Circuit Judge Brad Mills takes oath of office
April 23, 2021
Veteran judges and lawyers described newly appointed Circuit Judge Brad Mills of Brandon as fair and unbiased, a man of integrity and wisdom, possessing an excellent legal mind and with energy and a work ethic to keep a busy docket moving.
Judge Mills, who took the oath of office Friday afternoon, April 23, was humbled by all of the praise. He said that he was surprised to be chosen. “It was an honor to be considered.”
He thanked Gov. Tate Reeves for appointing him to the 20th Circuit Court of Rankin and Madison counties.
He said he is grateful for the encouragement that he has received in recent weeks. “The support that I’ve gotten means more than this appointment itself. At least somebody thought I was working hard,” he told colleagues, friends and family who gathered to watch him be sworn in.
Rankin County Court Judge Kent McDaniel administered the oath. Judge Mills’ wife, Adrian West-brook Mills, held the Bible as their children, ages 6 and 4, stood close.
Judge Mills chose to take the oath in the Circuit Courtroom in Brandon, the one where he’s spent the most time. He estimated that he has handled between 1,500 and 2,000 cases.
Judge Mills, 41, has been a solo practitioner for 14 years, representing clients in civil and criminal matters in state and federal courts. He was an assistant public defender in Rankin County Circuit Court for nine and one-half years. He served by appointment as a public defender in U.S. District Court for the past eight years, and as an assistant public defender in Rankin County Justice Court for almost three years.
“I have spent 14 years in the trenches,” he said. That work shapes his perspective as he takes the bench. “I’m going to remember what it’s like out in the real world because I’ve been there. I get it.”
His areas of practice also included family law, estate and Chancery Court practice, personal injury, debt collection, corporate and business law, and municipal law. He was municipal attorney for the Town of Pelahatchie from August 2017 to June 2018
Attorney T. Mark Sledge of Ridgeland said, “Because Brad comes from a general practice, he comes to the bench with no agendas.”
U.S. Congressman Michael Guest, former District Attorney for Rankin and Madison counties, said, “I am proud that a man of integrity has agreed to serve.” Guest said that his prayer for Judge Mills is that God grants him the wisdom and discernment “to judge fairly and see that in every case justice is served.”
Attorney Mark Baker of Brandon said, “Everyone has to believe that they got a fair shot.” And lawyers need judges who are predictable and consistent, so that they may advise their clients. He expects Judge Mills to have all of those traits. “We are so proud of you and we look forward to the great things you are going to do.”
Gov. Reeves appointed Judge Mills to the 20th District Circuit Court vacancy created when Judge John Emfinger was appointed to the Mississippi Court of Appeals. Judge Mills’ appointive term is through Jan. 2, 2023.
Judge Mills grew up in Corinth. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Mississippi State University in 2002 and a law degree from Mississippi College School of Law in 2005. He was admitted to the Mississippi and Tennessee Bars in 2006.