ralph Cagle said Justice Crooks has made important contributions to the legal system and the legal profession during his 38-year career.
“On behalf of the State Bar of Wisconsin, I would like to express my sincere gratitude,” Cagle said. “Justice Crooks has always gone beyond the call of duty, dedicating his time to a number of organizations, including the Wisconsin Law Foundation, which work to further justice and make the legal system accessible to all individuals.”
Cagle noted that Justice Crooks has helped “prepare the next generation of lawyers for bright careers in law through his ability to encourage and inspire the best in his judicial assistants, law clerks, and judicial interns.”
“As colleagues, mentors, mentees and fellow lovers of the law, we wish Justice Crooks much success in his remaining months on the bench. His departure from the state’s highest court will certainly be felt,” Cagle said.
A Green Bay native and a 1963 graduate of Notre Dame Law School, Crooks served as a U.S. Army Officer in the Office of the Judge Advocate General from 1964 to 1966. He worked in private practice from 1966 to 1977, the year he was appointed Brown County judge by then-Acting Gov. Martin Schreiber.
In 1978, he was elected to the reorganized Brown County Circuit Court. In 1996, he was elected to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, two years after he was named “Trial Judge of the Year” by the Wisconsin chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates.
“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,” Justice Crooks said. “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.”
Before Justice Crooks retires in July 2016, voters will choose his replacement in the 2016 spring election. Crooks said 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,” he said.