UPDATED: County circuit judge appointed to state court

By BRAD GASKINS / Staff Writer

Gov. Robert Bentley appointed Shelby County Circuit Judge Michael Joiner to the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals Feb. 4.

“He brings a wealth of experience to the court, and I believe he will be an asset to our state’s judicial system,” Bentley said in a press release.

Joiner fills a vacancy on the court left by Judge Jim Main, who was appointed to the Alabama Supreme Court in January.

“I really appreciate the governor’s confidence,” Joiner said Feb. 7. “I look forward to serving the Court of Criminal Appeals.”

Joiner said he’s thankful to have served in Shelby County for more than 18 years.

“It’s really been an honor to serve alongside so many dedicated and talented people,” Joiner said. “I’ll miss those folks. That’s the hard part of the change. We accomplished a lot in 18 years. “

Joiner said he hasn’t set a date for leaving but will do so in the next several days. He said his last day would be in the next several weeks. In the meantime, the judge said he would work to dispose of as many current cases as possible.

Joiner, who graduated from Indian Springs School, received a law degree from the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in 1982. He practiced law in Shelby County for 10 years before being elected as a circuit judge in 1992.

In November 2005, Joiner was elected as presiding circuit judge by his fellow Shelby County judges.

In 2002, Joiner created the Shelby County Drug Court. In 2007, he was appointed as co-chair of a statewide Drug Court Task Force to implement drug courts in all of Alabama’s 67 counties. Joiner’s drug court program has more than 1,000 graduates and 200 current participants.

Joiner, a life-long Shelby County resident, has one daughter with his wife, Cathy.

When Joiner leaves, three circuit court judges will remain: Judge Hewitt Conwill, Judge Hub Harrington and Judge G. Daniel Reeves.