With a fresh perspective and extensive relevant legal experience, attorney Krista LaFave is running to be the first woman elected to serve as Wauwatosa’s municipal judge since the role’s inception in the 1960s. LaFave’s career as a plaintiff’s civil litigation attorney and her dedication to improving our community through volunteerism make her uniquely qualified to take on this important role.
LaFave has long been interested in becoming a judge, and after being hired to represent a client in Wauwatosa’s municipal court, she saw opportunities to improve the experience. In municipal court, most defendants represent themselves, and LaFave recognized that—without more clarity around procedures and resources for defendants—self-representation is difficult. Once elected, she will ensure access to information and useful resources for all who appear before the court, improving efficiency.
“I care deeply about the future of Wauwatosa and view the municipal judgeship as an opportunity to have a positive impact on our community,” LaFave said.
According to statistics provided by the Wauwatosa Municipal Court for the past five years, the vast majority of cases before the court are traffic offenses, followed by adult non-traffic offenses, juvenile non-traffic offenses, and OWI/BAC first offenses. LaFave’s civil litigation background with a focus on rules of the road and insurance makes her uniquely qualified for the judgeship and provides her with important insight into the consequences when the state statutes are ignored. Her keen legal mind, efficient research skills, and astute use of all available resources position her to deliver justice in all matters that come before the court and ensure justice in Wauwatosa.
Wauwatosa is in a unique position among Milwaukee County communities in that the city population doubles during the day due to its mix of businesses, medical and government facilities, and retail. As a result, only approximately 10% of Wauwatosa citations are issued to people with Wauwatosa addresses, meaning that most of the people appearing in municipal court are not residents. As the city’s judge, LaFave will ensure that our local ordinances and state statutes are upheld and maintain the high standards that the community expects. She is dedicated to fairness and transparency in the court process so that justice can be equitably served.
“Krista LaFave will be an exceptionally thoughtful and fair jurist,” states supporter and former Wauwatosa Alderman Jeff Roznowski. “She has the desire to make the municipal judge office run more efficiently and transparently, as well as the vision to elevate the profile of this important third branch of government.”
An energetic advocate for Wauwatosa, LaFave serves on the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals, is a poll worker, a member of the Tosa East Towne Association and the Wauwatosa Lions Club, and serves on the Equity Committee at Lincoln Elementary School. She is a past president and board member of Sheraton Lawns Neighborhood Association.
In addition, she provides volunteer legal service and representation with Legal Action of Wisconsin’s Eviction Defense Project and was elected to the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors and was appointed Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee. She’s a University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate and received her law degree, graduating magna cum laude, from Tulane University.
A reception will be held for LaFave from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 9, at the Ruby Tap, 1341 N. Wauwatosa Ave., in Wauwatosa’s Village.