Gartin Building Courtroom with the Great Seal of the State of Mississippi
News

Study Committee favors cameras in some trial court proceedings
December 20, 2002

A study committee of judges and journalists has recommended that some Mississippi trial court proceedings be opened to camera coverage.

Judicial Advisory Study Committee recommends adding more judges
December 16, 2002

A recent study of state court districts shows an imbalance in case load and population distribution among districts and supports adding more chancery and circuit judges to some districts.

Mississippi Supreme Court sets Jan. 8 execution date
December 10, 2002

The Mississippi Supreme Court on Tuesday set a Jan. 8, 2003, execution date for Mississippi death row inmate Ronald Chris Foster.

Justice Carlson speaks to South Panola HS government classes
December 3, 2002

Mississippi Supreme Court Justice George C. Carlson Jr. on Monday spoke to four government classes at his alma mater, South Panola High School in Batesville.

Court Gender Fairness Task Force issues findings and recommendations
November 27, 2002

A four-year study of attitudes in the Mississippi court system has concluded that gender bias is not a widespread problem.

Chief Justice Pittman calls for appointive appellate court
November 27, 2002

Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Edwin L. Pittman on Wednesday said he hopes the Legislature will allow voters to decide whether to switch to an appointed system for the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals.

Chief Justice Pittman creates task force for impartial justice
November 26, 2002

Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Edwin L. Pittman today announced creation of a task force to formulate and recommend to the Legislature a Constitutional Amendment which would change the method by which Mississippi selects judges of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals.

Council of Youth Court Judges says DHS staff shortage presents crisis
October 25, 2002

The Mississippi Council of Youth Court Judges in a recently adopted resolution said the staffing shortage at the Department of Human Services "creates a crisis for children at risk."

Chief Justice Pittman discusses proposed legislation for 2003
October 24, 2002

Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Edwin L. Pittman on Thursday said he will ask legislators during the 2003 session to abolish "herd" districts for judges, give pay raises for judges and implement a system of regional drug courts.

Judicial Conference hears drug court judges and recovering addicts
October 24, 2002

Helen McDonald of Summit, a recovering OxyContin addict, said her children recently told her that they hope she stays in Drug Court forever because it has kept her off drugs.

Judicial Conference addresses substance abuse and mental health problems within the legal profession
October 23, 2002

Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Edwin L. Pittman on Wednesday asked state judges to seek help for lawyers or judges whom they suspect have alcohol or drug problems.

Chief Justice Pittman calls for statewide drug court program
October 21, 2002

Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Edwin L. Pittman on Monday called for creation of a statewide drug court program.

Supreme Court issues new recusal and mandamus rules
October 18, 2002

The Mississippi Supreme Court on Thursday, Oct. 17, adopted a new rule addressing motions which request that appellate judges disqualify themselves from hearing certain cases.

Drug Court graduation scheduled Oct. 21 in Magnolia
October 16, 2002

Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Edwin L. Pittman is expected to be the keynote speaker at the 14th Circuit Court District Drug Court graduation on Oct. 21 in Magnolia. The graduation is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at the Pike County Courthouse.

Memorial service held for deceased Mississippi Bar members
October 15, 2002

The Mississippi Bar and the Mississippi Supreme Court on Tuesday honored 63 members of the bar who died during the past year.

12 graduate from Hinds County Drug Court
October 9, 2002

Frank McGriggs said he expected his life of drug dealing and using to end at the grave or jail. He surprised himself with a happier fate.

University of Mississippi students handle criminal appeals
October 9, 2002

Two students from the University of Mississippi School of Law are representing indigent criminal defendants in their appeals.

Pike County Circuit Court gets electronic evidence presentation equipment
October 8, 2002

Pike County Circuit Court is getting an electronic evidence presentation system.

Justice Graves teaches trial advocacy at Harvard Law School
October 1, 2002

Mississippi Supreme Court Justice James E. Graves Jr. last week was a guest instructor at Harvard Law School.

Media and the Courts Study Committee to meet Oct. 11 in Meridian
September 25, 2002

The Supreme Court Media and the Courts Study Committee will meet at 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, at the Lauderdale County Courthouse in Meridian. The meeting will be in the circuit courtroom on the third floor.

Former Supreme Court justices support six-year terms for trial judges
September 24, 2002

A majority of the former justices of the Mississippi Supreme Court have endorsed the Constitutional amendment which would create six-year terms for state trial judges.

