Judge Jack Goodman

At the beginning of the year the 39th Judicial Circuit got a new Presiding Judge that is embracing the "challenges" that come with job.

Former Senator Jack Goodman says his new job is "a complete change of pace from the jobs I've had before, and it's been an eye opener."

As a lawmaker, Goodman was the chairman of the Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence in the Senate.  "One of the challenges that law makers face when they are drafting rules is that they don't have any practical experience in them.  Now that I am utilizing some of them I will be able to go back and tell them what needs to be changed or tweaked."

Goodman says the biggest challenge for the 39th Circuit, which encompasses Barry, Lawrence and Stone counties is the "heavy caseload and only one circuit judge to handle it."  It would take legal action by lawmakers to bring another circuit judge to the bench to help ease the load, according to Goodman.

He has nothing but praise for another Judge in the circuit.  "Judge Blankenship's drug court is looked to as a model across the state and the country."

When Goodman is conducting court he calls cases as they appear on the docket.  "I want my court to have a courteous and respectful environment with no lag time," he says.

Goodman's grandmother was widowed when his father was 11 year-old.  "She was very intelligent and got her law degree through correspondence school but she never practiced."

He and his wife Laura, who works in her family's business, have two sons and are very active in the community.  "We attend a lot of games for the sports our boys participate in, but I lack the capacity to coach anything, so we sit on the sidelines and cheer the boys on."