Judge Sean Tindell takes Court of Appeals oath of office

October 17, 2017

Court of Appeals Judge Sean Tindell of Gulfport is a man of integrity and honor, Gov. Phil Bryant said Tuesday before his appointee took the oath of office in Jackson.

Gov. Bryant said, “ I have had the good fortune to find a young man with such a great support that will serve his state, that has served in the legislative, executive and now judicial branch of the state of Mississippi, and perhaps that service is long from being over. It is our honor to have you serving in our judiciary now, Judge Tindell.”

Judge Sean Tindell takes oath

Judge Tindell said, “I appreciate that confidence that you’ve shown in me, Governor, to give me this opportunity, and I appreciate the foundation that my mom and my step-dad gave me.”

Judge Tindell said that he grew up in a courthouse. His mother, Dora Harvey of Biloxi, worked as a court reporter for Harrison County Court Judge Gaston Hewes Sr. when Tindell was a child. Judge Gaston Hewes Jr., who currently serves on the Harrison County Court, gave him the oath of office.

Recalling his mother transcribing her notes in the evening, he said, “I would listen to the sound of a typewriter all night long because she was a court reporter, and that’s how she made extra money.” Speaking to Judge Hewes, he said, “I remember running behind your dad’s chambers and up and down the halls of the courthouse, and so the law has always been something that has intrigued me even as a young man, and something that I knew would make my mother proud if I went into this profession.”

Dora Harvey is proud. “This is the most important day of my life,” she said after watching her son take the oath. “He has always made me proud. He’s always worked hard at any quest. He will do a good job.”

Tindell said his father, the late Sidney Tindell of Biloxi, “always told me when you leave somewhere, I want you to leave it better than you found it, and so I’ve tried to take that with me everywhere I go.” He got his work ethic from his step-father, Tom Harvey, who ran a Cajun chicken restaurant. He bussed tables at age 10. Harvey watched him take the oath.

Growing up around the County Court, which also serves as Youth Court, gave him a strong sense of the needs of young people who come into the courts. He hopes to see continuing improvements in Youth Courts. “I see what happens when kids come in there when they don’t have loved ones that stand behind them,” Tindell said. He personally had the strong support of family. “When we give our youth that, when we give our children that, it gives them the strength to go on and do great things.”

Tindell served for six years in the Mississippi Senate from District 49. Many of his former legislative colleagues watched him take the judicial oath. He pointed out, to audience laughter, that the House and Senate groups sat on different sides of the aisle. He had acted as a go-between in legislative negotiations. Tindell was chairman of the Senate Judiciary A Committee, and vice chairman of the Senate Tourism Committee.

“I love all of y’all. I’ve enjoyed serving with each and every one of you. I think we’ve accomplished a lot of great things in the Legislature in the last six years, and I think we are moving this state in a very positive direction,” he said.

Watch video of the swearing in ceremony at this link:

Tindell, 44, of Gulfport, was an assistant district attorney for the Second Circuit District of Harrison, Hancock and Stone counties from 2002 to 2007. He entered private practice in 2007, also serving as a prosecutor for the city of Biloxi and as city attorney for the city of Diamondhead. He earned a master's degree in business administration from the University of Southern Mississippi. He received a juris doctorate in 2001 from Mississippi College School of Law, where he served as student body president and earned honors of American jurisprudence in counseling and negotiations and domestic relations.

Gov. Bryant appointed Tindell to the Court of Appeals position previously held by Judge David Ishee. The Governor appointed Ishee to the Supreme Court. Judge Tindell's appointed term is through Jan. 1, 2019.