Our Supreme Court

This is our first of what I hope are many entries. We continue to strive to be the best law firm in Milwaukee and we have had great success along the way. What I hope is that this site becomes a forum to discuss the legal news and issues as they are presented. Often, what we see and read in the media is inaccurate–mostly because reporters are not usually lawyers, Frequently, I find myself speaking to unresponsive TV reporters telling them they are wrong about certain facts. If you have any questions about what you see or hear about the legal system, feel free to post your questions and observations here.

Right now, most every lawyer I speak with is concerned about the path of our Wisconsin Supreme Court. It is clear that the fault lies on both sides and the main players are both wrong. I am critical of Justice Abrahamson for filing her federal lawsuit to try to overturn the Wisconsin Constitutional Amendment. I am also critical of the manner by which Justice Roggensack was elected the new Chief Justice. There are a set of rules–The Supreme Court Rules– that control the Court’s operating procedures. Justice Roggensack’s election was by email, generated by one of the four conservative justices, without any rules in place to determine how the new Chief was to be elected. It is presumed in the legal community that Justice Crooks, a well respected man, was not happy that the four conservative justices elected Justice Roggensack without giving Justice Crooks the opportunity to present himself as a unifying candidate. One thing that is almost universal in the Wisconsin legal community right now is complete embarrassment as to how our Wisconsin Supreme Court has conducted itself in the past few months and years. The choking incident; the influx of big money by interest groups; the Court’s established conflict of interest rules for itself that would be ethics violations if committed by practicing lawyers or even sitting Circuit Court judges; the scheduling of meetings without regard to the rules; the boycott (allegedly) of the Marquette swearing in ceremony, etc. Each member of the Court needs to take a look at himself or herself and look at the damage they are causing the institution and the reputation of the legal community in this state. Both lawyers and laymen have said to me recently that they always regarded courts as neutrals, not politicians. Now, our courts–and particularly our Supreme Court–have lost that respect earned over the centuries. We need change NOW. –Mike Ganzer

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