The Clarion-Ledger’s Jimmie Gates reports on Governor Bryant’s appointment of Joseph Sclafani from a field of 11 applicants to fill the retired Judge Bill Gowan’s seat on the Hinds County Circuit Court.

Sclafani has practiced at Brunini in Jackson since 2003. He will run for a 4-year term in the November election.

The article notes that Gerald Kucia, Trent Walker and Faye Peterson have signed up to run for the seat in November and Hinds County Youth Court Judge Bill Skinner might run. There is also talk in legal circles that Judge Skinner may have his sights set on a Hinds County Chancery Court seat.

I expect Sclafani to do a good job. He is smart, hard working and friendly. Those are three good traits for judges. I’ve had several cases with him over the years and enjoyed working with him.

Teeth gnashing by plaintiff lawyers when a defense lawyer becomes a judge almost always turns out to be unfounded. Especially early on, civil attorneys (plaintiff and defense) usually have more problems with criminal lawyers moving to the bench. That seems to die down after a few years.

Twenty years ago, attorneys complained about judges more than they do today. Maybe it’s because there are fewer cases. Maybe the judges are better. Maybe the judges are just friendlier, or more accurately, less unfriendly.

There were some gruff judges in the 90’s who aren’t on the bench today. Lately, everyone who moves to the bench seems to get decent reviews.