In ceremonies in separate courthouses, the new and outgoing judges of the 59th state District court were celebrated Tuesday.


First elected officials, attorneys, family and friends gathered in the 59th state District Court in the Justice Center to watch former State Rep. Larry Phillips become the newest judge in that courtroom. Then the party moved to the Grayson County Courthouse where County Commissioners celebrated newly retired 59th state District Judge Rim Nall for his years of service to the county.


Nall swore Phillips in as the newest judge in the 59th. Phillips said he has known all of the judges in the district courts in Grayson County and the county courts-at-law for a number of years and has tried cases in front of all of them except Judge Brian Gary.


“Brian’s dad is one of my mentors, Sheriff Gary,” Phillips said before explaining that Judge Jim Fallon and his family are his neighbors. “He is glad because I am one house closer to the police if they want to get a warrant signed in the middle of the night.”


Phillips said he is keeping Nall’s staff, including Christie Anderson as the court coordinator, John Smith as the bailiff and Cindy Bardwell as the court reporter.


After Nall administered the oath of office, Phillips’ wife Robin helped him put on his robe for the first time officially. The ceremony then moved across the street where the crowd in the Grayson County Commissioners Court swelled to standing room only.


The county’s proclamation said Nall had served the county for the past 20 years with distinction and honor. It also acknowledged that Nall created the Star Recovery Program that has been used as a model for other courts in Texas and that he had retired in October.


“Believe me, these have been the best 21 years of my life,” Nall said.


He said the current commissioners court is one of the best he has had to work with and he appreciates them listening to and understanding what the judges are trying to do at the Justice Center.


“The drug court, that’s not all that I’ve done over there … I think everybody thinks that, but that’s really been one of the best things I have ever done in my life,” Nall said.


Nall said the drug court program is affecting the Grayson County community.


“I’ve seen it first hand, so I hope the commissioners will continue to support that and see that through,” he said. “Judge Phillips is going to do a great job with carrying that torch forward and the county is behind it. It is a great program to see lives saved when they really have no place left to go.”


Nall also thanked his staff and all of the people at the Justice Center that he has worked with over the past 21 years.


“They’ve been great and I am going to miss everybody,” he said in closing.