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

Retirement ceremony for Presiding Justice George C. Carlson Jr. is Dec. 13

December 12, 2012

The Mississippi Supreme Court will honor Presiding Justice George C. Carlson Jr. at a retirement ceremony at 3 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13, in the En Banc Courtroom at the Gartin Justice Building in Jackson. A reception will follow in the second floor lobby.

The retirement ceremony will be webcast on the Supreme Court’s website,

Former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove, who appointed Justice Carlson to the Supreme Court on Nov. 1, 2001, will speak. Gov. Musgrove and Presiding Justice Carlson are from Batesville.

Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. will preside. Justices and other special guests will speak.

Presiding Justice Carlson will retire Dec. 31. His term would have expired on Jan. 6, 2013. He formally submitted his letter of resignation to Gov. Phil Bryant on Dec. 12, effective Dec. 31. Justice-elect Josiah Dennis Coleman, his successor, will be sworn in on Jan. 7, 2013.

Presiding Justice Carlson, 66, has completed 30 years of public service, including 11 years on the Supreme Court and 19 years as Circuit Judge of the 17th District of DeSoto, Panola, Tallahatchie, Tate and Yalobusha counties. He has authored more than 400 opinions during his service on the Supreme Court. He became a Presiding Justice and a member of the court’s Executive Committee in January 2009.

Justice Carlson has served on the court’s Rules Committee since he joined the court, and he now chairs the Supreme Court Rules Committee on Civil Practice and Procedure. He also chaired the Mississippi Model Jury Instructions Commission, which presented new Model Jury Instructions to the Mississippi Supreme Court on Oct. 24 after three years of meticulous work. He was twice honored as a recipient of the Chief Justice Award – in 2003 and 2012 – for his work which improved the administration of justice.

He served in a leadership role on the trial court. He was vice-chair of the Mississippi Circuit Judges Conference 1998-1999, and chair of the Conference 1999-2000. He served as a member of the Governor's Criminal Justice Task Force in 1991, and as a member of the Commission on the Courts in the 21st Century 1992-1993. He served as a member of the Professionalism Committee of the Mississippi Bar 1998-1999, and as a member of the Law School Professionalism Program Task Force 1998-1999.

Justice Carlson is a member and past president of the Panola County Bar Association, and a member and past president of the William C. Keady American Inns of Court. He is a Fellow of the Mississippi Bar Foundation. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the American Judges Association, the Mississippi Bar, and the Lamar Order of the University of Mississippi School of Law.

Justice Carlson is a 1964 graduate of South Panola High School. Outside the court, he is probably best known as the radio play-by-play announcer for the South Panola Tigers football team.

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Mississippi State University in 1969, and a law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1972. Justice Carlson graduated from the National Judicial College, University of Nevada, Reno, in October 1982.