News

Circuit, County Court judges elect conference officers

May 6, 2019

Circuit Judge Lisa P. Dodson of Gulfport has been elected chair of the Conference of Circuit Court Judges. Circuit Judge Kelly Luther of Ripley was elected vice-chair, and Circuit Judge Tony Mozingo of Oak Grove was re-elected secretary-treasurer.

The Conference of County Court Judges re-elected Madison County Court Judge Ed Hannan as chairman, Washington County Court Judge Vernita King Johnson as vice-chair, and Lauderdale County Court Judge Veldore Young Graham as secretary of the Conference.

Conference officers were elected by their colleagues on April 25 during the Spring Trial and Appellate Judges Conference in Biloxi. Judicial conferences meet in April and October for continuing legal education training, and periodically during other times of the year to discuss legal and judicial issues. They make recommendations on issues affecting their courts.

Judge Dodson succeeds 20th District Circuit Judge John Emfinger of Brandon as chairman of the Conference of Circuit Judges. Judge Dodson just completed a term as vice-chair of the Conference of Circuit Judges. She has served as a Circuit Judge of the Second Circuit Court District since January 2007. She was the first female Circuit Judge elected in the Second District, which includes Harrison, Hancock and Stone counties. She was in private law practice for 15 years, and she served for 10 years as an assistant district attorney in the Second Circuit Court District. She previously served on the Board of Bar Commissioners. She was inducted as a Fellow of the Mississippi Bar Foundation in 2009. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Mississippi University for Women and a Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi School of Law.

Judge Luther has served as a Third District Circuit Judge since January 2015. The Third Circuit District includes Benton, Calhoun, Chickasaw, Lafayette, Marshall, Tippah and Union counties. Judge Luther served as an assistant district attorney for 19 years. He previously served as County Attorney for Pontotoc County, and as city judge for Pontotoc. He graduated from Pontotoc High School and attended Itawamba Junior College. He is a graduate of Mississippi State University, and earned a law degree from University of Mississippi School of Law.

Judge Mozingo was elected to his second term as secretary-treasurer of the Conference of Circuit Court Judges. He has served as a Circuit Judge of the Fifteenth Circuit Court since January 2011. The district includes Jefferson Davis, Lamar, Lawrence, Marion and Pearl River counties. He previously served as Municipal Court Judge for the cities of Purvis and Lumberton, Justice Court Judge Pro Tempore for Jefferson Davis County, and attorney for the Lamar County Board of Supervisors. He graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi and earned a law degree from the Mississippi College School of Law.

Judge Hannan, of Madison, has served as chairman of the Conference of County Court Judges since 2015. Judge Johnson has been vice-chair since October 2004. Judge Young Graham began her service as Conference secretary in April 2012.

Judge Hannan has served as a Madison County Court Judge since January 2007. He previously served for more than nine years as Madison Municipal Judge. He practiced law for 25 years before he was elected to the Madison County Court bench. He is a graduate of the University of Mississippi and the University of Mississippi School of Law.

Judge Johnson, of Greenville, has served as Washington County Court Judge since January 1999. She previously served as Hollandale Municipal Court Judge 1986-1994, Arcola Municipal Court Judge 1992-1998, and Greenville Municipal Court Judge 1996-1998. She served as Washington County Youth Court prosecutor 1981-1994. She is a graduate of the University of Mississippi and the University of Mississippi School of Law.

Judge Young Graham, of Meridian, has served on the Lauderdale County Court bench since January 2007. She previously served for seven years as assistant district attorney and for two years as a public defender for the 10th Circuit Court District of Clarke, Kemper, Lauderdale and Wayne counties. She engaged in private law practice in Jackson before becoming a public defender. She has presided over the 10th Judicial District Drug Court since August 2009. She previously served on the State Drug Courts Advisory Committee. She is a graduate of Xavier University. She earned a Bachelor of Law from Oxford University and a Juris Doctor from Mississippi College School of Law.

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