Our Wisconsin constitution has very few requirements for the office of circuit court judge. A candidate must be licensed to practice law in Wisconsin for five years and a qualified elector, one who has resided in the county for at least 28 consecutive days before any election.
To qualify as a good judge, a person must possess the appropriate temperament necessary to deal fairly with the parties appearing before them. A judge should have knowledge and understanding of substantive and procedural law. A judge needs to work effectively with the participants in the judicial process – the parties, clerks, bailiffs, court reporters and victim advocates.
In my opinion, Vicki Taggatz Clussman has the qualities to be a good judge and is the better candidate for circuit judge.
In order to assess my opinion, you need to know a little bit about me. I have had the privilege of practicing law in Waupaca County for many years. I have served as district attorney on the Republican ticket and as a part time judicial court commissioner, appointed by the circuit judges, for over 20 years. I do know both the candidates and have had cases with each one.
For 26 years Vicki Taggatz Clussman has been a Waupaca County prosecutor. She has extensive jury trial experience and has worked to protect our families and victims of crimes. In part, because of the success of the mediation practices for civil cases, circuit judges are finding themselves spending more of their time on criminal and juvenile delinquency cases. That is one of the reasons Vicki’s experiences as an assistant district attorney is most relevant and will serve her well on the bench.
I also see Vicki outside the courtroom – in the grocery store or at community events. During this campaign, what I hear most often from people is that Vicki is well respected in our community.
Vicki’s father is a World War I1 Navy Veteran. When you have family members in the military it helps you to understand the challenges facing veterans. A client of mine was deployed to the Kunar Province of Afghanistan serving in the most contentious and hazardous region. He returned to our community and found himself facing felony charges as a result of a traffic incident. Vicki allowed my client to get help for post-traumatic stress disorder and did not insist on a felony conviction.
Vicki has been a strong advocate of victim’s rights. She has worked to insure that the rights of victims are protected in a manner no less vigorous than the protection afforded criminal defendants. I can recall representing a rather sympathetic, elderly client convicted of robbery. I was hoping for probation for my client. Vicki, citing the impact of the crime on the store clerk, requested and received a long prison sentence for the defendant, from the court.
To sum up, Vicki Taggatz Clussman has demonstrated sound judgment as a prosecutor and I am confident she will do so as circuit judge.
Thank you for considering my thoughts and reviews. Please vote Vicki Taggatz Clussman for circuit judge on April 1, 2014.
Thomas A. Maroney