Judge Scott R. Needham selected as chief judge of Tenth Judicial DistrictThe Wisconsin Supreme Court has selected St. Croix County Judge Scott R. Needham to serve as the chief judge of the Tenth Judicial Administrative District.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has selected St. Croix County Judge Scott R. Needham to serve as the chief judge of the Tenth Judicial Administrative District.
The Tenth District is geographically the state’s largest judicial district, encompassing the circuit courts in 13 northwestern Wisconsin counties: Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Burnett, Chippewa, Douglas, Dunn, Eau Claire, Polk, Rusk, St. Croix, Sawyer, and Washburn.
Needham was selected to fill the district chief judge post being vacated by Chief Judge Benjamin D. Proctor, Eau Claire County Circuit Court. Proctor announced his resignation from the bench effective June 29. Needham will fill out Proctor's unexpired term through July and start his own two-year term as chief judge on Aug. 1.
Needham is District Ten deputy chief judge and presiding judge in St. Croix County, where he was first elected in 1994 and re-elected in 2000 and 2006. In his 17 years on the bench, Needham has taken an active role in administrative and leadership issues, serving as chairman of the statewide Criminal Jury Instruction Committee and having served on the Judicial Education committee, as well as other state and local committees. Needham worked in private practice in New Richmond from 1978 to 1994. In 2010, Needham was chosen Judge of the Year by the American Board of Trial Advocates.
“Judge Needham’s excellent working relationships with judges and court administrators throughout the state, his ability to think creatively, and his willingness to consider many points of view make him an ideal candidate for this position,” said Chief Judge Proctor.
Needham thanked the Supreme Court for its confidence and expressed enthusiasm at the opportunity to work with his colleagues around the state on a variety of initiatives and issues facing the judiciary.
The Committee of Chief Judges is comprised of 10 chief circuit court judges selected by the Supreme Court to handle administrative matters for the state’s circuit courts. Working as a team with a deputy chief judge and a professional court administrator, they manage the flow of cases, supervise personnel, develop budgets, and meet monthly as a committee to work on court-related issues of statewide importance. With the exception of Milwaukee, where the chief judge is a full-time administrator, chief judges and their deputies also maintain court calendars. A chief judge can serve up to three, two-year terms, which are staggered.
Needham lives in the town of Star Prairie his wife, Jean. They have three adult children.