Local Attorney Gets Nod for Judgeship

President Bush has nominated a local attorney to become to become a new federal judge.

The White House notified veteran Panama City attorney Richard Smoak Wednesday of his nomination to serve in Florida's northern district.

He would join seven other federal judges hearing cases in the jurisdiction running from the Alabama line to Gainesville.

Smoak’s nomination will go to the Senate Judiciary Committee, and ultimately to the full U.S. Senate for confirmation.

Smoak is a West Point graduate, and served with the Special Forces in Vietnam before beginning his law career in Bay County in 1973.