Come January, forty-nine new Justice Court judges will take office in Mississippi.
The group recently finished two weeks of intensive training at the Mississippi Judicial College’s training program and are now ready for their new post.
On the first day of the 80-hour training course, Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Mike Randolph and Court of Appeals Chief Judge Donna Barnes spoke to the new judges.
“The perception of justice is forged out of contact with Justice Court judges,” Barnes said.
While Barnes focused on the public’s perception of justice, Randolph’s words of wisdom revolved around the idea of treating everyone with fairness and dignity.
“Treat them the way you would like to be treated if you were on the other side,” Randolph said. “That’s what everyone has to realize: when they come to your court, they are getting a fair deal.”
Randolph also urged the class to keep cases inside the courtroom as people who have a case before the court may try and talk about it when they see a judge outside of work.
“Don’t get involved in a conversation [about court cases],” Randolph said.
Now that the group has completed the training program and passed the competency examination, they will be required to complete an annual 24 hours of continuing education courses.
The new judges are:
Whitney Adams and Bo Agnew, Rankin County;
Lisa Bell, Sunflower County;
Shirley Blakley, Noxubee County;
Jeremy Blaylock, Alcorn County;
Teresa Bozeman, Copiah County;
Benjamin Breland, Pearl River County;
Fulton Brewer, Pike County;
Cathy Brittenum, Marshall County;
Shannon Busby, Greene County;
Justin Chaney and Scott Round, Newton County;
Brandon Davis and Sarah Stevens, Monroe County;
Phyllis Dye, Marilyn Reed, and Tony Rogers, Lee County;
Paul Earley II, Ondray Harris, Sr., and Buck Roberts, Lauderdale County;
David Easterling, Smith County;
Tinesha Erve-Earnest, Carroll County;
Grant Hedgepeth, Jones County;
Derek Hopson, Sr., Coahoma County;
Trent Howell, Yalobusha County;
Benny Jackson, Tippah County;
Kimi Kitchens and Trent Moore, Prentiss County;
Kenneth Lewis, Hinds County;
Eileen Maher and Audrey Minor, Adams County;
Adam McCurdy, Scott County;
Eric Moran and Brian Necaise, Hancock County;
Mareesha Odom, Claiborne County;
Sheila Osgood, Jackson County;
Nick Patano, Harrison County;
Paul Payne, Neshoba County;
Johnny Pope, Leake County;
Steve Ross, Tallahatchie County;
Brandon Rowell. Marion County;
Charles Savell, Simpson County;
Martin Seib, George County;
Carolyn Shead, Tate County;
Ian Smith, Lincoln County;
Ralph Smith, Wayne County;
Zachary Vaughn, Forrest County;
Larry Wallace, Franklin County;
Marcus Walton, Jefferson County.