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Judicial Council gets new website

The Judicial Council’s files and website have a new home.

The council is a 21-member independent body made up of lawmakers, lawyers, judges and other stakeholders in the state legal system. It advises the Wisconsin Supreme Court and Legislature on changes to the court system’s procedures and operations.

Gov. Scott Walker has twice proposed eliminating the council. Although Walker kept lawmakers’ recommendation that the Judicial Council remain in the statutes, he struck language in the state’s 2017-2019 budget that would let the state Supreme Court create and pay for a similar body after the court notified the state Department of Administration that it would not be paying for the council’s operations.

The court made the decision after the council approved giving its staff attorney her first raise in years. Since then, the council has been searching for an alternative source of money as well as an office, storage space and someone to take on various tasks previously performed by the council’s staff attorney.

The search for storage space is officially over. State Law Librarian Julie Tessmer addressed the council at its February meeting and offered to help the council with their storage and website needs. At the council’s February meeting, the council voted to move documents from its office in the Tenney Building to the State Law Library and begin to move its website.

At the council’s meeting last week, Tessmer gave council members an update on the transition. The council’s new website is, and the council’s file cabinets will be moved to library, she said. The council will also be updating the website.

The council will also separately open a new email account through Gmail and set up a post office box in Brookfield so that member Bill Gleisner, who has been designated the council’s secretary, can easily check the council’s mail.

In other business, council member and Racine County Circuit Court Judge Eugene Gasiorkiewicz reported that former council member Michael Fitzpatrick, who is now a Court of Appeals judge, may return to the council as the Court of Appeals’ designee to the council. He would replace Court of Appeals Judge Brian Blanchard, who stepped down from the post in January. Chief Judge Lisa Neubauer has yet to officially select Blanchard’s replacement.

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