Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder will oversee Madison County's packed asbestos docket as of Dec. 1, 2010.

The assignment was announced at 2:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon by Madison County Chief Judge Ann Callis' office.

Madison County has one of the busiest asbestos dockets in the nation. Last year's asbestos filings topped those in 2008 by more than 200 cases.

The county's asbestos count peaked in 2003 at 953 cases filed.

Callis was unavailable for comment Thursday afternoon as she was presiding over a nursing home negligence trial.

Callis said in November 2009 that Crowder would "likely" be the next asbestos judge.

Crowder will step into the asbestos judge role that will be left vacant once Madison County Circuit Judge Daniel Stack retires.

Stack announced his retirement last year and will leave by the end of his current term.

Callis began transferring cases from Stack's docket to her own in December 2009.

Crowder, according to the press release, will continue to handle the other cases currently assigned to her.

Crowder, a Democrat, was first elected to the bench in 1999 as an associate judge.

She became a circuit judge in 2006.

She currently handles a civil docket.

Madison County State's Attorney William Mudge is running for Stack's seat.

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