Local judge sets down the gavel after 34 years on the bench

Local News

Judge William Atkinson’s setting down the gavel for good.
And after 28 years at the Brown County Courthouse he is entered every case with the same mindset.

“So often when you hear just some facts about the story, it’s easy to come to a conclusion,” said Atkinson. “But you really need to be patient, listen and wait for the whole story to develop.”

And there’s a story he does not want to miss out on.

“I’m blessed to have had a total of nine grandchildren,” he said. “All of my grandchildren are seven and under. So, I’m going to spend some time helping my wife take care of those grandkids.”

“The ability to be with them and to bond with them was so desirable that it caused me actually to retire earlier than I anticipated,” he said.

The original plan was to retire after his term in July 2021, but kids grow up fast and he’s got a lot of wisdom to pass down.
Including traditions from his grandfather who gave him dollar coins for good luck.

“I’ve got a variety of coins I’ve collected here that I intend to pass out to the grandchildren and to my sons and daughter,” said Atkinson.

The courthouse was his home away from home and will always be a part of him as he starts his next chapter in life.

“I’ve been blessed to have many attorneys come to me in these last couple of days and say, ‘Judge, even when you ruled against us, we still respected you because we believed that you listened.,'” he said. “And so that respect from the attorneys is what I’ll probably enjoy the most in my memories from this job.”

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