James D. Peterson

Visiting Professor of Law

B.S., M.A., Ph.D., J.D., University of Wisconsin


Dynamic Trial Evidence

Biographical Information: 

James D. Peterson currently serves as the chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin. He joined the court in 2014 after being nominated by then-President Barack Obama. He has been chief judge since 2017.

After earning his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1986, he became a faculty member at the University of Notre Dame where he taught film and television history for seven years. He then enrolled in law school at the University of Wisconsin and earned his law degree in 1988 and was a member of the Order of the Coif.

He served as a judicial clerk for David G. Deininger of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals before joining the law firm Godfrey & Kahn in 1999. He was a member of the firm’s litigation and intellectual property practice groups, which he led.