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Governor names new judge for Oneida County

Mary Roth Burns
Wisconsin Governor's Office
Mary Roth Burns

A new judge has been named for Oneida County.

Governor Tony Evers announced his appointment of Mary Roth Burns to the Oneida County Circuit Court – Branch 1.

The appointment will fill the vacancy created by Judge Patrick O’Melia’s retirement.

Burns will complete a term ending July 31, 2023. Governor Evers called Burns a well-respected attorney with a breadth of legal and professional experience.

“Her dedication to the community and tireless commitment to the ideals of the law will make her an excellent judge for the people of Oneida County”, said Evers. Burns worked for the Wisconsin State Public Defender’s Office from 2008 until August 2021.

She then opened her own law practice in Rhinelander, representing clients in criminal and family matters.

 She also has extensive experience working with the Vilas County/Lac du Flambeau Healing to Wellness Court and has been working to implement a treatment court in Oneida County. “As the local attorney manager, I was honored to work with Mary Roth Burns for 11 years at the State Public Defender’s Office in Rhinelander and am thrilled that she will continue to serve our community in her new role as Oneida County Judge,” said Attorney Courtney Jolin. 

“Mary is an excellent attorney—she has a strong work ethic and a caring heart. Her years of diverse experiences, long-term ties to the area, and her commitment to public service will guide her well on the bench.”Burns lives in Rhinelander and is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, New York University, and the University of Wisconsin Law School.

She has deep ties to the community, having raised her family in Rhinelander, served on the boards of the Northern Arts Council and ArtStart, and volunteered for many local organizations.“I am honored to accept the appointment to the Oneida County Circuit Court and I appreciate the confidence in me shown by Governor Evers and the governor’s Judicial Selection Advisory Committee,” said Burns.

“I am committed to following Judge O’Melia’s example by resolving cases fairly and efficiently, while treating all parties respectfully and maintaining public safety. I look forward to continuing my positive working relationship with courthouse personnel, attorneys, and law enforcement. With my varied life experience, fifteen years of legal experience, and commitment to fairness, integrity, and impartiality, I look forward to becoming the first female judge in the history of Oneida County.”

John Burton is the WXPR Morning Edition Host.
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