Reyna Morales and Jon Richards are the newest Milwaukee County Circuit Court judges.
Gov. Tony Evers announced their appointments on Monday, filling vacancies created by the departures of Judges Jeffrey Conen and David Hansher.
Morales has been an attorney with the State Public Defender’s Office since 1997. She’s represented thousands of clients on a variety of matters, including felonies, misdemeanors, termination of parental rights, mental health commitments, guardianships, juvenile cases and civil cases.
She also mentors and trains new attorneys and volunteers in the community. Morales has served as a board member for the Wisconsin Hispanic Lawyers Association, Felmers O. Chaney Advocacy Board and Marquette University Law School Alumni Association. She also volunteers her time participating in Law Day activities at local schools and as a judge for mock trials.
In a statement, Justice Rebecca Dallet said Morales is an accomplished public defender who will bring experience, fairness and diversity to the bench.
Morales said she pledges to administer justice with integrity, fairness and impartiality in her new role.
Richards is an attorney and former state representative. He’s practiced civil law for more than 25 years, and he’s currently a partner with Ziino, Germanotta, Knoll & Christensen in Milwaukee. Richards represented Milwaukee in the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1999-2014 and served on the Joint Committee on Finance and Assembly Health Committee.
His community involvement includes working as a volunteer attorney for the Eviction Defense Project and Lotus Legal Clinic, as director of the Take Back Meds coalition, as a big brother with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Milwaukee and as a member of several nonprofit boards.
Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley said Richards will be committed to the community and will work effectively with others to create needed changes in Milwaukee County’s justice system.
As a judge, Richards said he plans to make greater use of alternatives to prison, such as drug treatment and other diversion courts, and deal with the root causes of crime and violence.Follow @WLJReporter