Gov. Tony Evers has announced the appointment of Ashley Morse to the Rock County Circuit Court–Branch 4. The appointment fills the vacancy being created by Judge Daniel Dillon’s resignation, effective April 5. Morse will complete a term ending July 31, 2023.
Morse has worked for the Wisconsin State Public Defender’s Office since 2010. Based in Janesville since 2014, she’s represented indigent clients as an assistant state public defender in a variety of criminal and civil proceedings in several counties across the state. Locally, she has served on the Rock County Trauma Task Force, the Rock County Youth Justice Racial Disparities Committee and has coached the Turner High School Mock Trial Team.
A graduate of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and of the University of Wisconsin Law School, Morse worked extensively with the National Juvenile Defender Center (now The Gault Center), including her selection as an Ambassador for Racial Justice. This program, which is jointly sponsored by the Georgetown Juvenile Justice Initiative, is highly selective and seeks defenders committed to challenging racial injustice in the juvenile legal system. As a capstone project, she developed a local training program on the impacts of racial trauma on youth. She was selected as the Racial Disparity Practice Coordinator for the Wisconsin State Public Defender’s Office, where she is expanding this training.