Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Judge Will Longwitz

Governor Phil Bryant issued the following press release.

Governor Phil Bryant appoints Senator Will Longwitz Madison County Court Judge

JACKSON, Miss. – Gov. Phil Bryant announced today that he has appointed Sen. Will Longwitz Madison County Court Judge.

Longwitz' appointment is effective Wednesday, Jan. 20. He replaces Steve Ratcliff, who recently was elected circuit judge for the 20th Judicial District that includes Madison and Rankin counties. Longwitz will resign his Senate seat, which he has held since 2012. Gov. Bryant will set a special election as soon as possible to fill the vacancy.

Longwitz represented District 25, which includes parts of Madison, Ridgeland and Northeast Jackson. He sat on the Finance, Judiciary A, Insurance, Business and Financial Institutions, Ethics and County Affairs committees. He was vice chairman of the Senate Constitution Committee.

"I am humbled and honored by Governor Bryant's faith and confidence," Longwitz said. "I look forward to serving the people of Madison County in this role, and to working for the fair and efficient administration of justice in our state."

Longwitz graduated from the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science. He holds an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University with majors in government and in English. He went to law school at Ole Miss, where he represented the school on the National Appellate Advocacy Competition Team, and where he was selected to the National Order of Barristers.

"Sen. Longwitz has done an outstanding job in the Senate the last four years, and I am confident he will do the same as Madison County Court Judge," Gov. Phil Bryant said. "He is well-suited for the bench, and I appreciate him accepting this appointment."

Longwitz lives in Madison and has his own law practice in Ridgeland. He grew up in Quitman, and comes from a family of small business owners and schoolteachers.

Longwitz is vice chairman for the Natchez Trace Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He holds a committee leadership role on the Council of State Governments, a national public policy organization that includes all three branches of government. He is a member of the Madison-Ridgeland Rotary Club, the Madison County Bar Association, the Mississippi Bicentennial Commission and sits on the Tulane University Public Advisory Board. Longwitz is also a Henry Toll Fellow and an Eagle Scout.

He is married to the former Leigh Ann Cox of Madison, and they have two young daughters. They are members of the Chapel of the Cross in Madison.

Sent from my BlackBerry Passport 

68 comments:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Will. You have done a great job for us as a senator and I know you will continue to do so as a judge.

Anonymous said...

Now this Senate district gets to see how MS-01 felt last Spring (10+ candidates)

Who runs? Billingsley would seem to be the front runner by default. Will Jackson boys Walter Michel and/or Charles Barbour once again be on the Senate ballot....should be a interesting one to watch.......

Bill Dees said...

This should be fun to watch. The other judges in Madison County were furious with Longwitz 2 years ago when he promised support for a judicial pay raise and then tried to flip flop. The other judges felt like Longwitz had lied to them. I'm sure Longwitz will receive an appropriately "warm" welcome when he dons the robe.

Anonymous said...

Congrats, Will!

Anonymous said...

He was so much less harmful as a legislator.

KaptKangaroo said...

Congratulations Will! Well deserved.

Anonymous said...

Are you ignorant or just a liar, Bill Dees? Every lawyer in the capitol supported the judicial pay raise, Longwitz included. Get a life.

Anonymous said...

sheesh. this is too much. word has been on the street for weeks that he was angling for a higher paying job. he ditches the senate seat THAT HE JUST RAN FOR to get a higher paying job. and then the morons on here voice their adulations.

Anonymous said...

BB just tossed his hat in the ring through a press release.

"Congratulations Will! Well deserved." Are you kidding me? He ran for and lost this seat. He then just ran a campaign to get a job he couldn't handle financially, so he's quitting. What a joke.

Anonymous said...

Kingfish for Senate!!

Anonymous said...

What becomes of Will's grand crusade against Oxford House?

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Will. Well deserved.

Anonymous said...

For everybody who has already, or will be, condemning Will for taking this appointment - after having just run for re-election - should recognize (although I realize that recognizing truth and fact is hard for some commenters here that just want to bitch) that this Judgeship was not an issue in 2015 when Longwitz announced for, ran, and was reelected to his Senate seat.

Once it was open, his having run for another office the year before should not disqualify him for consideration for the Judgeship. Anybody that wants to bitch please stand up and state that you would not take a promotion from your current position if it were offered and available.

Anonymous said...

Walter Michel just announced his candidacy

Anonymous said...

Will say that this election will go to a Madison County based candidate. But ain't voting for Billingsley. He's already made it clear that he won't look out for the best interests of the NEJackson precincts.

Anonymous said...

Get over yourself, 4:34. I don't begrudge him from wanting a full time job to support his family, but the community determined he wasn't judge material. Deputy dingleberry just sees it another way.

Anonymous said...

Bruce Bartley for Senate!

