- Position sought: Milwaukee County Circuit Court - Branch 17
- Address: 9530 Harding Blvd, Suite 104, Wauwatosa
- Kate - Spouse
- Tess - Daughter
- Nelson IV ("Q") - Son
- Will - Son
- University of Michigan, Ann Arbor - BA English Literature
- University of Wisconsin, Madison - JD
- Occupation: Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge, Branch 17
- Related experience:
I have a broad range of experience in our state and federal criminal and civil courts. Prior to becoming a Circuit Court Judge, I spent over 13 years practicing law in Milwaukee. I began my legal career in 1998 as a Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney. Within two years I was selected to prosecute felony gun crimes as part of the original Gun Unit led by current District Attorney John Chisholm.
In 2001, I was appointed a Special Assistant United States Attorney, and then hired in 2002 to work for the United States Department of Justice as an Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA). As an AUSA, I prosecuted federal criminal fraud, economic and large scale narcotics offenses. I also argued matters before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
In 2008, I was recruited to join the civil litigation and white collar teams at the law firm of Godfrey & Kahn, S.C. in Milwaukee. I assisted the firm’s business clients litigating contract, commercial, labor and employment, and general legal disputes.
I’m the current Secretary of the Board for the Wisconsin Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation, and recently sat on the Board of the Federal Defender Services of Wisconsin. I also served on the executive committee of the Parish Council for Christ King Catholic Church.
Why are you running for this office?
I'm running to retain my seat as the Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge in Branch 17. I love the court room, and I have a passion for litigation. As a Judge, I ensure that the process by which the parties and their attorneys wish to resolve their disputes is always fair and impartial. Having spent 13 and a half years in the court room prior to becoming a judge, I well understand the role and importance of an impartial judge that is both well versed in the law and has the termperment to treat everyone in the court room with respenct and civility regardless of the circumstance.
Off the bench, as an African American judge, I enjoy being visible in the community and serving as an example of what hard work, dedication, and education can do for anyone young or old. Being a Circuit Court Judge also allows me to give back to the community that has supported me in my legal career. I love Milwaukee, and I am running to retain my seat so that I may continue to serve the County that has treated me and my family so well.
What will be your single most important priority if you get elected?
To ensure that both criminal and civil litigants always receive respect, civility, and fairness from me and my staff. Justice demands that those three things are always present in a courtroom.
What sets you apart from the other candidate?
The Milwaukee Bar Association voted me the most Qualified candidate in their 2012 Judicial Poll just prior to the primary election on February 21, 2012. I received 193 Qualified votes, and my opponent received 95.
I do feel that experience sets me apart from my opponent. As a state and federal prosecutor, I've tried many, many cases, argued countless motions before courts, and argued cases to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, Illinois. I've practiced law before some of the best judges in the state of Wisconsin and the entire country. I also have experience trying cases as a civil litigator in both our state and federal courts. I've been beholden and sensitive to my clients and their needs in important and complex litigation. I understand the dynamic, and the importance, of the attorney-client relationship, and that everyone involved in litigation is simply seeking justice at the end of the day. I'm proud to take all of that experience and to apply it to what I do as the Judge in Branch 17.