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. Biskupic has a controversial past that is not covered in his application. For supplemental reading, check out this story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Name: Vincent R. Biskupic
Appointed to: Outagamie County Circuit Court
Appointment date: Sept. 19, 2014
Law School – DePaul University
Undergrad – Marquette University
High School – Benet Academy High School
2010 - 2014 – Biskupic Legal Group, partner/owner
2003 - 2010 – Hinshaw & Culbertson, partner
1994 - 2003 – Outagamie County District Attorney
Wisconsin Law Enforcement Association (associate member)
Wisconsin Arson Insurance Council
Wisconsin District Attorneys Association (past president, 2001-2002)
Legal experience as an advocate in criminal litigation, civil litigation, administrative proceedings: Significant criminal and civil litigation experience. Prosecuted more than 30 homicide and attempted homicide cases and more than 2,000 felony cases overall. Civil work included medical malpractice defense and insurance litigation.
Number of cases tried to verdict or judgment: Jury, more than 120; non-jury, more than 1,000.
Number of cases on appeal: Attorney of record on more than 300 cases. Many of the listed criminal cases involved the filing of a post conviction response brief. The civil cases listed mainly were general liability defense cases and medical malpractice defense cases.
Involvement in judicial, non-partisan or partisan political campaigns in the last six years:
Election history: First ran for Outagamie County District Attorney in 1990, and lost in primary. Won election in 1994 and subsequent elections until defeated in 2002.
Involvement in judicial, non-partisan or partisan political campaigns: Supported candidates include Supreme Court Justices Patience Roggensack, David Prosser, Annette Ziegler and Patrick Crooks; Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, U.S. Senate candidate Tommy Thompson, Governor Scott Walker, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, State Attorney General Brad Schimel, State Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, State Reps. and presidential candidate George W. Bush.
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:
Describe any pro bono legal work in the last five years: Pro bono special prosecutor in sex abuse cases against Father John Patrick Feeney (Outagamie County) and Father Donald Buzanowski (Brown County); special prosecutor on major cocaine case in Green Lake County; volunteered to represent domestic abuse and sexual abuse victims in Outagamie County; pro bono work for the Hispanic Community at St. Therese Church.
Why I want to be a judge – For more than 25 years as a courtroom attorney on criminal and civil cases, I have always been willing to take on a challenge and fight for the rights of the citizens of the Fox Valley. I am a hard worker. Outagamie County has a substantial volume of cases that needs prompt attention. Based on my criminal and civil case law experience, I believe I am equipped to be an effective, fair and efficient jurist for our county. I have represented both plaintiffs and defendants in civil and criminal cases. I know that I can be fair to all sides of a case. I am looking for the opportunity to make our judicial system for efficient and effective.
I do not believe in a “living Constitution” that evolves, changes over time, and adapts to new circumstances, without being formally amended. -- Outagamie Circuit Judge Vincent R. Biskupic
Best Wisconsin or US Supreme Court decision in the last 30 years - State v. Carpenter (1995) and State v. Post (1995)
Both upheld the Wisconsin Legislature’s enactment of the Sexually Violent Person Commitment Law (Chapter 980). At the trial level, the law had been ruled unconstitutional by two Dane County judges. … In Carpenter, the petitioners argued that ch. 980 law violated the double jeopardy and ex post facto clauses of the United States and Wisconsin Constitutions. … In Post, the petitioners argued that the law violated the due process and equal protection clauses. Our Supreme Courtt rejected each of these claims and upheld ch. 980 as constitutional. In the almost 20 years since these decision, many dangerous offenders have been kept off the streets and monitored in appropriate treatment settings.
Worst Wisconsin or US Supreme Court decision in the last 30 years — Thomas ex rel. Gramling v. Mallett (2005)
By adopting the “risk contribution” rule in Thomas, the Wisconsin Supreme Court essentially disregarded the black letter rule of tort law that a party’s liability for an injury is attached to the causation by that party of that injury. As pointed out in the Justice Wilcox dissent, there was no evidence that the defendant manufacturer could have reasonable contributed to the plaintiff’s actual injury.
Judicial philosophy – I am a judicial conservative. I do not believe in the judicial activism as described in the Thomas case. I do not believe in a “living Constitution” that evolves, changes over time, and adapts to new circumstances, without being formally amended. If the citizens of a state or the country want to amend their Constitution, then I accept the result.
Give any other information you feel would be helpful in evaluating your application: Beyond my legal work, I have actively worked with law enforcement officials and legislators to help create better laws for our state. By way of example, I helped on the “Justice for Survivor’s Act” which was signed into law by Governor Walker in early April of 2012. … In the future, I will continue to seek out ways to improve or correct the laws of our state as needed.
Gretchen Schuldt is executive director of the Wisconsin Justice Initiative.
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