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State’s appellate court in La Crosse to hear arguments on bankruptcy case

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For the second time this year, one of Wisconsin’s appellate courts has come to the La Crosse area to do business.

Thursday, the La Crosse courthouse hosted the 4th District Court of Appeals for a hearing on a La Crosse County lawsuit.

Appeals Judge Gary Sherman says going on the road gives the court some visibility.

“Most people hardly realize we exist,” Sherman said. “We are kind of the most invisible court in Wisconsin. We don’t sti in a courtroom all day, we seldom wear robes. We really only hold an oral argument at most a half a dozen times a year.”

The three appeals judges who serve the La Crosse area heard oral arguments in a bankruptcy case.

Judge Michael Fitzpatrick, who joined the 4th District appeals court last year, said about 85 percent of the time the appeals court upholds decisions made at the county level.

Judge Gary Sherman added that the local circuit judges around Wisconsin tend to do a good job.

“The record that we get has left me very impressed with the ability of circuit court judges to make detailed findings and create a record that we can review on the fly, as it were, in the courtroom,” Sherman said.

Fitzpatrick added that the appeals court hears close to 3,000 cases a year but only conducts oral arguments in a handful of them.

In October, the state Supreme Court visited Monroe County. The 4th District covers 24 counties in the western and southern sections of Wisconsin.  

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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