Experience Rules said...

Not sure how anybody thinks Billingsly is now a 'front runner by default' (3:53; is that YOU Bill?) He's become a bit of a courthouse-regular in recent weeks but that's no lock on the position. Look for Michel to outspend and out-popular him.

Anonymous said...

Word at the capital is Walter Michele is running and Bruce Bartley.

Anonymous said...

Walter Michel v. BB I can not wait. This a fight for the ages. Madison v Jackson old blood versus new blood. This is going to be one hell of a race.

Anonymous said...

Will will make a fine judge. Though I will miss his work in the senate on domestic violence issues.

Anonymous said...

Michel actually lives in MADISON COUNTY now and has for about a year.

Capital Gossip for 100 said...

5:00 ~ It don't take 'word at the capital' for us to know Michel is running. Get the spelling right while you're at it. His announcement hit last nite and was covered by the Madison Newspapers early today.

Anonymous said...

I know Bill and Walter both very well and have supported both in previous elections. Bill is the better candidate for the open senate seat and has my vote and full support.

Congratulations Will.

Anonymous said...

This man simply does not have the experience to be a judge. This appointment was nothing but political. Will just needs another job to enhance his state retirement. Bad choice.

Anonymous said...

so, apparently being an eagle scout makes you qualified to be a judge? compare the guv's announcement about Greenlee to this one: very little mention of litigation experience for longowitz because he doesn't have any. poor choice.

Follow the rainbow said...

Walter and Will have sooo much in common. This was a "sweetheart" of a deal

Anonymous said...

@6:20 No litigation experience???? Heloooo the man was a FEDERAL PROSECUTOR

Anonymous said...

We need a fresh face in this race.

Anonymous said...

It's a new term and we are off to a good start being on the same page. This is politics at it's best. Phil takes care of a problem for Tate (and all other people at the Capitol) and Will gets the title and cream cheese job he's always wanted - at least for now. The only losers are the people who go before Judge Longwitz.

Kingfish said...

Longwitz lost by a close margin. It's not like he got blown out by a thousand votes.

We are talking about County Court Judge. Ratcliff was a title attorney. That is not exactly a litigation attorney either. There is a reason other states let notary publics conduct real estate closings without the direct supervision of a lawyer (yeah, I know. I just ticked off some lawyers with that statement.). Ratcliff did a good job in that spot and moved on up to Circuit Judge.

Anonymous said...

Good statement Kingfish..Jump to the defense of the political advertiser who pays to advertise on this blog...Uggghh...I mean...cough...cough...Senator. Longwitz lost the job that he's now been GIVEN by the governor. He lost. The people spoke, didn't want him, and now he's being given the job. That's politics for ya!

Kingfish said...

I'm not disagreeing with the part about him losing. Just saying it was not a blowout. There were quite a few people who put in for that job.

You could also argue those same people or a substantial amount of them voted for him twice as state senator.

My understanding is special election in November so he gets a trial run and you guys get to throw him out if what you say is true.

Alan Phillips tried like hell to get the job. What would you have said if it was given to him? Would you have said the same thing?

Anonymous said...

With an undergraduate degree from Georgetown, and a solid law practice behind him, Will is well positioned to become a County Judge. Yes, he will learn a lot, but Will is a bright, still young quick study. Will shall do well, and be where he is really the most comfortable and productive. You all can call him Your Honor.

Anonymous said...

Judging by my email inbox, lawyers consider Longwitz a joke.

But all will bow down to him in the courtroom, and he will take that as confirmation of his genius.

Anonymous said...

KF-you're prob right that I wouldn't say the same about another. Longwitz, in my opinion, was not the quality senator that our district deserves. I feel the same about his lack of demonstrated experience to be a judge. I believe Madison/rankin deserves better in a senator and in a judge (and no, I didn't run for either position, nor am I related to anyone who did, nor do I personally know any candidate who did). I'm basing this on his experience and how he has flipped flopped on issues to meet the wishes of an influential few in his district. This goes back to the tea party group he aligned with/then abandoned and on to other issues I've watched him flip and flounder on. Bottom line-didn't respect him as a senator & don't think he'll be a good judge.

Anonymous said...

A "solid law practice" he never had. Thus, the need for a job.

Anonymous said...

Al Sage has certainly been busy on this site today. Too bad he isn’t that busy for his clients at the Capitol.

Anonymous said...

Good grief. Longwitz couldn't make it in private law, became an undistinguished Senator, and now is appointed to a judgeship. This is how our courts are filled with mediocre minds. Disgusting.

Anonymous said...

Longwitz didn't even have an OFFICE (the phone number during his campaign rang to his house) prior to running for the Senate. He's never had a sustained job or practice. He's completely unqualified to be a judge. Simply look at his C,V. Madison County deserves better. What does our goofus Guv give us? MEDIOCRITY. I, for one, will find a decent legal mind to run against him when his term is up.

