Judge Christopher R. Foley is a former Circuit Court Judge for Milwaukee County who now serves full-time as a mediator, arbitrator, and special master. While serving 38 years as a trial judge (1985-2023), he presided in over 200 jury trials and was awarded the recipient of the 2022 Lifetime Jurist award from the State Bar of Wisconsin. The award, from the State Bar Bench and Bar Committee, recognizes jurists who during their tenure on the bench are fair and impartial, demonstrate high ideals and personal character, and demonstrate outstanding/long-term judicial service.
While a trial judge he presided over a wide array of civil disputes including personal injury, medical malpractice, professional malpractice, products liability, insurance (including coverage and bad faith), business/commercial, employment, eminent domain, and financial matters.
Judge Foley was named a “Milwaukeean of the Year” in 1996 by Milwaukee Magazine and was given the Children’s Service Society Service to Children Award in 1997 for his work in implementing the Foster Care Conversion Project which freed hundreds of children for adoption who had been mired in long-term foster care. He’s regarded as a national expert on juvenile law, especially in CHIPS proceedings and termination of parental rights cases.
Judge Foley has testified before congressional committees and appeared on ABC News Nightline and NBC’s Today Show discussing child custody disputes. He was awarded Marquette University’s Professional Achievement Award; the Jockey Being Family’s Award of Judicial Excellence; and named an Angel in Adoption by the U.S. Congress Adoption Caucus for his adoption work.
A graduate of Marquette Law School in 1978, Judge Foley was a law clerk for the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, a Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney and a Milwaukee Municipal Court judge before he was appointed to succeed his father, the Honorable Leander J. Foley, Jr., as a circuit judge. He and his wife, Deb, are the proud parents of seven children and three grandchildren.