James E. Patrick II was sworn in last week as the new district judge for the city of Mayflower.

He replaced Judge Russell L. "Jack" Roberts, who passed away in June.

Patrick is the city’s first new judge since 1982, when Roberts took office.

Patrick said his main focus as a judge will be to help the city of Mayflower.

"I just want to help Mayflower and the people of Mayflower," Patrick said. "I don’t consider myself a political animal of any sort. I just want to help Mayflower grow and prosper."

Born and raised in Mayflower, Patrick began practicing law in 2001 and opened his own practice in 2008.

According to Patrick, Mayflower mayor Randy Holland approached him about replacing Roberts as district judge. Patrick said he has sat as a special judge for nearly a year and had filled in for Roberts on occasion throughout Faulkner County.

Patrick said he has considered being a judge for some time, even mentioning the fact to a friend while in law school.

"I told a friend of mine that maybe I’d run for judge of Mayflower," Patrick said. "He asked who I’d have to run against, and I told him probably Judge Roberts. He said I didn’t stand a chance.

"I am a great admirer of the late Judge Roberts and want to continue his practice of dispensing fair and impartial judgments."

Patrick is the son of Patty Stroud and the late Jim Patrick. He is a graduate of Mayflower High School and the University of Central Arkansas. He earned his law degree from the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law.

(Staff writer Stephanie Fischer can be reached by e-mail at stephanie.fischer@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1238. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit.)