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Rotunda Report
  • Rotunda Report
    February 17, 2020

    Supreme Court Candidates Debate Cancelled


    Debate stock image

    Update on Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate debate 

    The State Bar of Wisconsin has been actively monitoring the situation with COVID-19, and we put the health and well-being of our members and the public first and foremost. The State Bar will be canceling the Supreme Court debate scheduled for Thursday, March 19.

    We apologize for the disruption and any inconvenience this may cause to our members who have registered to attend or were planning to watch televised or recorded coverage.

    Wisconsin’s April 7th election will include the presidential primary, a referendum, and local court and school board races. If you plan to vote by absentee ballot, you can do so here: https://elections.wi.gov/voters/absentee. Requests for absentee ballots must be received by Thursday, April 2, 5:00pm.

    If you have any additional questions, you can call (800) 728-7788 or send an email to Devin Martin at dmartin@wisbar.org.

    Candidate Bios

    Judge Jill Karofsky
    Judge Jill Karofsky
    is a judge for Branch 12 of the Dane County Circuit Court, and a candidate for Wisconsin Supreme Court.

    Karofsky graduated from Duke University, and obtained both a master’s degree and law degree from UW-Madison. She previously served as executive director of the Wisconsin Office of Crime Victim Services. She also worked as an Assistant Attorney General, serving as the state’s Violence Against Women resource prosecutor, and as deputy district attorney in Dane County, prosecuting felonies and misdemeanors. She also worked as general counsel for the National Conference of Bar Examiners, and as an adjunct professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School, teaching about victims in the criminal justice system and trial advocacy.

    Judge Karofsky currently serves on the Wisconsin Judicial Education Committee and chairs the Violence Against Women STOP Grant committee.

    She previously co-chaired the Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Response Team, and served on the Governor’s Council on Domestic Abuse, the WI Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board, the Wisconsin Crime Victims Council, and the Dane County Big Brothers/Big Sisters Board of Directors. She received the WI Coalition Against Sexual Assault’s “Voices of Courage Award” and was named the WI Victim/Witness Professional Association’s “Professional of the Year.”


    Justice Dan Kelly

    Justice Daniel Kelly serves on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which he considers the capstone of his legal career.

    As a student at Regent University Law School, he was founding editor-in-chief of the law review. After graduation, he served in clerkships on the Wisconsin Court of Appeals and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (Office of Special Masters). After serving as a staff attorney with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (Office of Special Masters), Justice Kelly moved into private practice, where he focused primarily on commercial litigation. Kelly later served in the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office as a special prosecutor where he tried misdemeanor and felony cases. He was awarded the Outstanding Service to Milwaukee County Award in 2002.

    Kelly eventually stepped away from the day-to-day practice of law to serve as vice-president and general counsel for one of Wisconsin’s largest charitable organizations, but later returned to co-found his own firm, Roghan Kelly, in Waukesha County. Throughout his career he has been active in his community, serving on the Wisconsin Advisory Committee for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and the President’s Council for Carroll University (his undergraduate alma mater), as well as instructing continuing legal education (CLE) workshops. 

    Four years ago, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker appointed Kelly for what he considers the highest honor available to a Wisconsin lawyer: a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Since his appointment, he has reviewed thousands of cases, and personally authored dozens of leading legal opinions.

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