“Judge Screnock is a brilliant legal mind with a moral compass that is above reproach.”
About Judge Michael Screnock
Sauk County Circuit Court Judge Michael Screnock was born and raised in Wisconsin.
Having spent his earliest years in Marquette County, where his father served as district attorney, the family moved to his mother’s hometown of Baraboo in Sauk County when he was five years old. After graduating from Baraboo High School, Judge Screnock chose to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he was an active member of the UW Marching Band tuba section. He met his wife, Karen from Brookfield, Wisconsin, on the UW campus and they were married the summer before he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics in 1990. Judge Screnock next attended Eastern College (now University) and received his MBA with an emphasis in Urban Economic Development in 1992. Their oldest child was born during graduate school.
Their growing family returned to Wisconsin where Michael sought ways to use his training and talents to serve the public. He received an opportunity to serve another Sauk County community by running the City of Reedsburg’s community development program. Much of this work focused on assisting low income and first-time homeowners make necessary home repairs. He then served as Reedsburg’s full time building inspector and then its finance director. The family left Sauk County so Michael could serve the Chequamegon Bay region in northern Wisconsin – first as Washburn’s city administrator and then as Ashland’s finance director. During this time he worked with many local leaders on strategies to position the entire region for success in the 21st century.
After nearly twelve years serving in local government, and after thoughtful deliberation with his family, Michael decided to return to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to attend law school, where he earned his Juris Doctor degree in 2006.
Judge Screnock next sought a position with a law firm where he could build off of his local government experience and be positioned to work on cases that could have statewide impact. He accepted a position with the Michael Best & Friedrich law firm in its Madison office, where his expectations were realized. He worked on many complex cases as well, including defending Act 10. His work focused on civil litigation and administrative proceedings in a wide variety of subject areas, including real estate and land use disputes, governmental regulation, assessment and taxation, public utility regulation, environmental law, and election law. He worked on numerous cases before the Wisconsin Court of Appeals and Wisconsin Supreme Court. During this time, Judge Screnock also co-authored annual legal updates on Administrative Law topics for a Wisconsin State Bar publication.
In 2015, Judge Screnock was appointed by Governor Walker to a seat on the Sauk County Circuit Court, located in Baraboo. He counts it an honor and privilege to serve his hometown and surrounding communities in this capacity. In 2016, he successfully ran unopposed to retain his seat on the circuit court. During his time on the bench he has seen thousands of cases to their end. As one of three Sauk County judges, he handles every type of case, including juvenile cases, probate, small claims disputes, harassment injunctions, divorce and other family matters, traffic and other ordinance violations, contract and other civil disputes, civil commitments, and every manner of criminal case from disorderly conduct to first-degree intentional homicide. He also has had the pleasure of presiding over the Sauk County Adult Drug Court since its inception in January 2016.
In addition to his professional work, Judge Screnock has remained thoroughly engaged in volunteer community service. Throughout the years he has served as a scout leader, soccer coach, soccer referee, mock trial coach, and math team coach, as well as holding numerous positions within the local church. He also continues to enjoy playing the tuba, and has performed in community bands and small church ensembles.
Michael and Karen have three adult sons and one daughter-in-law, who all live in Wisconsin.