Griffis to become next State Court of Appeals Chief Judge

Judge T. Kenneth Griffis Jr. will become the next Chief Judge of the Mississippi Court of Appeals. Griffis will take over the leadership position from Court of Appeals Chief L. Joseph Lee, who will retire on December 31st.

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court selects the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals and 57-year-old Griffis will begin his service as the administrative head of the Mississippi Court of Appeals on January 2nd, 2019.

“Judge Griffis is a seasoned appellate judge with extensive experience who has always worked for and supported the improvement of the judiciary and the administration of justice,” said Chief Justice Waller. “I appreciate his willingness to take on the additional administrative duties of Chief Judge. He will be an outstanding leader as Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals.”

With the Dec. 31st  retirements of Chief Judge Lee and Presiding Judge Tyree Irving, Judge Griffis will become the longest-serving member of the Court of Appeals. He has been a member of the court for 16 years. He was elected in November 2002 to District 3, Position 2, and took office in January 2003. Chief Judge Lee selected him as a presiding judge on March 3, 2011. Griffis will become the sixth Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals.

“I thank Chief Justice Waller for his confidence in me in making this appointment,” said Judge Griffis. “I look forward to continuing the excellence of the Court of Appeals and working with other members of the Court as we meet our responsibility of rendering well-reasoned and timely decisions.  I am honored to serve the Court of Appeals in this capacity.”

The Court of Appeals handles cases in three-judge panels, although all 10 judges of the court vote on decisions. Presiding judges preside over the panels during oral arguments and during the internal discussion of cases.

Judge Griffis is a native of Meridian. He earned accounting and law degrees from the University of Mississippi. He attended Meridian Community College and Mississippi State University-Meridian Branch.  He was a Certified Public Accountant from 1984 through 2007.

Griffis previously served as a member of the  Mississippi Supreme Court’s Rules Advisory Committee and as chair of the Bench-Bar Committee of the Mississippi Bar.  He  also served on the Committee on Continuing Judicial Education and the Committee on Electronic Filing and Case Management Systems.  He was an adjunct professor at Mississippi College School of Law, Belhaven University, the University of Mississippi School of Law, and Meridian Community College.

Judge Griffis and his wife, Mary Helen, are the parents of five boys. They live in Ridgeland and attend Christ United Methodist Church.  Judge Griffis has served as a youth Sunday School teacher, a Cub Scout leader, and a coach for more than 80 youth sports teams, including baseball, basketball, soccer, and hockey.