The first female judge ever to sit on the District II Court of Appeals will be Lisa Neubauer of Racine.
Gov. Jim Doyle called Neubauer Tuesday to notify her that she was his choice to complete the term left when Judge Neal Nettesheim resigned. She will start in January and serve until that term ends next July 31 - unless Neubauer can get elected to the six-year post.
"I filed (nomination papers) as soon as the governor called," Neubauer said Tuesday.
She will serve her post in Waukesha on the four-judge appellate court - whose Chief Judge Rick Brown is originally from Racine. Neubauer explained that the court hears appeals on all types of cases coming from the circuit courts of the district's 12 counties from Kenosha to Manitowoc and Oshkosh, except Milwaukee County. Those cases can be criminal, civil, family or probate, as examples.
Neubauer was chosen from 17 people who applied for the open post. A nominating commission narrowed that list to six, then sent three names to Doyle, who made the final choice.
Neubauer, 50, is married to Jeff Neubauer, who was a four-term state representative and then Democratic state party chairman for two terms, and also on the Democratic National Committee.
Neubauer has been an attorney at Foley & Lardner LLP since 1989 and was previously a law clerk for Judge Barbara Crabb in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin.
"It feels wonderful," she said about becoming the first woman judge on the District II Court of Appeals. "I'm very thrilled and honored and humbled to join this court."
She's hoping to stay there awhile by running for election in April to what would be a six-year term. With that in mind, Neubauer said she has been building a bipartisan list of supporters from all parts of District II.
"I wanted to show the governor I had very broad support, and bipartisan support and geographical from the district," she said.
"I hope that will translate into a strong base of support for a campaign."
Neubauer earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her law degree, with honors, from the University of Chicago Law School.
She is a former member of the Wisconsin Federal Judicial Nominating Commission and has been named a 2006 and 2007 Wisconsin Super Lawyer. She has served as a board member for the Racine Area United Way, Legal Action of Wisconsin and the Equal Justice Fund.