By Judge Andrew Jones
I have now had the privilege of serving as the judge in Branch 40 of the Milwaukee County Circuit Court for six months. During that time, I have been assigned to the Court’s criminal division, with a general misdemeanor calendar. In other words, I hear only cases involving misdemeanor criminal charges.
A general misdemeanor calendar is very busy. On any given day, I hear several dozen cases—some days, upwards of fifty. Typical court hearings range from status or scheduling conferences to bail hearings, motion hearings, pleas, sentencing, and trials. We hold jury trials two weeks out of every month, with as many as four cases being tried to verdict during those two weeks.
My six months on the bench have only reinforced for me the importance of the work of a circuit court judge and my commitment to doing the work and doing it well.
Trial judges obviously are important in the sense that they keep our courts functioning so that cases can be heard and resolved. Even more importantly, when they do their job well, trial judges reinforce the critical role the courts play in our community. They also strengthen the public’s faith that the courts will protect our community as a whole and treat each individual who comes before them both fairly and equitably.
I now see even more clearly what made so many judges that I appeared in front of as a practicing lawyer: good judges, ones that lawyers and parties alike welcome the chance to appear before. I see the need for hard work and careful preparation. I see the need to carefully listen to the parties and their lawyers so that they are given the full opportunity to present their case and to have their day in court. I see the need to treat both sides in every case–indeed, everyone who enters my courtroom–with respect. I see the need to maintain a calm, composed temperament and to exercise thoughtful, reasoned judgment with every decision I make. Most importantly, I see the critical need to ensure that the law is applied fairly and equally to all parties who come before me.
I left my practice to join the bench after twenty-four years of serving clients in both the public and private sectors because I wanted the challenge of serving the residents of Milwaukee County in a way that makes these ideals a reality. I was raised by two long-time public servants to value such service, and I feel incredibly lucky to be able to contribute to our legal system and to our community in this way. I have learned a great deal more about Milwaukee County and its incredible people in my six months as a judge, and I expect to continue to learn even more every day I serve on the bench.
I would be honored to continue to serve the people of Milwaukee County as the judge in Branch 40, and I humbly ask for your support on April 2.
To learn more about my campaign, visit https://www.judgeandrewjones.com or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.