Who is Daniel Tolan?

Native of Luck, Wisconsin
Local attorney and prosecutor, now judge-appoint in Polk County Branch 1

I am a lifetime resident of Polk County. My parents, Dr. Gerald J. Tolan and Bernadette L. Tolan, moved to Luck in 1962. With the exception of college, law school, and a brief commuting period, I have lived in the Luck community my entire life. I went to kindergarten, grade school, and high school in the Luck public school district, graduating from Luck High School in 1985.

I graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay with a bachelor of arts degree in literature and language in 1992. I received my juris doctorate from Hamline University School of Law in 1996, was admitted to the Minnesota bar that year, and the Wisconsin bar a year later. My nineteen-plus years of legal experience cover both criminal and civil law, most of it right here in Polk County.

After admission to the Wisconsin bar, I opened Tolan Legal Services in Luck, where I practiced family law, including divorce and child custody, probate, real estate, small claims, and criminal law. I did private work for the Polk County public defender’s office and performed work as a guardian ad litem in child custody actions, as well as guardianships and protective placements.

In the early 2000s I began doing some special prosecutor work in Polk County. I was interested in prosecution because I wanted to have an input in what was happening in our community. I thought I was fair and could do a good job for the citizens. In 2007 I started serving as part-time assistant district attorney for Burnett and Washburn counties. All the while I continued to operate Tolan Legal Services.  In March of 2016, I accepted a full-time position with Polk County and closed Tolan Legal Services after nineteen years. My extensive experience covers both civil and criminal fields. As Polk County’s assistant district attorney, I tried multiple bench trials and jury trials, participated in the appeals process, and successfully argued before the Wisconsin Supreme Court. I believe my broad experience will be very beneficial to the people of Polk County.

On January 3, 2017, I was appointed by Governor Scott Walker to fill the vacant judge position in Polk County Circuit Court Branch 1. I will be sworn in sometime in late January. This is an interim appointment until April 4, when the voters of Polk County will elect a new judge to fill the position. I ask for your vote in the primary election on February 21 and the general election on April 4.

I want to be judge here in Polk County because I want to help improve our system of justice for the people of our county. I am looking forward to the opportunity to work with Judge Anderson to consider new Ideas to make our system more efficient and more responsive to the people of Polk County. As an assistant district attorney, I always tried to treat people the same way as I would want to be treated if I was in their position—to listen to them, be respectful ,and treat them fairly. I am a believer in second chances, but at the same time I am a strong believer in accountability. If elected, I will bring those beliefs with me to the bench.

I believe that the people of Polk County will respect a judge who consistently listens to both sides and fairly applies the law, even if they do not agree with the outcome. As an assistant district attorney, I was in court almost every day here in Polk County. I know what works and I know what doesn’t work. I am fair to everyone, exercise common sense, and have the demeanor necessary to fairly administer justice. If elected, I will work hard to make our system better.  I want to be part of a system that the people of this county can be proud of.

what i offer

Legal experience
Attorney, public defender, prosecutor, circuit court judge

In private legal practice, I represented clients in family matters, estate planning, real estate, and civil litigation. As a public defender, I represented people accused of crimes and subjects of commitment, custody, guardianship, and protective placement actions. As a prosecutor, I represented the public interest in prosecuting those charged with crimes ranging from minor ordinance violations to felonies.

Real-world experience
Husband, father,
small business owner

My wife, Susan, and I have been married for seventeen years and have lived in Luck our entire married life and raised our son, Taylor. Susan is a flight attendant with Delta Air Lines. I opened my law office in downtown Luck in 1997 and operated it successfully until 2016 when I became a full-time prosecutor. I understand firsthand the values and concerns of the people of Polk County.

Government experience
Public servant and
advocate for justice

I have worked in our local courts for the last 19 years. I know how the system works and I have some ideas to try and make it work better and more efficiently and effectively for the people of our county.