(MT. VERNON, IL) — The former Chief Judge of the Fourth Judicial District, S. Gene Schwarm, has been named Presiding Justice of the Fifth District Appellate Court in Mt. Vernon, a unanimous choice by his six justice colleagues on the Appellate bench. Schwarm, who lives in Fayette County with his wife Ann, was first appointed to the Appellate bench in January 2014, to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Appellate Justice James M. Wexstten. The Fifth District Appellate Court is located in Mt Vernon and serves the southern 37 counties of Illinois. Schwarm will serve as presiding justice from December 1, 2015 to November 30, 2016. Schwarm was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court on April 1, 2014 to fill a vacancy on the Fifth District Appellate Court until December 4, 2016. Schwarm plans to returN from the bench at that time. Prior to being appointed to the appellate court, Schwarm was a circuit judge of the Fourth Judicial Circuit for 20 years and for 13 of those years served as Chief Judge of the circuit. He also served as Chair of the Conference of Chief Judges in the State of Illinois for 7 years during that time.