Associate District Judge Stuart Tate said Cindy Pickerill has been named special judge for the Osage County District Court. She succeeded John Thomas Briggs in the position. Briggs left the post Sept. 20 and Pickerill began work as judge on Oct. 1, Judge Tate said.


Tate has had an increased caseload of late, with the departures of both Briggs and District Judge John Kane, who was named by Gov. Kevin Stitt to the Oklahoma Supreme Court. Kane started work in his new position Sept. 23, Tate noted.


“Everything that he had, I now have also,” Tate said of the Osage County District Court cases over which Kane had been presiding. Tate said he doesn’t anticipate that the governor’s appointment of a successor for Kane will be very soon in coming, and he isn’t sure what the timing might be.


In the interim, judges from other counties will be called upon to help with cases in which Tate might have conflicts of interest, Tate said.


“I think we can pull it off,” he added, voicing optimism about handling the increased demands. Tate said he thinks lawyers working in the Osage County District Court will help him manage things. “You know, we have a wonderful group of lawyers, who are very understanding.”