Justices Carlson and Waller to talk about ethics at law student orientation

August 10, 2010

Mississippi Supreme Court Presiding Justice George C. Carlson Jr. will give the keynote address to first year law students attending the Mississippi College School of Law at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 11.

The James O. Dukes Law School Professionalism Program will be held at the B.C. Rogers Student Center on the Clinton campus of Mississippi College. About 225 students are expected to participate.

Supreme Court Chief Justice William L. Waller Jr. will be the keynote speaker Aug. 19 for a similar program for first year law students attending the University of Mississippi School of Law.

Justice Carlson will speak at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 11, on the Clinton campus of Mississippi College. Mississippi College School of Law Dean James H. Rosenblatt and Mississippi Bar President Nina Stubblefield Tollison of Oxford also will address students.

Starting at 10 a.m., Justice Carlson and more than 50 other judges and lawyers will serve as facilitators for small group discussions of hypothetical ethical dilemmas which lawyers may face. Students will have additional opportunities to talk with judges and lawyers during a luncheon scheduled for 11:45 a.m.

Justice Carlson said he hopes to instill in the students the importance of ethics, professionalism and civility before they take their first class in law school.

“When they become members of the legal profession roughly three years from now, they will become members of a profession established long ago to serve our citizens,” Justice Carlson said. “Never lose sight of the fact that the greatest calling as a lawyer should be to serve – and to serve in a way that is deemed to be civil, ethical and professional.”

Other judges acting as facilitators for the breakout sessions at Mississippi College School of Law include: Supreme Court Justice Ann H. Lamar; Court of Appeals Judges Kenneth Griffis Jr., Joe Lee and David M. Ishee; Circuit Judges Vernon Cotten of Carthage, Lisa P. Dodson of Gulfport and Winston L. Kidd of Jackson; Chancery Judges Debbra Halford of Meadville, Edward E. Patten Jr. of Hazlehurst and James B. Persons of Gulfport; County Court Judges Kent McDaniel of Brandon and John P. Price of Magnolia; 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Leslie Southwick of Jackson; and U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett of Hattiesburg.

At the University of Mississippi, Chief Justice Waller will speak at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 19 at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts on the Oxford campus. Tollison and University of Mississippi School of Law Dean Richard Gershon also will address students. Small group discussion sessions are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. at the Law Center, with lunch at noon. In the Law Center Mall.

Chief Justice Waller is expected to talk about ethics, professionalism and lawyers’ obligations of service to the profession. He encourages law students to become involved in pro bono work to help provide legal services to needy people who can’t afford legal representation.

Chief Justice Waller said, “Our justice system must be accessible to everyone, regardless of economic status.”

The James O. Dukes Law School Professionalism Program is sponsored by the Mississippi Bar as part of orientation for students entering law school. The program is named in honor of its founder, the late James O. Dukes of Gulfport, a former Mississippi Bar president.