New members named to Special Committee on Judicial Election Campaign Intervention

April 12, 2012

Five new members have been appointed to the Special Committee on Judicial Election Campaign Intervention.

New members are former Mississippi Bar President Nina Stubblefield Tollison of Oxford, appointed by Supreme Court Presiding Justice George C. Carlson Jr.; Gulfport attorney Richard B. Tubertini of the firm of Hailey McNamara Hall Larmann and Papale, LLP, appointed by Gov. Phil Bryant; Jackson businessman George B. Pickett of the financial services firm of Pickett, Bradford and Associates, appointed by Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves; Ridgeland attorney Jeffrey B. Rimes of the firm of Taggart, Rimes and Usry, PLLC, appointed by House Speaker Philip Gunn; and retired Circuit Judge Frank G. Vollor of Vicksburg, appointed by Chancery Judge H. David Clark II, chairman of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance.

Presiding Justice Carlson in an order filed April 11 said the Code of Judicial Conduct provides that during each election year for state appellate and trial court judges, “a Special Committee on Judicial Election Campaign Intervention to issue advisory opinions and to deal expeditiously with allegations of ethical misconduct in campaigns for judicial office is to be organized....”

The Special Committee is designed to respond swiftly to allegations of campaign misconduct. If the Special Committee finds evidence of some campaigning impropriety, it may issue a confidential cease-and-desist request to the candidate. If a cease-and-desist request from the Special Committee is disregarded or if unethical or unfair campaign practices continue, the Special Committee may issue a public statement about violations.

The Mississippi Supreme Court created the Special Committee on Judicial Election Campaign Intervention in April 2002 as part of a revision to the Code of Judicial Conduct.