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

Three judges inducted as Fellows of Mississippi Bar Foundation

May 2, 2016

Court of Appeals Judge David M. Ishee of Gulfport, Circuit Judge Dal Williamson of Laurel and Chancellor Cynthia Brewer of Madison County were inducted as a Fellows of the Mississippi Bar Foundation on April 14. They were among 20 inductees recognized at a dinner ceremony at the Old Capitol Inn in Jackson.

Being named a Fellow is the highest honor given by the Bar Foundation. Recipients exhibit “the highest degree of devotion to the profession” and reflect the highest level of competence and professionalism, said Bar Foundation President John H. Daniels III of Greenville.

Judge Ishee was appointed to the Mississippi Court of Appeals in September 2004. He previously served as Municipal Judge for several cities on the Gulf Coast. He became the youngest municipal judge in the state when he was appointed by the city of Pascagoula in 1992. He also served as interim Municipal Court Judge for the city of Ocean Springs, Judge Pro Tem for the Jackson County Youth Court, and as Judge Pro Tem and Municipal Judge for the City of Gulfport.

He served for four years on the Mississippi Model Jury Instructions Commission, and served as chair of the subcommittee which drafted new model criminal jury instructions. He also served as chair of the Bar’s Legal History Committee. He was president of the Jackson County Young Lawyers Division; secretary, vice-president, and president of the Jackson County Bar Association; and served on numerous committees of the Mississippi Bar. He taught as an adjunct professor at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and at the University of Southern Mississippi - Gulf Coast campus.

Judge Ishee earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Southern Mississippi, attended the University of London, and received his law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law.

Judge Williamson was elected to the 18th District Circuit Court of Jones County in 2014 and took office in January 2015. He previously practiced law in Laurel for 34 years. He is former president of the Jones County Bar Association and served as a Bar Commissioner for the 18th Circuit District.

He graduated from Jones County Junior College, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Mississippi State University and earned a law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law.

Judge Brewer has served as a chancellor of the 11th Chancery District since 2007. The 11th Chancery is made up of Madison, Leake, Holmes and Yazoo counties. She previously served for four years as Madison County Court and Youth Court Judge.

Fellows of Mississippi Bar Foundation

She is former chair of the Conference of Chancery Judges. She served on the Commission for Study of Domestic Abuse Proceedings and on the Termination of Parental Rights Study Group. She has served on the Mississippi Bar Complaint Tribunal, as an alternate member of the Commission on Judicial Performance, and as a member of the Board of Governors for the Mississippi Judicial College. She periodically serves as a facilitator at the National Judicial College in Reno, and taught a course for other judges about dealing with self-represented litigants.

Before she was elected to the bench, she served as a special master in Chancery Court, and as a municipal, county and Youth Court prosecutor in Hinds County. She served as the first full time municipal prosecutor for the city of Jackson. While serving as Youth Court judge in Madison County, she initiated a Teen Court to use peer pressure to hold juveniles accountable for their actions. Earlier in her career, she served as the first Metropolitan Crime Commission Court Watch coordinator.

Judge Brewer earned a bachelor of arts degree from the University of South Alabama and a law degree from Mississippi College School of Law. She is pursuing a Master of Judicial Studies degree through the National Judicial College at the University of Nevada at Reno.

Others inducted this year as Fellows of the Bar Foundation are: U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis of Jackson, House Speaker Philip Gunn of Clinton, Trudy D. Fisher of Ridgeland, John M. Alexander of Cleveland, Mary Lee Walker Brown of Hernando, Tammra O. Cascio of Jackson, Andrew T. Dulaney of Tunica, Anthony L. Farese of Ashland, W. Howard Gunn of Aberdeen, Robert E. Hauberg Jr. of Jackson, Jennifer Ingram Johnson of Hattiesburg, Goodloe T. Lewis of Oxford, J. Reilly Morse of Biloxi, Joseph E. Roberts Jr. of Jackson, Thomas B. Shepherd III of Jackson, Michael B. Wallace of Jackson and Patrick H. Zachary of Hattiesburg.

Attorney Pat H. Scanlon of Jackson was honored with the Bar Foundation Professionalism Award. Attorney Hunter N. Aikens of Jackson received the Law-Related Education Award.

The Mississippi Bar Foundation is in its 53rd year. The Foundation strives to improve the administration of justice through the support of organizations which provide legal services to the poor. It provides scholarship assistance and support to law schools. The Foundation supports law related public education programs designed to improve public understanding of the legal system. Through its Fellows program it recognizes outstanding lawyers and judges.