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Supreme Court Justice Ann Lamar honored with 2016 Chief Justice Award

July 20, 2016

Supreme Court Justice Ann H. Lamar of Senatobia is the recipient of this year’s Chief Justice Award.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. presented the award on July 16 during the Mississippi Bar Convention in Destin, Fla. The annual award recognizes an individual whose work has significantly improved the judicial system.

Justice Lamar was honored for 32 years of exemplary public service, including nine years on the Supreme Court. She is the third woman to serve on the state Supreme Court. She previously served for five and one-half years as Circuit Judge of the 17th District, two years as district attorney and nine years as assistant district attorney. The 17th District is made up of Desoto, Tate, Panola, Yalobusha, and Tallahatchie counties. Before she earned a law degree, she worked for two years as a court reporter in chancery court, and four years as administrative assistant in the Governor's Office of Education and Training.

Chief Justice Waller said that in addition to her exemplary work on cases appealed to the Supreme Court, Justice Lamar has provided outstanding leadership of the Supreme Court Rules Committee on Criminal Practice and Procedure. The Rules Committee since 2012 has devoted extensive study to proposed Rules of Criminal Procedure. When completed, the Mississippi Rules of Criminal Procedure will address every aspect of criminal proceedings from the initiation of criminal charges through post-trial motions. The uniform rules will govern criminal procedures in Justice, Municipal, County and Circuit Courts.

“Justice Lamar’s background as a former circuit judge and prosecutor makes her ideally suited to lead this comprehensive review of the rules which govern every stage of proceedings in criminal prosecutions. She has devoted hours of work each week to this extensive study,” Chief Justice Waller said.

Justice Lamar said, “I am thankful for the many years that I have been given the opportunity to serve this state. It was an honor to receive this award. I was truly humbled by the recognition from Chief Justice Waller, one of my peers on the court. The work on the Criminal Rules Committee has been a collaborative effort by all of us who serve on that committee.”

Chief Justice Waller said that Justice Lamar also has provided exceptional leadership in the vital task of judicial education. Justice Lamar is chair of the Board of Governors of the Mississippi Judicial College. The Board of Governors directs policy and curriculum for the Judicial College, which is responsible for providing continuing education training for Supreme Court justices; Court of Appeals judges; Chancery, Circuit, County, Justice and Municipal Court judges; Youth Court judges and referees; and court administrators, court clerks and court reporters.

In 2008, Justice Lamar served as co-chair of the Commission for the Study of Domestic Abuse Proceedings. The Commission made recommendations to improve access of victims to the courts and promote understanding of and uniformity in proceedings and pleadings involving domestic abuse.

She served the Conference of Circuit Court Judges as chair in 2006-2007, vice-chair in 2005-2006, and treasurer for 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 Prosecutor's Association.

Justice Lamar was appointed to the Supreme Court on May 21, 2007, and was elected to an eight-year term in November 2008. She did not seek re-election this year. She will retire from the court on Dec. 31, 2016.

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