Administrative Office of Courts
Court of Appeals Judges Lawrence and McCarty to take oath Jan. 7
January 4, 2019
New Court of Appeals Judges Anthony N. “Tony” Lawrence III of Pascagoula and David Neil McCarty of Jackson will take the oath of office on January 7 at 11 a.m. at the Gartin Justice Building in Jackson.
Court of Appeals Chief Judge T. Kenneth Griffis will administer the oath.
New Court of Appeals Judge Deborah McDonald of Fayette was sworn in on Dec. 27 in her hometown.
The eight-year terms for the new appellate judges will begin on Jan. 7, the first Monday in January.
Judge Lawrence, 53, was elected without opposition on Nov. 6, 2018, to Court of Appeals District 5, an 11-county district that includes the Gulf Coast and part of the Pine Belt in south Mississippi
He previously served for 15 years as District Attorney for the Nineteenth Circuit Court District of Jackson, George, and Greene counties, having been elected in November 2003. He was president of the Mississippi Prosecutors Association 2011-2012, and previously served as vice-president. He served on the Mississippi Prosecutors Association Board of Directors for nine years and was co-chair of the Legislative Action Committee. He was an Assistant District Attorney from 1996 to 1999. He practiced law with the firm of Colingo, Williams, Heidelberg, Steinberger & McElhaney from September 1999 until he took office as District Attorney. His private practice was primarily in the area of medical malpractice defense.
He served on the Children’s Justice Act Task Force, Gov. Phil Bryant’s Judicial Appointment Advisory Committee and the Governor’s Teen Pregnancy Task Force. He has been an adjunct instructor of criminal investigations at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Jackson County Campus and the University of Southern Mississippi Long Beach campus.
Judge Lawrence earned a Bachelor of Science degree in history with a minor in political science from the University of Southern Mississippi and a Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi School of Law. He was admitted to the practice of law in Mississippi in 1990. He also is admitted to practice law in all courts in Alabama.
Judge McCarty, 43, was elected Nov. 27, 2018, in a runoff election to Court of Appeals District 4, which covers 13 southwest and south central counties and parts of Hinds, Madison and Jones counties. Before election, he was a solo practitioner who focused on appeals and complex litigation. He has handled numerous appeals before the Court of Appeals of Mississippi, the Mississippi Supreme Court, the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge McCarty helped co-found the Appellate Practice Section of the Mississippi Bar, and from 2014 to 2015 was chair of the Section. In his early career, he served as law clerk to former Mississippi Supreme Court Presiding Justice James E. Graves, Jr., who is now a member of the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. He also served as law clerk for former Presiding Justice Oliver E. Diaz, Jr. He was admitted to the Mississippi Bar in 2004.
Since 2005, he has been an adjunct professor at Mississippi College School of Law, where he has taught courses in trial practice, evidence, pretrial practice, appellate advocacy, and legal writing. He was honored as the Adjunct Professor of the Year for 2016-17. Judge McCarty is the author of the Evidence chapter of the Encyclopedia of Mississippi Law, and is a contributing author to the treatise Mississippi Civil Procedure. He also regularly presents continuing legal education topics on appellate advocacy and ethics.
He earned his J.D. from Mississippi College School of Law in 2004, graduating cum laude. He was Articles Editor on the Law Review and Competition Chair of the Moot Court. He received a B.A. in political science from Mississippi State University.