Justice McRae receives Magnolia Bar Foundation award

January 13, 2003

Supreme Court Justice Chuck McRae is the recipient of the Magnolia Bar Foundation Neal Green Service Award.

The award was announced Friday evening, Jan. 10, in Jackson at the Magnolia Bar Foundation and Magnolia Bar Association Annual Awards Banquet.

Hinds County Circuit Judge Tomie Green created the award in honor of her late husband, Cornelius "Neal" Green, an insurance company financial analyst. The award is given at two year intervals.

Green said her late husband had squared off against McRae when McRae was a plaintiffs' attorney. Cornelius Green dealt with disputed insurance claims before he became a financial analyst.

Green said, "I'm sure my husband would have been thrilled about the person he used to fight with getting the award."

Green said, "It recognizes those persons in the community who exemplify the ideals of the Magnolia Bar Foundation in terms of service to the community." Green said McRae was recognized for "his number of years on the bench speaking for people who would not otherwise have had a voice."

Green said McRae joined the Magnolia Bar Association in 1989 and has remained a member. Green said McRae joined "when it wasn't popular to be a member of an African American bar."

Magnolia Bar Association President Melvin Cooper of Biloxi said of McRae, "Certainly we feel like he was deserving."

McRae said, "It was a very humbling experience. This was to me a great honor."

Green said McRae was selected from eight nominees named by members of the Magnolia Bar Foundation. Cornelius Green's son and daughter, his mother and his nine siblings select from the nominees. Tomie and Cornelius Green's son, Synarus Green, a Hattiesburg police officer, presented the award at the banquet in Jackson.