Re-elect Judge Jeff Davis

Independence. Hard Work. Respect.

My Judicial Philosophy

A Message to District II Residents

It has been an incredible honor to serve you. In seeking to retain this position, I want to reiterate the commitments I made during my formal investiture.

Independence. I pledge to continue to apply the law fairly and impartially. Independence is the bedrock of our legal system and without it our system fails. The judicial branch is not a partisan branch of government. To the contrary it is a firewall against the political and societal pressures that often drive the decision-making of the other branches. I will continue to do my part to preserve this role of the judiciary.

Strong work ethic. Doing the job right means making sure each case receives a thorough analysis and diligent review of the record and the law to ensure that the result we reach is sound and well-reasoned. While this is hard work, I count myself among those who genuinely enjoy the challenges it presents. I commit to bring my passion for the law to work every day.

Humility and respect. I have been enormously impressed with the level of quality found in the trial courts of this district. Can legal error occur? Yes — it is inevitable where dozens of decisions are being made in a single day, and that is why appellate courts exist. The role of the court on which I sit is to apply the law as we find it (whether we agree with it or not), while giving great deference to the trial court’s superior position as the finder of fact. Of course, we too can get the law wrong, or apply law that is in need of change, and if and when that happens, our supreme court will let us know. It is all part of an ecosystem designed to achieve justice in the best way our society knows how. I am humbled to play a small role in that ecosystem.

Real legal world experience. While I am the first to admit that I am a bit of a law nerd (seriously, I could spend all day talking about the Economic Loss Doctrine), I also have over three decades of real world, practical experiences that I bring to the job as well. During my legal career I have advised corporate boards, general counsels, small business owners, individuals and pro bono clients to help solve a wide range of legal problems. I regularly practiced appellate law before the court on which I now sit, in the Wisconsin Supreme Court, and in State and Federal courts around the country. I've not left those real world experiences behind — I bring them to my job each and every day. In particular, I think it is critically important to the people we serve that our opinions be "user friendly" — clear, concise and easily understood and applied.

In summary, while a lot of what we do is technical, requiring the parsing of words contained in detailed contracts, statutes and decades of legal precedent, it is important that we be practical too.

Frankly, reaching a decision on how to apply the law is not always easy. A judge is not a bureaucrat. Applying the rule of law requires intellectual honesty, both to the law and the factual record before us. It requires thoughtful and thorough analysis and, within the confines of the law that we apply, that we be cognizant of public policy and long-term practical consequences for the people who will be affected by our decisions.

My commitment to the citizens of the 12 counties of District II, as well as the State at-large, is to continue to follow these principles and ideals to the very best of my ability.

I ask for your Vote on Tuesday, April 6, 2021.

Very truly yours,

Judge Jeffrey O. Davis