Fayette County’s Gene Schwarm has reached another milestone mark in his Judicial career. Judge Schwarm has been named the Presiding Justice of the Fifth District Appellate Court as he was unanimously elected by his six justice colleagues of the court. The Fifth District Appellate Court, located in Mt. Vernon, serves the southern 37 counties of Illinois. Schwarm will serve as presiding justice from now until November 30th of 2016. Schwarm was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to fill a vacancy on the Appellate Court on April 1st of 2014 until December 4th of 2016 and Schwarm plans to retire from the bench at that time. Before his time in the Appellate Court, Schwarm was a circuit judge of the 4th Judicial Circuit for 20 years and for 13 of those years served as Chief Judge of the Circuit. Schwarm also served as chair of the Conference of Chief Judges in the State of Illinois for 7 years of that time.