Judge Nordstrand takes oath of office
St. Croix County Judge Scott Nordstrand took the oath of office Friday afternoon at his investiture.
Nordstrand was appointed in January by Gov. Scott Walker to succeed Eric Lundell.
He has served on the St. Croix County Board. Nordstrand had a 20-year career in law in Alaska, where he worked as a commercial litigator before being appointed deputy attorney general, and briefly served as acting attorney general.
St. Croix County Presiding Judge Scott Needham said he has no doubt after working with Nordstrand that he will do justice to the title of judge.
"I've done my homework and learned that he is certainly well-spoken, very bright and has a passion about the law and advocating for what is just and right," Needham said.
Above all else, Needham said Nordstrand has common sense.
"As I've shared with those who have asked, being a judge is really about 10 percent knowledge of the law and 90 percent common sense," Needham said.
Longtime friend and attorney Hugh Gwin said though much of Nordstrand's legal career was not in St. Croix County, he is not an outsider. Nordstrand grew up in Hudson, graduated from Hudson High School and UW - River Falls and previously served on the Hudson School Board at the age of 20.
"His roots are in this area and he really is one of us," Gwin said.
Gwin said he has followed Nordstrand's career from Alaska back to the Midwest where he has worked as counsel first for SSG Corp. and then Solutran Inc.
"More important to me than his qualifications and his experience in the legal profession is what kind of person he is," Gwin said.
After taking his oath, Nordstrand said he was grateful for the many people who brought him where he is today.
Nordstrand said stepping into the deputy attorney general role in Alaska, a completely different job, has helped prepare him for this new role as a judge.
"I have that capacity," he said. "I think I do have the capacity to learn and grow even at 60 years old."
As an alcoholic who once needed help, Nordstrand said he wants to be a judge that is concerned about helping troubled people move forward.
"The majority I've seen are people that really have a problem, need help, and we can, as Judge Needham said, try to help them along the way. We can't do everything but we can do some things to try to make their life better and to make our community better in the process," Nordstrand said.