Wisconsin Supreme Court Judge Cast Deciding Vote in Case Involving Her Own Lawyer
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Judge Patience Roggensack
Justice Patience Roggensack of the Wisconsin Supreme Court did the right thing by judicial standards in 2009 when she recused herself from participating in a case involving an attorney, Donald Schott of Quarles & Brady, who had previously represented her in another matter. Without Roggensack’s vote, the Court deadlocked 3-3 and the case, involving two businessmen who were sued for “plundering” a stereo company by making excessive payments to themselves, went back down to the appeals level. The appeals court reversed a jury verdict against the businessmen, so the case went up to the State Supreme Court again.
But when the case she avoided returned a second time to the Supreme Court, Roggensack decided to participate in the decision after all. However a different justice, Annette Ziegler, who had ruled on the case the first time, recused herself this time and the Court again deadlocked 3-3. This meant that the appeals court ruling stood and Roggensack’s lawyer, Donald Schott, won the case, allowing the businessmen in question to avoid a $6.5 million settlement.
Roggensack has served on the Wisconsin Supreme Court since 2003 and has registered to run for reelection in 2013.
-David Wallechinsky, Noel Brinkerhoff
To Learn More:
Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Patience Roggensack Decided Case Involving Her Own Lawyer (by Bill Lueders, Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism)
Wisconsin Supreme Court Justices Weigh in on the Recusal Issue ((by Bill Lueders, Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism)
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