Resources: January Speakers Forum – How Judges Make Really Make Decisions

Judges decide based on the law and proven facts. Or do they? This session gave us an inside look at the judicial decision-making process.

Our speaker was Judge Charles B. Schudson, author of Independence Corrupted / How America’s Judges Make Their Decisions.

 Click here for a handout about Judge Schudson’s book.

Charles B. Schudson is a Wisconsin Reserve Judge Emeritus, an Adjunct Professor of Law, and President of KeynoteSeminars, LLC.

Judge Schudson graduated from Dartmouth College (Phi Beta Kappa; Senior Fellow), and from the University of Wisconsin Law School (Law Review).  He served as a state and federal prosecutor (1975-82), a Wisconsin Circuit Court Judge (1982-92), a Wisconsin Court of Appeals Judge (1992-2004), Senior Counsel at von Briesen & Roper, s.c. (2004-06), and General Counsel of La Causa, Inc. (2006-09).

Judge Schudson’s honors include the U.S. Justice Department’s Award for Superior Performance, the Wisconsin Child Abuse Prevention Certificate of Special Achievement, Wisconsin Judge of the Year, the 1998 National Human Rights Leadership Award, the 2000 Foundation for Improvement of Justice Award, and the 2004 National Exchange Club Book of Golden Deeds Award.

Judge Schudson has authored hundreds of published appellate opinions and other works including:  On Trial: America’s Courts and Their Treatment of Sexually Abused Children (Beacon Press: 1989; 2d ed., 1991); and Independence Corrupted / How America’s Judges Make Their Decisions (University of Wisconsin Press: 2018), which was nominated for the National Book Award.

 Judge Schudson has keynoted conferences throughout the world, and testified before congressional committees on battered women, the impact of unemployment on children and families, and child sexual abuse.  He has been a featured guest on NPR’s All Things Considered, the PBS McNeil-Lehrer Report, and Oprah.

Judge Schudson has served on the faculties of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, the National Judicial College, the Chautauqua Institution, and Lawrence University’s Björklunden Seminars.  In 2007, he was Lawrence’s Law and Literature Scholar in Residence.  He taught Trial Advocacy at the Wisconsin Law School, 1999-2009, and “Preparing Lawyers for Life,” a course he created, at both Wisconsin and the Marquette University Law School, 2007-09.  A member of the National Association of State Judicial Educators, he specializes in law and literature seminars for judges.

In 2009, Judge Schudson received a Fulbright Fellowship under which he taught law school in Germany, 2011, and Peru, 2014.  Presenting in both English and Spanish, he also has lectured at law schools in Bolivia, Chile, and Mexico.  In 2006, he served as an international observer for the Venezuelan presidential election.

Judge Schudson is a certified mediator and a litigation/appellate consultant.