Presiding Justice George Clarence Carlson, Jr. of Batesville was appointed to the Supreme Court by Gov. Ronnie Musgrove on Oct. 29, 2001, to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Justice Michael P. Mills. Justice Carlson took office Nov. 1, 2001, and served the remainder of the unexpired term. On Nov. 2, 2004, Justice Carlson was elected to serve an eight-year term. The term began Jan. 3, 2005, and will expire on Jan. 6, 2013. On Jan. 5, 2009, Justice Carlson became a Presiding Justice for the Court.
From June 1972, through Dec. 31, 1982, Justice Carlson was in the private practice of law. In November 1982, he was elected Circuit Judge for the Seventeenth Judicial District of Mississippi, comprised of DeSoto, Panola, Tallahatchie, Tate, and Yalobusha counties, and took office on Jan. 1, 1983. He was reelected as Circuit Judge without opposition in 1989, 1990, 1994, and 1998.
Justice Carlson served as a member on the Governor's Criminal Justice Task Force in 1991, and as a member of the Commission on the Courts in the 21st Century, 1992-1993. He served as a member of the Professionalism Committee of the Mississippi Bar, 1998-1999, and as a member of the Law School Professionalism Program Task Force, 1998-1999. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the American Judges Association, the Mississippi Bar, and the Lamar Order, University of Mississippi School of Law. Justice Carlson is a member and past president of the Panola County Bar Association, and a member and past president of the William C. Keady American Inns of Court. He was invited and named in February 1995 as a Fellow of the Mississippi Bar Foundation. Justice Carlson served as vice-chair of the Mississippi Circuit Judges Conference in 1998-1999, and chair of the Conference in 1999-2000. Since arriving at the Supreme Court, Justice Carlson has continuously served on the Courtís Rules Committee. Justice Carlson is a recipient of the 2003 Chief Justice Award for his work on the Rules Committee. On Jan. 5, 2009, Justice Carlson became the Chair of the Courtís newly created Rules Committee on Practice and Procedure. Justice Carlson also serves as Chair of the Mississippi Model Jury Instructions Commission, which is charged with conducting a comprehensive examination of jury instructions being used in state courts and recommending to the Supreme Court revised and simplified civil and criminal jury instructions.
Justice Carlson was honored twice as the recipient of the Chief Justice Award, in 2003 and again in 2012. He was the recipient of Mississippi State Universityís Distinguished Jurist Award for 2012.
The son of the late Christine Wooley Carlson and the late Dr. George C. Carlson, Justice Carlson was born on May 23, 1946, in Greenwood, Leflore County, Mississippi. Six months after his birth, he moved with his family from Moorhead, in Sunflower County, to Batesville.
He is a 1964 graduate of South Panola High School in Batesville; a 1969 graduate of Mississippi State University (Bachelor of Science Degree); and a 1972 graduate of the University of Mississippi (Law Degree). Justice Carlson also graduated from the National Judicial College, University of Nevada, Reno, in October 1982.
Justice Carlson is married to the former Jane Ivy Russel of Cleveland, Bolivar County, Mississippi, daughter of the late Mary Augusta Russel and the late Dr. John C. Russel. Justice and Mrs. Carlson have two adult children, Russel Carlson and Meredith Carlson Fleming, and three grandchildren.
Justice Carlson is an Elder in the Batesville Presbyterian Church.