Out Of Nowhere said...

Who the hell is Alan Phillips and why should we care?

Mary is already talking to Dick Hall and Thad about making commercials for her run. It's the unexpected sleeper candidacy that's going to blind side even the Touey fambly.

Anonymous said...

Phillips was the Madison county justice court prosecutor before Pammie Hancock beat him. He's the one that had a meltdown in court a while back that sent the judge off the bench, out of the courtroom in tears to her chambers. If the judge had been a true judge she would have had Phillips locked up then and there for contempt.

Phillips is a joke that has a true "Little Man' syndrome.

Anonymous said...

Stop talking about Phillips and these & these other madison nobody's if they can't get the NE jackson approval and have the fundraising events at CC of Jackson and eastover etc they're already done.

Anonymous said...

Litigation experience is helpful in evaluating qualifications for a judgeship, but perhaps a qualification that is overvalued by many. There are plenty of litigators who would make poor judges, and there are plenty of non-litigator lawyers who would make outstanding judges. Good judgment and common sense, temperament, knowledge of the law, and ability to learn and master various areas of the law are probably much higher on the list in importance than litigation experience.

Anonymous said...

I love these Madison Vs NE Jacktown foodfights. Beverly Hillbillies crossed with Hatfields vs McCoys. Already seeing the McKlaniel contingent versus Mayor Mary-Bricktown vs CCJ-Jacktown Faded Glory. It's like Sarah Palin, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump all rolled up into a trailer park fight. Popcorn.

Anonymous said...

How in the world does the governor think he was the most qualified candidate? Expect Longwitz to have serious opposition when he runs in November.

Anonymous said...

Sour grapes are predictable, but Phil Bryant has a judicial advisory board to recommend a list of qualified attorneys for each appointment. That means other attorneys judged Longwitz to be qualified. He won his last election by over 40 points and can raise money. I wouldn't put money on anyone against him and wouldn't be surprised to see him rise to a higher court seat.

Anonymous said...

The Governor consistently ignores the recommendations of his Judicial Appointment Committee.

Anonymous said...

1:13 - name at least two times. More if you like, but bet you can't do it. Why? Because unless you are on the Committee, you don't know who was recommended.

Anonymous said...

1:25 Ask any member and see who is correct.

Anonymous said...

I'm not 1:13 but the fact that Jack Wilson was appointed to the court of appeals is proof the governor doesn't always follow the recommendations of his committee.

The biggest problem with all of this is not the governor's appointment being purely political but that Will raised money and sought votes for a job he only fulfilled for a few weeks.

Anonymous said...

1:56 I get it that you are mad you didn't get the Longwitz appointment, or the Jack Wilson appointment, or any appointment.

someoneinnorthms said...

Will and I went to law school together. Sure, he's ambitious to a fault. But, to say he can't be a judge is a bit silly. He's smart enough, and he generally exhibits good judgment. He didn't have much of a practice, but what legislator does? It's a tough gig to have if you really want to serve the public. He's done well for himself, and I'm sure he'll be fine on the bench. You Chicken Littles need to get a grip. He'll get some wrong, but he'll get most right. If the issue is important enough then it will get appealed. He won't be the finest judge on the bench in Mississippi, but he will surely be far from the worst.

I am confounded by the number of people who criticize on the most silly of things but who also fail to qualify for any elected office. It's tough to make everybody happy all of the time. Will does better than most of the commenters here.

Anonymous said...

there were substantially better qualified people recommended for the job but of course they didn't hold any political sway...'murica!

Anonymous said...

I went to law school with Will Longwitz also, and was in his 1L section. I remember watching him ask questions of our professors that he got out of cribbed class outlines so that he would seem to be brighter than he was, at least to the other students (and at least until other classmates caught on to this time-worn tradition). We called this type of student a "gunner". Perhaps you've heard the term. I remember taking a trial practice class together, and watching him absolutely miss the point of the entire class as he strove for whatever goal he thought the professor was trying to emphasize. Will, you remember the class. It was Professor Pittman.

I have watched (luckily, from afar) this man cobble together the very definition of a career that most readers of this blog detest; one built out of overstated accomplishment and shrewd political maneuvering. His second wife's family is invaluable in entering the central Mississippi power circle. When he was initially running for the judgeship, he touted his experience in running a private practice. That was debunked by the electorate and luckily sniffed out in his defeat.

He then quickly pivoted to the recently vacated Senate seat, with an announcement that "God had given him the guidance to run" for the position. I'm paraphrasing, but that absolutely was on his web page. God sure does have a mercurial idea of how to fill different elected offices as they present themselves!

