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Bowling sworn in as judge

The crowd for Friday’s swearing-in of Lawrence County Common Pleas Court Judge Scott Bowling at the Lawrence County Courthouse was large.

So large, in fact, that several dozen people could only watch from the doorway in the lobby.

Bowling, 41, repeated the state judicial oath administered by Lawrence County Municipal Court Judge Donald Capper and then thanked those who came to show their support. He pledged to do his best as the county’s newest judge.

“I understand the legacy of the court and the people who have served before me,” he said. “I understand my legacy has yet to be made.”

Bowling paid homage to the man he replaces on the bench, the late Frank McCown, who died in May,

and George Patterson, the Lawrence County Comissioner who died in August. Bowling said Patterson used to kid him about his future when he began his legal practice.

“It’s an awesome responsibility I undertake in filling his (McCown’s) shoes and I also think of the late George Patterson. He’d be tickled right now,” Bowling said.

In his invocation, the Rev. Mike Fields, pastor of Oakland Chapel United Brethren Church, thanked God for giving Bowling the opportunity to serve on the bench and asked Him to give the new judge wisdom to perform his new duties.

His sons, Brandon and Jordan, led the pledge of allegiance while his wife, Donna, held the Bible as he took the oath of office.

Still other family members crowded into the courtroom to witness the event, as did friends, former law partners and members of his other new family, the Lawrence County Courthouse staff.

Bowling’s hand had not even been near the Bible

when fellow Common Pleas Judge Charles Cooper issued an amusing reality check — the caseload at the courthouse these days is heavy.

“I’ve got 585 cases with your name on them,” Cooper said with a smile.

Cooper said Bowling would fondly remember this day for the rest of his life and he should know because he was sworn in common pleas judge less than a year ago.

“It’s a marvelous experience, a honor that has been bestowed upon you,” Cooper said.

Bowling, a graduate of Symmes Valley High School, has practiced law in Ironton with the firm of Lambert, McWhorter and Bowling for more than 10 years. His term in office begins Monday and will extend until January 2009.