Newly appointed Madison County associate judge Barry Julian will preside over the family division after being sworn into his new role on Feb 8.
The family division includes cases involving child support and divorce, among other topics.
Julian was appointed associate judge to fill the vacancy left when Sarah Smith was elected circuit judge.
Julian is one of the founding partners of Gori Julian & Associates PC, which is one of the top filers of asbestos lawsuits in the country.
Most of the firm’s asbestos cases are filed in Madison County, which houses the nation’s largest asbestos docket. However, recently, the firm has favored venue in St. Clair County Circuit Court when filing asbestos cases.
Julian retired from Gori Julian & Associates in 2015.
According to a press release, Julian remained in contact with his co-founder, Randy Gori, and the rest of the firm since his retirement.
According to the County Clerk’s office, Julian, a Democrat, moved to Florida after canceling his Madison County voter registration on Dec. 30, 2014. His re-registration as a resident of Edwardsville was then processed the same day he was appointed associate judge in January.
Julian graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 1972 with a biology degree. He went on to earn a D.M.D. from Washington University School of Dental Medicine in 1976.
After a successful career as a dentist, he received his J.D. from St. Louis University School of Law in 1995.
Prior to forming Gori Julian & Associates in 2008, Julian was a partner at Wise & Julian in Alton.
Associate judges are selected by a secret vote among the circuit’s nine elected judges. To be appointed, an applicant must receive at least five votes to get seated to a four-year term.
Currently, the Third Judicial Circuit only includes two Republican judges – Circuit Judge David Dugan, who was elected in November, and Associate Judge Stephen Stobbs, who presides over the asbestos docket and was appointed in 2006. The Third Judicial Circuit includes Madison and Bond counties.