Anthony N. Lawrence, III
District 5, Position 1
Judge Anthony N. “Tony” Lawrence III was born in Pascagoula, Mississippi on April 3, 1965. He is the son of Anthony and Darla Lawrence of Pascagoula. He graduated from Our Lady of Victories High School in 1983. He attended the University of Southern Mississippi, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in history and a minor in political science in 1987. He attended the University of Mississippi School of Law, receiving his Juris Doctor degree in 1990. He was admitted to the practice of law in Mississippi that same year. He also is admitted to practice law in all courts in the state of Alabama.
Judge Lawrence began his practice in a general litigation firm and tried civil lawsuits in both Mississippi and Alabama. He served as an Assistant District Attorney from 1996 to 1999 in the Nineteenth Circuit Court District and as a Special Prosecutor in other Circuit Court districts in the state of Mississippi. He joined the law firm of Colingo, Williams, Heidelberg, Steinberger & McElhaney on September 20, 1999, and practiced primarily in the area of medical malpractice defense.
He was elected District Attorney for Jackson, George, and Greene counties in November 2003, and was reelected in 2007, 2011 and 2015. In November 2018, he was elected without opposition to the Mississippi Court of Appeals. He took the oath of office on January 7, 2019.
Judge Lawrence is a member of the Mississippi Bar, Alabama Bar, and the Jackson County Bar. He has served as Special Judge in the Jackson County Youth Court. He served as Mississippi Prosecutors Association vice-president and president-elect, and was president 2011-2012. He served on the Mississippi Prosecutors Association Board of Directors for nine years and was co-chair of the Legislative Action Committee. In that role, he assisted in the passage of legislation aimed at preventing child abuse (Lonnie Smith Act), and establishing degrees of murder, charges of accessory after the fact to murder, and attempted murder. He worked to pass legislation authorizing the creation of more assistant district attorney positions across the state.
He was appointed by Governor Haley Barbour to serve on the Children’s Justice Act Task Force and was appointed by Governor Phil Bryant to the Judicial Appointment Governor’s Advisory Committee and the Governor’s Teen Pregnancy Task Force. He has been an Adjunct Instructor of Criminal Investigations at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College - Jackson County Campus and the University of Southern Mississippi at the Long Beach campus.
He served as president of the Singing River Soccer Club, and was a founding officer in the Mississippi Coast Futbol Club. He coached youth sports for approximately 27 years and served as coach for the Resurrection High School Varsity Girls Soccer Team for eight years and as head coach for Resurrection Varsity Boys Soccer Team for five years. He coached the Resurrection High School mock trial team for more than 15 years.
He is married to Anita Lawrence, the former Anita Williamson, and they have two children, Taylor, 28, and Bay, 24. They attend Our Lady of Victories Catholic Church in Pascagoula.