Wisconsin Supreme Court Reprimands One of Its Own

The Wisconsin Supreme Court reprimanded Justice Annette Ziegler, who recently joined the Court, for conflicts of interest in cases that she handled as a circuit judge. Ziegler committed obvious judicial ethics violations in hearing cases involving a bank on which her husband was a director. Legal and ethics experts have decried the decision as insufficient — arguing that Wisconsin judges use a double standard for their own misdeeds and that lawyers are treated more harshly in such sentences.

Ziegler was recently elected to the Court in a push by business groups to replace the once liberal leaning Court with conservatives. With this decision, she will be allowed to continue as a member of the Court for the full ten-year term despite the finding of her colleagues that the unethical conduct was obvious: “Given her knowledge of her husband’s relationships with the bank, red flags of danger were prominently flying.”

Her husband a paid director of West Bend Savings Bank, which was involved in the cases. It is hard to imagine how a judge could sit through such cases without realizing that there is something terribly wrong. Yet, the Court said that she did not directly benefit financially from the cases — a bit of a spin given the fact that the case benefited the bank and paid her husband.

For the full story, click here.

3 thoughts on “Wisconsin Supreme Court Reprimands One of Its Own”

  1. The simple fact is that many lawyers at the Department of Justice, many lawyers in State bar associations, and many Prosecutors at the Federal and State levels are corrupt. Many Judges and prosecutors make less than $200,000 per year yet if the leap frog to and from a partnership at a BigLaw firm they can make over $2 Million per year. Just as rainmakers pull down the big bucks for very little real “hours”, the corrupt players, and their relatives, at DOJ and in the Judiciary are given favored treatment by corrupt BigLaw. It is plain, it is simple it is obvious. Of course Liz in SC has trouble finding a lawyer who is willing to stand up against such corruption. Doing so is the death knell for ones legal practise – a business. Lawyers are chicken to rat out the organized crime. Consider how Eliot Spitzer was doing business with the prostitution ring segment of an organized crime family at the same time that he was New York State’s Attorney General. Shouldn’t a Federal Special Prosecutor be appointed to look into all of the crimes which Eliot Spitzer didn’t prosecute? How about the recording of a death threat delivered by an attorney as he frantically tried to urge his client against bringing conflict of interest and favoritism issues to the attention of the judge and the public in the Worldcom / MCI bankruptcy case? Eliot Spitzer got a written transcript plus a recording, and at the time he went all over the country accusing and seeking settlements from businesses not connected with his associates in the crime family. How could Spitzer have passed up a chance at a slam dunk front page coverage with a death threat recording related to the largest ever corporate fraud in U.S. History? The only logical explanation that I can think of is that the criminals in the bankruptcy ring were somehow related to the organized crime family which held dirt on Spitzer. A press release about this was issued back in 2006 and is still available on the internet, along with a copy of the transcript of which the lawyer confirmed the accuracy.

  2. I think it is wonderful that the state of Wisconsin actually still believes that Judges should remain free of conflict. Unfortunately I am here to sound the alert that a backdoor is being used to change American law as I understand it. I have a situation where no one will reprimand the Judge.
    In my case, a Judge refused to acknowledge, accept or admit into evidence a valid court award or order applicable to the situation that was being considered.
    I believe someone is trying to establish some case law and precedent and I cannot find an attorney that is willing to challenge this situation. It is very ugly.
    But when the law is changed, this case will be the frontrunner for all the scholars to refer to…… in South Carolina, where the ” good ole boys” rule even the lawyers.

Comments are closed.