Ed Fallone, an expert on constitutional and corporate law and a widely respected attorney, has announced he will run for Wisconsin Supreme Court.I first met Professor Fallone early in the year when I appeared in a panel to discuss the worth of recalls. I was impressed with Fallone's knowledge during the debate and even more impressed with him after the debate, when we joined our host in his home for some post-debate cocktails.
“Attorneys, judges, elected leaders and citizens from around the State have urged me to run because they, like me, believe we need a change in the Supreme Court,” Fallone said. “The increased politicization of the court and the court's dysfunction exemplified by its inability to credibly handle allegations of inappropriate behavior by Justice Prosser are clearly damaging the court’s ability to deliver justice and serve the people of this state.”
Fallone has a broad base of legal experience. He has taught at Marquette University Law School for two decades, focusing on constitutional law, immigration law, securities regulation and corporate law. He also practices law with Gonzalez, Saggio & Harlan specializing in complex civil litigation including corporate law and contractual issues.
“The Wisconsin Supreme Court is dysfunctional and the only way to fix it is to change the personalities on the bench,” said Fallone. “I am not beholden to any political party or faction on the court or any special interest group. The people of Wisconsin expect -- and deserve -- judges who respect the importance of an independent judiciary and who are impartial and fair. That is the kind of Justice I will be.”
“The re-election of Justice Roggensack who is now a part of this dysfunctional court, will not help matters. The Wisconsin Supreme Court cannot police the legal profession if it refuses to police itself. When serious disciplinary charges are brought against a fellow Justice, the people deserve a Justice who will face the issue head on, not run away from it,” Fallone added.
Fallone would be the first Latino Justice on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. His mother immigrated to the United States from Mexico and Fallone grew up in a family equally proud of both its Italian and Mexican heritages. Fallone is married, with two children and lives in Whitefish Bay.
Fallone is active in the greater Milwaukee community. He has worked extensively with several nonprofit organizations serving at risk populations including Centro Legal Inc., The Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Assistance Program and The Latino Community Center. He has also been active in promoting education and support for stem cell research in the state as the President of Wisconsin Stem Cell Now. Fallone was recognized with the President’s Award from Community Shares of Greater Milwaukee in 2010.
Fallone will begin circulating nomination papers which are due to the Government Accountability Board in early January. The non-partisan election for the Supreme Court is in April 2013.
Fallone's knowledge is formidable. He is also an engaging speaker but is, well, judicial in the words he uses. He does not use inflammatory rhetoric and is truly only interested in what the law says and not the political aspect of things. This is evident in the way he reacted to questions the local paper put to him about his primary opponent, Vince Megna:
In an interview, Fallone agreed with Megna that Supreme Court races have taken on partisan overtones in recent years, but he eschewed Megna's political rhetoric.Another asset of Fallone's is that he knows exactly what he is going up against. He knows all about how the corporate backers who support Roggensack operate. And he's not afraid to call them out on their falsehoods.
"I think the elections for Wisconsin Supreme Court have become increasingly partisan, but I don't believe making them more partisan is helpful," Fallone said.
When I handicapped the race a few weeks ago, I pointed out that the Honorable Maryann Sumi was considering a run. I thought that she would also make a fine Supreme Court Justice. I still do. Apparently so does Roggensack, since she support Sumi's decisions 12 out of 13 times.
But if she does chose to run, she will have the corporate special interests going after her for her Act 10 ruling, even though she was absolutely correct in her ruling. This will distract from her true qualifications.
Fallone won't have those problems, and is just as qualified as Sumi, if not more so.
It is because Fallone is highly qualified, extremely knowledgeable of both the Constitution and the law, and does not have any real or perceived ties to either party, nor the unions or corporate special interests which makes him the obvious choice to be on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
And that is why I am going to support him any way I can, including giving him my vote.