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

Chief Justice Award recipients announced

July 10, 2006

Mississippi College School of Law Dean James H. Rosenblatt and the late Supreme Court Administrator Stephen J. Kirchmayr are the recipients of the 2006 Chief Justice Awards.

Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice James W. Smith Jr. announced the awards on Saturday, July 8, at the annual Mississippi Bar Convention in Sandestin, Fla. The annual awards recognize people whose work improves the judicial system.

Dean Rosenblatt was honored for his experience, energy and enthusiasm in educating future lawyers, and for his cooperative efforts with the bar and the courts.

Chief Justice Smith said, “Dean Rosenblatt is like the Energizer Bunny. He just keeps going and going and going. His enthusiasm for the law has fostered a renewed interest in a career of law for so many students who may have never considered our profession but for his counsel and actions. His dynamic leadership talents, military discipline, and extensive management skills have certainly captured my attention in teaming with the Mississippi College School of Law on many joint projects. We look forward to having more mutual projects with Dean Rosenblatt and the law school.”

Mr. Kirchmayr, who died Oct. 4, 2005, served for 12 years as counsel and court administrator to the Mississippi Supreme Court. Although he fought a lengthy battle with cancer, he remained on the job until days before his death.

Chief Justice Smith said, “The administration of the courts of this state is a formidable task for a Chief Justice and this Court. Steve made that job much easier due to his knowledge, experience and hands-on work ethic. Many outstanding improvements and technological advances occurred during Steve’s tenure as administrator. His advice and counsel is greatly missed by all at the Court.”

Mr. Kirchmayr worked in public service for 28 years in the office of the state Attorney General, at the State College Board and at the Mississippi Supreme Court. He served under four state attorneys general and five chief justices of the Mississippi Supreme Court.

Mr. Kirchmayr earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Southern Mississippi and a Juris Doctorate from the Mississippi College School of Law. He was a Vicksburg native.

The award plaque will be presented to Mr. Kirchmayr’s family by the En Banc Court on July 20. The plaque reads: “Mr. Kirchmayr in 28 years of faithful public service epitomized honesty, integrity, and dedication to the law. His commitment to duty is without equal. His guidance and wisdom advanced the administration of justice.”

Mr. Kirchmayr also was one of the recipients of the Chief Justice Award in 2003.

Dean Rosenblatt assumed leadership of the Mississippi College School of Law in August 2003, after retiring from a distinguished career of more than 30 years in the U.S. Army. At the time of his retirement, he was chief counsel for the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command in Fort Monroe, Va. He served as principal legal advisor for a training organization of 54,000 soldiers, civilian employees and contractors. Earlier military assignments included chief executive officer for the U.S. Army Claims Service in Fort Meade, Md.; chief legal counsel for the Army Engineer and Training Center at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.; chief legal counsel for the Army Air Defense Command at Darmstadt, Germany; law professor at the Judge Advocate General’s School in Charlottesville, Va.; deputy chief counsel for the 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; chief of attorney recruitment for the Judge Advocate General’s Corps at the Pentagon; and associate counsel for the Training and Doctrine Command in Hampton, Va.

Dean Rosenblatt grew up in Natchez. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University and a law degree from Cornell.