Questions with the Judge – Andy Howorth, Circuit Judge

Circuit Judge Andy Howorth
Benton, Calhoun, Chickasaw, Lafayette, Marshall Tippah & Union Counties
3rd Circuit District

Judge Howorth earned a B.B.A. and a J.D. from the University of Mississippi. Judge Howorth was initially appointed, and he was elected in 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014.

1. What do you like most and least about being a judge?

Without question, the best single thing that my job allows is the privilege of also serving as a drug court judge. It’s a life changer for the participants and has been for me too.

The thing I dislike the most is that the position of judge has permanently altered some friendships that I had with many lawyers before becoming a judge. The job can be quite lonely at times.

2. Identify one judge, living or dead, whom you admire the most and explain why?

Probably Henry Lackey. Anybody who knows his story would know why. Also Rhesa H. Barksdale. Although we are related by marriage, I can still pick him. At his core, he is very modest about his many accomplishments, not the least of which includes heroic military service

3. What three suggestions would you give to a lawyer about how to improve their writing?

It is always preferable to be concise, which translates to “as brief as possible in making an effective argument”. Don’t labor over legal arguments on things like the legal burden or the standard of review, etc. The judge already knows those things and doesn’t want to read about them. Keep your separate arguments separate in your writings. Don’t mix them together.

4. What three suggestions would you give to a lawyer about how to present an effective case in your court?

If your case has a theme, stick with your theme. Be familiar with the Uniform Rules of Circuit and County Court and follow them, particularly as relates to jury instructions (timely filing, numbering, presentation of authorities, etc.). Be on time.

5. If you could change any law or rule, what would it be?

I would create a procedure for conducting trials before “professional” jurors who have been vetted through some process and eliminate the current system.

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