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    Wisconsin Lawyer
    October 01, 2002

    Letters to the Editor

    Robert BakerPatricia BallmanDavid GroveLaura Reynolds

    Wisconsin Lawyer
    Vol. 75, No. 10, October2002


    Letters to the editor: The Wisconsin Lawyer publishes as many letters in each issue as space permits. Please limit letters to 500 words; letters may be edited for length and clarity. Letters should address the issues, and not be a personal attack on others. Letters endorsing political candidates cannot be accepted. Please mail letters to "Letters to the Editor," Wisconsin Lawyer, P.O. Box 7158, Madison, WI 53707-7158, fax them to (608) 257-4343, or email them to

    Who Was to Lead the Bar?

    As a former practicing attorney, prosecutor, corporate attorney, and Kenosha County circuit court judge for 16 years, age 71, and retired, I take issue with President Ballman's reference in her August column to the State Bar of Wisconsin of 25 to 50 years ago as being an old, white, boy's club run by middle-aged men.

    Who was to run the Bar 25 to 50 years ago? Young persons just out of law school? People 60 or older, phasing out of their practices?

    There just were not many women and minorities coming out of the law schools back then. That left middle-aged, white men running the Bar. Is that bad? Was it somehow discriminatory? I think not.

    The Bar has always looked for help, whether 50 years ago or today, and took whatever competent help it could get.

    Are those who stepped up to the plate, voluntarily served, sacrificed in part their practices, to be criticized because they happened to be men, white, and middle aged? No, they were just like the lawyers and President Ballman serving the Bar today; that is, they were interested in the law as a profession and trying to accomplish worthy goals.

    Robert V. Baker, Kenosha

    You are absolutely correct that there were very few women and minorities coming out of law schools until recently. And that, in fact, did leave middle-aged white men running the State Bar of Wisconsin. And they did a great job.

    I did not intend that my column meant to criticize the Bar leaders 25, 50, or more years ago. What I was trying to emphasize was that "this is a great Bar association for every lawyer."

    Thank you for your letter. Whether or not you agree with all of my opinions, I think it is important that all members of the Bar association follow what is going on in the Bar and let their opinions be heard.

    Patricia K. Ballman
    President, State Bar of Wisconsin

    Additions to Teen Courts Listing

    I read the August article by Dianne Molvig entitled "Justice, Teen Style" with great interest. Unfortunately, the information printed regarding DeForest's Teen Court is out-of-date. Judge Goedderz resigned in September 2000, and I have taken his place since that time. In addition, our program is multijurisdictional, because it also includes the Town of Windsor.

    Our DeForest/Windsor Teen Court has been modified since its inception to place the emphasis more on the "peer judge" than that of "teen judge." I believe that when an offender is adjudicated by one's peer, even one who may have been an offender in the past, it places more meaning on the participants. In addition, other than working with the participants during the start-up phase, I have maintained my distance from the program so as not to appear to control the peer judges. My involvement is now limited to making the appropriate referrals and managing the Steering Committee, which is comprised of the prosecuting attorneys, citizens, and elected officials from both jurisdictions, the local police agencies, and our local county social worker. It is a very worthwhile program, and I hope that I can continue to find the funds to keep the program running.

    Hon. David J. Grove, Village of DeForest, Town of Windsor Municipal Court

    The Dodge County Community Teen Court began operation in November 2001 with the approval of the Chief Judge of District VI. Its coordinators are Kenneth Peters and Robert Schumacher. The address of the court is 205 S. Lincoln Ave., Beaver Dam, WI 53916;

    Several State Bar members sit on the advisory board, including Douglas W. Plier of Horicon and Maryann Schacht of Beaver Dam. Dodge County ADA Bill Bedker currently serves as president of the board.

    Laura L. Reynolds, Municipal Judge, City of Horicon

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