Supreme Court and Court of Appeals endorse six-year terms for trial judges
September 17, 2002

The Mississippi Supreme Court on Tuesday announced that it has unanimously adopted a resolution endorsing the Constitutional amendment which would create six-year terms for chancery and circuit judges.

Study Committee endorses 6-year terms for trial judges
September 13, 2002

The Judicial Advisory Study Committee, created by the Legislature to recommend improvements for the justice system, reaffirmed its recommendation of longer terms for trial judges.

Five appointed to lawyer disciplinary Complaint Tribunal
September 6, 2002

Justices of the Mississippi Supreme Court have named three new members to the lawyer disciplinary Complaint Tribunal and reappointed two veteran members.

Legal community discusses poor people's access to courts
September 6, 2002

Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Edwin L. Pittman on Friday pledged to take a leadership role in finding ways to make the state's civil justice system accessible to poor people who can't afford to hire lawyers to represent them in their legal problems.

Grant announced for legal aid referral line for the poor
September 6, 2002

The nonprofit national Legal Services Corporation on Friday announced that Mississippi will receive a $500,000 grant to set up a statewide toll free legal aid intake and referral hotline.

Access to Justice Summit to address legal needs of the poor
September 3, 2002

Poor people who can't afford to hire a lawyer face problems in gaining access to the civil justice system, Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Edwin L. Pittman said.

Media and the Courts Study Committee to meet Sept. 20 in Greenville
August 23, 2002

The Supreme Court Media and the Courts Study Committee will meet at 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20, at the Washington County Courthouse in Greenville. The meeting will be in the chancery courtroom on the first floor.

Media and the Courts Study Committee to meet Aug. 30 in Gulfport
August 16, 2002

The Supreme Court Media and the Courts Study Committee will meet at 1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30, in Gulfport.

Judge Chandler returns from the University of Virginia
August 15, 2002

Mississippi Court of Appeals Judge David Chandler recently participated in a six-week study of constitutional law at the University of Virginia.

Jackson County to get computerized evidence presentation equipment
August 13, 2002

Jackson County Circuit Court was approved this week to receive electronic evidence presentation equipment through a grant program designed to aid jurors and make trial presentations more efficient.

State Law Library provides free computerized legal research
August 12, 2002

The State Law Library in Jackson is now offering free access to computerized legal research.

Judge Myers participates in evidence seminar for attorneys
August 7, 2002

Court of Appeals Judge William H. Myers recently helped present a continuing legal education seminar dealing with the handling of evidence in civil litigation.

Coahoma County to get evidence presentation equipment
July 24, 2002

Coahoma County Circuit Court will soon get electronic equipment designed to make evidence easier for jurors to understand and make evidence presentation quicker and more efficient.

Justice Department approves six-year terms and additional judgeships
July 23, 2002

The U.S. Department of Justice on Monday approved a proposed constitutional amendment that would increase Mississippi trial judges' terms from four years to six years. The Justice Department also approved one new county court judgeship each for Madison and Rankin counties.

Justice Graves honored for advancing public understanding of the law
July 16, 2002

The Mississippi Bar Foundation recently named Supreme Court Justice James E. Graves Jr. as recipient of its Law-Related Public Education Award.

Chief Justice Awards honor work to improve the judicial system
July 12, 2002

Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Edwin L. Pittman named as recipients of this year's Chief Justice Awards former Justice Fred L. Banks Jr., Hattiesburg attorney Carroll H. Ingram and the members of the Board of Bar Commissioners.

Candidate free speech ruling does not affect Mississippi Code of Judicial Conduct
July 10, 2002

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down a Minnesota judicial canon as a violation of free speech does not affect Mississippi's Code of Judicial Conduct, Chief Justice Edwin L. Pittman told lawyers and judges attending the annual Mississippi Bar Association Convention in Sandestin, Fla. on Wednesday.

Justice Diaz enrolled in Master of Laws program
July 9, 2002

Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Oliver E. Diaz Jr. of Biloxi is one of 30 judges from across the country to be accepted into the University of Virginia School of Law Master of Laws in the Judicial Process program.

Study Committee calls for rule to expedite trial court decisions
June 7, 2002

The Judicial Advisory Study Committee on Friday recommended that the Mississippi Supreme Court adopt a rule that would automatically identify cases pending before a trial court judge for six months without a ruling.

