Judge John Emfinger appointed to Mississippi Court of Appeals

March 4, 2021

Gov. Tate Reeves appointed Judge John H. Emfinger of Brandon to the Mississippi Court of Appeals on March 3. Supreme Court Chief Justice Mike Randolph swore in Judge Emfinger on the steps of the Governor’s Mansion in Jackson.

Joel Smith

Gov. Reeves said Judge Emfinger is fair minded and hard working. “I am proud to make this appointment today, because I know that Judge Emfinger is a man of character. He is a man of his word. And he is committed to protecting the rule of law in Mississippi.”

Judge Emfinger said, “It is an honor for me to serve in this position. I will work hard every day to make sure that the trust that has been placed in me has not been misplaced.”

Gov. Reeves appointed Judge Emfinger to the District 3, Position 2 vacancy on the Mississippi Court of Appeals. The appointment was effective March 3, and will end on Jan. 2, 2023. The judgeship was previously held by Judge Cory T. Wilson of Flora, who was appointed to the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on July 2, 2020.

Judge Emfinger served for more than 10 years as a Circuit Judge of the 20th Circuit Court District of Rankin and Madison counties. He served on the Commission on Judicial Performance, the Mississippi Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules and the Criminal Code Revision Consulting Group. He is a former chairman, vice-chair and secretary treasurer of the Conference of Circuit Judges.

He served for 12 years as an assistant district attorney for the 20th District, serving at three different times between 1988 and 2010. He served for nearly 10 years as a special assistant attorney general, serving at three different times between 1983 and 1997. He worked in the Criminal Division preparing appellate briefs; in the State and Local Government Section handling criminal appeals, AG opinions, elections and Voting Rights Act submissions and litigation; and later as director of the Public Integrity Division, where he supervised investigation and prosecution of public corruption, white collar crime, voter fraud and large scale drug operations. He worked for a year as Assistant Secretary of State and staff attorney in the Securities Division of the office of the Mississippi Secretary of State. He was in private law practice for about seven years. His practice areas included oil and gas law, domestic relations and criminal defense.

He is a former member of Mississippi Prosecutors Association and is a member of the Mississippi Bar, the Alabama State Bar, the American Bar Association, American Inns of Court, the Madison County Bar Association and the Rankin County Bar Association.

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in political science and a Masters of Business Administration from Mississippi College and a law degree from Mississippi College School of Law.

Judge Emfinger, 65, is married to Susan J. Emfinger. They have three daughters and four grandchildren.