Graham Kilmer

Carl Ashley Named Milwaukee’s Chief Judge

Ashley currently serves as deputy chief judge and has served on the bench since 1999.

By - Mar 17th, 2023 05:01 pm
Chief Judge Carl Ashley. Photo courtesy of Wisconsin Circuit Court System.

Chief Judge Carl Ashley. Photo courtesy of Wisconsin Circuit Court System.

Judge Carl Ashley has been appointed by the Wisconsin Supreme Court to serve as the next Chief Judge of Wisconsin’s First Judicial District.

He will take office April 15, replacing current Chief Judge Mary E. Triggiano who has served in the position since 2020 and is leaving the bench to take a job with Marquette University Law School.

As chief judge Ashley will oversee the operations of Milwaukee County’s Circuit Court system and its 47 branches. Chief judges can serve up to three consecutive two-year terms.

Ashley currently serves as Deputy Chief Judge, a position he also held under the prior chief judge Maxine White, who now serves on the Court of Appeals.

Ashley was first elected a circuit court judge in 1999. Since then, he has presided over courtrooms in every division: Misdemeanor, Felony, Large Claims Civil, Children’s Court and Family Court. He also has experience hearing cases in some new courts created to address specific problems and populations, like the Adult Drug Treatment Court, the Veterans Treatment Court and the Domestic Violence Court.

A graduate of Marquette University Law School, Ashley began his law career in 1983 working in the state Public Defenders Office. He went on to work in private practice and as an Administrative Law Judge. In 1997, when former Judge Larry Graham announced his intention to retire from the court in 1999, Ashley started campaigning, according to the State Bar of Wisconsin. He has won four elections since then and will win again this spring as he is running unopposed.

Along with serving on the bench, Ashley is also the Chair of the Supreme Court Planning and Policy Subcommittee on Effective Justice Strategies and the Milwaukee County Race, Equity, and Procedural Justice Committee.

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