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

Justice Lamar, Judge Persons inducted as Fellows of Mississippi Bar Foundation

April 19, 2011

Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Ann H. Lamar of Senatobia and Eighth Chancery District Judge James B. Persons 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 14. Being named a Fellow is the highest honor given by the Bar Foundation. Fellows represent the highest level of professionalism and competence, said Mississippi Bar Foundation President John M. McCullouch.

Others inducted as Fellows for 2011 include attorneys Ralph E. Chapman of Clarksdale, Patti C. Golden of Gulfport, John S. Hill of Tupelo, Sen. W. Briggs Hopson III of Vicksburg, Jamie G. Houston III of Jackson, Vicki R. Leggett of Hattiesburg, Michael J. Malouf Sr. of Jackson, J. Tucker Mitchell of Ridgeland, Thomas Y. Page of Jackson, Jeannie H. Sansing of Columbus, Phillip L. Tutor of Pontotoc, James L. Warren III of Jackson, and James E. Woods of Olive Branch.

Attorney Stephanie R. Jones of Jackson was honored with the Law-Related Public Education Award.

The late William M. Champion of Oxford, former law professor at the University of Mississippi School of Law, was posthumously honored with the Bar Foundation’s Professionalism Award. District Attorney John Champion, his son, accepted the award on behalf of the family.

Champion said, “My dad loved the law. He loved teaching the law.” After his father’s death, the family began to hear the numerous stories of how he had helped students and other people. “I think that’s a real legacy,” he said.

Justice Lamar was appointed to the Mississippi Supreme Court in May 2007, and elected to an eight-year term in November 2008. She served as a Circuit Judge of the Seventeenth Circuit District from November 2001 until her appointment to the Supreme Court. She previously served for a year and 10 months as district attorney for the Seventeenth District, which is made up of DeSoto, Panola, Tallahatchie, Tate and Yalobusha counties. She was an assistant district attorney for nine years. She practiced law with her husband, John Lamar, in Senatobia for eight years. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Delta State University and a law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law.

Justice Lamar serves on the Board of Governors of the Mississippi Judicial College. In 2008, she served as Co-Chair of the Commission for the Study of Domestic Abuse Proceedings. As a Circuit Judge, she served as chair of the Conference of Circuit Court Judges 2006-2007, vice-chairman 2005-2006, and treasurer for the preceding three years. She is a member and past president of the William C. Keady American Inns of Court. She is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Mississippi Prosecutors Association.

Judge Persons was elected as a chancellor of the Eighth Chancery District of Harrison, Hancock and Stone counties in November 2002 and took office in January 2003. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Millsaps College, a law degree from the University of Mississippi School of law, and a L.L.M. in taxation from New York University. He practiced law in Jackson from 1967 until 1974, then moved his practice to the Gulf Coast. He is an active member of the Mississippi Bar’s Lawyers and Judges Assistance Program.