By Dan Spalding
News Now Warsaw
WARSAW — Kosciusko County Circuit Court Judge Michael Reed is retiring, and a longtime local attorney is stepping up to run for his position.
Jack Birch, who has a law office in Syracuse and has practiced in Kosciusko County for more than 30 years, announced his intention to run for the judgeship on Monday.
Birch has a wide variety of judicial experiences, representing business and individual clients in all types of transactions, real estate, civil litigation, and criminal defense.
He has served as a public defender in all criminal courts in Kosciusko County and has served as judge pro tempore on many occasions, according to a news release issued Monday.
He also said he’s always had an eye on the circuit court, which has a docket that includes high-profile crime cases as well as various civil cases.
The 57-year-old pointed out that all of the other local judges are similar in age and he doesn’t believe any of them will be stepping down anytime soon so the time seems right to seek the position.
“It’s something I’ve thought about for a long time,” Birch said. “Honestly, this is the only court I’ve really had an interest in. That’s based on the caseload it has.”
Birch said he believes his experience works in his favor as a candidate.
“What judges would I model myself after? Quite honestly, those judges tended to be people that had substantial experience when they went on the bench,” he said.
He graduated from Indiana University law school and his three children are graduates or on their way toward graduating from the university.
He enjoys historical biographies and named Abe Lincoln and Dwight Eisenhower as two he admire — Eisenhower specifically for his management style and his diplomatic approach.
Birch is a Republican and is the first to file for the seat.
The filing period begins in early January.