Governor Appoints Burnett County District Attorney

Gov. Walker announced today he has appointed Joseph M. Schieffer as District Attorney for Burnett County

Governor Appoints Burnett County District Attorney

BURNETT COUNTY — Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker announced today that he has appointed Joseph M. Schieffer as District Attorney for Burnett County.

DrydenWire.com reported on August 9, 2018, that Burnet County D.A. William (Bill) Norine was set to retire on September 1, 2018, and that Schieffer and Daniel P. Steffen were vying for the appointment of District Attorney.  Schieffer and Steffen were both appointed by Burnett County Circuit Court Judge Melissia Mogen to work as Special Prosecutors effective on August 27, 2018,  while they waited for Walker’s selection.

Below you can read the press release from the Governor followed by a statement from Mr. Schieffer.

Press Release from Governor Walker

MADISON  –Governor Scott Walker today appointed Attorney Joseph Schieffer to the position of Burnett County District Attorney. Schieffer will fill the vacancy created by the resignation of William Norine.

“I am pleased to appoint Joe Schieffer as Burnett County district attorney,” said Governor Walker. “I am confident that his legal acumen and dedication to the rule of law will serve the people of Burnett County well and build on Joseph’s success as a district attorney.”

Joseph Schieffer works as a special prosecutor currently in the Burnett County District Attorney’s Office. In this role, Schieffer appears on behalf of the State of Wisconsin and Burnett County in cases involving juveniles, domestic violence, theft, and various other felony and misdemeanor level offenses. Prior to this role in the community, Schieffer was a sole practitioner at his Cumberland based firm, Schieffer Law, LLC. Schieffer successfully managed a heavy caseload involving cases in civil litigation, criminal defense, and family law. Schieffer was also an associate attorney at Smith & Smith Law, LTD, and an assistant district attorney in the Barron County District Attorney’s Office.

In addition to his legal experience, Schieffer is on the board of directors on Kinship of Cumberland & Turtle Lake. Schieffer was previously the treasurer of the Barron County Bar Association. 

Burnett County Circuit Court Judge Melissia Mogen wrote in support of Schieffer, “Mr. Schieffer will be a great asset to those involved in the Burnett County criminal justice system. In the time that he has been special prosecutor for Burnett County, he has shown that he has a positive work ethic, integrity, and the professional experience to serve the people of Burnett County well.” Judge Mogen adds, “The experience Mr. Schieffer gained from being an assistant district attorney in Barron County and as a special prosecutor for Burnett County is valuable and will help him make decisions that are critical in his new role as district attorney.”

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald recommends Schieffer stating, “Joe is seen as an attorney with integrity and unwilling to compromise his principles. Although he has more recently been a criminal defense attorney, the respect he has shown law enforcement while at the same time advocating for his clients has allowed him to maintain the respect of our deputies. He treats everyone with respect.”

Schieffer received his juris doctor from Marquette University, his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh, and his associates degree from Chippewa Valley Technical College.

He resides in Cumberland with his wife Hilary.

Statement from Joseph Schieffer

My name is Joseph Schieffer. I grew up in Fall Creek, Wisconsin where I attended high school and graduated in 2004. Before attending law school, I had a brief stint living in Burnett County about eight years ago. More recently, I have lived in Cumberland, Wisconsin since 2014.

I consider myself a “young old man” and will bring my life’s experiences and education to the table starting day one.

I am grateful to Governor Walker for the appointment and am humbled by being selected. It is truly a dream come true.

I am blessed to have better friends and family than I deserve. While I look forward to many challenges in this job, I cannot forget about those who have made it all possible. A special thanks to DA Mark Bensen, DA Angela Beranek, and attorneys Todd and Elizabeth Smith. Each of those individuals were instrumental in my development as an attorney and person. I know I would not have this opportunity but for their efforts.

And to the legal community of Northern Wisconsin especially Judges Babler, Boyle, and Bitney. I could not imagine a better place to grow as a lawyer and am thankful for such dedicated public servants to learn from.

I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as district attorney and work alongside the collective backbone of the office: Assistant District Attorney Dan Steffen, Jean, Karen, Jackie, and Dawn. I will strive to maintain the professional tone of the office. I have gotten to know the staff throughout the courthouse the last couple months and have been made to feel right at home.

My vision as district attorney for Burnett County is not one that ends at the close of business, rather, it is a responsibility, and more importantly a duty to the citizens of Burnett County that I will carry throughout the day and night. I am thankful to have a wife that understands my passion for pursuing justice. Having her blessing and dogs that greet me with a tail wag no matter the hour allows me to devote myself to the position. I possess a drive and enthusiasm that will lead to efficient, effective, and pragmatic prosecution. Having practiced on both sides of the aisle has helped me develop a strong emotional intelligence that leads to appropriate recommendations in cases. From the beginning of my legal career, I have litigated challenging cases against attorneys of all experience levels and enjoy the challenge.

Perhaps most importantly, I am thankful for the opportunity to invest my time, energy, and intelligence into the community. I look forward to getting to know the citizens and hearing their observations. I have always seen the community as an underutilized resource that adds important perspectives to issues in the area.

I look forward to calling Burnett County home again! This is an exciting time to work as DA in Burnett County with an ambitious and hard working Judge Mogen and Sheriff Elect Tracy Finch who I have the utmost respect for even in the brief time I’ve known her. Those two along with the veteran police chiefs and law enforcement officers in the county are a recipe for good things to happen.

Enough talk... I better get to work!

Joseph M. Schieffer

Schieffer’s education and work experience include the following:


  • Fall Creek High School (2004)
  • University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh (B.S. 2010)
  • Marquette University Law School (Juris Doctor 2013)


  • Admitted to Practice: 2013
  • Washington County DA’s Office: Special Prosecutor, 2013
  • Barron County District Attorney’s Office: Assistant District Attorney 2014-2015
  • Smith and Smith Law, LTD: Associate 2015-2016
  • Schieffer Law, LLC: Solo Practitioner 2016-2018
  • Burnett County District Attorney’s Office: Special Prosecutor 2018

Last Update: Dec 05, 2018 9:34 am CST

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