Gartin Building Courtroom with the Great Seal of the State of Mississippi

Justice Carlson speaks to South Panola HS government classes

December 3, 2002

Mississippi Supreme Court Justice George C. Carlson Jr. on Monday spoke to four government classes at his alma mater, South Panola High School in Batesville.

Carlson was invited to speak at a time when the government classes were preparing to study the Mississippi judicial system and the federal judicial system.

Carlson said afterwards, "Hopefully my presentation to the government classes will be a catalyst for their having interesting and informative discussions of our state and federal judiciaries throughout their studies."

Carlson discussed his 19 years of experience as a circuit judge and the work of the Mississippi Supreme Court in the 13 months that he has been a justice. Carlson also described to the students the work of the Municipal, Justice, Youth, County, Chancery and Circuit Courts, as well as the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court. He explained how appeals are taken to the various courts.

At the request of the teachers, he described how the federal courts apply Mississippi substantive law in the trial of certain cases, and that likewise the federal courts will sometimes certify a question to the Supreme Court to be answered as to a clear pronouncement of a particular law by the state's highest court, to be applied by a federal court in a particular case.

Carlson emphasized to the students and teachers that they have public access to both the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court via the Internet. The written decisions of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals are published weekly on the Supreme Court's web site, Oral arguments of the appellate courts may also be viewed via the Internet.

Carlson stated, "It was very enjoyable to be able to speak at the high school from which I graduated. As a practicing lawyer, I had the pleasure of serving as school board attorney for the South Panola School District for 10 years, and I have always made efforts to be supportive of all South Panola activities, such as academics, athletics, and extra-curricular activities of the school district. I am proud of the fact that the South Panola School District has always enjoyed strong community support, and certainly our communities in the area gravitate around the activities of our schools."