Supreme Court makes appointments to Bar Complaint Tribunal
September 6, 2023
The Mississippi Supreme Court has appointed three new members to the Bar Complaint Tribunal, and reappointed three members.
New appointees include Circuit Judge Carol White-Richard of Greenville, Workers Compensation Commission Administrative Law Judge Jennifer F. Nicaud of Pass Christian and attorney Leo J. Carmody of Oxford.
Presiding Justice Jim Kitchens, on behalf of the unanimous Supreme Court, issued an order on Aug. 24 appointing the new members and reappointing Tribunal members Circuit Judge Claiborne “Buddy” McDonald IV of Picayune and attorneys George Philip Schrader IV of Vicksburg and J. Rhea Tannehill Jr. of Oxford.
The Court thanked outgoing Tribunal members Circuit Judge Steve S. Ratcliff III of Madison and attorneys Gina B. Tompkins of Biloxi and Taylor A. Heck of Senatobia “for their faithful services as members of the Complaint Tribunal.”
The new three-year terms on the Complaint Tribunal began on Sept. 1.
Members of the Complaint Tribunal hear and decide disciplinary matters arising from complaints against attorneys. Discipline may range from private reprimand to disbarment. Decisions from the Complaint Tribunal may be appealed to the Mississippi Supreme Court. Actions by the Complaint Tribunal are final if not appealed.
The 27-member Complaint Tribunal is made up of nine judges and 18 lawyers selected by the nine members of the Supreme Court from three Supreme Court districts. The Complaint Tribunal sits in panels of three, with each panel comprised of two attorneys and one judge.
Judge White-Richard has served on the Fourth Circuit Court since January 2015. The district includes Leflore, Sunflower and Washington counties. Before her election to the bench, she served as an assistant district attorney and was a criminal defense attorney in private practice. She is past president of the Mississippi Public Defenders Association. She is a Fellow of the Mississippi Bar Foundation. She graduated from Tulane University with a double major in English and communications. She earned a law degree from Vanderbilt School of Law.
Judge Nicaud has served as a Workers Compensation Commission Administrative Law Judge since 2021. She served on the Board of the National Association of Workers Compensation Judiciary. She previously served as a Municipal Judge Pro Temp for the City of Pass Christian. She is an adjunct professor at Mississippi College School of Law. She is chair of the Professionalism Committee of the Mississippi Bar and a member of the Access to Justice Committee and the Women in the Profession Section of the Bar. She was President of the Russell, Walker, Blass American Inn of Court, and on the Board of the American Inn of Court. She is chair of the Federal Rules and Procedure Section of the National Litigation Board and a board member of the ADR Board of the National Federal Bar Association. She serves on the boards of the Boy’s and Girl’s Club, the Walter Anderson Museum, the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum, the Pass Christian School Foundation and Kid’s Chance of Mississippi.
Judge Nicaud earned an undergraduate degree from Tulane University and her Juris Doctorate from Tulane Law School. She is certified in mediation by Harvard Law School and the University of Mississippi. She is admitted to practice law in Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida.
Carmody practices with the law firm of Upchurch & Upchurch, P.A., in Oxford. His practice focuses on medical malpractice defense. He is a member of the Mississippi Defense Lawyers Association Editorial Board, the Mississippi Bar, the Lafayette County Bar Association and Tri-County Young Lawyers. He is admitted to practice before all Mississippi courts, the U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Mississippi, the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. He served on the Board of Directors of United Way of Oxford- Lafayette County. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, where he was a staff writer for the Daily Tar Heel. He earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi School of Law. During law school, he was an Executive Board Member of the Moot Court Board. He also was a senior staff columnist for The Daily Mississippian, where he won a Mark of Excellence Award from the Society of Professional Journalists.
Judge McDonald has served as Circuit Judge of the 15th District since January 2016. He previously served for seven years as district attorney for the 15th District, and 16 years as an assistant district attorney. He also previously served as Pearl River County prosecuting attorney, city attorney and municipal judge in Picayune. He engaged in the private practice of law in Pearl River County 1973-1984 and 2006 -2015. He was among six judges honored at the Mississippi Bar Convention in July for reaching the milestone of 50 years as members of the Bar.
Judge McDonald served as a member of the Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Criminal Rules of Practice and Procedure, the Mississippi Legislative Advisory Committee on Redrafting the Mississippi Criminal Code and the Legislative Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice. He is a Fellow of the Mississippi Bar Foundation and was a Commissioner of the Mississippi Bar and President of the Pearl River County Bar Association. He served on the State Board of Law Enforcement Standards and Training, was president of the Mississippi Prosecutors Association and was on the Board of Directors of the National District Attorneys Association.
Judge McDonald earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Mississippi State University and a law degree from the University of Alabama School of Law. He did post-graduate work in criminal justice at the University of Southern Mississippi.
Schrader practices law with the firm of Teller, Hopson & Schrader in Vicksburg. His practice areas include personal injury, family law, real estate, criminal defense, civil appeals and workers compensation. He is admitted to practice before all Mississippi courts and the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from the University of Southern Mississippi and a Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from Mississippi College School of Law.
Tannehill practices law in Oxford at Tannehill Carmean. His practice areas include personal injury, criminal defense, collections, real estate, estate planning and probate. He has served as Municipal Court Judge of Sardis since 2007. He also serves as board attorney for the Oxford Housing Authority and the Mississippi Region II Housing Authority
Tannehill serves on the Mississippi Bar’s Ethics Committee. He previously served for five years on the Professional Responsibility Committee, including a year as chairman. He also served on the Board of Bar Commissioner’s Committee on Character and Fitness for 12 years. He served as President of Lafayette County Bar, the Tri-County Bar Associations and the Young Lawyers Division of the Mississippi Bar. He was a Commissioner of the Mississippi Bar and a member of the Bar’s Executive Committee. He was selected as a Fellow of the Young Lawyers Division and as a Fellow of the Mississippi Bar Foundation.
He grew up in Union, Mississippi, where he worked for his parents’ weekly newspaper, the Union Appeal. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in public administration, a Master’s Degree in education and a Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi. As an undergraduate, he served as President of the Associated Student Body. He served for 28 years in the Mississippi Army National Guard, retiring at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. In 1999, he was commissioned as First Lieutenant in the Judge Advocate Generals’ Corps. He mobilized with the Mississippi Army National Guard in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina for almost two months, doing disaster relief and cleanup. He was deployed to Afghanistan for 13 months, November 2008 until December 2010. He was awarded the Bronze Star, Combat Action Badge, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon and Global War on Terrorism Medal. He most recently served as Military Judge for the Mississippi Military, where he heard courts-martials and presided over administrative hearings regarding National Guard soldiers.