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Public Defender Board

Daniel M. Berkos, Chair
Regina Dunkin, Vice-Chair
James M. Brennen, Secretary

 

Patrick J. Fiedler, member
John Hogan, member
Ellen Thorn, member
Mai Neng Xiong, member

 

Dan Berkos

Daniel M. Berkos, Board Chair

Daniel M. Berkos is the Chair of the Public Defender Board, having been elected to the post each year since 1988.  Dan is a noted defense attorney and has his own law office located in Mauston, Wisconsin.  He is licensed to practice by the State Bar of Wisconsin, the United States District Court, Western District, United States Supreme Court, and Ho-Chunk Nation Bar.  Dan served previously as District Attorney for Juneau County as well as Corporation Counsel for Juneau County.  Additionally, Dan is very active in many professional and civic organizations including the Wisconsin State Bar, Juneau County Bar Association, Mauston Area Chamber of Commerce, Greater Mauston Area Development Corporation, Forward Mauston, Juneau County Highway Safety Commission, and the Mauston School Board.

 

Regina Dunkin

Regina Dunkin, Board Vice Chair

Regina Dunkin is the Executive Director of the Merrill Community Center in Beloit, Wisconsin.  She has been in her position since 1998.  Regina attended Beloit College and has over fifteen years of social service experience.  She played a vital role in establishing a new Merrill Community Center, the first children’s program for the Beloit Domestic Violence Center, Community Action’s Fresh Start Program, the Girls Who Rock Mentorship Program, and the Eclipse Charter School. She is married to Deputy Chief Tom Dunkin of the Beloit Police Department, has three children, and five grandchildren.  As a community leader, she advocates for those who may feel they don’t have a voice.

Her board affiliations include; the Wisconsin State Public Defender Board, Family Services of Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois Board, National & African American School Board Associations, Nominating Committee of Visit Beloit, CASA-Court Appointed Special Advocate for Children of Rock County Advisory Board, CJCC-Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, Girls Who Rock Committee, and Character Counts Leadership Board.  She has been previously recognized with the School District of Beloit’s Hero Award, United Way Campaign Coordinator Award, Girl Scouts Volunteer Award, City of Beloit Citizen’s Award, Janesville School District’s Martin Luther King Jr. Volunteer Award, League of Women Voter’s Women in Politics Award, Zonta Club’s Minnie Mills-Enking Memorial Award, Wisconsin Association of School Boards Award, Big Brothers & Big Sisters Volunteer Award, NAACP Community Award, and the University of Wisconsin Community Award.

Regina served two terms (six years) as a member of the Board of Education, and was presented with an Official Proclamation from the City of Beloit declaring "Regina Dunkin Day."  Although Regina is a native of Gary, Indiana, she is proud to call Beloit her home and is honored to represent the citizens of Wisconsin.  Regina serves as President of the Charter School Board for the Eclipse Charter School.  She is a leader who consistently gives back to the children and families of community.

James Brennan

James M. Brennen, Secretary

James M. Brennan is the former Director of Family and Children’s Ministries for Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Inc.  He previously worked for the Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee, Inc. for 30 years, serving as Chief Staff Attorney for 25 years.  Jim attended Marquette University Law School and has been in trial practice for 27 years in Milwaukee County Circuit Courts.  He is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Bar Association, Seventh Circuit Bar Association, and National Association of Counsel for Children.  In addition, Jim is a past chairperson of the State Bar of Wisconsin Board of Governors.  He is a current committee member of the Lawyer Regulation Study, Diversity Outreach, Family Law and Litigation.  In addition, Jim is the board liaison for the Legal Assistance Committee.  He has been recognized for his contributions to the SPD Program.  Jim is the recipient of the Legal Action of Wisconsin/Outstanding Pro Bono Publico Award, State Bar Indigent Defense Committee Outstanding Service Award, State Bar of Wisconsin Pro Bono Award, and the State Bar President's Award.

Patrick J. Fiedler

Patrick J. Fiedler

Patrick J. Fiedler's diverse legal career includes service as the United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, 18 years as a Dane County Circuit Judge, and President of the State Bar of Wisconsin.  As a lawyer, he has tried over 60 jury trials, and as a judge he has presided over more than 150 juries.  Since returning to the private practice of law in late 2011, he has served as a mediator and arbitrator in over 100 different cases.  Additionally, he has represented numerous individuals in both civil and criminal cases as a trial lawyer.  Patrick also has served as an independent investigator for both public entities and private organizations.  As a mediator, Patrick's practice is to: "Prepare, listen and then evaluate."  When he is at trial it is to: "Focus on the issues from a jury's perspective.  Then present your case accordingly."

John Hogan

John Hogan

John Hogan has been a member of the Public Defender Board since 1996.  John has his own law practice, Hogan Law Office, in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, and specializes in trial practice in the Rhinelander/Minocqua area.  In 1977, John graduated from Marquette Law School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Additionally, John served as Oneida County District Attorney from 1979 to 1985. 

 


Ellen Thorn

Ellen Thorn

Ellen Thorn is an attorney in private practice with Arndt, Buswell, & Thorn, S.C. in Sparta, Wisconsin.  She attended the University of Wisconsin Law School and was a State Public Defender attorney in La Crosse for many years.  Ellen is a past president and board member of Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and past president of Monroe County Bar Association.  She is an instructor at the University of Wisconsin Law School in Criminal and Family Law, Lawyering Skills, and has presented criminal law topics for the State Public Defender Trial Skills Institute, the Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the UW-Extension.  Ellen has also been a Mock Trial Coach for Central High School in La Crosse, Wisconsin.  She has served on the State of Wisconsin Fee Arbitration Panel and the 7th Judicial District Citizen Review Panel.  In addition, Ellen has served on the La Crosse Diocese Child Sexual Abuse Review Board.  She is a past board member of the Morrow Memorial Home Foundation and the Coulee Children's Court Center.

Mai Neng Xiong

Mai Neng Xiong is the Interpreter Services Coordinator for the Central Region with Ministry Health Care.  She is responsible for the coordination of Interpreter staff and contracted personnel throughout Ministry Health Care Central Region.  Mai also reviews, plans and coordinates services within the region.  She provides education to departments regarding Interpreter Services and proper procedures on use of service.  In addition, Mai orientates all new interpreters to Ministry facilities and assesses interpreter’s abilities.  Furthermore, she is the liaison with communities regarding Interpreter Services available throughout the Central Region.  Mai is a former coordinator for the Hmong Mental Health Institute of Wausau, Wisconsin, focusing on issues affecting the Hmong community across the United States.