Supreme Court makes appointments to Bar Complaint Tribunal

August 18, 2017

The Mississippi Supreme Court has appointed three new members to the Bar Complaint Tribunal, and reappointed three members.

New appointees include Circuit Judge Steve S. Ratcliff III of Madison, attorney Gina B. Tompkins of Biloxi and attorney Taylor A. Heck of Senatobia.

Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. issued an order Aug. 10 reappointing Circuit Judge David B. Strong of McComb, attorney Tonya Powell Franklin of Greenville and attorney Taylor D. Buntin of Southaven. They previously served for three years on the Tribunal. The new three-year terms will conclude on Aug. 31, 2020.

Judge Ratcliff will replace Chancellor Cynthia L. Brewer of Madison County on the Tribunal. Tompkins will replace attorney Wendy C. Hollingsworth of Pascagoula, and Heck will replace attorney Debra Pace Branan of Hernando on the Tribunal.

Chief Justice Waller said in the court order that the court thanks the outgoing members “for their faithful service as members of the complaint tribunals.” Each had served six years on the Tribunal.

Members of the Complaint Tribunal hear and decide disciplinary matters arising out of 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.