Judge Laurie Bridewell announced recently her intention to seek election as District Judge for Chicot and Desha counties in the March 1, 2016 election.
She has served six years as a Chicot District Judge. In 2014 the Arkansas Legislature changed the district judgeship to a full time position.
“I have certainly enjoyed serving as District Judge,” Bridewell said. “I believe that District Court provides a unique opportunity to affect lives. If I am fortunate enough to be re-elected to this full time position, my first order of business will be to seek all the resources necessary to establish and operate a DWI Diversionary Court devoted to identifying alcohol addicted drivers with the goal of long term successful recovery and substantial reduction in recidivism for those repeat DWI offenders. These Courts have a proven track record of success and result in safer highways for our people and helping alcoholics recover from their addictions. I promise, if elected, to continue my consistent and fair rulings without regard to who stands before me and to always be available to our law enforcement officers.”
Judge Bridewell has practiced law in Lake Village for 29 years and previously served as Lake Village City Attorney. She received her Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi and her BA from Mississippi University for Women where she served as Chief Justice of the Judicial Council. Judge Bridewell is a member of the Arkansas Bar, Arkansas Trial Lawyers, and the Chicot County Bar Associations. She is a past President of the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association. The Arkansas Trial Lawyers recognized Judge Bridewell with the prestigious Roxanne Wilson Advocacy Award for her work to improve the legal system and profession. Judge Bridewell currently is a member of the District Judges Association and has served on their Education Committee.
Judge Bridewell has served as an Arkansas Supreme Court Special Justice. She was appointed by the Supreme Court to the Model Civil Jury Instruction Committee and the Task Force to revise the Judicial Canons of Ethics. Judge Bridewell now serves on the Professional Practicum Committee by appointment of the Supreme Court. She was appointed to the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission and served as vice chairman.
An active member of her community, Judge Bridewell has served as president and been a member of the Chicot Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees, on the Board of the Lake Village Chamber of Commerce, chair of the Lake Chicot Water Festival, chair of the Washington School Harvest Fun fundraiser and was on the Executive Board of Guachoya Cultural Arts Center. She was a founder and charter member of the Lake Village-Main Line Junior Auxiliary and served as president from 1984-87.
Judge Bridewell lives in Lake Village and is the mother of three children, Robert Bridewell, Jr. and his wife, Payton, William, and Andrew and his wife, Lanie. She is a member of Emmanuel Episcopal Church where she serves on the Building Committee. She also has represented the church as a Delegate to the Diocesan Council and serves on the Board of Review for the Episcopal Diocese of Arkansas.