Longwitz campaigned on good, old time, conservative values. He went to churches, kissed babies, railed against Obama and liburls, talked about being tough on crime, and got elected. It's important to note that he faced less career scrutiny in the senate race than in a race for a judgeship, because no specific job skills are necessary to be a senator.

Now, he's abandoned his promise to do the "good work" for his constituents in midstream very soon after a big election so that he could get a pay raise and be locked in as a judge. I wonder if he consulted God on this decision?

He may turn out to be a fine judge. Just know that, if you are called to his court in Madison county, you're going to be in front of a charlatan.

Anonymous said...

I've never seen such a jealous bunch of folks in my life. Lawyers!

Kingfish said...

Dude, you made a really good comment. Seriously. But the title of the comment ruined it. FU won't make it every time.

Kingfish said...

You didn't say anything about his predecessor who was a title attorney and did a good job on the bench. As if title attorneys ever see the inside of a courtroom.

Anonymous said...

1:56 - are you stating that Wilson was not on the list of recommendations for the COA? I'll take that bet - name the terms.

Obviously you and a few others here were either not recommended or not selected, or both. Sorry. Different people view the best appointee differently, just like some prefer Popeyes and others would rather go to Two Sisters. (I intentionally skipped over the Churchs option.)

Next time - why don't you get elected to be Governor then your choice will be the winner!

Anonymous said...

Some seem to have the opinion that "he's a good guy, did fair as senator so what's the worst that could happen making him judge"? "Good guy" is no issue. Also, the issue is not what type of attorney one has been. It's whether one has really done the work of being an attorney at all. How is one expected to decide the issues presented by either attorney in a case when you have never done what they're doing in any area of practice? Please consider the following by statute: this position shares jurisdiction with Circuit and Chancery court in civil matters up to $200,000-want to role the dice with a novice deciding if you get to keep your money or property, or would you rather a real practitioner with years of experience make that call? This position has exclusive jurisdiction in eminent domain cases (where the government takes your land)- Want to put your property in the hands of an amateur? In addition to misdemeanors, this court handles non-capital felony cases assigned by the Circuit Court-want this judge deciding whether you get a fair trial on the way to Parchman? (And, sure, there's always appeals in case of mistake. . .while you're sitting in jail waiting). But you're aren't the criminal? What happens when the criminal who victimized your family goes free because the judge was too incompetent to provide for a fair trial? Still ok with that quick-study. And what about youth court? When it's your child, you want the judge who's on the learning curve or do you want wisdom of experience? This ain't JP court, folks. It's simply no place for on the job training and certainly won't be when it affects your family or community. If you vote in Madison County, I urge you to remember this in November.

Anonymous said...

I finished two years after Will. However, I know several people who went to law school with him. They all had the same comment-he's not smart (legally or otherwise). Once again, politics & political favors play the largest role. There are far better choices, but the other choices weren't political pawns that Tate & Phil needed to get out of the way.

Crazy Mary?!?!? Puh-lease. She needs to keep her crayon makeup self in Madison. Voters of the state spoke loudly that they didn't want her outside the Madison city limits. Didn't she just barely win Madison in her Auditior race? Bill or Michel would be far better choices. Mary is a micromanager/bag of crazy. Keep her out of the Capitol.

Anonymous said...

Will did a great job as our senator and he will be more than capable as a judge. You sound unwilling to even consider he could do a great job. I suspect because you want it for yourself. Which makes the content of your various rants on here questionable.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Will. If you work hard and keep your cases moving, you will be a very good judge.

Anonymous said...

Bruce Bartley running for the senate??? That dude is delusional. If he thinks Bomgar beat his ass, wait until Bill & Walter get ahold of him.

Anonymous said...

If you read the comments carefully, the issue with former senator Longwitz taking this appointment to a judgeship that he lost in an election is that he has no substantive experience in ANY area of law that will be under his jurisdiction.

That should concern everyone who will be in front of him during his first several months on the bench. He will, quite literally, be "learning on the job". And not learning how to be a judge, which is a skill and talent all its own, but learning about the causes of action that he has never practiced in his patchwork legal "career".

Anonymous said...

Go Will Go! Haters gonna hate.

Anonymous said...

Wow, lol'ing at the Bill Billingsley being the "new" guard. I mean, get real, the guy retired and is looking for a hobby. I've sorta/kinda known Walter Michel and think he has to be better for the job. I mean, really, anyone would be.

As far as Will goes, I don't know him but he does seem to at least try to jump on issues his constituents care about. Whether you agree with him or not, or agree with the issues, he at least listened to those in his district. He seems passionate about doing what those in his territory felt strongly about, so I'm gonna give him the benefit of the doubt for now. He's bound to be better than his predecessor.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Will got a serious opponent.

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