"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.
Name: Timothy G. Dugan
Appointed to: Court of Appeals District 1
Appointment date: Oct. 27, 2016
Law School – Marquette University Law School
Undergrad – Westminster College
High School - no information provided by applicant
1991 - present – Milwaukee County circuit court judge
Wisconsin State Bar Association
Milwaukee Bar Association
Wisconsin Trial Judges Association
Milwaukee Trial Judges Association
American Bar Association (prioir to 1992)
7th Circuit Bar Association (prior to 1992)
Association (of) Trial Lawyers of America (prior to 1992)
Wisconsin Academey (sic) of Trial Attorneys (prior to 1992)
Wiscosnin School Attorneys Association (prior to 1992)
Number of cases heard as a judge: Civil, 10,000; criminal, 15,500; jury trial, 400; court trials, 150.
Legal experience as an advocate in criminal litigation, civil litigation, administrative proceedings: As lawyer with vonBriesen & Purtell, litigation in commercial, municipal, probate and tort areas; municipal and school law; and real estate.
Number of cases tried to verdict or judgment: Jury, 50; non-jury, 25.
Number of cases on appeal: Nine cases listed, including cases representing Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod on tax exemption matters.
Most significant cases include Milwaukee Public Schools, et al. v. State of Wisconsin et al.: (Dugan was co-counsel representing seven suburban school districts.) MPS brought the class action lawsuit against the state, the governor, and 24 suburban school districts alleging discrimination in education of MPS students. ... After approximately 3 years of litigation and 65 days of trial the case was settled. MPS sought a remedy from the court creating a single metropolitan school district which would have destroyed the current system of education in the Milwaukee area. The settlement involved the limited expansion of the Chapter 220 program that some of the school districts had voluntarily joined year’s (sic) earlier allowing MPS students to attend school in those districts.
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:
"Courts do not have the authority to attempt to cure what judges perceive as social wrongs or problems that the legislature has chosen not to address. ... Moreover, the judge should not rely on social science studies to justify moving away from established legal precedent. In other words, judges should act as judges, not legislators." -- Court of Appeals Judge Timothy G. Dugan
Involvement in judicial, non-partisan, or partisan political campaign, committee, or organization:
Before becoming judge, distributed campaign literature for candidates in state, and local elections. Since becoming judge, circulated nomination papers for judicial candidates.
Pro bono legal work:
All judicial or non-partisan candidates that you have publically endorsed in the last six years: David Prosser, Rebecca Bradley, and Clare Fiorenza.
Why I want to be a judge – As I mention to jurors after each jury trial, I believe in our system of justice and find it rewarding to be a part of this system. It provides people the opportunity to resolve disputes before an impartial tribunal rather than succumb to disruptive conduct. … Additionally, I believe that it is important that our judiciary include judges who have a background in private practice to ensure that the needs and concerns of private party clients are considered and addressed by our courts. …
Additionally, I believe it is important that the Court of Appeals include a trial court perspective. The court should not be an ivory tower that does not consider the environment in which trial judges operation daily. It would not be removed from the factual issues that are presented at trial by those who live those facts such as police officers fulfilling their duties on the street. I believe my experience as a trial judge will enhance my service on the Court of Appeals.
Judicial philosophy - Courts do not have the authority to attempt to cure what judges perceive as social wrongs or problems that the legislature has chosen not to address. Those policy decisions rest in the hands of the legislature. In that vein, judges should not be analyzing laws from the perspective whether the laws are good or bad. …
Moreover, the judge should not rely on social science studies to justify moving away from established legal precedent. In other words, judges should act as judges, not legislators.
Judges are not legislators and should not use their office to change or create laws based upon their personal beliefs or agendas. The judge’s role is to interpret and apply the laws. The judge’s decisions should be legal ones and not political policy judgments. The judge should be interpreting existing laws and determining whether the legislature has acted within its power and authority without violating the constitutional rights of the citizens.
Best Wisconsin or US Supreme Court decision in the last 30 years State v. St Martin (2011)
The issue before the [Wisconsin Supreme] court was the constitutionality of a warrantless search of an apartment attic. The facts involve a defendant who was removed from his apartment in response to a battery complaint by his girlfriend who shared the apartment with him. Police obtained consent from defendant’s girlfriend, who was present in the apartment, to search the attic. They then asked the same question of St. Martin, who was by that point in police custody in a police van parked nearby. He refused. The police proceeded to search the attic and found cocaine and currency. A warrant was subsequently obtained …
In St. Martin the court appears to move back to the practice of following U.S. Supreme interpretations of the due process clause.
Worst United State or Wisconsin Supreme Court decision in the last 30 years –Thomas v. Mallett (2005) (Dugan was the trial judge ultimately overturned by the State Supreme Court)
In Thomas, the [Wisconsin Supreme] Court extended the risk contribution theory that was adopted in Collins v Eli Lilly Co. In Collins the Court held that a claimant whose mother took DES, anti-miscarriage drug could sue any drug company who produced or marketed DES during the 9 months of pregnancy in the geographic market area. …
In applying the risk contribution to lead paint manufacturers the Court removed the requirement that the defendant caused injury to plaintiff and places liability on each lead manufacturer merely because they participated in the lead paint industry even though they may not have had any involvement with the plaintiff’s injuries. …
What the court did was determine that there was a serious public health problem, conclude that the legislative branch was not taking appropriate action to address the problem and adopt a broad sweeping remedy that in its view was necessary to cure the problem. The Court was interjecting its own social views in its decision and ignoring the balance of power constraints between the legislative and judicial branches.
Other information you feel would be helpful to your application – As recent as 2008 I received the confidence of President George Bush when I was nominated to fill the seat of the Hon. Rudolph Randa for his seat on the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. During that process I was approved by the American Bar Associations Judicial Selection Committee and vetted by the FBI background investigation. When I did not receive a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Judge Randa chose not to go to senior status.
Gretchen Schuldt is executive director of the Wisconsin Justice Initiative.
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