United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin

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Eastern District of Wisconsin
Seventh Circuit
Judges: 5
Posts: 5
Vacancies: 0
Active judges
Chief: William Griesbach
Senior Judges
Magistrate Judges
Former Judges
(Numbers indicate % of seats vacant.)
More than 40%

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin is one of ninety-four United States district courts. It encompasses much of the eastern half of the state and is split between the Green Bay Division and the main courthouse in the Milwaukee Division.[1]

The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. The current district attorney is James Santelle.[2]

When decisions of the court are appealed, they are appealed to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, based in downtown Chicago at the Everett M. Dirksen Federal Courthouse and Building.

Vacancy warning level

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin's vacancy warning level is currently set at green. The court currently has no vacancies of its five posts.

Pending nominations

There are no pending nominations for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

Active judges

Article III judges

JudgeBornHomeAppointed byActiveChiefPreceededBachelorsLaw
Judge Rudolph Randa1940Milwaukee, WIH.W. Bush 8/12/1992-Present2002-2009Robert WarrenUniversity of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, 1963University of Wisconsin Law School, 1966
Judge Joseph Stadtmueller1942Oshkosh, WIReagan 6/1/1987-Present1995-2002John ReynoldsMarquette University, 1964Marquette University Law School, 1967
Judge Lynn Adelman1939Milwaukee, WIClinton 12/23/1997 - PresentThomas CurranPrinceton U., 1961Columbia Law School, 1965
Chief Judge William Griesbach1954Milwaukee, WIW. Bush 5/1/2002 - Present11/1/2012 - PresentNew Seat|114 Stat. 2762Marquette U., B.A., 1976Marquette U. Law School, J.D., 1979
Judge Pamela Pepper1964New Orleans, LouisianaObama 11/20/2014-PresentCharles ClevertNorthwestern University, 1986Cornell Law, 1989

Active Article III judges by appointing political party

This graph displays the percent of active judges by the party of the appointing president and does not reflect how a judge may rule on specific cases or their own political preferences.


Senior judges

JudgeAppointed byActiveChiefSeniorBachelorsLaw
Senior Judge Charles ClevertClinton 7/29/1996-10/31/20122009-10/31/201210/31/2012-PresentDavis and Elkins College, 1969Georgetown University Law Center, 1972

Senior judges by appointing political party

This graph displays the percent of senior judges by the party of the appointing president and does not reflect how a judge may rule on specific cases or their own political preferences.


Magistrate judges

Magistrate Judge Aaron Goodstein1979 - PresentUniversity of Wisconsin, J.D., 1967
Magistrate Judge Patricia Gorence1994-PresentMarquette U. Law, 1977
Magistrate Judge William Callahan1995 - PresentMarquette U. Law, J.D., 1973
Magistrate Judge James Sickel1975 - PresentMarquette U., B.A., 1967Marquette U. Law, J.D., 1974
Magistrate Judge Nancy Joseph
Magistrate Judge William E. Duffin3/28/2014-3/27-2022University of IllinoisUniversity of Iowa, 1987


The Counties of the Eastern District of Wisconsin (click for larger map)

The Eastern District of Wisconsin has original jurisdiction over cases filed within its jurisdiction. These cases can include civil and criminal matters that fall under federal law.

The geographic jurisdiction of the Eastern District of Wisconsin consists of all the following counties in the eastern part of the state of Wisconsin.

There are two court divisions, each covering the following counties:

The Green Bay Division, covering Brown, Calumet, Door, Florence, Forest, Kewaunee, Langlade, Manitowoc, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto, Outagamie, Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara and Winnebago counties

The Milwaukee Division, covering Dodge, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Kenosha, Marquette, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Sheboygan, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha counties




Federal Court Caseload Statistics*
YearStarting case load:Cases filed:Total cases:Cases terminated:Remaining cases:Median time(Criminal)**:Median time(Civil)**:3 Year Civil cases#:Vacant posts:## Trials/Post
2013 1608200036082085 15239.56.237 (3.3%)117
2012 1735186536001968 163212.76.941 (3.8%)012
2011 1902193538372028 180912.56.937 (3.5%)010
2010 1924177937031801 190211.77.643 (3.8%)013
2009 1812194137531800 195310.87.260 (5.2%)015
2008 1836182836641850 181410855 (5.3%)09
2007166419403604193016748.48.246 (4.1%)06
*All statistics are taken from the Official Federal Courts' Website and reflect the calendar year through September.    **Time in months from filing to completion.
#This statistic includes cases which have been appealed in higher courts.    ##This is the total number of months that any judicial posts had spent vacant that year.

Notable cases

For a searchable list of opinions, please see Justia.com-Dockets and Filings-Eastern District of Wisconsin.


Court history

The State of Wisconsin was established and organized as one judicial district by Congress on May 29, 1848, with one post to cover the entire state. This judicial district was not assigned to a judicial circuit and was therefore granted the same jurisdiction as United States circuit courts, excluding appeals and writs of error, which are the jurisdiction of the United States Supreme Court.

On July 15, 1862, Statute 12 Stat. 576 reorganized the judicial circuits, repealed the circuit court jurisdiction of the U.S. District Court for the District of Wisconsin, and then assigned the district to the Eighth Circuit. Statute 14 Stat. 209 again reorganized the circuits, and assigned the U.S. District Court for the District of Wisconsin to the Seventh Circuit on July 23, 1866.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Wisconsin was divided into two judicial districts, known as the Eastern District of Wisconsin and the Western District of Wisconsin on June 30, 1870, with one judgeship authorized to each district. The sitting judge was assigned to the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

Over time, four additional judicial posts were added, for a total of five current posts.[8]

Judicial posts

The following table highlights the development of judicial posts for the Eastern District of Wisconsin:[8]

Year Statute Total Seats
May 29, 1848 9 Stat. 233 1
June 30, 1870 16 Stat. 171 1
February 10, 1954 68 Stat. 8 2
March 18, 1966 80 Stat. 75 2 (1 temporary)
June 2, 1970 84 Stat. 294 3
October 20, 1978 92 Stat. 1629 4
December 21, 2000 114 Stat. 2762 5

Former chief judges

In order to qualify for the office of chief judge in one of the federal courts, 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 in the office of chief judge 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. Unlike the Chief Justice of the United States, a chief judge returns to active service after the expiration of his or her term and does not create a vacancy on the bench by the fact of his or her promotion.[9][10]

Former judges

For more information on the judges of the Eastern District of Wisconsin, see former federal judges of the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

Judicial nominating commission

In April 2013, Senators Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson created the Wisconsin Federal Nominating Commission. The commission would recommend nominees for the following courts: Eastern District of Wisconsin, Western District of Wisconsin and Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. The commission would also recommend United States Attorneys for the Eastern and Western Districts. It would be comprised of six members of the Wisconsin State Bar, with three members appointed by each senator.[11]

Federal courthouse

Two separate courthouses serve the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

Judge J.P. Stadtmueller wrote a history of the court entitled "Milwaukee's 'Crown Jewel', The Historic United States Courthouse and Federal Building," which is accessible here. The building was commenced in 1892, completed in 1899, and for some time served as a Post Office building.[12]

See also

External links