Former Court of Appeals Judge James P. Brantley died Oct. 31

October 30, 2018

Former Mississippi Court of Appeals Judge James P. “Jim” Brantley of Madison died Oct. 31 in an accident at his home. He was 80.

Visitation is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Nov. 3 at Ott & Lee Funeral Home in Brandon. The funeral service will be at 11 a.m. in the funeral home chapel. Interment will be at Fuston Cemetery in Walnut Grove.

Judge James P. Brantley

Court of Appeals Chief Judge L. Joseph Lee said, “We are very saddened. He was a colleague on the court. I have known him for many years. He will be sorely missed.”

Gov. Ronnie Musgrove appointed Brantley on Aug. 24, 2001, to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Mary Libby Payne. Judge Brantley served on the Court of Appeals through December 2002.

At his investiture on Sept. 27, 2001, at the Capitol, Brantley, who grew up in Walnut Grove in Leake County, said, “From Walnut Grove, it was a long way to anywhere, and I'm so thankful I've had the opportunity to travel this road a portion of the way.”

James Palmer Brantley was born Sept. 24, 1938, the son of Lamar Brantley and Celia Palmertree Brantley. He was valedictorian of Walnut Grove High School in 1956. He served in the U.S. Air Force 1956-1960. He Earned a B.S. degree in business administration with a minor in accounting from Mississippi State University in 1962. He earned a law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1970.

He worked as an insurance adjuster in Cincinnati 1962 to 1965, and as an insurance field claim representative in Jackson and Oxford 1965 to 1970. He worked for the legislative services committee of the Mississippi State Senate 1970 to 1975, performing research and drafting legislation. He served as general counsel of the state Department of Mental health 1975 to 1983. As general counsel, he was responsible for all legal work of the Department of Mental Health. He went into private practice in the firm of Snow and Brantley in November 1983, then formed the firm of Brantley and Knowles in November 1986. He was president of the former Mississippi Trial Lawyers Association 1992-1993. He became a certified mediator and arbitrator in 1999, and continued in private law practice until his appointment to the Court of Appeals.