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

Justice Dickinson, Judge Alfonso inducted as Fellows of Mississippi Bar Foundation

April 20, 2010

Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Jess H. Dickinson and Eighth Chancery District Judge Margaret Alfonso, both of Gulfport, have been named Fellows of the Mississippi Bar Foundation.

Bar Fellows were inducted at a dinner ceremony at the Old Capitol Inn in Jackson on April 15. Being named a Fellow is the highest honor given by the Bar Foundation. Fellows are recognized by peers in the legal profession for integrity, competence, leadership and professionalism, said Mississippi Bar Foundation President Harold H. Mitchell Jr.

Others inducted as Fellows for 2010 include Workers Compensation Commission Administrative Law Judge Deneise Turner Lott, Jackson; attorney Henry J. Applewhite, Aberdeen; North Mississippi Rural Legal Services Executive Director Ben T. Cole Jr., Oxford; former U.S. Attorney Jim M. Greenlee, Oxford; attorney Judy Guice, Biloxi; Mississippi College School of Law Professor J. Larry Lee, Jackson; attorney William T. May, Newton; attorney Maura D. McLaughlin, Hattiesburg; attorney Cynthia I. Mitchell, Clarksdale; Assistant Federal Public Defender Kathryn N. Nester, Jackson; attorney Paul H. Stephenson III, Jackson; attorney Jim B. Tohill, Jackson; and attorney Michael N. Watts, Oxford.

Justice Dickinson has served on the Mississippi Supreme Court since 2004. He previously served for a year by special appointment as a circuit judge for the 12th District of Forrest and Perry counties.

Justice Dickinson earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Mississippi State University and his law degree, cum laude, from the University of Mississippi School of Law. He practiced law for a year in Jackson, and for 20 years in Gulfport. He was the recipient of the Chief Justice Award in 2004. He was honored as Adjunct Professor of the Year 2009 at Mississippi College School of Law, where he teaches evidence and trial practice. He is a founding member of the Mississippi Access to Justice Commission, and he serves at the Supreme Court’s liaison to organizations providing legal services to the poor. The Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project honored him in 2009 as one of its Pro Bono Pioneers. He is serving his second term on the National Advisory Counsel for the American Judicature Society.

Judge Alfonso is senior chancery judge of the Eighth Chancery District, having served since 1999. The district includes Harrison, Hancock and Stone counties. She is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, and she earned her law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law. She is a former assistant district attorney for the Second Circuit District of Harrison, Hancock and Stone counties, a former assistant county prosecutor for Harrison County, and a former family court prosecuting attorney. She also previously served as an assistant state’s attorney for Cook County, Ill.

Judge Alfonso is a founding member of Professionals Advocating for Children Together (PACT). She served on the Media and the Courts Study Committee in 2002, and was appointed to the Commission for Study of Domestic Abuse Proceedings in 2008. She received the Harrison County Bar Association’s highest award for public service.