As reported earlier this week on Jackson Jambalaya, Hinds County Senior Judge Tomie Green entered an Order Establishing Criminal and Civil Divisions in Hinds County. You can read the Order at the JJ link above.

The Order tabs Judges Kidd and Weill to primarily preside over civil cases. Judges Green and Gowan will primarily preside over criminal cases. However, Judge Gowan will still be assigned all Second Judicial District cases—criminal and civil.

All four judges will continue to be randomly assigned capital murder and death penalty cases.

The effective date of the Order is August 1, 2012. On that date, civil cases previously assigned to Judge Green will be reassigned to Judge Kidd. Civil cases previously assigned to Judge Gowan will be reassigned to Judge Weill.

Judge Green states in the Order that she believes that the split division will lead to more efficient resolution of cases.

My Take

We will have to see how this plays out, but my initial reaction to this is positive. I think most civil trial attorneys believe that cases would get to trial quicker if the Circuit Court judge assigned to the case did not also preside over criminal matters.