Judge Deborah McDonald, Judge Tomika Irving to take oath Dec. 27 in Fayette

December 21, 2018

An investiture ceremony for Mississippi Court of Appeals Judge Deborah McDonald and Circuit Judge Tomika H. Irving will be held Dec. 27 at 9 a.m. at the Jefferson County High School Auditorium in Fayette.

Court of Appeals Presiding Judge Tyree Irving will administer the oath of office to Judge McDonald, his successor in office. Judge Irving will retire Dec. 31 after 20 years of service.

Chancellor E. Vincent Davis will administer the oath of office to Judge Tomika Irving.

Judge McDonald, 61, of Fayette, served as Fayette Municipal Judge for 23 years. She was attorney for Jefferson County Hospital and Jefferson County Nursing Home for 24 years. She was attorney for the city of Port Gibson for almost seven years, and represented the Hazlehurst School District for three years. She represented clients in state and federal courts, including extensive civil rights litigation. She is admitted to practice before all state and federal courts of Mississippi and the U.S. Supreme Court. She began her legal career as an attorney representing the poor at the former Southwest Mississippi Legal Services in McComb. She worked for Legal Services for nine years, and was director of the McComb office for three years

Judge McDonald is a graduate of Alcorn State University. She earned her law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law, where she served on the Moot Court Board.

Circuit Judge Irving, 42, was elected in November to the bench of the 22nd Circuit Court, which includes Claiborne, Copiah and Jefferson counties. She served for 12 years as a Municipal Judge of Crosby, and for six years as Jefferson County Justice Court Judge. Her private law practice included family law, criminal defense and civil litigation in state and federal courts. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and journalism from the University of Southern Mississippi, a Master of Arts degree in political science from Mississippi State University and a law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law.

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: