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    In the News 2

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    Wisconsin Lawyer
    Vol. 76, No. 9, September 2003

    Higginbotham appointed to court of appeals

    Judge Paul Higginbotham


    Dane County Circuit Court Judge Paul Higginbotham, U.W. 1985, was recently appointed by Gov. Jim Doyle to the 4th District Court of Appeals. Higginbotham is the first African-American person to serve on any appellate court in Wisconsin.

    "Paul Higginbotham is a fair and well-respected judge and an outstanding public servant," Doyle said. "He will make a fine addition to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals."

    Higginbotham, Dane County's first African-American judge, was elected to the bench in 1994. Before that, he served two years as the city of Madison's first municipal court judge. He was Dane County's minority affairs coordinator from 1988 to 1992. He also worked as a trial attorney.

    Higginbotham began serving Sept. 1. His term will expire in July 2005, and there will be a special election in the spring of 2005. Higginbotham succeeds Judge Pat Roggensack, who was elected to the Wisconsin Supreme Court in April.

    The 4th District Court of Appeals handles appeals from the circuit courts in 24 counties in central and southwestern Wisconsin. The court of appeals was created in 1977 to ease the burden on the state supreme court.

    Sorenson Sole Practitioner of the Year

    Steve Sorenson


    Steve Sorenson, Marquette 1977, received the American Bar Association's (ABA) General Practice Section Sole Practitioner of the Year award at the ABA annual convention in San Francisco in August. The award recognizes exceptional meritorious achievement by a sole practitioner widely acknowledged by his or her peers as having consistently achieved distinction in an exemplary way and is awarded to a person who epitomizes the ideals of the legal profession and of sole practitioners.

    Karen Mathis, chair of the ABA General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Section, presented the award to section member Sorenson, a past State Bar president and former ABA House of Delegates member. Sorenson was commended for his commitment to the State Bar's and the National Conference of Bar President's (NCBP) strategic planning, to his profession, and to the communities in which he lives and works.

    Sorenson is the newly-elected NBCP secretary and is coordinating the 5th annual Midwest Solo and Small Firm Success Conference, to be held in Minneapolis in October. He is a board trustee for the Fellows of the Wisconsin Law Foundation (WLF) and is WLF treasurer. He recently returned to full-time practice in Ripon after a brief stint as Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission chair.