Gov. expected to name interim judge soon

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, July 18, 2006

An interim judge will be appointed to the Fourteenth CircuitCourt District Post 2 position until November’s election, thegovernor’s office announced today.

Pete Smith, Gov. Haley Barbour’s press secretary, said thejudicial appointment advisory council is presently reviewingresumes and applications for the position. They will then make arecommendation to the governor, who will ultimately choose who willhold it until the November general elections.

“That process is going fine,” Pete Smith said. “Hopefully, he’llmake an appointment soon. That is his intention.”

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The appointee will replace Judge Mike Smith, of McComb, whostepped down June 28 after 12 years on the bench. Smith’s permanentreplacement will be decided in the general election Nov. 7.

Two candidates have qualified to replace him.

David H. Strong Jr. and Michael T. Shareef are both McCombattorneys. Strong has a private practice and Shareef is a legalservices attorney.

In the meantime, Post 1 Judge Mike Taylor said he will superviseand adjudicate both dockets.

The judge said he expects the process to go smoothly, but admitsthere will be adjustments. Criminal trials on either docket willnot be rescheduled, he said, because they are court priorities, butsome civil cases may have to be postponed.

Last year, Taylor said, each judge handled more than 600criminal and civil cases.