W.P. Norton profiles Dane County Circuit Court Commissioner Todd Meurer, who estimates he saw about 25,000 people in his courtroom during the previous year, about half for traffic offenses, the rest for intake on more serious charges. Each gets about 90 seconds of his time. "The people have to be mad enough to show up in court to contest their tickets," he says. "I give them a chance to say their piece or get something off their chest." But most end up paying their fines. Meurer, writes Norton, is known for his solid understanding of the law, but also his compassion. "Virtually everyone that's been charged with a crime in Dane County has come before me, and I can still truthfully say that I accept the basic premise that people are good," he says. "The day I lose that, I'll know that I need to get out of this job." Twenty years later, Meurer remains in the post.