Joseph Troy sees his 20 years as a circuit court judge as an advantage to his clients at Habush Habush & Rottier.
Troy, who retired from the Outagamie County bench in 2007, said that experience lets clients know he can handle himself in a courtroom.
“I loved being a judge and serving the community that way, but I knew after 20 years that I needed to either do something different – such as go back to practicing law – or just stay a judge for the rest of my career,” Troy said. “I had this opportunity to join Habush and see it as another way of helping the community. It’s very satisfying to know that the experience I had as a judge can help people when they need it.”
While a judge, Troy started the Clean Break Program in Outagamie County, which was a diversion program for first-time juvenile defenders. Troy said part of the program included martial arts. At the program’s graduation ceremony, participants broke a board.
“For many of those involved, this was the first time in their lives someone was really cheering them on,” he said. “I started Clean Break because we weren’t helping these juveniles. We were just processing them.”
Besides representing clients at Habush, Troy also frequently makes presentations on various legal topics and has served on the faculty at the National Center for Justice and The Rule of Law at the University of Mississippi Law School, the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and Fox Valley Technical College. He also conducts Amber Alert training for the U.S. Department of Justice.
Outagamie County Judge Mark McGinnis said he has learned a lot from Troy in the 30 years he has known him.
“His passion for the law, his compassion for people, his ability to listen, his patience and his never-ending energy to serve as a leader has impacted thousands of lives through the years and made the legal community better,” he said.
Beyond the legal field, Troy is a volunteer for the National Alliance on Mental Illness-Fox Valley Chapter and has been honored by the group as a leader in the fields of mental health and the law. He said he became interested in helping the mentally ill during his time as a judge.
“I didn’t like seeing so many mentally ill people come through the criminal justice system and they weren’t getting the treatment they needed,” Troy said. “I wanted to do my part to change that.”