DES MOINES, Iowa – Chief Justice Susan Christensen has appointed District Judge Myron Gookin of Fairfield as chief judge of the Eighth Judicial District. Gookin succeeds Chief Judge Mary Ann Brown, who will retire on December 31, 2021. Judge Gookin will begin the position of chief judge on January 1, 2022.
“Judge Gookin has served the people of the Eighth Judicial District for more than a decade and was a well-respected lawyer for 28 years prior to being appointed to the bench,” Chief Justice Christensen said. “I love that his entire legal career has been in the community where he was born and raised. He is vested in Fairfield, Jefferson County, and the Eighth Judicial District where he has shown his commitment to the ideals of fairness, equality, and justice. I am confident he will be a respected leader who will provide the best possible judicial services to the people of his district.”
Gookin was appointed to the bench in August of 2011. Judge Gookin received his bachelor’s degree with distinction from Iowa State University in 1980 and his Juris Doctorate with honors from Drake University Law School in 1983. Gookin was in private practice with Foss, Kuiken, Gookin & Cochran P.C. in Fairfield, Iowa from July 1983 until his appointment to the bench. He is a member of the Iowa State Bar Association, Iowa Judge’s Association, Iowa Supreme Court Criminal Rules Advisory Committee, Iowa Supreme Court Client Security Commission, Iowa Supreme Court CLE Commission (past), Iowa State Bar Association Jury Instruction Committee, and on the board of directors of the 8th Judicial District Department of Correctional Services. He is married and has three children.
“I am very honored and thankful to be selected as Chief Judge of the 8th Judicial District of Iowa by Chief Justice Christensen and the Iowa Supreme Court,” Gookin said. “I look forward to the challenge and will work hard to be a positive force in the important work of the 8th Judicial District. We have terrific people working diligently every day in our district and I am excited to help and lead them in our mission to administer justice under the law equally to all persons.”
As chief judge, Gookin will supervise all judicial officers and court employees in the district, oversee the performance of the administrative and judicial business in the district, set the times and places of holding court, designate presiding judges, and serve on the judicial council, which advises the supreme court on administrative matters affecting the trial courts. In addition, he will continue to preside over cases.
The Eighth Judicial District is located in southeast Iowa. It is comprised of 14 counties: Appanoose, Davis, Des Moines, Henry, Jefferson, Keokuk, Lee, Louisa, Mahaska, Monroe, Poweshiek, Van Buren, Wapello, and Washington. The district has 11 district court judges, seven district associate court judges, one associate juvenile court judge, 14 part-time magistrates, and 120 employees, with an operating budget for the current fiscal year of approximately $15.4 million. A total of more than 53,000 cases were filed in the Eighth District in 2020.