Gartin Building Courtroom with the Great Seal of the State of Mississippi

Chancery Judges elect conference officers

October 30, 2019

Chancellor Haydn Roberts of Brandon has been elected chair of the Conference of Chancery Court Judges. Chancellor Rhea Sheldon of Purvis was elected vice-chair, and Chancellor Larry Little of Oxford was elected secretary-treasurer.

Larry Little, Rhea Sheldon, Haydn Roberts

Chancellor Larry Primeaux of Meridian, who just concluded his term as Conference chair, will continue in his role as the Chancery Conference representative on the Supreme Court Rules Advisory Committee.

Chancellors from across the state elected officers during the Fall Trial and Appellate Judges Conference in Jackson on Oct. 24.

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.

Chancellor Roberts just completed a year as vice-chair of the Conference of Chancery Court Judges. He has served for almost four years as Rankin County chancellor. He was elected to a newly created Twentieth Chancery District judgeship in November 2015 and took office in January 2016. He previosly served for almost eight years as a Rankin County Chancery Court staff attorney, and for six months as court-appointed family master in Chancery Court. Judge Roberts is a 2003 Hall of Fame inductee and graduate of the University of Mississippi and 2007 graduate of Mississippi College School of Law.

Chancellor Sheldon is co-chair of the Commission on Children’s Justice and co-chair of the Families First Pilot Program for Pearl River County. Gov. Phil Bryant appointed her to a vacancy on the 10th Chancery Court. She took the oath of office Feb. 22, 2016. The 10th Chancery includes Forrest, Lamar, Marion, Pearl River and Perry counties.

Judge Sheldon taught school for several years after earning a bachelor’s degree in history with a minor in secondary education from the University of Southern Mississippi. She earned a law degree in 2002 from the University of Mississippi School of Law. She was involved in the Public Interest Law Clinic and Moot Court Board and served as Honor Council Chairperson and Law School Student Body Election Commissioner. After law school, she served as a law clerk for former Supreme Court Justice Kay Cobb. She is admitted to practice in Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. She managed the Jackson office of a regional law firm, working on commercial litigation and toxic tort defense. She moved back to her hometown of Purvis in 2009, where she became a partner in a firm handling domestic, real estate and commercial litigation.

Chancellor Little is in his first year of service on the 18th Chancery Court. He was elected in November 2018 and took office Jan. 2. The district includes Benton, Calhoun, Lafayette, Marshall and Tippah counties. Judge Little previously served as district attorney for the Third Circuit for 10 years, and for 19 years as part-time Oxford Municipal Judge. He was an adjunct professor at the University of Mississippi School of law for four years. His private law practice included real estate law and representing public agencies including the Mississippi Transportation Commission and others.

Chancellor Primeaux previously served as vice-chair and chairman of the Conference of Chancery Court Judges. He is senior chancellor of the 12th Chancery Court of Lauderdale and Clarke counties. He was elected in 2006 and took office Jan. 2, 2007.

For more than nine years, he has published the award-winning law blog, The Better Chancery Practice Blog, He attended the University of Southwestern Louisiana and Nicholls State University. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology, sociology and anthropology from the University of Mississippi in 1971, and a law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1973. Judge Primeaux practiced law for two years in Memphis, then worked as an appeals officer for the U.S. Civil Service Commission in Atlanta for four years. He was managing attorney for the former East Mississippi Legal Services office 1978-1981. He was in private law practice in Meridian for 25 years. He previously served as attorney for the city of Meridian, the Meridian Airport Authority, the Meridian Transportation Commission and the Meridian Civil Service Commission. He is a former president of the Lauderdale County Bar Association and former chairman of the State Charity Hospital Board. He served on the East Mississippi State Hospital Community Advisory Committee, and on the boards of directors of the Lauderdale County Group Home, St. Fancis Homes Inc., and Friendship Center. He is former president of United Way of Lauderdale County and of the Mental Health Association of Lauderdale County.