Chief Justice appoints chancellors to Commission on Judicial Performance

January 19, 2021

Supreme Court Chief Justice Mike Randolph appointed Chancellor Jim Persons of Gulfport as a member of the Commission on Judicial Performance on Jan. 13. The Chief Justice appointed Chancellor Stephen T. Bailey of Tupelo as an alternate member of the judicial disciplinary body.

Chancellors to Commission on Judicial Performance

The Chief Justice made the appointments upon the recommendation of Lieutenant Governor Delbert Hosemann. Appointments are for six-year terms set to end Dec. 31, 2026.

Judge Persons replaces Chancellor Vicki Barnes of Vicksburg on the Commission, and Judge Bailey replaces Chancellor Cynthia Brewer of Madison as an alternate member. Judge Barnes served as a Commission member for six years, and as an alternate member for six years. Judge Brewer was an alternate member for six years.

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. An alternate takes the place of a member who is not able to participate in a particular judicial discipline case. Members include one chancellor, one circuit judge, one county court judge, one justice court judge, one practicing attorney and two lay persons. Seven corresponding alternates also are appointed. Appointments are made to staggered six-year terms.

Chief Justice Randolph on Jan. 7 appointed Pearl River County Court Judge Richelle Lumpkin as the county court member of the Commission, and appointed Rankin County Court Judge Kent McDaniel as the county court alternate member. Judge McDaniel previously served for six years as a member of the Commission. He is in his third year as chairman.

Judge Persons was elected as a chancellor of the Eighth Chancery District of Harrison, Hancock and Stone counties in November 2002 and took office in January 2003. He practiced law in Jackson from 1967 until 1974, then moved his practice to the Gulf Coast. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Millsaps College, a Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi School of Law, and a L.L.M. in taxation from New York University. He is a past president of the Harrison County Bar Association and the Russell-Blass-Walker Chapter of the American Inns of Court. He was inducted as a Fellow of the Mississippi Bar Foundation in 2011 and received the Mississippi Bar Distinguished Service Award in 2017.

Judge Bailey has served as a chancellor of the First Chancery District since Feb. 1, 2018. Judge Bailey was appointed to a vacancy, then elected to a full term in November 2018. The First Chancery District includes Alcorn, Itawamba, Lee, Monroe, Pontotoc, Prentiss, Tishomingo and Union counties. He previously served as a prosecutor in Lee County Youth Court and Tupelo Municipal Court. He began his private law practice in 1996. He is a graduate of the University of Mississippi and earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi School of Law.