"Walker's judges" is our effort to present information about Gov. Walker's appointees to the bench. The information is taken from the appointees' own judgeship applications.
Appointed to: Dane County Circuit Court
Appointment date: December 2011 (Defeated in April 2012 election by Assistant State Public Defender Ellen Berz; after his defeat, Allen quit his judge's post early)
Law School – University of Wisconsin Law School
Undergrad – University of Wisconsin-Platteville (Criminal Justice and Psychology major)
High School – NA
May 1996 - present – Assistant City Attorney, Madison, WI
The State Bar of Wisconsin
Dane County Bar Association
Legal experience as an advocate in criminal litigation, civil litigation, administrative proceedings: Reports both having criminal court experience and that his criminal court experience totals 0%. Also says he took two jury and three non-jury trials to judgment and that he conducted “several criminal trials and two personal injury trials.” Litigated “hundreds of municipal ordinance violations.” Significant experience in administrative, labor, and open records law.
Number of cases tried to verdict or judgment: Jury, 2; non-jury, 3; arbitration, 15; administrative bodies, 60
Professional or civic organizations, volunteer activities, service in a church or synagogue, or any other activities or hobbies that could be relevant or helpful to consideration of the application:
1. Boy Scouts of America
2. American Legion
3. Reserve Officer's Association
4. West Point Parent's Association
5. St. Dennis Catholic Church
6. Youth soccer coach
7. Moot court trial judge
8. Advisor to Operation Hometown Gratitude (sends care packages to deployed military members and Peace Corps volunteers)
9. Host parent for foreign exchange students.
Pro bono work: In private practice, participated in the State Bar's pro bono program primarily drafting wills for indigent persons and providing legal advice to non-profit organizations. Currently registered with the American Bar Association's Home Front, a pro bono program that provides legal advice and representation to military members and their families.
Why I Want to Be a Judge - I want to become a judge because I derive a great deal of personal satisfaction from serving the public good. As Theodore Roosevelt observed, "This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in." I have also found that the greater the challenge, the greater the responsibility, the greater the satisfaction I derive from the endeavor....I possess an abiding commitment to defending the rights of both individual members of society and those of society itself. This is undoubtably the core function of the judiciary–balancing and enforcing the rights of the parties before them.…
Judicial philosophy - Today, our courts are facing a crisis of public confidence brought on not so much by recent events, but rather, from a slow erosion of the court’s respect for the limits of judicial authority in a government founded up on the separation of powers. The public trust can only be restored by the investiture of judges whose past professional lives demonstrate an unwavering dedication to the rule of law uninfluenced by personal philosophies or party affiliations. My professional background establishes that I meet this standard.
Best or worst United States or Wisconsin Supreme Court opinion in the last 30 years - Interest of Jerrell C.J.
The Supreme Court announced a new rule of evidence: police interviews of juvenile defendants would be inadmissible unless they had been electronically recorded. The decision is unremarkable for the rule that it created. Indeed, the Wisconsin legislature subsequently codified the rule into law. What is remarkable and equally as troubling, is that in creating this rule the Court jettisoned decades of jurisprudence concerning the admissibility of statements and confessions, exceeded its authority by invading the prerogative of the legislature and assumed the worst of law enforcement officers all across the state.
Gretchen Schuldt is executive director of the Wisconsin Justice Initiative.
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