News

Retirement ceremony for Justice Ann Lamar set for December 15

December 8, 2016

The Mississippi Supreme Court will honor Justice Ann H. Lamar at a retirement ceremony at 3 p.m. Dec. 15 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 Mississippi Judiciary website, www.courts.ms.gov.

Speakers for the ceremony will include Mississippi Bar President W. Briggs Hopson III, Justice James W. Kitchens and Justice Dawn H. Beam. Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. will preside.

Chief Justice Waller said, “Justice Lamar was totally invested in and dedicated to her work as a Supreme Court Justice. She was scholarly in her writing, impartial in her actions, collegial in her associations and decisive in her votes and opinions. Justice Lamar's work and leadership on the Criminal Rules project will have a pronounced and enduring impact on the fair, efficient and independent administration of justice.”

Justice Lamar will retire Dec. 31 after almost 10 years of service on the state’s highest court. She did not seek re-election. Justice-elect Robert W. Chamberlin of Hernando, who was elected to the open seat for the 33-county District 3, Place 1 judgeship, will be sworn in Jan. 3, 2017.

Justice Lamar and her successor, Justice-elect Chamberlin, as well as former Presiding Justice George C. Carlson Jr. all previously served as circuit judges of the 17th District Circuit Court. The 17th Circuit District includes DeSoto, Panola, Tallahatchie, Tate and Yalobusha counties. Justice Lamar was appointed to the circuit bench vacancy created when Justice Carlson was appointed to the Supreme Court in November 2001. Lamar and Chamberlin served together on the 17th Circuit before then-Gov. Haley Barbour appointed her to the Supreme Court on May 21, 2007. She was appointed to the Supreme Court post previously held by Presiding Justice Kay Cobb.

Justice Lamar, 64, of Senatobia, is the third woman to serve on the Mississippi Supreme Court.

Justice Lamar’s public service career spans 32 years. She served for five and one-half years as a circuit judge. As a circuit judge, she served the Conference of Circuit Court Judges as chair in 2006-2007, vice-chair in 2005-2006, and treasurer for three years. She and Judge Chamberlin presided over the 17th Circuit Drug Court.

Justice Lamar served for two years as district attorney and for nine years as an assistant district attorney. She was in private law practice with her husband, John Lamar, for eight years. Before she enrolled in law school, she worked as a court reporter for two years, and for four years as an administrative assistant in the Governor's Office of Education and Training.

Justice Lamar serves as chair of the Supreme Court Rules Committee on Criminal Practice and Procedure, which since 2012 has devoted extensive study to proposed Rules of Criminal Procedure. She is former chair of the Board of Governors of the Mississippi Judicial College. In 2008, Justice Lamar served as co-chair of the Commission for the Study of Domestic Abuse Proceedings.

Justice Lamar 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. She was named Citizen of the Year by the Tate County Economic Development Foundation in 2010, and she was inducted as a Fellow of the Mississippi Bar Foundation in 2011. She received the Chief Justice Award as well as the Mississippi Bar’s Susie Blue Buchanan Award for commitment to the advancement of women in the field of law. The Mississippi Women Lawyers Association honored her with the Outstanding Woman Lawyer Award.

Justice Lamar is the daughter of Bobbie Jean Hannaford and the late Chancery Judge Leon E. Hannaford Sr. She and her husband have two adult children, and three grandchildren.

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