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Chief Judge Needham to seek re-election this spring

Chief Judge Scott R. Needham, who has served in St. Croix County Circuit Court for 17 years, will seek election to a fourth term in April 2012.

Since his last election in 2006, Needham has won recognition both within and outside of the court system for his fairness, knowledge of the law and leadership skills. Last spring, the Wisconsin Supreme Court selected Needham to serve as Chief Judge of the Tenth Judicial District. In this role, Needham is responsible for the administration of the courts in the state's largest judicial district, which encompasses a group of 13 northwestern Wisconsin counties. He also continues to hear and decide cases in St. Croix County and maintain a full case load. Prior to his appointment as Chief Judge, Needham served as Deputy Chief Judge and as Presiding Judge for St. Croix County for six years.

In 2010, the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) - a national organization of lawyers who represent both defendants and plaintiffs in civil cases - presented Needham with its 'Trial Judge of the Year' award, calling the judge "conscientious and diligent." ABOTA presents the award each year to a member of the Wisconsin judiciary "Whose thorough preparation, breadth of knowledge of the law, decisive rulings and courtesy to litigants, jurors and members of the bar have consistently advanced the interest of justice and the dignity of the judicial process."

Needham's recognition as Trial Judge of the Year and his selection as Chief Judge reflect the active role he has played in improving the justice system.

He currently serves on the STOP Grant Committee, which helps to fund initiatives designed to improve the criminal justice system's response to violence against women. He is also past chair of the Criminal Jury Instruction Committee, which drafts model jury instructions used by judges across the state. In addition, he has been active in developing continuing educational programs for Wisconsin judges.

"The citizens of St. Croix County have provided me the opportunity to serve in a position of the highest public trust," Needham said. "Each day I serve as a judge, I am humbled and gratified by their support and I look forward to the significant challenges and opportunities that the next six years will bring."

Prior to his election to the bench in 1994, Needham worked in private law practice for 16 years.

Needham resides in Star Prairie Township with his wife, Jean, who currently serves as Director of Development at Westfields Hospital in New Richmond. They have three adult children.