Judge Virginia Carlton takes oath of office

January 2, 2007

Court of Appeals Judge Virginia Carlton took the oath of office on Monday, Jan. 2. Court of Appeals Chief Judge Leslie D. King administered the oath of office in the court’s En Banc Room.

A formal investiture ceremony for Judge Carlton is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Jan. 29 in the Old Supreme Court Chambers at the Capitol. Gov. Haley Barbour will be the keynote speaker.

Judge Carlton, 42, of Columbia, was elected in November to an eight-year term on the Court of Appeals. The 15-county 4th Court of Appeals District includes parts of Hinds and Jones counties and all of Copiah, Simpson, Adams, Franklin, Lincoln, Lawrence, Jefferson Davis, Covington, Wilkinson, Amite, Pike, Walthall and Marion counties. She takes the position previously held by Judge Leslie Southwick, who did not seek re-election.

Court of Appeals Judges Donna M. Barnes of Tupelo, David A. Chandler of Ackerman, Kenneth Griffis of Ridgeland, and David M. Ishee of Gulfport also took the oath of office Jan. 2 to commence new terms. Judge King administered the oaths.

Judge King, of Greenville, took the oath of office for a new term as Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals. Judge Chandler administered the oath. Supreme Court Chief Justice James W. Smith Jr. reappointed Chief Judge King as administrative head of the Court of Appeals on Dec. 12, 2006.

The Mississippi Legislature created the Court of Appeals in 1994 to speed appeals and relieve a backlog of cases before the Supreme Court. The Court of Appeals began hearing cases in 1995. The Supreme Court assigns cases to the Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court may accept or decline to review decisions of the Court of Appeals.

Judge Carlton previously served for three years in the House of Representatives from District 100, which includes Jefferson Davis, Lamar and Marion counties. She is a former assistant district attorney for the 15th Circuit Court District and a former public defender.

Judge Carlton served on active duty with the U.S. Army 1990-1998, with assignments at Fort Benning, Ga., in Germany and Hawaii and at Fort Polk, La. She left active duty with the rank of Major. She remains a member of the U.S. Army Reserve, where she serves as a Judge Advocate General (JAG) officer. She is Staff Judge Advocate for the 3rd Personnel Command in Jackson. She previously served as a prosecutor, defense counsel and legal assistance officer. While on duty in Hawaii, she served as a special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Army. She graduated from the U.S. Army Reserve Command and General Staff College in 2002.

She earned her law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1989. She served on the National Moot Court Team, Law Journal and Moot Court Board. After graduation from law school, she served as a law clerk for Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Joel Blass.

She is a member of the Columbia Junior Auxiliary, Golden Acres Garden Club, Lions Club and Rotary Club. She is active in her three children’s school support organizations. She serves on the board of the Tri-Community Volunteer Fire Department. She is on the advisory board of the Marion County Boys and Girls Club. She is a member of the Reserve Officers Association, the Military Officers Association and the National Rifle Association.