In Wisconsin there is a three tier judicial system, first the circuit court, then court of appeals and finally the supreme court. UW-Madison Law Professor Keith Findley says for most citizens the appellate court is probably their final chance as the supreme court takes few cases, “The court of appeals describes itself as a high volume, error correcting court and for most people that’s the end of the game,” says Findley.
The legal system sometimes faces criticisms of being too slow, Findley admits the judicial system is “not a fast system” due to the high volume of cases and the process trying to be careful. An appeal in Wisconsin can be decided within a few months to a year or longer,which the law professor says is on par with other states.
There are four districts in the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. Criminal misdemeanors are decided by a single judge where as felony charges are handled by a three judge panel.
On Tuesday Dane County District Attorney Brian Blanchard was elected to the District 4 Court of Appeals, central and southern Wisconsin. Waukesha County Circuit Judge Paul Reilly won a seat on the Second District Appeals Court which handles southeast Wisconsin.
Brian Moon reports (:59)