News

Judge Mary Libby Payne will unveil portrait Nov. 8

October 30, 2018


Retired Mississippi Court of Appeals Judge Mary Libby Payne will present her portrait to the court in a ceremony scheduled for 1 p.m. Nov. 8.

Retired Chancellor W. O. “Chet” Dillard

The ceremony will be held in the Court of Appeals Courtroom on the first floor of the Gartin Justice Building in Jackson.

Judge Payne, of Pearl, was one of the original members of the Mississippi Court of Appeals and was the first woman to serve on the court. She retired July 31, 2001, after serving for six and one-half years on the appellate court.

She served in all three branches of state government. She was a legislative draftsman, executive director of the Mississippi Judiciary Commission and assistant state attorney general. She was hired by then Speaker of the House Walter Sillers to be a House Legislative draftsman during the Legislature's Biennial Sessions and in 1970, when the House Drafting Office was created, she was employed to lead the new office as the first chief of drafting and research.

She became founding dean of the Mississippi College School of Law in 1975. She also served as associate professor, full professor, Scholar in Residence and Professor Emerita.

She has received numerous awards and honors. Among those are the Susie Blue Buchanan Award from the Women in the Profession Committee of the Mississippi Bar in 2000, the Christian Legal Society's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002, the Mississippi State University Pre-Law Society's Distinguished Jurist Award in 2004, the Mississippi Bar's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005, the Mississippi Women Lawyer's Life-time Achievement Award in 2010 and the Governor's Medal of service in 2012. She is a pacesetter in Southern Women in Public Service.

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