Chancellors, Circuit and County Court Judges elect conference officers
November 10, 2022
Chancellor Gerald Martin of Raleigh was recently elected as chair of the Conference of Chancery Court Judges. Chancellor Cynthia Brewer of Madison was elected vice-chair, and Chancellor Larry Little of Oxford was re-elected secretary-treasurer. Chancellor Crystal Wise Martin of Jackson was nominated to serve on the Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules.
Circuit Judge Dal Williamson of Laurel was elected chair of the Conference of Circuit Court Judges. Circuit Judge Tomika Irving of Fayette was elected Conference vice-chair, and Circuit Judge Christopher Schmidt of Pass Christian was elected secretary-treasurer.
County Court Judges re-elected Madison County Court Judge Edwin Hannan as chairman, Washington County Court Judge Vernita King Johnson as vice-chair, and Lauderdale County Court Judge Veldore Young Graham as secretary of the Conference of County Court Judges.
Conference elections were held Oct. 27 during the fall Trial and Appellate Judges Conference in Biloxi. Conference officers make recommendations on issues affecting the courts.
Judge Martin previously served as vice-chair of the Conference. He has served on the 13th Chancery Court bench since January 2015. The district includes Covington, Jefferson Davis, Lawrence, Simpson and Smith counties. He previously served as a court appointed mediator in Circuit and Chancery courts, and as a special master in Circuit Courts. He served as attorney for the Smith County Economic Development District, was attorney for the towns of Raleigh and Taylorsville, and was municipal prosecutor for Raleigh. While in private practice, he also provided pro bono legal counsel to local churches, youth sports leagues and other non-profit organizations. He coached children’s soccer and was president of Mississippi 4-H. Judge Martin earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Mississippi State University and a law degree from the University of Alabama School of Law.
Judge Brewer previously served as chair of the Conference of Chancery Judges in 2012, and as vice-chair in 2011. She has served on the 11th Chancery Court since January 2007, hearing cases in Madison and Leake counties. She previously served for four years as Madison County Court Judge, where her duties also included part of the docket for the Madison County Youth Court. She initiated a Teen Court to use peer pressure to hold juveniles accountable for their actions. She also previously served as a special master in Chancery Court, and as a Municipal, County and Youth Court prosecutor in Hinds County. She started the Jackson Metropolitan Crime Commission’s Courtwatch program in the 1990s. She served on the Commission on Judicial Performance as the alternate Chancery Court member. Judge Brewer earned her undergraduate degree from the University of South Alabama, and her Juris Doctorate from Mississippi College School of Law. She is a visiting instructor at the National Judicial College in Reno. She previously served as an adjunct professor at the Mississippi College School of Law.
Judge Little has served as secretary-treasurer of the Conference of Chancery Judges since October`2019. He took office as chancellor in the 18th Chancery Court in January 2019. The district includes Benton, Calhoun, Lafayette, Marshall and Tippah counties. He 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. He is a graduate of the University of Mississippi, and earned his law degree from the former Jackson School of Law, now Mississippi College School of Law.
Judge Williamson was elected conference vice-chair in April 2022, and Judge Irving was elected secretary-treasurer in April. They moved up to chair and vice-chair, respectively, in the recent election which was necessitated by conference Chairman Judge Anthony Mozingo’s decision to leave the bench Dec. 31. Judge Williamson also previously served as conference secretary-treasurer.
Judge Williamson has served as Jones County Circuit Judge since January 2015. He practiced law in Laurel and Jones County for 34 years before election to the bench. He is a past president of the Jones County Bar Association, and served as a Bar Commissioner. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law. He is a graduate of Jones County Junior College and Mississippi State University.
Judge Irving has served as judge of the 22nd Circuit Court District since January 2019. The district includes Claiborne, Copiah and Jefferson counties. She previously served for 12 years as Municipal Judge for the town of Crosby, and for six years as Jefferson County Justice Court Judge. Her private law practice included family law, criminal defense and civil litigation in state and federal courts. She earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in political science and journalism from the University of Southern Mississippi, a Master of Arts degree in political science from Mississippi State University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi School of Law. She has doctoral studies in administration of justice from USM, and teaching certification to teach 7th through 12th grade social studies and journalism.
Judge Schmidt has served since January 2015 in the Second Circuit District of Hancock, Harrison and Stone counties. He previously worked as an assistant district attorney in the Second Circuit for 14 years. He was in private law practice from 2010 until his election in 2014. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Southern Mississippi and a law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law.
Judge Hannan has served as chairman of the Conference of County Court Judges since 2015. Judge Johnson has been vice-chair since October 2004. Judge Young Graham began her service as Conference secretary in April 2012.
Judge Hannan, of Madison, began his service as Madison County Court Judge in January 2007. He previously served for more than nine years as Madison Municipal Judge. He practiced law for 25 years before he was elected to the Madison County Court bench. He is a graduate of the University of Mississippi and the University of Mississippi School of Law.
Judge Johnson, of Greenville, has served as Washington County Court Judge since 1999. She previously served as Hollandale Municipal Court Judge 1986-1994, Arcola Municipal Court Judge 1992-1998, and Greenville Municipal Court Judge 1996-1998. She served as Washington County Youth Court prosecutor 1981-1994. She is a graduate of the University of Mississippi and the University of Mississippi School of Law.
Judge Young Graham, of Meridian, has served on the Lauderdale County Court bench since January 2007. She previously presided over the 10th Judicial District Drug Court and served on the State Drug Courts Advisory Committee. Before she was elected to the bench, she served for seven years as assistant district attorney, and for two years as a public defender for the 10th Circuit Court District of Clarke, Kemper, Lauderdale and Wayne counties. She engaged in private law practice in Jackson before becoming a public defender.