Training for new judges to begin Dec. 3

November 30, 2018

Judicial training will begin Dec. 3 for the largest group of new state court judges in modern times.

Forty newly elected judges are scheduled to take office in January. More than 40 judges may attend the training, which is open to trial and appellate judges who were appointed since the last new judge training session was held. At least four previously appointed judges have indicated that they may attend.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. and Chief Judge L. Joseph Lee of the Mississippi Court of Appeals will welcome new judges at 9 a.m. Dec. 3 at the Mississippi Supreme Court, 450 High Street in Jackson. At 9:30 a.m., Judge Latrice A. Westbrooks of the Court of Appeals will teach the first session, “Now That You’re a Judge: Letting Go of the Lawyer in You.”

Mississippi Judicial College Executive Director Randy G. Pierce said, “We teach them to begin the process of thinking like a judge, not an advocate. It’s making the transition from an advocate lawyer to a judge.”

Pierce, a former chancellor and Supreme Court justice, said, “I remember when I took the bench as a new judge. When I put that robe on, I had butterflies. However, the training and resources I received from the Judicial College were invaluable.”

The Mississippi Judicial College organized and will carry out the week-long training in Jackson. Veteran trial and appellate judges and representatives of state agencies will teach classes that are expected to cover the kinds of cases judges will encounter as well as administrative issues. The new judges later will attend a two-week training at the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada.

Eighteen newly elected chancellors, nine new circuit court judges and 10 new county court judges will take office Jan. 1, 2019, and three new Court of Appeals judges will be sworn in Jan. 7.

Pierce said, “This is the largest number we’ve had since the Judicial College came into existence.”

The Mississippi Judicial College, established in 1970 with offices on the University of Mississippi campus in Oxford, provides continuing judicial education for about 2,800 judges, court administrators, court reporters and other court-related personnel each year.