On Monday Gov. Barbour’s office announced the appointment of District Attorney Eddie Bowen to replace the late Judge Robert Evans as circuit judge in the 13th District (Covington, Jasper, Smith and Simpson counties).

Bowen had been the D.A. for the district since 1999. Perhaps most importantly, Bowen’s D.A. experience gives him name recognition in the district. That will presumably give him an advantage in the write-in election that will take place in November. I discussed that election in this post.  

It will be interesting to see what will happen if Bowen loses the election. For instance, what if Gene Tullos or David Garner wins? Could the winner refuse the post, thus allowing Gov. Barbour to appoint Bowen again?

The situation looks less chaotic than before Bowen’s appointment. But it is still interesting.

This district is a focus for civil litigators because Smith County and the Paulding District of Jasper County have reputations as being dangerous venues for defendants. The recent $131 million verdict against Ford Motor Co. in the Brian Cole lawsuit was tried to a Paulding jury.

I once was co-counsel defending a case in Paulding and there was a plaintiff verdict of $2 million. We felt pretty good about keeping the number that low. It didn’t even feel like a loss. [Judge Evans later granted defendants’ post-trial motions.]