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

Chief Justice seeks applicants for Court of Appeals position

July 23, 2004

Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice James W. Smith Jr. is seeking applicants for a special judge to serve on the Court of Appeals during the absence of Judge Leslie H. Southwick.

Judge Southwick will take a leave of absence from the court to begin active duty with the Mississippi Army National Guard on Aug. 9 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Judge Southwick's absence could be for more than a year. Judge Southwick said he expects to train for several months, and that his service overseas will likely last about 12 months.

Chief Justice Smith will appoint a special judge to serve on the Court of Appeals during Judge Southwick's absence. Chief Justice Smith asks judges and lawyers who are interested in the appointment to send a letter to him. Applicants must reside in the 4th Court of Appeals District, which includes part of Madison and Hinds counties at it's northernmost point and stretches southward.

Letters and resumes should be addressed to Chief Justice Smith at the Mississippi Supreme Court, P.O. Box 117, Jackson, MS 39205.

Judge Southwick's absence will leave the Court of Appeals three members short. The court has 10 judicial positions. Judge James Thomas died July 4. Judge Roger H. McMillin Jr., who had served as Chief Judge, retired April 30.

Gov. Haley Barbour will make appointments to the vacancies created by the retirement of Judge McMillin and the death of Judge Thomas.