Investitures set for new Chancellors, County Court Judges in Pine Belt
December 19, 2018
A judicial investiture ceremony is scheduled for Dec. 28 at 2 p.m. in the third floor courtroom at the Forrest County Courthouse, 630 Main Street in Hattiesburg.
New Chancellors Sheila Havard Smallwood and Chad Smith and new Forrest County and Youth Court Judge Carol Jones Russell will be sworn in along with incumbent 10th District Chancellors Deborah J. Gambrell and Rhea H. Sheldon. Supreme Court Justice Dawn H. Beam will administer the oaths of office to the chancellors. Chancellor Gambrell will give the oath of office to Russell, her niece.
New Lamar County Court and Youth Court Judge Brad A. Touchstone will be sworn in Jan. 2 at 10 a.m. at the Lamar County Courthouse, Circuit Courtroom, 203 Main Street, Purvis. Justice Beam will administer the oath of office.
Chancellor Smallwood, 51, has served as Forrest County Justice Court Judge for the past year. She served for 16 years as Petal Municipal Court Judge. Her private law practice has been primarily in family law. She is a member of the Petal School District Foundation Board. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in paralegal studies from the University of Southern Mississippi and a law degree from Mississippi College School of Law.
Chancellor Smith, 51, graduated from Copiah-Lincoln Community College and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Mississippi State University. He earned a law degree from Mississippi College School of Law. His private law practice has been primarily in Chancery Court.
Judge Russell, 37, served as Hattiesburg Municipal Court Judge 2012-2018. Her private practice has been in family law. She is a graduate of Hattiesburg High School. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Southern Mississippi and a law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law.
Judge Touchstone, 39, has served as a state Representative for House District 101 since January 2016. He served as County Attorney for Lamar County 2010-2015. He is a graduate of Pearl River Community College, earned bachelor and masters of business administration degrees from Millsaps College, and earned a law degree from Mississippi College School of Law. He is president of the Lions Club of Sumrall.
Across the state, 42 new judges will take their oaths of office in ceremonies scheduled during the next three weeks. New judges include three new Court of Appeals judges, 20 new Chancery Court judges, nine new Circuit Court judges and 10 new County Court judges. New judicial terms begin on Jan. 1, 2019.
A list of investiture ceremonies around the state is at this link: https://courts.ms.gov/Ceremonies.php.