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Supreme Court reprimands, fines judge

SMITH COUNTY — The Mississippi Supreme Court has ordered a public reprimand and fine for a judge who was accused of failing to disclose a potential conflict in a Smith County asbestos case that resulted in a $322 million verdict.

In May 2011, attorneys for Union Carbide Corporation said Circuit Judge Eddie H. Bowen neglected to notify defense lawyers that his parents had been involved in similar asbestos litigation and had settled a case against Union Carbide.

When Bowen didn’t respond to a petition for recusal, Union Carbide went to the Supreme Court.

Bowen was forced to step down.

The Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance recommended a reprimanded and assessed costs of $200.

On Thursday, the state Supreme Court said that wasn’t enough and added a $500 fine.

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