Racine County judge appointed to Chief Judges Committee

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MADISON – The Wisconsin Supreme Court has selected a Racine County Circuit Court judge to serve as a new member of the Committee of Chief Judges and the Court reappointed four chief judges to new two-year terms, effective Aug. 1, 2014.

Judge Allan P. “Pat” Torhorst, Racine County Circuit Court, will join nine other circuit court judges who serve on the committee, which consists of one chief judge from each of the state's 10 judicial administrative districts. Torhorst replaces on the committee District Two Chief Judge Mary K. Wagner, Kenosha County Circuit Court, who served the maximum three two-year terms. Wagner continues to serve on the Kenosha County Circuit Court bench. District Two encompasses Kenosha, Racine and Walworth counties.

The Supreme Court also re-appointed chief judges from Jefferson County (Judge Randy R. Koschnick), Wood County (Judge Gregory J. Potter), Brown County (Judge Donald R. Zuidmulder) and Vilas County (Judge Neal “Chip” A. Nielson III) to continue serving on the committee. The committee helps the Supreme Court oversee administrative matters in circuit courts statewide.

Torhorst was elected to the Racine County bench in 1991 and re-elected in 1997, 2003 and 2009. He worked as an attorney in private practice from 1966 to 1991 and served as city attorney of Burlington from 1976 to 1991. He has served on the Planning and Policy Advisory Committee (PPAC) and the Uniform Bond Committee. He holds a bachelor's of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a law degree from UW Law School.

Working as a team with a deputy chief judge and a professional court administrator, chief judges manage the flow of cases, supervise personnel, develop budgets, and meet monthly as a committee to work on issues of statewide importance. With the exception of the First Judicial District, where the chief judge is a full-time administrator, chief judges and their deputies maintain court calendars in addition to handling administrative matters.

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