Justice James D. Maxwell II of Oxford was appointed by Governor Phil Bryant to the Mississippi Supreme Court on January 1, 2016. He previously served as a judge on the Mississippi Court of Appeals, having been initially appointed by Governor Haley Barbour on February 2, 2009, then elected in 2010 and re-elected in 2014.
Justice Maxwell earned his undergraduate degree and juris doctorate from the University of Mississippi. He practiced civil law in Jackson before returning to Oxford to serve as Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi.
As a federal prosecutor, he represented the United States Department of Justice in prosecutions and jury trials of public corruption and white collar fraud cases, as well as money laundering, drug trafficking, immigration, and gang-related crimes. He also handled appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He served as Corporate Fraud Coordinator and participated on the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. He received various commendations from the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Justice Maxwell has also been elected to a variety of legal positions. He is a past president of the Young Lawyers Division of the Mississippi Bar Association, the Lafayette County Bar Association, and Tri-County Young Lawyers. He has also served on the Board of Bar Commissioners, the Mississippi Bar Foundation, the Diversity in the Law Committee, and the Board of Directors of the Mississippi Prosecutors Association. He is a graduate of Mississippi Economic Council's Leadership Mississippi program and in 2007 was named "Top 40 Under 40" by the Mississippi Business Journal.
Justice Maxwell frequently lectures on appellate and trial advocacy, legal writing, and Mississippi's judicial system. He and his wife Mindy have two children, Trip and Mae Covington. The Maxwells are active members of First Baptist Church, Oxford.