Attorney and District Judge Jerry Ryan, of Mena, has announced his candidacy for Circuit Judge for the 18th West Judicial Circuit, which includes jurisdiction in Polk and Montgomery Counties. The election for this position will be held on May 20, 2014, and the position is for a six-year term as determined by Amendment 80 of the Arkansas Constitution. It will be part of a non-partisan judicial election.
The position is currently held by Judge Jake Looney, who will be retiring at the conclusion of his term in 2014.
Ryan brings in not only years of diverse experience in the field of law, but also years of experience in the courtroom that has him qualified and ready for this opportunity. Ryan was elected in 1989 as Municipal Judge, and has continuously served that role for 24 years now.
Over his career, Ryan has also served as Special Circuit Judge for the local area when the Circuit Judge has not been available for court duties. This position of Special Circuit Judge is elected by area lawyers, which is considered an honor. Ryan has also served as Magistrate Judge under Judge Gayle Ford and Judge Jake Looney.
The Circuit Judge is a full time position, involving court related duties five days a week with responsibilities that include managing the court docket, conducting criminal arraignments, serving as judge in juvenile cases, tending to domestic relations that range from divorce to adoptions to guardianships, handling probate matters, working with the Drug Court program, handling administrative responsibilities, and conducting jury trials, civil cases, and criminal cases.
The Circuit Judge also has concurrent jurisdiction with the District Court, and handles any appeals that come from District Court or County Court.
As District Judge, Ryan’s district is Polk County, but he was also appointed to serve as the District Judge in Scott County for a two-year term to fill the vacancy left by the retirement of District Judge Donald Goodner in March of this year.
In addition to his many years of judge-related duties and experience, he has been practicing private law since March of 1982, giving him almost 32 years of experience as an attorney.
While the position of Circuit Judge is not one that can be campaigned based on a particular platform, the experience of Judge Ryan is what speaks for itself. Judge Ryan displays patience on the bench, and knows that everyone in the courtroom deserves his or her time and opportunity to present their case. He carries himself in a calm, respectful manner, and handles all matters in an impartial fashion, and applies law to all evidence involved.
Ryan respects the oath he is held to, but also respects all people in and out of the courtroom.
“I feel my experience is something that the people of Polk and Montgomery County can depend on, and they can rely on me to do the job expected as their Circuit Judge,” Ryan said. “I believe I have capable hands, the judicial temperament, and the experience to do the job well. I hope voters will allow me the opportunity and privilege to serve all of the good people of Polk and Montgomery counties as their Circuit Judge”.