Timothy Samuelson, a U.S. assistant attorney and former Dane County circuit court judge, has been appointed as the new director of the Office of Lawyer Regulation.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court announced its choice of Samuelson as director on Wednesday. He starts on Aug. 15 and replaces Keith Sellen, who is retiring. Sellen has led the office since it was established in 2000.
Samuelson is currently the civil division chief assistant U.S. attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, where he heads the division and represents the federal government in civil litigation. Gov. Scott Walker appointed him to serve as a Dane County Circuit Court judge in 2017, and Samuelson served the remainder of the retiring judge’s term through 2018.
Before his appointment, Samuelson was an assistant attorney general for the Wisconsin Department of Justice. During his tenure, he worked as the director of the state Medical Fraud Control and Elder Abuse Unit and as deputy director of the Special Litigation and Appeals Unit. He also handled criminal appeals as an assistant attorney general. Before joining the DOJ, Samuelson worked in private practice as a civil litigator in Chicago, handling complex civil cases in federal and state courts.
Samuelson graduated from Valparaiso University and Indiana University School of Law. He lives in Middleton with his wife and daughter.
Sellen is the OLR’s first and only director to date. Under direction of the Supreme Court and the Board of Administrative Oversight, he oversaw the office as it first moved from being the former Board of Attorneys Professional Responsibility to the OLR in 2000. He led the office through other changes over the years, including the process for handling OLR investigations.
In a statement, Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Annette Ziegler said the court was grateful to Sellen for his dedicated work and contributions to Wisconsin lawyer-regulation system. She said the community will miss him and wishes him the best in his next pursuit.
Sellen is thankful to the Supreme Court and appreciates the work of the OLR staff. He said he’s enjoyed collaborating with various boards, committees and the State Bar of Wisconsin over the years.
Sellen, who grew up on a dairy farm north of Green Bay, joined the court system after retiring from the U.S. Army as a legal officer. Follow @WLJReporter