Evers' Judges: Beau Liegeois
"Evers' judges" is our effort to present information about Gov. Tony Evers' appointees to the bench. The information is taken from the appointees' own judgeship applications. WJI also will continue to profile former Gov. Scott Walker's appointees who are still in office.
Name: Beau Liegeois
Appointed to: Brown County Circuit Court
Appointment date: Sept. 20, 2019. (Elected to a six-year term in April 2020)
Law School – Valparaiso University, Valparasio, IN
Undergraduate – University of Wisconsin Madison
High School – Green Bay West High School
Judge Advocate General training – U.S. Army JAG's Legal Center and School
Recent legal employment:
2008-present – Brown County District Attorney's Office
2010-2018 – Wisconsin Army National Guard
2007-2008 – Brown County Corporation Counsel's Office
Bar and Administrative Memberships:
State of Wisconsin
General character of practice before becoming a judge: Mostly criminal prosecution; also active in developing treatment court as an alternative to incarceration.
Describe typical clients: Represented military personnel as a defense counsel while a JAG. Also assisted with family law issues, wills, and powers of attorney.
Number of cases tried to verdict or judgment: 27 jury trials, 50+ court trials.
Describe up to three significant trials, appeals, or other legal matters in which you participated as a judge or lawyer in the past seven years:
State v. Riemer – 2015 – Wisconsin Army National Guard – recruiter misconduct – I was assigned as Assistant Trial Counsel (military prosecutor). This was the first General Court Martial in the history of the Wisconsin National Guard. The recruiter committed offenses that were not civilian crimes so the local district attorney was unable to prosecute. However, they were very serious military crimes, so the Adjutant General wanted the offenses prosecuted in a military criminal court. The co-Trial Counsel, CPT Criag Lambert, and I had to draft many court documents from scratch because we were utilizing the Wisconsin Code of Military Justice, Chapter 322 of the Wisconsin Statutes, for the first time in our state's history. The defendant pied guilty to felony offenses and received the first jail sentence in the history of the Wisconsin National Guard. At the conclusion of the case, Craig and I received a meritorious challenge coin from the Adjutant General, Major General Donald Dunbar.
State v. Brittany Mefford – Brown County case 13CF295 – 1st degree reckless homicide – delivering drugs – My role was the prosecutor at the jury trial where the defendant was found guilty. This was a complicated case where mulitple (sic) individuals delivered the heroin in a chain before the heroin reached the overdose victim. This defendant was the highest in the chain of deliveries and the first drug dealer in the chaine (sic) who was actually profitting (sic) from the sale of heroin. The overdose victim's family was very involved in the case. The victim's grandmother attended every court hearing, but his mother was so emotionally devastated that she was unable to even walk into the courtroom. The defendant was found guilty at trial and sentenced to 6 years of initial confinement in prison.
State v. Maria J. Patino – Brown County case 12CF1570 – Conspiracy to deliver THC – My role was the prosecutor at the jury trial where the defendant was found guilty. This case was part of a large-scale drug trafficking organization that shipped drugs and firearms from California to Brown County. The most significant participants in this conspiracy ended up pleading guilty and received long prison sentences. This conspirator went to trial on her case. It was a difficult case to try because there was no evidence that the defendant ever actually handled the drugs. Her role was laundering hundreds of thousands of dollars that were the proceeds from drug transactions to support the drug trafficking organization. She was sentenced to 2 years of initial confinement in prison.
Experience in adversary proceedings before administrative bodies: Represented defendants and the government before the administrative separation board
Previous runs for political office: Ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018.
Position or involvement in judicial, non-partisan, or partisan political campaign, committee, or organization: None
All judicial or non-partisan candidates endorsed in the last six years:
Tony Evers, governor
Tammy Baldwin, U.S. Senate
Mandela Barnes, Lt. governor
Josh Kaul, attorney general
Sarah Godlewski, state treasurer
David Lasee, Brown County district attorney
All of the endorsements were in 2018.
Professional or civic and charitable organizations:
Miracle League of Green Bay, volunteer, 2006-present
Association of State Prosecutors, president and Board member, 2012-2017
High school mock trial, coach and judge, 2018-present
Elected or appointed public offices: None
Significant pro bono legal work or volunteer service:
Worked as a pro bono Green Bay assistant city attorney in 2007 while awaiting bar exam results.
Involvement in business interests:
Why I want to be a judge – I am deeply committed to Brown County....As a Brown County Judge, I would continue to expand our treatment court and diversion programs. We have more treatment options available than ever before through government and non-governmental organizations, and we should integrate those resources into the criminal justice system as much as possible, as a smart, cost-effective way to keep the community safe by reducing criminal recidivism.
Describe which case in the past 25 years by the Wisconsin Supreme Court or U.S. Supreme Court you believe had the greatest positive or negative impact on the people of Wisconsin or our democracy.
I think the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC, 558 U.S. 310 (2010), has had a substantial negative impact on the citizens of Wisconsin and the United States. This decision has allowed a massive amount of special interest money to enter our political system, and has created a system where candidates are forced to care more about a continuous cycle of fundraising than care about serving their constituents. This decision has allowed corporate money to flood into our elections, creating an appearance of corruption that is undermining our democracy. Foreign corporations with headquarters overseas are even allowed to contribute money to political candidates in our post-Citizens United campaign finance system. It was a fundamentally flawed decision.
Identify two or three judges or justices whom you admire and explain why.
The Honorable Sue E. Bischel presided over Branch III in Brown County Circuit Court from 1992 to 2012. Judge Bischel was one of the first judges that I appeared in front of as an Assistant District Attorney. As a former prosecutor herself, I learned something new about Wisconsin’s criminal law and procedures every time I was assigned to her courtroom. She was an excellent mentor for any young attorney who would come into her courtroom, giving thorough explanations for all of her decisions and sentences. She would also take the time to explain the law and why she made the decision she made to younger attorneys after court was over. She was great role model for what a judge should be.
The Honorable Thomas J. Walsh presently presides over Branch II in Brown County Circuit Court. I was exclusively assigned to cover Judge Walsh’s Branch II for about 3 years, so I have substantial experience in his courtroom. He is a judge that is dedicated to his craft, takes the time to listen to both sides in open court, research the issues himself, and deliberates until he gets to the right answer according to the law. Finding the right answer is a difficult task for a judge, because the issues that come before the court, are brought there because the two sides cannot agree on how to apply the law to the facts of the case. Judge Walsh operates an incredibly efficient court schedule, is respectful of the time of the attorneys and crime victims, and fosters an environment of fairness and equality for all in his courtroom. He is also the Judge for Brown County’s heroin treatment court program.
Describe the proper role of a judge –
A judge should be a neutral, unbiased arbitrator of the law. A judge’s duty is to resolve all disputes that come into their courtroom in a fair and equitable fashion according to the laws of the State of Wisconsin. A judge should have to temperament to maintain their professional bearing at all times, in their courtroom and out in the community. A judge should protect the community from criminal behavior while safeguarding the constitutional rights we all have just by living and breathing in this great country. I believe a judge also has an obligation to maintain the credibility and reputation within the community of the courthouse as an institution, as a place where all individuals are entitled to be heard, to be treated fairly, and to seek justice according to the laws of the State of Wisconsin.
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