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William Griesbach

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William Griesbach
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Current Court Information:
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
Title:   Chief Judge
Position:   Seat #5
Appointed by:   George W. Bush
Active:   5/1/2002 - Present
Chief:   11/1/2012 - Present
Preceded by:   114 Stat. 2762
Personal History
Born:   1954
Hometown:   Milwaukee, WI
Undergraduate:   Marquette U., B.A., 1976
Law School:   Marquette U. Law School, J.D., 1979

William C. Griesbach is a federal judge on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. He joined the court in 2002 after being nominated by President George W. Bush. On November 1, 2012, Griesbach became chief judge of the court.[1]

Early life and education

William Griesbach was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and received his bachelor's degree from Marquette University in 1976 and then his Juris Doctor degree in 1979.[2]

Professional career

Griesbach began his legal career as a law clerk for the Hon. Bruce Beilfuss of the Wisconsin Supreme Court from 1979 to 1980. Griesbach was selected to serve as Staff Attorney for the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit from 1980 to 1982. Griesbach entered the private sector, practicing in Wisconsin from 1982 to 1987. In 1987, Griesbach was an Assistant District Attorney for the Brown County, Wisconsin District Attorney's Office. In 1995, Griesbach was elected to serve as a Judge on the Brown County Circuit Court in Wisconsin, until 2002.[2]

Judicial career

Eastern District of Wisconsin

Griesbach was nominated to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin by President George W. Bush on January 23, 2002, to a new seat created by 114 Stat. 2762. Griesbach was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 25, 2002, and received commission on May 1, 2002.[3]

Notable cases

Fox River cleanup (2013)

     United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin (Appleton Papers Inc. and NCR Corp., v. George A. Whiting Paper Co., et al., 2:08-cv-00016-WCG)

Judge Griesbach was the presiding judge in a lawsuit involving Wisconsin paper companies and their role in cleaning up the Fox River. Griesbach dismissed a suit which was filed by NCR and Appleton Papers, which involved other paper companies and the cities of Appleton and Green Bay, to seek contributions in helping pay down clean up costs. The judge cited that Appleton and NCR Papers were responsible for most of the contamination, however attorneys for both paper companies filed an appeal to the Seventh Circuit.[4] After the appeal the case was returned to Griesbach where he issued an order that NCR is responsible for $4.2 million in damages.[5]


Judge Griesbach was a panelist on "How to Impress or Annoy a Judge" at PINNACLE’s Litigation, Dispute Resolution, and Appellate Practice Section Institute in 2011. He suggested that following local rules goes a long way toward impressing judges and mentions "kitchen-sink" complaints (where numerous claims are made when there is just one or two focal points) as an annoyance.

See here for several more tips from Griesbach: State Bar of Wisconsin "Pet peeves 101: How to impress or annoy a judge in the courtroom". (dead link)

See also

External links


Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
NA-New Seat
Eastern District of Wisconsin
Seat #5
Succeeded by:

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