Justice Carlson addresses 1st Judicial District Bar Association
June 4, 2002

Justice George C. Carlson Jr. told north Mississippi lawyers last week that work at the Supreme Court involves a high volume of cases, constant deadlines and a requirement for consensus.

Media and the Courts Study Committee to meet in Tupelo
May 31, 2002

The Supreme Court Media and the Courts Study Committee will meet at 1 p.m. Thursday, July 25, at the Lee County Justice Center in Tupelo. The meeting will be in the small courtroom on the second floor.

Justice Michael Sullivan honored during portrait unveiling
May 30, 2002

Colleagues remembered the late Presiding Justice Michael D. Sullivan as a man of wit and wisdom Thursday as they gathered to pay tribute to him and unveil his portrait at the Mississippi Supreme Court in Jackson.

More than 200 attend campaign seminar
May 30, 2002

More than 200 judicial candidates, campaign managers, finance chairpersons and consultants gathered in Jackson Thursday for a seminar on campaign conduct rules, ethics and finance law.

Justice Carlson addresses law enforcement training graduates
May 29, 2002

Supreme Court Justice George C. Carlson Jr. on Tuesday, May 28, in Grenada, told graduating law enforcement officers to wear the uniform proudly, be fair, and never be afraid to admit making a mistake.

Memorial service honors combat veterans
May 26, 2002

Smith County voters re-elected Bob Purvis as tax assessor in 1943, but he never knew about his victory at home. Before his parents' letter about his election success could reach him, Purvis was killed on Aug. 11, 1943, in fighting in Sicily when a shell hit his tank.

Smith County to dedicate monument to combat veterans
May 21, 2002

A memorial to combat veterans of four wars will be unveiled Sunday, May 26, at the Smith County Courthouse in Raleigh. A ceremony is scheduled for 2 p.m. on the courthouse lawn.

Lee County to get electronic evidence presentation equipment
May 21, 2002

Lee County Circuit Court will get state-of-the-art electronic evidence presentation equipment in June. Equipment is expected to be installed in the second floor Circuit Court courtroom at the Lee County Justice Center in Tupelo during the week of June 17.

Portrait of Justice Sullivan to be unveiled
May 17, 2002

A portrait of the late Presiding Justice Michael D. Sullivan will be unveiled at the Mississippi Supreme Court at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 30. A reception will follow in the third floor lobby of the Gartin Justice Building.

Judge Patten named to Rules Advisory Committee
May 10, 2002

Chancery Judge Edward E. Patten Jr. of Hazlehurst was recently named as one of two representatives of the Mississippi Conference of Chancery Judges on the Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules.

Judge Bradley receives Champion for Children Award
May 10, 2002

The Jackson County Children's Services Coalition has named Chancery Judge Jaye Bradley of Pascagoula as recipient of its Champion for Children Award.

Benton County officials offer model of technology on a budget
May 6, 2002

Benton County officials hope their new courthouse can be a model for technology on a budget. The converted garment factory incorporates state-of-the-art technology and courtroom efficiency with a price tag of $625,000.

Supreme Court appoints Samuel D. Habeeb as special judge for Warren County Court
April 30, 2002

The Mississippi Supreme Court on Monday appointed attorney Samuel D. Habeeb, 33, as a special judge to hear cases in the Warren County Court. The appointment came as a result of the April 24 suspension of Warren County Judge H. Gerald Hosemann.

Circuit Judges Conference leaders assume duties
April 30, 2002

Circuit Judge Robert G. Evans of Raleigh began his duties as chairman of the Conference of Circuit Judges last week at the Mississippi Trial and Appellate Judges Spring Conference in Biloxi.

Bar studies out-of-state lawyers and lawyer advertising
April 25, 2002

Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Edwin L. Pittman on Thursday said that the Mississippi Bar may seek new regulations regarding lawyer advertising.

Myers named to Committee on Continuing Judicial Education
April 22, 2002

Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Edwin L. Pittman has appointed Court of Appeals Judge William H. Myers to serve on the Committee on Continuing Judicial Education.

Benton County Courthouse dedication is Saturday
April 19, 2002

Benton County officials turned the loss of a local industry into space for county government. A former garment factory in Ashland became the Benton County Courthouse.

