As of March 1, there will be a new face on the bench in the 32nd Judicial Circuit.
John P. Heisserer, a Cape Girardeau lawyer, will be appointed to fill the seat being vacated by John W. Grimm. Judge Grimm, who became the state's youngest circuit judge when appointed in December 1993 at the age of 31, is returning to private practice.
Heisserer, 46, has been practicing law for more than 21 years and will serve until November 2004, when an election will determine who will finish out the remainder of the six-year term Grimm won in 2000. Showing a sense of commitment to his new post, he already has pledged to run.
Born in Chaffee, Mo., and virtually a lifelong Southeast Missouri resident, Heisserer no doubt knows of the high standards locals place on their judges. He has the endorsement of his predecessor and the prosecuting attorney.
No doubt Heisserer will receive the help and support he needs from our sitting judges and others in the legal system as he becomes acclimated to his new position.