Court of Appeals Judge Eugene Love Fair Jr. of Hattiesburg was appointed by Gov. Haley Barbour on Jan. 1, 2012, and took the oath of office Jan. 3. Judge Fair filled a vacancy in District 5, Place 1, created by the retirement of Judge William H. Myers.
Judge Fair previously served for five years as a chancellor on the 10th Chancery Court, which includes Forrest, Lamar, Marion, Pearl River and Perry counties. Before his election to the bench, he served by appointment as a special master in Chancery Court and as a guardian ad litem representing the interests of children in Youth Court.
He engaged in the private practice of law in Hattiesburg for 34 years. During that time, he tried cases in 57 courthouses across the state. He was admitted to practice law in all state courts, the U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Mississippi, the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court of Texas and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Neville Patterson appointed him to the Mississippi Ethics Commission in 1984. He served on the commission for 20 years, including 19 years as vice-chair. He was board attorney for the Pat Harrison Waterway District 1988-1992.
Judge Fair grew up in Louisville, but he has generations of roots in the Pine Belt. His great-grandfather, G. C. Robertson, was the last Justice of the Peace of District 2, Perry County, before the county was split to form Perry and Forrest counties. His grandfather, Stokes Robertson Sr., served as the first member of the House of Representatives from Forrest County and as Clerk of the House for four years. He was also Revenue Agent of the state of Mississippi, a statewide elective officer later renamed State Tax Collector. Judge Fair is the nephew of the late Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Stokes V. Robertson Jr.
Judge Fair earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Mississippi and a law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law. During college, he was editor of The Daily Mississippian twice. It became a five day a week newspaper during his first term. He helped pay his way through college with freelance writing for newspapers. He began working as a newspaper stringer at age 15, calling in sports scores and writing obituaries. He did freelance work for the Clarion-Ledger, the now defunct Jackson Daily News, the Meridian Star, the Associated Press and United Press International. He is a member of the 1966 undergraduate Hall of Fame at Ole Miss, and in law school was on the board of the Mississippi Law Journal.
After he earned his law degree in 1968, he served for four years on active duty with the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General Corps during the Vietnam War, earning the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He spent two years as chief legal officer at the Naval Air Station at Corpus Christi, Texas. He was a reservist in the Jackson Naval J.A.G. Reserve Unit for five years.
He served as treasurer, secretary, vice-president and president of both the Young Lawyers Section of the Mississippi Bar and the South Central Mississippi Bar Association. He held numerous leadership positions in the Mississippi Bar. He is a two term former member of the Board of Bar Commissioners, a Fellow of the Mississippi Bar Foundation since 1981, and a Charter Life Fellow of the Young Lawyers.
He served on the Mississippi Supreme Court Committee on Technology in the Courts 1988-1990, and on the Judicial Advisory Study Committee Technology Consulting Group 1993-1994.
He helped screen and recommend lawyers to fill judicial vacancies as a member of Gov. William Winterís Judicial Nominating Committee, the first such Committee in Mississippi. A similar group, Gov. Barbourís Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee, recommended Fair to fill the vacancy on the Court of Appeals.
He is an Eagle Scout, and has remained active in Scouting activities.
He is a trustee, elder and Sunday School teacher at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Hattiesburg. He is a former chairman of deacons, and was church treasurer for 18 years.
He is married to Dr. Estella Galloway Fair. They have two daughters and four grandchildren. Melissa Fair Wellons, M.D. is Assistant Professor of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Julia Fair Myrick is a screenwriter and motion picture producer in Pasadena, Calif.