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

Investiture of Justice Josiah Coleman set for Feb. 26

February 21, 2013

An investiture ceremony for Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Josiah D. Coleman will be held at 4 p.m. Feb. 26 at the Lafayette County Courthouse in Oxford.

Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. will preside. Speakers will be former Supreme Court Justice Jim Roberts, who now serves as a Circuit Judge, and State Auditor Stacey Pickering.

Retired Court of Appeals Judge Thomas A. Coleman, Justice Coleman’s father, will administer the oath of office. Justice Coleman’s wife, Ashleigh B. Coleman, will assist with the enrobing.

Lafayette County Sheriff Buddy East will open court and lead the Pledge of Allegiance. Rev. Alan Cochet, pastor of College Hill Presbyterian Church, will give the invocation.

Justice Coleman, 40, of Toccopola, was sworn in and began his duties on the Supreme Court on Jan. 7. It is traditional to have a formal investiture ceremony at a later time.

Justice Coleman is the second member of his family to serve on the Mississippi Supreme Court. He is the grandson of the late Gov. J.P. Coleman, who also served on the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. J.P. Coleman served briefly as a justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court, resigning to accept appointment as state attorney general. Thomas A. Coleman, Justice Coleman’s father, was one of the original members of the Mississippi Court of Appeals when the intermediate appellate court began in 1995.

Justice Coleman previously practiced law for 12 years, first in Tupelo, then in Oxford.

He grew up in Choctaw County, near Ackerman, and graduated valedictorian from Ackerman High School. He graduated cum laude from the University of Mississippi with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and philosophy. He earned his law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law, where he served as treasurer of the Moot Court Board and the Criminal Law Society.

He worked as a policy research intern in the office of the Secretary of State before starting law school. After earning his law degree, he served for almost two years as a law clerk for U.S. Magistrate Judge S. Allan Alexander in Oxford.

He serves as a volunteer firefighter on the Toccopola Volunteer Fire Department in Pontotoc County. He is a member of the board of deacons at College Hill Presbyterian Church in Oxford, and a member of the board of directors of the non-profit organization The International Guest House in Oxford.