Rhonda Lanford

Views on the Spring Judicial Elections 2013

Last year by this time, Mother Nature bestowed upon us several warm, summer-like days.  This year, she decided not to repeat herself, which has lead to a splendid winter full of skiing, snow-shoeing, ice skating, and curling up by the fire.  With that being said, most of us are ready to move into spring and put away our shovels. 

Spring is a busy and exciting time for the Dane County Bar Association.  Elections for new officers are coming up in May, committee and section budgets are due soon, excitement is in the air for the Bench Bar Brawl, the Law Day Celebration and Pro Bono Breakfast are just around the corner, and the excellent Program luncheons continue to be held on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month. 

UPCOMING JUDICIAL ELECTIONS

On April 2, 2013, Dane County voters will decide the most hotly contested Dane County circuit court race in recent years.  Over the past few months, I have had the pleasure of speaking with and getting to know both candidates.  As with all contested elections, only one candidate will win the race. 

In this particular election, I believe that is an unfortunate outcome.  If I could create an alternative ending to this election, I would have both of these candidates win the race.  As winners, their first task would be figure out how to co-exist as the judges of Branch 16.  Maybe the “morning person” could take the bench for the first half of the day, and the night owl could take the latter half. 

Back to reality…I know the system does not allow for this sort of outcome.  At the end of the day on April 2, I will be genuinely happy for the winner and truly sad for the loser.  I believe both candidates embody the essential qualities of a sitting judge, i.e., a keen intellect, tireless in the search for justice, empathetic, firm, decisive, and honest. Even though you may disagree with my above-stated assessment of the candidates, I think we can all agree that running for judge takes a lot of courage, time, energy, and resources.  Both candidates deserve a round of applause for giving this race their all and for promising to uphold the standard of excellence we have come to expect from judges in Dane County.       

On April 2, Wisconsin residents will also decide whether to re-elect Justice Patience Roggensack or to elect Attorney Edward Fallone to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.  Judicial elections are an excellent opportunity for us, as attorneys, to explain the importance of the judicial system to our family, friends, and neighbors.  See you at the polls.       

BENCH BAR BRAWL – APRIL 25   

The Bench Bar Brawl (“BBB”) is the premier social event of the year.  Attorneys, judges and justices show up in droves for the good food, great conversations, and excellent entertainment.  The beautiful view of Lake Monona adds to the charm of the evening.  The BBB will be held on Thursday, April 25, 2013 at the Elks Club. 

The emcee for the evening is trivia extraordinaire Barry Levenson.  Levenson is the Mayor of the National Mustard Museum in Middleton, author of several books, and former assistant attorney general at the Wisconsin Department of Justice.  Please mark your calendar and encourage your colleagues to attend!            

In closing, if Mother Nature is reading this month’s column, please be reminded that spring officially started on March 20, 2013, and, therefore, I respectfully request that you provide us with reasonably prudent spring-like weather. 

– Written by Joshua J. Kindkeppel, President of the Dane County Bar Association and shareholder at Eustice, Laffey, Sebranek & Auby, S.C. This column originally appeared in the April 2013 edition of the DCBA Newsletter. .