May 3, 2022 – Washington Co., WI — Governor Tony Evers announced today his appointment of Ryan Hetzel to the Washington County Circuit Court – Branch 1. The appointment will fill the vacancy being created by Judge James G. Pouros’ resignation, effective June 3, 2022. Hetzel will complete a term ending July 31, 2023.
“Ryan Hetzel is a respected attorney with a breadth of experience,” said Gov. Evers. “His commitment to applying the law fairly and ensuring everyone is treated with respect by the justice system, combined with his dedication to his community, will make him a great judge for the people of Washington County.”
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Hetzel opened his law office as a sole practitioner in his hometown of West Bend in 2002. Since then, he has been a managing partner of a general practice litigation firm and currently owns and operates his own firm. His areas of practice have included personal injury, criminal defense, family law, insurance disputes, and worker’s compensation.
“Ryan is a great choice as the next Branch 1 judge,” said retired Washington County Circuit Court Judge Andrew T. Gonring. “Not only is he a lifelong resident of the Washington County community, but his private practice background gives him the kind of broad experience that a judge needs. His courtroom experience and demeanor will also be great assets. I know he will be able to hit the ground running.”
Hetzel is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point and Marquette University Law School, and lives in West Bend with his family. He is an active member of the Washington County Bar Association, Wisconsin Association for Justice, and Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and has served as president and board member of the Downtown West Bend Association, served on the board of the United Way of Washington County, and is a member of the Washington County Injury Prevention Coalition.
“I would like to thank Governor Evers for the opportunity to serve Washington County as a circuit court judge,” said Hetzel. “Washington County has been fortunate to have been served for many years by distinguished, capable, hard-working, and fair judges. I pledge to work diligently to continue that tradition. It is truly a great honor and privilege to be appointed to the bench.”