Judge Griffis takes oath at investiture ceremony

February 28, 2003

Court of Appeals Judge T. Kenneth Griffis Jr. told a crowd at the Capitol Friday that he hopes to be known not as favoring a particular viewpoint, but as a judge who is just and fair.

Court of Appeals Chief Judge Roger H. McMillin Jr. administered the oath of office to Griffis during a formal investiture ceremony. McMillin administered the oath informally Jan. 6 so that Griffis could begin his duties.

Griffis, 41, of Ridgeland, thanked his family, friends and supporters. "I hope I will honor their confidence and serve with honor and dignity and in accordance with the principles of truth and justice," Griffis said.

Griffis was surrounded by family, including his wife Mary Helen Griffis, their five sons, who range in age from 2 months to 9 years, his sister and her family, his parents, Pete and Clarice Griffis, and other relatives.

Speaking of his parents, Griffis said, "They are my heroes. They are the ones I look up to."

Former Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Lenore Prather of Columbus told Griffis, "It is a great honor for me to welcome you to the judicial system."

Prather said Griffis's training as a certified public accountant as well as a lawyer will add a new dimension of expertise that will benefit the court.

Prather said Griffis is a man of strong family values. "He worked in his community, he worked in his church and he worked with youth organizations, sports in particular," Prather said.

Attorney Stephen J. Carmody of Jackson, a long-time friend, said, "The bar lost a good lawyer, but the judiciary gained a great judge."

Meridian attorney H. Wingfield Glover Jr. said, "All of us will benefit greatly from his character and conviction."

Glover said he has known Griffis since Griffis was 10 years old playing Little League baseball in Meridian. Looking out over Griffis' five children, Glover remarked, "He's about to make the loop back to baseball. Kenny, you need four more players."

Cub Scout Pack 7, Den 5 from First Presbyterian Church Day School, of which Griffis' oldest son is a member, gave the Pledge of Allegiance during the ceremony.

Griffis was elected in November 2002 from District 3, which includes east and central Mississippi counties. His term expires in January 2007.