From our readersIssue Date: February 20, 2013
Re: Judge James Morrison, Circuit Court for Marinette County
The citizens of Marinette County are fortunate to have a circuit court judge of the quality of Judge Jim Morrison. A person of high integrity, Judge Morrison also distinguished himself as a lawyer in private practice before taking the bench. He has the happy confluence of intellect, judgment, personal and professional experience, common sense, high character, and devotion to public service that one sees in our very best judges.
Since 1985 I have been on the law faculty at Marquette Law School. Before then I was a state prosecutor in Milwaukee County for seven years. I write and teach extensively about litigation, evidence, ethics, criminal law, and procedure. Outside the Law School my audiences include lawyers, judges and the public. Every year I spend substantial time teaching judges about trials, evidence, and criminal law. Having done this for several decades, I have developed a good sense of the traits shared by our best judges. And I see them in Judge Morrison.
Currently I also chair the Wisconsin Board of Bar Examiners (the BBE), which is how I first met Judge Morrison. Briefly, the BBE regulates admission to practice law in Wisconsin. It assesses applicants character and fitness as well as their legal knowledge. Judge Morrisons six years of service on the BBE was exemplary. Despite the demands of his private law practice, he devoted extensive time to the BBE, which he essentially managed for months after a former BBE director had to be replaced.
In our work together, I observed Judge Morrison preside over character and fitness hearings with professionalism, compassion and fairness. He listened carefully to the evidence and applied the law in a fair and impartial manner. As a board colleague, Judge Morrison provided leadership on diverse issues facing the BBE but always listened and remained open to reasoned arguments. After his six-year term ended in 2010, Judge Morrison continued his volunteer work by chairing a committee on revising the Wisconsin bar examination and helping grade the bar exam itself.
It is also manifestly important that judges have the skills and background to handle the wide variety of cases brought before them. As a general practitioner, Judge Morrison dealt with a broad range of legal issues that have undoubtedly contributed to his effectiveness on the bench up to this point. His impressive breadth of legal knowledge and experience helped us immeasurably on the BBE. Today it is Marinette County that profits from his knowledge.
Finally, Judge Morrison is a person of high character, a man of integrity who lives up to the highest standards of the legal profession. It is with pleasure that I call him my friend.
Daniel D. Blinka,
Professor of Law
Marquette University Law School
To the Editor:
We at Northern Pines Community (NPC) Church are in our 12th year of service to the communities of Beecher, Dunbar, Pembine and Amberg. We believe Jesus is to be put first in all things. We do differ from most churches in believing Jesus died for all mankind and that every person can be saved, white, black, gay or straight.
Because of believing the church of God is open to all, we have experienced the hate brought by those that say God hates gays.
This hate has come in may ways - exclusion from the church community to a noose with a toy man hung over the cross on our church sign. A group of people running a food pantry has started asking people if they belong to NPC Church. What next, will they not let them come for food?
Why spend time hating when we should be about the Masters work. The public is invited to visit us.
For information, call Rev. Leonard Newlin at 715-324-5673.
In the name of Jesus,
To the Editor:
I work as Instructional Academic Staff at UW-Marinette. Im in my fifth year teaching Spanish and my second year teaching English as a Second Language to international students. I love my job for many reasons, including my love of languages, the pleasure of working with adult students from many different walks of life and areas of the globe, and the camaraderie of those I am blessed to work with at the universitysome of whom used to be my professors when I was a student here from Fall 2000-Spring 2002.
One of those instructors was a local attorney teaching State and Local Politics. I was a Political Science major, so I naturally took every related class UW-Marinette offered while I was here. The class turned out to be one of my favorites, something I remembered even when I went on to earn my Bachelors degree from UW-Green Bay and Masters degree from UW-Milwaukee.
Our professor allowed us to choose a current topic in local politics to debate as a class, and a braver student than I was suggested the much-disputed construction of a new correctional facility in Marinette. The professor agreed and split the class into equal sides for and against the project. We would research the pros and cons of the project and present both sides to the class. Then we would hold a mock community meeting of the Marinette County Board with the Chair presiding, and we would each have the opportunity to make any argument we wished, for or against. The day came, we held our meeting, and out of a class of maybe 20-25 students, two decided against the jail instead of in favor of it.
