43°04′25″N 89°23′21″W / 43.0737°N 89.3891°W / 43.0737; -89.3891

United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin
(W.D. Wis.)
More locations
Appeals toSeventh Circuit
EstablishedJune 30, 1870
Chief JudgeJames D. Peterson
Officers of the court
U.S. AttorneyTimothy O'Shea (acting)
U.S. MarshalKim Gaffney
Robert W. Kastenmeier United States Courthouse

The United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin (in case citations, W.D. Wis.) is a federal court in the Seventh Circuit (except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit).

The district was established on June 30, 1870.[1]

As of March 1, 2021 the acting United States attorney is Timothy M. O’Shea.[2]

Organization of the court

The United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin is one of two federal judicial districts in Wisconsin.[3] Court for the Western District is held at Madison.

The district comprises the following counties: Adams, Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Buffalo, Burnett, Chippewa, Clark, Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Douglas, Dunn, Eau Claire, Grant, Green, Iowa, Iron, Jackson, Jefferson, Juneau, La Crosse, Lafayette, Lincoln, Marathon, Monroe, Oneida, Pepin, Pierce, Polk, Portage, Price, Richland, Rock, Rusk, Sauk, St. Croix, Sawyer, Taylor, Trempealeau, Vernon, Vilas, Washburn and Wood.

Current judges

As of April 26, 2017:

# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by
Active Chief Senior
11 Chief Judge James D. Peterson Madison 1957 2014–present 2017–present Obama
10 District Judge William M. Conley Madison 1956 2010–present 2010–2017 Obama
8 Senior Judge Barbara Brandriff Crabb Madison 1939 1979–2010 1980–1996
2010–present Carter

Former judges

# Judge State Born–died Active service Chief Judge Senior status Appointed by Reason for
1 James Campbell Hopkins WI 1819–1877 1870–1877 Grant death
2 Romanzo Bunn WI 1829–1909 1877–1905 Hayes retirement
3 Arthur Loomis Sanborn WI 1850–1920 1905–1920 T. Roosevelt death
4 Claude Zeth Luse WI 1879–1932 1921–1932[Note 1] Harding death
5 Patrick Thomas Stone WI 1889–1963 1933–1963 F. Roosevelt death
6 David Rabinovitz WI 1908–1986 1964[Note 2] L. Johnson not confirmed
7 James Edward Doyle WI 1915–1987 1965–1980 1978–1980 1980–1987 L. Johnson death
9 John C. Shabaz WI 1931–2012 1981–2009 1996–2001 2009–2012 Reagan death
  1. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on April 14, 1921, confirmed by the United States Senate on April 27, 1921, and received commission the same day
  2. ^ Recess appointment; the United States Senate later rejected the appointment

Chief judges

Chief judges have administrative responsibilities with respect to their district court. Unlike the Supreme Court, where one justice is specifically nominated to be chief, the office of chief judge rotates among the district court judges. To be chief, a judge must have been in active service on the court for at least one year, be under the age of 65, and have not previously served as chief judge.

A vacancy is filled by the judge highest in seniority among the group of qualified judges. The chief judge serves for a term of seven years, or until age 70, whichever occurs first. The age restrictions are waived if no members of the court would otherwise be qualified for the position.

When the office was created in 1948, the chief judge was the longest-serving judge who had not elected to retire, on what has since 1958 been known as senior status, or declined to serve as chief judge. After August 6, 1959, judges could not become or remain chief after turning 70 years old. The current rules have been in operation since October 1, 1982.

Succession of seats

See also


  1. ^ http://www.fjc.gov/history/home.nsf/page/courts_district_wi.html U.S. District Courts of Wisconsin, Legislative history, Federal Judicial Center
  2. ^ "Meet the U.S. Attorney". www.justice.gov. March 1, 2021. Retrieved March 8, 2021.
  3. ^ "28 U.S. Code § 130 - Wisconsin". LII / Legal Information Institute.