In between cases, Carter Bise accepted congratulations from fellow judges and attorneys. No one is more surprised than the 48-year-old Bise that he is now a Chancery Court Judge in Harrison, Hancock and Stone Counties.
"It's a shock. I'd heard rumors that I was gonna get a phone call but I didn't believe it and when the phone call came I was really surprised," Bise said.
Bise says things have moved quickly. He and Sandy Steckler were sworn in Wednesday morning and got right on the bench.
"It's a new experience for me being on this side of the bench," Steckler says. "Of course, I've been on the other side of the bench for about 35 years but there's so much to learn and so many things to do to get set up."
Steckler had time to get settled in since his six scheduled cases were removed from the docket. Bise stayed busy with a wrongful death lawsuit. Despite their legal troubles, Steckler and Bise say former Judges R.N. Randall and Tom Teel did an outstanding job on the bench. The new judges say the Chancery Court has a huge caseload and everyone who works in the system keeps the court moving as smoothly as possible.
"I'm sure that we can find ways to improve it. I know that after I've been here for some time we can do some things that will streamline it that will cause us to operate more efficiently and I look forward to an opportunity to do that," Steckler says.
Bise says he will rely on his faith in the courtroom.
"There's a verse in the old testament that says there are three things required; to do justice to have mercy and to walk humbly with God. That's what I wanna see in the courtroom. I want to do justice, I want to do mercy and I don't want the robe to affect who I am."
Both men say they will try cases as quickly as possible to ensure that justice is not delayed. They both intend to run for the chancery seats in the fall elections.