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Bench press: 3 already in line for Wing's seat

Although the general election is 10 months away, at least three local lawyers have set their sights on the Pierce County judgeship held for nearly 25 years by Robert Wing.

Wing said Friday he won't be a candidate when his current six-year term expires next April.

Three lawyers -- Joe Boles and John O'Boyle, both of River Falls, and Bob Loberg of Ellsworth -- all say they have decided to run and are actively seeking support.

Here is a quick rundown on each:

• Boles has been practicing law in River Falls since September 1981. He is a partner in the firm of Rodli, Beskar, Boles, Krueger and Pletcher.

He is an experienced trial lawyer and has tried both civil and criminal cases to judges and juries. Boles said he has represented the cities of River Falls and Hudson in the municipal courts for the last 7-8 years and is experienced in real estate law, estates and estate planning, personal injury and litigation.

"I think my broad experience lends itself well to a transition to the judiciary," Boles said.

He said his main interest in running for judge is public service.

"I have been very happy in my career in private practice," Boles said. "I feel that it is important to 'give back' to the community. I would love to serve the citizens of Pierce County in this way."

Boles, a native of New Richmond, Wis., earned his bachelor's degree from UW-River Falls and his law degree from William Mitchell College of Law.

• Loberg, who earned undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Minnesota, began practicing law in Pierce County 33 years ago. Since then he has represented every town and village in the county, except one, and has prosecuted cases for all those municipal clients.

His practice includes criminal law, civil litigation, real estate, trusts, probate administration, municipal law, corporation and business representation and family law.

Loberg said his experience in real estate litigation has resulted in handling cases as far away as Manitowoc, serving as an expert witness and being an instructor for the Wisconsin Land Title Association. He is chairman of the District 8 Office of Lawyer Regulation committee.

"I am committed to maintaining common sense and integrity in our legal system. I pledge not to disappoint my fellow county residents," Loberg said. "I live here, work here and go to church here ... As judge I will be accessible. I will never forget that I am here to serve the people in the courtroom, not the other way around."

• O'Boyle has been Pierce County district attorney since 1993. Before that he was in private practice for three years with current St. Croix County Judge Edward Vlack.

O'Boyle earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from the College of St. Thomas and graduated from William Mitchell College of Law.

He is past president of the River Falls Lions Club, served on the board of directors for the Kinnickinnic River Land Trust and was a founding member of both the St. Croix Sexual Assault Response Team and the St. Croix Valley Restorative Justice Program. He is currently chairman of the board of directors of Turningpoint for Victims of Domestic and Sexual Abuse.

"Based on my life experiences, including my years as district attorney, I believe I have the ability to craft decisions that are compatible with a high standard of justice," O'Boyle said. "I believe I can make sound and fair decisions in the context of people's lives and the needs of the community."

Candidates for circuit court judge must have been licensed to practice law in Wisconsin for at least five years and must have lived in the county for at least 10 days immediately prior to the election.

The deadline for submitting nomination papers is Jan. 5, 2010.