Judge Thomas Barland is a resident of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1951 with a B.A. in economics, served in the Army as a Military Police Confinement Officer of the Post Stockade and Assistant Post Provost Marshall from 1953 to 1955. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1956. He went into private law practice, and was later elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly as a Republican from 1961 to 1967. He was appointed Eau Claire County Judge by Governor Warren Knowles in March 1967, and was elected to that nonpartisan office in 1968. In 1976 he was elected Circuit Court Judge for Eau Claire and Trempealeau Counties, and served until 1978, when he became an Eau Claire County Circuit Court Judge because of the Court Reorganization Act, and served on the bench until his retirement in August 2000. He has since served as Reserve Judge and an independent mediator, arbitrator and court referee.
Judge Barland was nominated by the Government Accountability Candidate Committee and appointed to the Government Accountability Board in 2009 by Governor Jim Doyle for a term to expire May 1, 2015. His appointment to the Board was confirmed by the State Senate in 2010. He was chairperson of the Board in 2011.