Pittman Receives Distinguished Jurist Award at MSU
April 16, 2002

The Mississippi State University Pre-Law Society has named state Supreme Court Chief Justice Edwin L. Pittman as recipient of the Distinguished Jurist Award for 2002.

Copiah County Courthouse Centennial Celebration Is May 4
April 15, 2002

Copiah County will celebrate the centennial of its courthouse in Hazlehurst on May 4 with a music festival featuring local high school and college bands and a performance by the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra.

Supreme Court adopts Code of Judicial Conduct and revises rule of attorney discipline
April 4, 2002

The Mississippi Supreme Court on Thursday adopted a new Code of Judicial Conduct and revised a rule of attorney discipline to prohibit readmission to the practice of law of felons convicted of crimes of deceit and certain drug crimes.

Pittman discusses judicial legislation in Brookhaven
March 27, 2002

Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Edwin L. Pittman on Wednesday told a Brookhaven civic club that he favors proposed legislation which would abolish special elections for trial court judges and extend trial judges' terms to six years.

Court computers donated to classrooms
March 25, 2002

The Mississippi Supreme Court on Monday gave 30 computers to Starkville's Armstrong Middle School. It is the first of several expected property transfers intended to turn outdated equipment into teaching tools for public schools.

Supreme Court gives computers to Hinds County, Starkville schools
March 25, 2002

Outdated equipment for the Mississippi Supreme Court will become free technology for Byram Middle School and Terry High School this week.

Felony DUI offenders in Pike County get alcohol treatment program
March 20, 2002

Pike County's Drug Court is expanding April 1 with a separate program to offer treatment for alcoholics facing third offense felony charges of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Public access committee calls for meetings with media
March 19, 2002

A judicial committee studying public access to the courts and the relationship between the media and the courts plans to hold a series of meetings with representatives of news media.

Public hearing on gender fairness in courts set for Thursday in Jackson
March 18, 2002

The Supreme Court's Task Force on Gender Fairness will conduct the first of three public hearings on Thursday, March 21, in Jackson. The hearing is scheduled for 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Mississippi Bar Center at 643 North State Street.

Mildred Chandler of Weir visits Court of Appeals
March 13, 2002

Mildred Chandler of Weir watched her son in court for the first time Wednesday when she visited the Mississippi Court of Appeals in Jackson.

MAE to honor Justice James E. Graves Jr. with award
March 8, 2002

The Mississippi Association of Educators on Monday, March 11, will honor Supreme Court Justice James E. Graves Jr. at its annual Human and Civil Rights and Scholarship Awards Banquet.

Justice McRae among officials welcoming NY firefighter to Natchez
March 6, 2002

Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Chuck McRae helped extend a hero's welcome and thanks to New York Firefighter Matt Moore Jr. during a visit to Natchez on Friday.

National drug court executive speaks in Jackson
March 5, 2002

The head of a national drug court education, training and research organization told a Jackson audience Tuesday that drug courts work and the proof is in the numbers.

Chancery Judge Jaye Bradley sends divorcing parents to counseling classes
March 1, 2002

Chancery Judge Jaye Bradley recently began ordering divorcing parents and their children in George County to attend counseling classes.

Public opinion sought on gender fairness in state courts
February 27, 2002

The Supreme Court's Gender Fairness Task Force is conducting a public opinion survey and has scheduled three public hearings to gauge public attitudes about gender fairness or bias in state courts.

Delta Emerging Leaders visit Court of Appeals
February 26, 2002

Members of Delta Emerging Leaders met with Court of Appeals Judges Tyree Irving and Leslie D. King Tuesday as part of a three-day study tour in Jackson.

Judge Backstrom announces that he will not seek re-election
February 12, 2002

Circuit Judge James W. Backstrom announced Tuesday that he will not seek re-election this year to a third term in the 19th Circuit Court District. The district is made up of Greene, George and Jackson counties.

Supreme Court sends Code of Judicial Conduct proposal to trial judges
February 8, 2002

The Mississippi Supreme Court on Friday sent a revised proposal to amend the Code of Judicial Conduct to the conferences of chancery, circuit and county court judges for comment.

Perception of gender bias lingers in state courts, surveys show
January 7, 2002

A perception of gender bias lingers in Mississippi state courts, according to surveys of judges, court staff and lawyers.