Im not writing today to rehash an old issue or to make the case that building the jail was, in fact, a good idea. Im writing in support of that professor who gave his class a challenging and intriguing, real-world experience in local government. Jim Morrison is now my colleague and a Marinette County Circuit Court judge. He was nominated as judge and is now up for election, and I would like to encourage the public to vote for Jim Morrison to continue his service to Marinette County. I have confidence in his objectivity because I witnessed it first in the classroom as his student, and witness it now as his coworker. He brings a broad range of work experiences, respect for those around him, and a firm sense of impartiality to the benchsomething I greatly appreciated as a political science student who saw a lot of personal bias in my years of studies.
In the upcoming election, I will be secure in my vote for Jim Morrison. Please consider making him your choice for Marinette County Circuit Court judge.
Continued on A-5
I am writing this letter in regards to the Honorable Judge James Morrison. I have had many courtroom experiences and usually they consist of only Prosecution, Defense, Judge and Gavel. They are always standard with nothing remarkable. However, recently I found myself back in the courtroom with a family member. At first the proceedings seemed routine until the time of sentencing, when the judge began to hand down his ruling.
Judge James Morrison was the judge on this case, and I was very impressed with the manner in which he spoke to the young man that was being sentenced. Not only was he fair and just, but he took the time to lecture him like a father would to a troubled son. He spoke with compassion and care. He didnt speak negatively, but positively, telling him that it was not too late, and he still had a chance at a future. He didnt just hit the gavel and say courts adjourned. I appreciated the fact that there are still judges who care about young people who are in trouble and are in need of help and assistance, not just punishment. These are sons, daughters, brothers and sisters of someone. This should be appreciated by the public.
I believe that Marinette County is truly blessed to have Judge James Morrison presiding in its courtrooms. I can only hope that he is re-elected and serves for many years to come.
Letter to Editor:
My name is Madie McLain from Beecher-Dunbar-Pembine school. I am in 7th grade and in our schools SADD group. Judge Morrison came to our school and talked to our SADD group about how unhealthy drinking and smoking are. He also talked about heroin and how it was becoming popular in our county. He explained to us it took one injection to become addicted to heroin. Judge Morrison also talked about how difficult his job was to see kids deal with abuse and drinking or smoking. He was a good influence on me and our SADD group to not drink and drive, text and drive, also not to do drugs and to influence other kids to stop! I believe that Judge Morrison is doing a good job for our county. Thanks, Judge Morrison.
On behalf of the Marinette County Public Libraries, I would like to thank members of our county who made Valentines Day cards for our veterans. Together, the libraries sent more than 500 cards to the VA Hospital in Iron Mountain in time for Valentines Day. The cards brightened the day of service members and helped them know that their community acknowledges and appreciates their service to our country.
Mariel Carter, Reference Librarian,
Stephenson Public Library
Peshtigo Times Editor:
Would you please pass along this information to Town of Stephenson residents and property owners:
As chair of the Town of Stephenson Road Committee, I have been doing some research comparing our towns Public Works Department with Marinette County Highway Department. I shared the information recently with the Town Board, and would like to pass it along to everyone:
The county has 340 miles of road.
They use 15 trucks and they have almost $1,000,000 budget for snow removal.
Each county driver covers 25 miles for snow plowing.
In one storm they used 750 tons of salt, approximate cost $54,000. This amount does not cover full wages and wear and tear.
We (Town of Stephenson) have six trucks and they each cover almost 50 miles of road. There are 220 miles of town road to plow.
To be comparable to the county we would need three more trucks and a minimum of three more employees, full or part time.
That would bring the total to nine trucks and a budget of about $700,000. (Our towns full highway department budget for the year, including summer is $500,000.)
The county can plow their roads two times to our one.
They also have spare trucks if they have any break downs. We do not have that luxury. When storms come every other day it is almost impossible to plow all the roads in the Town of Stephenson.
Tom La Susa, Supervisor,
Town of Stephenson
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