HELENA, Mont. -

 Former state workers' compensation judge Mike Shea has been sworn in as a justice on the Montana Supreme Court.
    
Gov. Steve Bullock appointed Shea to fill the seat vacated when Justice Brian Morris resigned in December to become a federal judge.
    
Lee Newspapers of Montana reports Chief Justice Mike McGrath administered the oath of office on Monday.
    
Shea graduated from Butte Central and as one of six children of a widowed mother worked to pay his way through college.
    
Friends and former colleagues praised Shea as selfless, dedicated to justice and a bit of a long-winded storyteller.
    
Shea said his mother was the largest influence in his life, along with his wife and daughters.
    
He says he has loved practicing law, loved being a judge and was looking forward to joining the Supreme Court.