The 10th Judicial Circuit in Bartow will soon be missing one of its most highly regarded judges.
Circuit Judge Oliver L. Green Jr. was appointed Friday by Gov. Lawton Chiles to the 2nd District Court of Appeal in Lakeland.
Instead of presiding over trials in Bartow, Green will review the work of trial judges as one of 14 judges on the 2nd DCA, ruling on appeals from courts in 14 Central Florida counties, including Polk.
Green, 64, could not be reached for comment Friday.
His colleagues say Green deserved the promotion.
"It's wonderful," Circuit Judge Dennis Maloney said. "Judge Green is the best judge in the circuit _ the best judge I've ever met."
Circuit Judge Bob Doyel also used the word "wonderful" when learning about Green's appointment.
"He's been a leader for a long time, and this is well deserved, " Doyel said.
Green got the job over 22 other lawyers and judges from Central Florida.
Green will replace retiring appellate Judge Jack R. Schoonover, who leaves the bench in December. Green's appointment lasts until the general election next year, when his term of office will become six years if he is retained by voters.
Green received his law degree from Stetson University College of Law and was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1958. He began his judicial career with the city of Lakeland in 1970 and became a circuit judge in 1973 for Polk, Highlands and Hardee counties. Twice, in 1979 and 1991, he served as chief judge.
He has three grown daughters and lives in Lakeland with his wife, Mona.
As an appellate judge, Green will be paid $120,240 a year.