Michael J. Dwyer
Michael Dwyer served as a Circuit Court Judge in Milwaukee County from 1997 until September 2019. He retired from the bench but continues to focus on helping families in transition by serving as a mediator. Judge Dwyer will share his expertise and provide high quality mediation services in family law cases.
During his tenure on the bench, Judge Dwyer worked to improve legal processes to make court more efficient and achieve better outcomes for families. Judge Dwyer also helped change statewide policy to expand use of limited-scope representation, and, most recently, chaired a Supreme Court Committee that resulted in approval of a nationally trend-setting rule permitting lawyer-mediators in family law cases to draft and file all legal documents as a neutral on behalf of both parties.
Judge Dwyer became a lawyer and judge to help people. He preferred being in the Family Court, which gave him the opportunity to work directly with the people involved and their lawyers to address the issues about which they cared most deeply: their children and their finances. His goal has always been to tailor the process of family restructuring to meet the needs of each family and help the parties resolve their issues efficiently and with minimum damage to the relationship, especially when there are children involved.
Judge Dwyer is a frequent lecturer to judges, lawyers and family law practitioners. In 2019, Judge Dwyer was named Jurist of the Year by the Wisconsin State Bar, granted a distinguished service award by the Milwaukee Bar Association and designated a Leader in the Law by the Wisconsin Law Journal.
Now retired from the bench, Judge Dwyer continues his work by promoting and providing high quality mediation services. He mediates in cases where the parties are represented by attorneys where the assistance of a mediator is needed to facilitate an agreement to avoid the cost and conflict of court litigation. He also assists couples who are not represented to help them navigate separation and divorce with integrity and a focus on their family.
Judge Dwyer’s mission is to provide mediation services which result in more people having access to legal information and assistance in resolving their family law issues and ultimately in reaching reasonable and durable agreements for themselves and their families.