Richard S. Brown

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Richard S. Brown (born March 31, 1946) is an American jurist and the retired chief judge of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. Brown served as a Court of Appeals judge from 1978 to 2015 and as chief judge from 2006; his service on the court concluded on July 31, 2015.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Brown was born in Racine, Wisconsin;[2] his father, Manny S. Brown, was an attorney and politician who later served in the Wisconsin State Assembly. Richard Brown graduated from Miami University in 1968 and the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1971.[2] He served as an assistant district attorney in Racine County from 1971 until 1973, when he entered private practice in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, specializing in commercial litigation.[3] In 1978, Brown was elected to a judgeship on the newly created Wisconsin Court of Appeals, serving in the court's Waukesha-based District II.[4] At the time of his election, Brown was the youngest judge serving in Wisconsin's courts.[3] In 1983, Brown was appointed presiding judge of District II.[5] Also in 1983, Brown, who is hearing-impaired, became the first judge to use a real-time, computerized transcription system in a Wisconsin courtroom.[6]

In 1990, Brown challenged Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Donald Steinmetz, a conservative incumbent, in his reelection bid.[4] After a contentious campaign, Brown was defeated in the April general election, despite receiving considerable support and the endorsement of the Milwaukee Journal.[7][8] Brown continued to serve on the Court of Appeals; in May 2007, he was named the court's chief judge and assumed that office on August 1.[9]

On February 2, 2015, Brown announced his retirement from the Court of Appeals, effective August 2.[10]


  1. ^ "Neubauer Appointed Chief Judge of Appeals Court, District Chiefs Appointed". State Bar of Wisconsin. Retrieved 2015-05-08. 
  2. ^ a b "Chief Judge Richard S. Brown". Wisconsin Court System. Retrieved 2011-11-25. 
  3. ^ a b Forward, Joe. "Chief Appeals Court Judge Richard Brown Says Fare Thee Well". Inside Track. State Bar of Wisconsin. Retrieved 31 July 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "Brown files for high court race". The Milwaukee Sentinel. 14 October 1989. Retrieved 31 July 2015. 
  5. ^ "Fabyan to seek Appeals Court seat". The Milwaukee Journal. 3 October 1983. Retrieved 31 July 2015. 
  6. ^ "Hard-of-hearing judge gives computer a trial". The Milwaukee Sentinel. 16 September 1983. Retrieved 31 July 2015. 
  7. ^ "Best choices on Tuesday's ballot". The Milwaukee Journal. 2 April 1990. Retrieved 31 July 2015. 
  8. ^ Lamke, Kenneth R. (6 April 1990). "Incumbency, endorsements, and negative ads all work". The Milwaukee Sentinel. Retrieved 31 July 2015. 
  9. ^ "Brown picked to lead state appeals court". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 2 May 2007. Retrieved 31 July 2015. 
  10. ^ Vielmetti, Bruce (2 February 2015). "After 37 years, Chief Judge Brown to retire from Court of Appeals". The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 31 July 2015.