Conference of Chancery Judges selects officers
November 9, 2017
Tenth District Chancellor M. Ronald Doleac of Hattiesburg was elected chair of Mississippi’s Conference of Chancery Judges on Oct. 26 at the Fall Trial and Appellate Judges Conference in Jackson.
Chancellor Lawrence Primeaux of Meridian was elected vice-chair, and Chancellor Robert Q. Whitwell of Oxford was elected secretary-treasurer of the Conference of Chancery Judges.
Judicial conferences meet in April and October for continuing education training, and periodically at other times to discuss legal, procedural and judicial issues. They make recommendations on issues affecting state courts.
Judge Doleac has served since Jan. 4, 2012, as Chancellor of the Tenth Chancery District, which includes Forrest, Lamar, Marion, Pearl River and Perry counties. He is a graduate of Hattiesburg High School, the University of Southern Mississippi and the University of Mississippi School of Law. He previously served as city prosecutor and city judge pro tempore for the city of Hattiesburg, and as interim Justice Court judge, Chancery Court special master and Chancery Court family master for the Forrest County Chancery Court. He has served on the Mississippi Trial Lawyers Association Board of Governors and as president of the South Central Mississippi Bar Association.
Judge Doleac is a founding member of the Christian Services Advisory Board, and has served previously as a Supreme Council member and national president of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity, receiving the SAE Distinguished Service Award in 1997. He is a lifelong member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Hattiesburg, where he served on the Finance Council and the Pastoral Council. He has also served on the Diocesan School Advisory Council for the Catholic Diocese of Biloxi.
Judge Primeaux was elected to the Twelfth District Chancery Court in 2006 and took office Jan. 2, 2007. The district includes Lauderdale and Clarke counties. For more than seven years he has published The Better Chancery Practice Blog, https://betterchancery.com. The ABA Journal in November 2016 named it among the nation's 100 best blogs for a legal audience, and on Nov. 3, it placed first in the Expert Institute's Best Legal Blog Contest and second overall among all blog contestants.
He attended the University of Southwestern Louisiana and Nicholls State University. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology, sociology and anthropology from the University of Mississippi in 1971, and a law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1973.
Judge Primeaux practiced law for two years in Memphis, then worked as an appeals officer for the U.S. Civil Service Commission in Atlanta for four years. He worked as managing attorney for the former East Mississippi Legal Services office 1978-1981. He was in private law practice in Meridian for 25 years. He previously served as attorney for the city of Meridian, the Meridian Airport Authority, the Meridian Transportation Commission and the Meridian Civil Service Commission.
He is a former president of the Lauderdale County Bar Association and former chairman of the State Charity Hospital Board. He served on the East Mississippi State Hospital Community Advisory Committee, and on the boards of directors of the Lauderdale County Group Home, St. Francis Homes Inc., and Friendship Center. He is former president of United Way of Lauderdale County and of the Mental Health Association of Lauderdale County. He is a former director of the Meridian Rotary Club.
Judge Whitwell was appointed to the Eighteenth District Chancery Court on Aug. 7, 2013. The Eighteenth District includes Benton, Calhoun, Lafayette, Marshall and Tippah counties.
He previously served as U.S. Attorney for the Norther District of Mississippi, having been appointed by Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. He also served as Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General for the U.S. Department of Justice. He served as municipal court judge in Horn Lake 1975-1985. He was a partner in the firm of Farese, Farese & Farese before his appointment to the Chancery bench.
Judge Whitwell earned a bachelor’s degree from Delta State University and a law degree from the University of Mississippi. He received the Outstanding Civil Litigation Award in 1992 from then U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr. He is a Fellow of the Mississippi Bar Foundation.