Please support Todd Hepler for
Columbia County Judge - Branch 1
Thank you for visiting my web site. I hope to earn your vote in my quest to become Columbia County’s next Branch 1 Circuit Court Judge. As the campaign progresses, I hope to add to this site and share some information and insight about the Wisconsin’s courts and legal system.
Hepler has broad experience
As a general practice attorney, I am uniquely qualified as a candidate because I have experience in many diverse areas of the law including civil litigation including large claims and small, probate, estate planning, divorce, custody and placement disputes, guardianships, insurance matters, business formations, grandparent rights cases, adoptions, surrogacy matters, traffic tickets and misdemeanors.
While my law practice is primarily focused in Columbia and Dane Counties, I have also represented clients in other county courts throughout the state including Waukesha, Green, Green Lake, Sauk, Adams, Marquette, Monroe, Juneau, Jefferson and Rock counties.
Hepler hopes to replace retiring Judge Daniel S. George
There are three judges in Columbia County – Judge Daniel S. George (Branch 1) who has announced he is retiring after 24 years on the bench and not seeking re-election on April 7, 2015 Judge W. Andrew Voigt (Branch 2) who was elected in 2011 and Judge Alan J. White (Branch 3) who was elected in 2013.
Wisconsin’s Circuit Court Judges hear all types of cases ranging from divorces to disorderly conduct to dog bites and medical malpractice claims. There are no differences in the duties of the judges. Each of the judges hear all types of cases which are filed in Columbia County.
Guardian ad Litem and Judge share similar roles
A very important segment of my practice is dedicated to representing those who cannot represent themselves – children and the elderly. A guardian ad litem is a lawyer appointed by the Court to represent the best interests of people (such as children in a divorce or child abuse situation or the elderly suffering from cognitive impairment) who cannot represent themselves. I have been regularly and frequently appointed as a guardian ad litem by all three of the current county judges as well as retired Judge Hon. James O. Miller.
The role of a guardian ad litem is much like that of a judge. The guardian ad litem must listen to each party, review evidence and ultimately make a decision about what is in the best interest of the child and make a recommendation to the parties and to the court. It can be a tremendously controversial role because each of the parents feels strongly that he or she is right and the other is wrong. There may have been instances of domestic abuse in the past or significant power imbalances between the parents. The guardian ad litem must consider the contested issues from the best interests of the child’s viewpoint, taking guidance from state laws and caselaw precedents and then advocate for the child’s best interests. Similar to a judge, one side is sometimes pleased with the result and the other is not.
The Hepler Family
Front row from left: Lorelei (6) and Elaine (8). Back row: Tamara and Todd.