Patrick Willis (judge)

Patrick (“Pat”) Lee Willis was born in Manitowoc, Wisconsin on Feb. 1, 1950, and currently serves as a Circuit Court Judge in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin. Judge Willis gained US national recognition when he presided over the highly publicized Steven Avery homicide trial; his rulings regarding the admissibility of certain key pieces of evidence were frequent sources of news stories. He and his wife, Jean L. Willis, reside in Manitowoc, Wisconsin and have three children; Amanda (Willis) Coe, Ben Willis, and Carly (Willis) Powers. [Young, Rob. "Life Behind Bench New for City Attorney", "Herald Times Reporter", 1997-07-03.]

Early life

Judge Patrick L. Willis grew up in Manitowoc, Wisconsin with his parents Hubert and Liz Willis, his brother Michael, and his sister Colleen. He graduated in 1972 with an honors degree in history from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Judge Willis then attended law school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, graduating with a law degree in 1975. During law school, he served as an editor of the Law Review and his Comment “Informal Administration of Decedents’ Estates in Wisconsin” was published in the Law Review in 1974. [ 1974 Wisc. L.R. 581 ]

Legal career

Willis was admitted to the State Bar of Wisconsin In June, 1975. [Wisconsin State Bar number:1016344] [ [http://www.wisbar.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Lawyer_Directory&Template=/CustomSource/newresdetails.cfm&ID=1016344 WisBar | Lawyer directory ] ] His first job as an attorney was for the law firm of Muchin & Muchin in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. In May, 1977 he was hired as the City Attorney for the City of Manitowoc. During his tenure as City Attorney, Willis helped bring the S.S. Badger car ferry back to Manitowoc, and was instrumental in the revival of the Burger Boat Company thus saving hundreds of local jobs. [Young, Rob. "Life Behind Bench New for City Attorney", "Herald Times Reporter", 1997-07-03.] [Resolution adopted by the Manitowoc Common Council on Aug 4, 1997.] He also served as a legal advisor to the mayor and the common council. He is recognized throughout the Midwest as an authority on trial procedures, and has been a noted speaker at judicial conferences. [ [http://www.wicourts.gov/about/committees/docs/judconflist.pdf Wisconsin Judicial Conference Officers and Standing Committees ] ]

Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson appointed Willis as Manitowoc County Circuit judge in 1997 to fill a vacancy left by Judge Allan Deehr. ["Manitowoc City Attorney Pat Willis Named the new Circuit Court Judge", "Lakeshore Chronicle", 1997-07-20.] Upon completion of his interim term, Judge Willis successfully ran for the same position in 1998, receiving more than 80% of the vote. [Pankratz, Pat. "Patrick Willis Wins Circuit Court Seat By Landslide Over Grieg", "Herald Times Reporter", 1998-04-08.] Upon Willis’s retirement as City Attorney to become a circuit judge, he was given a key to the City of Manitowoc in appreciation for his twenty years of service. [Resolution adopted by the Manitowoc Common Council on Aug 4, 1997. ]

National recognition

Judge Willis presided over the highly publicized Steven Avery homicide trial. [ [http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/99999999/APC0101/701100633/-1/trialarchive Appleton Post-Crescent: Your Fox Cities News Source - Avery trial to start as scheduled in February ] ] The Avery trial was also covered by national news services, including MSNBC [ [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10003226/ Man cleared of rape charged with murder - Crime & courts - MSNBC.com ] ] and Nancy Grace on CNN. [ [http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0512/06/ng.01.html CNN.com - Transcripts ] ] Court TV planned to televise the proceedings, until it was determined that the trial would last five full weeks which would exceed the amount of time Court TV could devote to it. ["Court TV Backs Out of Avery Trial", 2006-12-21. http://www.iwantthenews.com/main.asp?SectionID=16&SubSectionID=8&ArticleID=2785.] Judge Willis' handling of the Avery trial was discussed at law schools outside the state of Wisconsin as a study in trial procedure. [ Civil Procedure Lecture, William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawaii, Apr. 2006 ]

Notes

References

*"Life Sentence In Photographer's Murder", "New York Times", 2007-06-02, Section A9. Retrieved 2007-06-18.
* [http://www.jsonline.com/blog/index.aspx?id=307 "The Steven Avery Trial"] Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
* [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10003226/ MSNBC]
* [http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0512/06/ng.01.html CNN]
* [http://www.wicourts.gov/about/judges/circuit/index.htm Wisconsin Court System]
* [http://www.wfrv.com/news/local/story.aspx?content_id=33e4b570-9ec3-4b6a-a123-cf843118fdc5 "Judge Sentences Avery To Life Without Parole"] WFRV Green Bay
* [http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070602/GPG0101/706020581/1978 "Avery Sentenced To Life Without Parole"] Lee, John. Green Bay Press-Gazette, 2007-06-02. Retrieved on 2007-06-15.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Judge Pat Morris — Patrick ( Pat ) Joseph Morris was born in Needles, California, and is currently the mayor of San Bernardino, California. He currently resides in San Bernardino with his wife Sally Morris. They have two children, Katie Willis, and Jim Morris.… …   Wikipedia

  • Martin Ludlow — (born 1964) was a member of the Los Angeles, California, City Council, representing the 10th district. He resigned effective June 30, 2005, when he became the head of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor …   Wikipedia

  • Larry Fitzgerald — Fitzgerald in 2006 No. 11     Arizona Cardinals Wide receiver Personal information …   Wikipedia

  • Michael Vick — Vick during a post game interview in September 2009 …   Wikipedia

  • Marshawn Lynch — Lynch at the 2005 Las Vegas Bowl No. 24     Seattle Seahawks Running back …   Wikipedia

  • Nnamdi Asomugha — Asomugha at the 2009 OWIN Fundraising event No. 24     Philadelphia Eagles Cornerback Persona …   Wikipedia

  • Steven Avery — (born July 9 1962) is an American criminal. He served 18 years on a rape conviction in which DNA analysis later linked the crime to another man. After his exoneration and release from prison, he was convicted of the murder of Teresa Halbach.… …   Wikipedia

  • Architecture of Chicago — Willis Tower The architecture of Chicago has influenced and reflected the history of American architecture. The city of Chicago, Illinois features prominent buildings in a variety of styles by many important architects. Since most buildings… …   Wikipedia

  • religion — religionless, adj. /ri lij euhn/, n. 1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and… …   Universalium

  • List of United States political families (A) — The following is an alphabetical list of political families in the United States whose last name begins with A.The Abeles*Homer E. Abele (1916 2000), Ohio State Representative 1949 1952, Chairman of the Vinton County, Ohio Republican Committee… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.