News

Chief Justice appoints Judge Emfinger to Commission on Judicial Performance, names Judge Collins as alternate member

July 19, 2019

Chief Justice Mike Randolph has appointed Circuit Judge John Emfinger of Brandon as a member of the Commission on Judicial Performance, and appointed Circuit Judge Christopher Collins of Union as an alternate member of the Commission.

Gov. Phil Bryant recommended Judge Emfinger and Judge Collins in a letter to the Supreme Court on July 16. Judge Emfinger has served as an alternate member of the judicial disciplinary body since Jan. 1, 2016, having previously been recommended by the Governor. The new appointment is for a term which will end Dec. 31, 2021.

Judge Emfinger takes the Commission position previously held by Circuit Judge James L. Roberts Jr. of Pontotoc. Judge Roberts stepped down from the Commission on June 13. Judge Roberts was appointed by the Supreme Court on the recommendation of the Governor as a member of the Commission for a term that began Jan. 1, 2016. He previously served for six years as an alternate member.

Judge Collins’ term as an alternate member of the Commission also will end Dec. 31, 2021. An alternate member sits on a judicial disciplinary hearing panel when a member has a conflict or cannot otherwise participate.

The Commission on Judicial Performance investigates allegations of judicial misconduct and makes recommendations for discipline to the Supreme Court. The Commission includes seven members and seven alternates.

Judge Emfinger has been a Circuit Judge of the 20th Circuit Court District of Rankin and Madison counties since January 2011. He is former chairman of the Conference of Circuit Court Judges. He previously served for 14 years as an assistant district attorney for the 20th District. He worked for nearly 10 years as a special assistant attorney general, serving in the attorney general's Criminal Division, in the State and Local Government Section, and later as director of the attorney general's Public Integrity Division. He worked for a year as a staff attorney in the office of the Mississippi Secretary of State. He was in private law practice for about seven years. Judge Emfinger earned a Bachelor of Science degree in political science from Mississippi College and a Juris Doctorate from Mississippi College School of Law.

Judge Collins has served as Circuit Judge of the Eighth District of Leake, Neshoba, Newton and Scott counties since March 31, 2016, having been appointed by the Governor. He previously served for 16 years as a judge of the Tribal Courts of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. He was a prosecutor for the cities of Union and Decatur and is a charter board member of the Eighth Circuit Court Drug Court. He served as felony indigent counsel in the Eighth District and as post-conviction counsel for inmates. He also served as a special prosecutor in Winston and Lauderdale counties. Judge Collins received an Associate of Arts degree from East Central Community College and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Mississippi College. He received his Juris Doctorate from the Mississippi College School of Law.

The July 17 appointment order is at this link: https://courts.ms.gov/appellatecourts/docket/sendPDF.php?f=700_454513.pdf&c=17877&a=N&s=2. .

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