Koschnick Decisions Overturned at Higher Rate Than Most Peers

Record Since 2000 Puts Him in Bottom Third, 2008 in Bottom Quarter

MADISON, Wis. — Jefferson County Judge Randy Koschnick had a higher reversal rate in 2008 than three quarters of all other circuit court judges and since 2000 more than one in four of his decisions were overturned, according to data released by the Wisconsin Law Journal.

“Randy Koschnick was overturned at such a high rate last year that he’s in the bottom quarter of all his fellow Circuit Court judges,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “His poor record shows his fellow judges don’t have a lot of confidence in Randy Koschnick’s judgment.”

According to the recently released Wisconsin Law Journal rankings of 235 circuit court judges, Koschnick’s decisions since 2000 have been overturned 26 percent of the time. Only 78 of the 235 judges ranked were overturned at a higher rate than Koschnick.

“Randy Koschnick is overturned far more than most judges and the reasons why raise serious questions about his competence,” said Ross. “Higher courts specifically cite Koschnick’s lack of understanding about the law when reversing his decisions.”

Cases where Koschnick’s lack of understanding about the law was cited by higher courts include:

A child support case where the Court of Appeals determined Koschnick had an “erroneous understanding” of a particular law and alleged he had “exceeded [his] authority.” [Zawitkowski v. Zawitkowski, 2001AP000655]

A reckless driving case in which the Court of Appeals said Koschnick had “erroneously exercised [his] discretion” and “applied the wrong legal standard.” [Jefferson v. Demler, 2000AP001593]

“Randy Koschnick seems to make up the law as he goes along,” said Ross. “Either that, or he doesn’t understand the law.”

Over the same time period, ethically-challenged Supreme Court Justices Annette Ziegler and Michael Gableman had similar reversal rates according to the Wisconsin Law Journal rankings.

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