“Usually when we talk about a captive audience we are talking about people in handcuffs and shackles, but we have a different kind of captive audience today,” said the Honorable Judge Keith M Sutherland of the Twelfth Circuit Court as he called to order the ceremony of Investiture of Jason Lamb as Circuit Judge in the Audrain County Courthouse on Jan. 3 at 3 p.m. to a standing room only filled courtroom.
Judge Jason Lamb will preside in the 12th Circuit of Missouri, which was formed in 1911 and is comprised of Audrain, Montgomery, and Warren Counties. It was originally numbered the 11th Circuit, and re-numbered as the 12th Circuit in 1959. Judge Lamb is the 11th individual to serve as Circuit Judge.
One circuit judge is elected from the three counties. Associate Circuit Judges are elected in each county. The Circuit Judge also serves as Presiding Judge for the Court en Banc and has general administrative authority for the Court and the municipal courts within each county.
Judges in attendance were Judge Jason H. Lamb, Presiding Circuit Judge; Judge Linda R. Hamlett, Associate Circuit Judge of Audrain County; Judge Kelly C. Broniec, Associate Circuit Judge of Montgomery County, and also the Judge of the Juvenile Division; Judge Michael S. Wright, Associate Circuit Judge of Warren County, and the Judge of the Treatment Courts for the Circuit; and Judge Richard L. Scheibe, also Associate Circuit Judge of Warren County. Also, Judge Edward Hodge, previous Circuit Judge of the 12th Circuit; Judge Dean Dankelson, Circuit Judge of the 29th Circuit in Jasper County; and Judge Duane Benton, United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
In a brief history of Jason Lamb given by Judge Sutherland, he stated that Judge Lamb helped to start Drug Court in Audrain County along with Judge Hamlett. Later, he became Executive Director of the Missouri House of Prosecution Services, and he was one of the prime architects of the new criminal code that has been in effect for several years.
Welcoming remarks were given by Steve Hobbs, Presiding Commissioner of Audrain County.
Invocation was given by Louis J. Leonatti
A devotional and prayer was given by Senator Jeanie Riddle.
The pledge of Allegiance was directed by Master Jackson H. and Brooks W. Lamb
Following was a message from the Bar by Ms. Kristen L. Arnold.
There were a series of reflections given by Mr. Paul A. Seigfreid, J. Kevin Hamlett, and Eric G. Zahnd.
After reflections, Judge Benton called upon the Lamb family to come forward for the administration of the oath.
Judge Lamb’s wife then placed the black robe over her husband.
After taking oath of office, Judge Sutherland and Judge Lamb stepped up in the bench, where Judge Sutherland transfered the gavel to Judge Lamb.
Once taking the seat, Judge Lamb shared a few words.
“My favorite movie is “It’s a Wonderful Life”. “At the end of that movie the main character George Bailey observes that no man is alone who has friends,” he said. “Looking accross this room today, I couldn’t feel any less alone, or not alone rather than I do now.”
Leonatti then gave the benediction to close out the ceremony.