New Oneida County judge Bloom readies for the bench
The ranks of the Oneida County Circuit Court return to two judges on Friday, Aug. 3, with the formal investiture of Michael Bloom, who will begin a six-year term serving the residents of Oneida County as the Branch II judge.
Formerly the Oneida County District Attorney since 2007, Bloom was elected in April to succeed Judge Mark Mangerson, who was elected to the Third District Court of Appeals in Wausau. Bloom admits he’s a bit nervous to be handed the gavel for the first time this week.
“I am nervous, but I think that comes from the responsibility of hearing cases for the first time,” said Bloom. “Fortunately the mentoring process I’ve been through the last few months has been wonderful.”
During that process, Bloom, 49, has had the opportunity to, in essence, shadow many different northern Wisconsin judges in neighboring counties, along with right here, where he’s been able to see things from Judge Patrick O’Melia’s and reserve Judge C.A. Richards’ perspective.
“It’s given me a great feel for the role of a judge,” said Bloom. “Judges don’t work cases like attorneys do. It’s a much more solitary role.”
It’s also a role that Bloom has aspired toward for some time. After beginning his career in the Oneida County public defender’s office as a defense attorney in 1994, Bloom entered private practice with the law firm that was then known as Eckert, Kost & Vocke. It was in private practice that he first began to contemplate aspiring to become a judge. “Doing that gave me a much wider, broader range of experiences in the law,” said Bloom.
When Robert Kinney announced his retirement from Branch I in 2007, Bloom, along with Patrick O’Melia, then the district attorney, applied to the governor’s office for the appointment. O’Melia was ultimately chosen for the post, leaving the DA position open. Bloom applied for that job, and was chosen. He considered it far from a consolation prize, though.
“I very much value my time as the county’s district attorney,” said Bloom. “It was a great opportunity for me-one I enjoyed greatly. I feel it played a huge part in preparing me for this new role.”
Another huge part, according to Bloom, was the support of his family; wife Beth, and children Erin, 13, and Adam, 11.
“My family his given me so much support and a willingness to make due throughout this whole process, starting with the campaign,” said Bloom. “They gave me encouragement and reassurance at the times I really needed it. That constant reinforcement was so great throughout the process.”
Bloom said he was looking forward to his new role. “I’m excited,” he said. “I take this responsibility very seriously, because that’s what the people here deserve.”