By Shereen Siewert
After nearly 30 years as a public defender Suzanne O’Neill will become Marathon County’s newest judge, filling a vacancy created by Judge Jill Falstad’s July 3 retirement.
Gov. Tony Evers made the announcement on Monday and said O’Neill brings a “wealth of experience to the bench.”
O’Neill has been a public defender in Marathon County since 1991, including being in management roles since 2004, and has represented thousands of indigent people in her tenure.
O’Neill is a past president of the Marathon County Bar Association and Marathon County Library Foundation. She is a founding member of the Marathon County OWI Treatment Court and has served on dozens of committees, including the Marathon County Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee and Marathon County Criminal Justice Advisory Committee.
Judge Falstad praised the appointment and pledged her full support for O’Neill.
“Suzanne O’Neill is uniquely qualified to serve as our next judge in Marathon County. She has the right blend of skills and qualities to ensure she will be an excellent judge,” Falstad said. “O’Neill is an extremely competent courtroom attorney, providing her with a strong foundation to quickly become an effective, competent jurist. In addition to being diligent, thorough, and prepared for court, she is also thoughtful and a good listener. Her qualities of patience and understanding along with being firm and decisive ensure she will be respectful, fair, and just with all of those who appear in her courtroom. O’Neill’s demonstrated leadership skills will also serve our justice system well in solving the many complex challenges we face.”
O’Neill said she is both humbled and honored by the appointment and looks forward to her new role.
“I would like to thank Governor Evers for the opportunity and for his confidence in my ability to serve as a fair and impartial jurist who will treat all with dignity and respect,” O’Neill said.
O’Neill earned her law degree from DePaul University College of Law. She received the Leaders in the Law Award from the Wisconsin Law Journal in 2018.
In April, Falstad announced she would retire. First elected to the position in 2009, Falstad, who was marathon County District Attorney for 15 years before serving on the bench, was reelected in 2015 for a term that expires in 2021.
By Shereen Siewert Marathon County Circuit Judge Jill Falstad will step down on July 3, Wausau Pilot & Review confirmed Friday. Falstad was first elected to the position in 2009. She was reelected in 2015 for a term that expires in 2021. Before serving on the bench Falstad served as Marathon County District Attorney from…