By John DiMotto
As we enter into a new year and decade, it is important for us to take stock of what has brought us to where we are today and where we want to go after today.
I have been a judge for over 19 years and a member of the legal profession for over 35 years. I have seen the good and the bad of the law and lawyering.
I have seen what works and what doesn't work.
I have seen legislation passed for the purpose of improving society -- most legislation --and I have seen legislation passed by politicians who want to promote themselves rather than serve the people who elected them.
I have seen lawyers who truly represent the interests of their clients and lawyers who seek the limelight for themselves even if at the expense of their clients.
But what I have seen, first and foremost, is a true commitment by most people in the law to do what is right; to work to change what is wrong; to seek what is good one so that there will be good for all.
I love being in the law and I love being a judge because the legal profession has the opportunity to help people help themselves and their communities. The legal profession has the capacity to right wrongs and a judge has the opportunity to oversee it all.
Judges are independent. Judges "manage the fray" by being above the fray. Judges control the chaos by applying the law given to them by the legislature and by applying the law as interpreted by appellate courts.
As 2010 begins, my "judicial" resolution is to SERVE the people who elected me and the people who come before me. To treat everyone with dignity and respect. To make decisions "without respect to persons" as our Wisconsin Constitution oath of office demands. To commit to do justice for all.