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Richard John Sankovitz

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Richard John Sankovitz
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Current Court Information:
Milwaukee County Circuit Court, Wisconsin
Title:   Judge
Active:   1996 -
Personal History
Undergraduate:   Marquette University
Law School:   Harvard Law School
Richard John Sankovitz presides in Branch 29 of the Milwaukee County Circuit Court.[1] He was appointed in 1996 and was re-elected in 1997, 2003 and 2009. He currently serves in the felony division. Previously he served in the civil division. He has presided over each of the court's specialty calendars, domestic violence, drugs, guns and homicide/sexual assault.[2]


  • Circuit Court Judge, 1996-present
  • Shareholder, Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C., Milwaukee (1986-1996)
  • Associate, Jenner & Block, Chicago (1984-1986)
  • Law Clerk, Hon. Terence Evans, U.S. District Court (E.D. Wis.) 1983-1984

Bid for the federal judiciary

In 2009 Sankovitz applied to fill a vacancy on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, along with 10 others. The applications were reviewed by the Wisconsin Federal Judicial Nominating Commission, which made recommendations to U.S. Sens. Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold. The Senators then recommended candidates for nomination to President Obama.[3]

Sankovitz was recommended by the Commission, along with federal district judge Lynn Adelman, attorneys Dean Strang and Linda Clifford, and UW law professors Anuj Desai and Victoria Nourse.[4]


  • Harvard Law School, J.D., 1983
  • Marquette University, B.A. summa cum laude, 1980

Service to the Courts and the Legal Profession

  • Chair, State Bar of Wisconsin Access to Justice Study Committee[5]
  • Chair, Criminal Benchbook Committee
  • Chair, Milwaukee County Circuit Court Local Rules Revision Project
  • Former Chair, Wisconsin Supreme Court Planning & Policy Advisory Committee, Planning Subcommitee
  • Former faculty member, Wisconsin Judicial College
  • Presiding Judge, Felony Division (2008-present)
  • Presiding Judge, Misdemeanor Division (1998-2000)
  • Contributing author, Contract Law in Wisconsin (State Bar of Wisconsin CLE Books)[6]

Awards and Recognition

  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Wisconsin Law Journal Leaders in the Law, 2008
  • Common Good Gatekeeper Award, 2006
  • MYLA/LAW Volunteer Lawyers Project Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Leadership, 2003
  • Association for Women Lawyers Outstanding Pro Bono Services Award, 2000
  • MYLA/LAW Volunteer Lawyers Project Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Services, 1992

External links


WisconsinWisconsin Supreme CourtWisconsin Court of AppealsWisconsin Circuit CourtsWisconsin Municipal CourtsUnited States District Court for the Eastern District of WisconsinUnited States District Court for the Western District of WisconsinUnited States bankruptcy court, Eastern District of WisconsinUnited States bankruptcy court, Western District of WisconsinUnited States Court of Appeals for the Seventh CircuitWisconsin countiesWisconsin judicial newsWisconsin judicial electionsJudicial selection in WisconsinWisconsinTemplate.jpg