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Trammell becomes 1st Black woman judge outside Milwaukee County

Photo of Nia Trammell

Nia Trammell

The new Dane County Circuit Court Judge Nia Trammell is the first Black woman to serve as a judge outside of Milwaukee County.

Gov. Tony Evers announced Trammell and David Conway’s appointment to the Dane County Circuit Court on Tuesday.

Trammell is the deputy secretary for the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services. She previously worked as a senior administrative law judge for the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development and as an attorney in private practice.

She’ll serve on Branch 6, replacing Judge Shelley Gaylord, who is resigning effective Aug. 31. Trammell is the sixth Black woman to serve as a judge in Wisconsin history.

In a statement, Trammell said she was keenly aware of the role the court plays in society and the difference that judges can make in administering justice. She said she was looking forward to taking on her new responsibilities.

Retired Court of Appeals Judge Paul Higginbotham said Trammell’s passion for justice and fairness for all people, especially marginalized citizens of Dane County, is well known, and he has no doubt she’ll bring justice, fairness and an excellent understanding of the law to the bench.

Trammell served as chair of the board of directors for the Urban League of Greater Madison and as a commissioner on the City of Madison Equal Opportunities Commission. She is a UW Law School graduate.

Evers has appointed five judges to the Dane County Circuit Court since taking office, including David Conway, whose appointment was also announced on Tuesday.

About Michaela Paukner, mpaukner@wislawjournal.com

Michaela Paukner is the legal reporter for the Wisconsin Law Journal. She can be reached at (414) 225-1825 or by email at mpaukner@wislawjournal.com.

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