In 22 years on the bench Judge Sankovitz won distinction for his efficient, fair management of courtroom proceedings and for thoughtful written decisions. He presided in almost 300 jury trials and hundreds more evidentiary hearings.
Over 35 years as a lawyer and a judge, Judge Sankovitz has gained considerable experience in a wide variety of disputes.
In 2015, the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates named him Trial Judge of the Year.
His decisions as a trial judge have been reviewed more nearly 350 times by the higher courts in Wisconsin. His decisions were affirmed more than 90% of the time.
His decisions have won praise from the court of appeals. In State v. Lipscomb, 2009 WI App 174, 322 Wis. 2d 573 (unpublished), for example, the court wrote, “We quote the trial court’s decision at length because if ever there were a trial court decision that set forth a thorough, thoughtful, reasoned basis for its ruling, it is this one.” As another example, in Brenner v. National Casualty Company, 2015 WI App 85, 365 Wis. 2d 476, the court of appeals considered whether a seller of real estate could be held liable for injuries that take place after a new owner takes control of the property. The court wrote, “The circuit court, in a thoughtful and well-articulated decision, ruled as follows . . . We absolutely agree.”
As a lawyer, Judge Sankovitz advocated for clients in state and federal courts around the country at both the trial and appellate levels, litigating on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants. His experience as an advocate ran the gamut from mediation to appeal, including in the United States Supreme Court.