Home / Asked & Answered / Triggiano keeps pace with caseload

Triggiano keeps pace with caseload

Judge Mary E. Triggiano  (Photo by Kevin Harnack)

Judge Mary E. Triggiano (Photo by Kevin Harnack)

Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Mary E. Triggiano appreciates a good run.

Whether it’s a campaign to retain her Branch 13 seat, or simply a downtown jog, Triggiano has shown the stamina for both.

Appointed in 2004, the former managing attorney for Milwaukee-based Legal Action of Wisconsin Inc. made her mark in the Children’s Court Division, where she served as presiding judge.

The Racine native currently serves in the Misdemeanor/Traffic Division, where she handles domestic violence cases.

Triggiano is running unopposed for re-election this spring, but her professional and personal obligations keep her on the go.

An avid jogger, she also is a mother and member of more than a dozen organizations, many of which deal with juvenile justice, such as the Child Welfare Partnership Council.

Triggiano stretched her legs and navigated this week’s Asked & Answered.

Wisconsin Law Journal: If you could develop one CLE course for credit, what would it be about?

Mary E. Triggiano: How to choose a path to respectful resolution of a case.

WLJ: What was your least favorite course in law school and why?

Triggiano: Frankly, I liked most of the courses. However, my least favorite was Trusts and Estates; probably because it was right after lunch.

WLJ: What is your favorite website and why?

Triggiano: Weather.com. I love to sail, bike, run and be outdoors. You need to constantly be aware of the weather for these activities. In addition, weather can be so powerful and amazing to watch.

WLJ: What is the one luxury item you cannot live without?

Triggiano: A really good pair of running shoes.

WLJ: What is one thing attorneys should know that they won’t learn in law school?

Triggiano: That effective, finely honed listening and relational skills are key to being a good lawyer.

WLJ: What is the first concert you went to?

Triggiano: Ah, yes, the Rolling Stones. I believe it was Alpine Valley in the late ‘80s.

WLJ: If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would it be and why?

Triggiano: Actually two persons come to mind. United States Secretary of State Clinton, because I would love to travel worldwide and participate in high-level negotiations with other countries. Or Christiane Amanpour; an amazing journalist who travels the world over. She’s often given insider access where other reporters are neither welcomed nor allowed.

WLJ: What is your motto?

Triggiano: “Follow after the things which make for peace.” This is inscribed in a gift that the Association of Women Lawyers gave me a few years back for my service as AWL president.

WLJ: What is your favorite movie about lawyers or the law and why?

Triggiano: I have two favorites. First, “To Kill a Mockingbird” because it’s an amazing story dealing with difficult issues, including rape and racial injustice, and featuring Atticus Finch, a model of courage and integrity for lawyers. Also, because it’s more lighthearted, “My Cousin Vinny.” Sometimes it’s just good to laugh.

WLJ: If you hadn’t become a lawyer, what career would you have chosen?

Triggiano: Emergency medicine, working in a global public health setting.

Jack Zemlicka can be reached at jack.zemlicka@wislawjournal.com.


  1. You can clearly see in judge Triggiano’s in-court decisions that she is an avid womens rights activist. I personally sat through a few of her court cases where it was evident, & I am sure that if her cases were to be reviewed that alot if not most would be overturned for the clear bias shown torwards women in even her own case law. I recently had the misfortune of having a case decided by judge M. Triggiano. In my particular case judge Triggiano took the plantiff (who had already given multiple false statements to the court & the police{3 different stories}) aside, & decided to keep a no contact order in place, while on the record in the court room it was decided that the state could not (with so many lies already told) charge me & the case was dismissed. But, my public defender told me outside the courtroom (after the fact) that I could still have no contact with the plantiff, which happens to be the mother of my child, which essentially makes seeing my child an impossibility. It is clear to me that in judge Triggiano’s courtroom she makes the law with no regard to how the law is supposed to work.

  2. “& decided to keep a no contact order in place,” AND “But, my public defender told me outside the courtroom (after the fact) that I could still have no contact with the plantiff,” is MY mistake, the no contact order was not in effect after the case was dismissed & the public defender did not say that, I missunderstood her.

  3. Still after possibly taking a payoff behind the courtroom when she spoke with the plantiff before court without me or my “public defender” present she should have recused herself. I guess the law, the statutes, the Constitution of the USA holds no wieght in “her” courtroom. Just more of the same of Milwaukee countys & the state of WI’s outright mutiny.

  4. Her leniency just facilitated the murder of my beautiful cousin Annemarie. I will do whatever I can to make it so she can jog full time.

  5. and I can’t wait until this hack is up for re-election. How her role in the latest murder-suicide is viewed is going to be interesting. Sheriff Clarke blames prosecutor, judge for recent murder-suicide. So do I

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *