Gov. Tony Evers announced Tuesday his appointment of Ryan Hetzel to the Washington County Circuit Court – Branch 1. The vacancy comes after Judge James Pouros’ resignation, effective June 3. Hetzel will serve a term ending July 31, 2023.
Hetzel, a Marquette Law School graduated, opened his law office as a sole practitioner in his hometown of West Bend in 2002. Previously, he served as a managing partner of a general practice litigation firm before owning and operating his own firm. His areas of practice have included personal injury, criminal defense, family law, insurance disputes and worker’s compensation.
“Ryan is a great choice as the next Branch 1 judge,” said retired Washington County Circuit Court Judge Andrew Gonring in a statement. “Not only is he a lifelong resident of the Washington County community, but his private practice background gives him the kind of broad experience that a judge needs. His courtroom experience and demeanor will also be great assets. I know he will be able to hit the ground running.”
An active member of the Washington County Bar Association, Wisconsin Association for Justice and Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Hetzel also been involved in leadership or member positions with the Downtown West Bend Association, United Way of Washington County and the Washington County Injury Prevention Coalition.
In a statement, Hetzel said, “Washington County has been fortunate to have been served for many years by distinguished, capable, hard-working and fair judges. I pledge to work diligently to continue that tradition. It is truly a great honor and privilege to be appointed to the bench.”