Gov. Scott Walker
Press Release

Governor Scott Walker Appoints Milwaukee County Judge

Throughout her career, Havas has distinguished herself as a leader in the legal community.

By - Aug 24th, 2015 10:28 am

Madison – Today Governor Scott Walker announced the appointment of attorney Michelle Ackerman Havas to the Milwaukee County Circuit Court bench.  Havas will fill the seat previously held by Judge Rebecca Bradley.

“Michelle Ackerman Havas is a highly-respected and well-qualified to serve the community in her new position on the bench,” said Governor Walker.  “Her experience and firm commitment to the rule of law will make her a valuable addition the Milwaukee County judiciary.”

Havas comes to the bench from the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office, where she has served as an Assistant District Attorney since 2002.  While there, she prosecuted a wide variety of complex civil litigation cases involving important issues of children’s rights and successfully argued before the Wisconsin Supreme Court.  Havas spent the early years of her legal career with Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek in Milwaukee, where she focused on commercial litigation, insurance defense, consumer transaction and professional liability matters, and where she served as lead counsel on two large claim jury trials.  Prior to her career as a lawyer, Havas was employed as a probation and parole agent at the State Department of Corrections where she represented the Department at revocation hearings.

Throughout her career, Havas has distinguished herself as a leader in the legal community.  She has presented at various training conferences for prosecutors, authored a chapter in Wisconsin Methods of Practice, and served as a Member of the Interstate Compact on Juveniles Advisory Board.  In 2014, Havas was presented with the Women in the Law Award from Wisconsin Law Journal.

Milwaukee County Judge John DiMotto wrote in support of Havas, noting that she is “highly respected by the bench and the bar” and that she has “a passion for the law and service to her community.”  “She has a deep respect for the rule of law,” said Judge DiMotto, “and understands that the role of a judge is to administer the law as given by the legislature and not to legislate from the bench.”

Michael Best and Friedrich attorney Edward Sarskas said that Havas “understands the importance of the courts operating at a high level to efficiently resolve commercial disputes so that our economy can grow and thrive.”  He continued, “Michelle is solid, smart, and reliable, and exhibits the poise and temperament that we can all be proud to see in our judges.”

Havas is actively involved in her church, Hales Corners Lutheran, as a Sunday School Instructor.  She resides in Franklin with her husband, Tom, and two children.

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Chilsen represented the 29th Senate District for six terms from 1967-1990

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