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

Joseph Sclafani takes oath as Hinds Circuit Judge

April 23, 2018

Hinds County Circuit Judge Joseph Anthony Sclafani took the oath of office April 23.

“I truly believe that the courts are the great levelers,” Sclafani said. “Under our Constitution, everyone has equal rights. It doesn’t matter what is their background. It doesn’t matter where you come from.”

Hinds County Circuit Judge Joseph Anthony Sclafani takes oath

“I didn’t know any lawyers and judges, growing up,” Judge Sclafani said. He read To Kill a Mockingbird. “My view of what a lawyer and judge did was from that book....Our courts are the great levelers and equalizers. That’s where my passion for the law comes from.”
He said that he re-reads the book every year.

His first employer, Senior Status Circuit Judge E. Grady Jolly of the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Ap-peals, swore him in as Hinds County Circuit Judge. “He’s one of the finest law clerks that I had in 35 years,” Judge Jolly said.

Gov. Phil Bryant appointed Judge Sclafani to the Seventh District Circuit Court judgeship previously held by Judge William A. Gowan Jr., who retired March 31. Judge Sclafani's appointment will expire on Jan. 1, 2019.

Judge Sclafani will take over Judge Gowan’s former docket, said Senior Circuit Judge Tomie Green. That includes all cases in the Second Judicial District in Raymond as well as some in the First Judicial District in Jackson.

Judge Sclafani, 43, of Clinton, grew up in Chatawa in Pike County. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in history from Mississippi College, where he was a recipient of the Perry Academic Medal. He is a 1999 graduate of the Mississippi College School of Law, where he finished first in his class.

Judge Sclafani practiced law in Palo Alto, Calif., from 2000 to 2003, dealing with securities and patent litigation. He has been in private law practice with Brunini, Grantham, Grower, and Hewes, PLLC, since 2003. His areas of practice included appellate, commercial litigation, product liability and mass torts and premises liability.