When Judge Will Longwitz is asked why he likes serving on the Madison County Court, he says: “That’s simple. As County Court Judge, I get to make a difference in people’s lives every day.”
Judge Will Longwitz was appointed to the office of County Judge by Governor Phil Bryant, and he will be on the ballot November 8th.
“At the beginning of the legislative session, Governor Bryant called me into his office. He told me his judicial appointment advisory committee had recommended me out of all the applicants and he wanted to know if I would accept the appointment,” Longwitz said. “My wife Leigh Ann and I prayed hard about it. It would require me to resign from the Senate, close my law practice and run for office again at the end of 2016. But we decided this was the place where I could do the most good for families and children.”
Prior to his appointment, Longwitz practiced law for 13 years. He had his own law practice, representing children and families, companies and individuals in all types of courtrooms, including the county court where he now serves as judge. He also represented Madison, Ridgeland and Northeast Jackson in the State Senate, where he was re-elected by a wide margin.
As County Court Judge, Longwitz presides over civil cases up to $200,000 and misdemeanor criminal cases. In addition, he hears all cases of eminent domain in Madison County. In his time on the court, Judge Longwitz has placed particular emphasis on rendering his opinion in a timely fashion, without continuance or delay. “My goal is to be both fair and effective,” said Longwitz.
With criminal cases, Longwitz knows the buck stops with the judge. “There is a simple fact about criminal law. Criminals need to know the judge is not afraid to hand out sentences once they’re convicted. I have experience doing just that,” Longwitz said.
When Longwitz took the oath of office, he promised to do equal justice to rich and poor alike. He promised to perform his duties faithfully and impartially, and to apply the law in a fair way.
Continuing an effort he began years ago, Judge Longwitz invited every school in Madison County to come to his courtroom, meet with him and participate in a civics lesson on the role of the courts in the United States. He allows ample time for the children to ask whatever questions they have. This year alone, he has spoken with over a thousand of children from elementary to high school age. He also promised to help young people stay in school and stay off drugs. Juvenile Drug Court, which Judge Longwitz administers with the help of counselors and other staff, has an excellent track record of keeping kids off drugs and in school.
“I am very proud to serve as Madison County Court Judge,” said Longwitz. “Almost every day, I have the opportunity to settle a dispute by applying the law fairly and evenly. It’s a special trust, and I take it very seriously.”
Judge Longwitz was elected two times to the Mississippi Senate. While he was there, he always put people first. He fought for jobs and for education, and he advocated for children with autism and dyslexia. “I have always believed in public service, and I believe Christ charges us to help the smallest ones first,” Longwitz said.
Longwitz brings unique legal experience to the County Court. He attended Georgetown University, where he earned degrees in Government and in English. He graduated from law school at the University of Mississippi and started his career as an attorney for the federal government in Washington, D.C. He then returned home to Mississippi to start his own law practice. “As a federal attorney, I fought fraud in the financial markets and helped people who had been defrauded of their money. As a solo attorney, I represented families and small businesses represented in addition to representing children in Youth Court.”
In Mississippi, we elect our judges, and we need to hold our judges accountable. Judge Will Longwitz has worked hard as your County Judge, and he is working hard to earn every vote. “I humbly ask the people of Madison County for their vote on Tuesday, November 8th.”
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