Three judges and four attorneys - one from Clarksdale - have been reappointed to serve on the Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules, and one new judge has been appointed.
Leflore County Court Judge Kevin Adams of Greenwood is the new appointee to the Advisory Committee, replacing Rankin County Court Judge Kent McDaniel, who retired Sept. 30.
Those reappointed to the Advisory Committee are Court of Appeals Presiding Judge Jack L. Wilson of Madison, Circuit Judge W. Ashley Hines of Greenville and Chancellor Carter Bise of Gulfport as well as attorneys Jimmy B. Wilkins of Jackson, Justin T. Cook of Jackson, Cynthia I. Mitchell of Clarksdale and Edward J. Currie Jr. of Jackson.
Chief Justice Mike Randolph signed the appointments order Nov. 17 on behalf of the unanimous Supreme Court. Judge Adams’ term began Nov. 1. New three-year terms for the reappointed members will begin on Jan.1, 2022.
The Advisory Committee on Rules advises the Supreme Court on needs for changes in procedural rules that govern the handling of matters in the courts of the state.
The 15-member committee includes two representatives each from the Conference of Chancery Judges, the Conference of Circuit Judges, the Mississippi Bar, the Mississippi Association for Justice and the Mississippi Defense Lawyers Association, and one member each from the Conference of County Court Judges, the Mississippi College School of Law, the University of Mississippi School of Law, the Mississippi Prosecutors Association and the Mississippi Public Defenders Association.
Judge Adams, who previously served on the Committee on Continuing Judicial Education, was nominated to the Advisory Committee on Rules by the Conference of County Court Judges. He has served as County Court Judge of Leflore County since April 2008. He is also the Youth Court Judge for Leflore County. Before his appointment to the bench, he was Chancery Court Administrator for the Seventh Chancery District, and he was president of the Mississippi Court Administrators Association. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Millsaps College, and his Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi School of Law.
Mitchell, renominated by the Mississippi Association for Justice, is of counsel with the law firm of Merkel & Cocke, P.A. Her practice, spanning almost 40 years, includes personal injury, commercial litigation and medical malpractice. She is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, all state and federal courts of Mississippi, the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas, the Western District of Tennessee, and the Fifth and Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. She served as president, vice president, treasurer and secretary of the Mississippi Association for Justice, was chair of the Amicus Committee of the Mississippi Association for Justice, and is a member of the American Association of Justice. She was president of the Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project and a longtime MVLP Board member. She served on the Complaint Tribunal of the Mississippi Bar and on the Bar’s Professionalism Committee. She was chair of the Bar’s Mentoring Subcommittee, and served on the Women in the Profession Committee. She is a Fellow of the Mississippi Bar Foundation. She received the Mississippi Bar’s Lawyer Citizenship Award in 2012. She was president of the Coahoma County Bar Association. She serves on the Board of Trustees of Coahoma Community College and the Board of Directors of Clarksdale Animal Rescue Effort and Shelter. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Indiana University, graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She earned a law degree from Harvard University Law School, graduating cum laude.
Judge Wilson was renominated to the Advisory Committee on Rules by Court of Appeals Chief Judge Donna M. Barnes. Judge Wilson was appointed to the Court of Appeals on July 1, 2015, and was elected in November 2016 to an eight-year term in Court of Appeals District 3, Position 1. He previously served as deputy counsel and later chief counsel to Gov. Phil Bryant. He practiced law with the firm of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP in Jackson, and Mayer Brown LLP in Washington, D.C. Judge Wilson grew up in Jackson and Tupelo. He attended the University of Memphis, earned a Bachelor of Accountancy from the University of Mississippi, and received a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. After law school, he clerked for Judge Gerald Bard Tjoflat of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
Judge Hines, renominated by the Conference of Circuit Judges, has served as chairman of the Advisory Committee on Rules for the past six years. He has served as a judge of the Fourth Circuit Court since January 1996. The district includes Leflore, Sunflower and Washington counties. He was a Scoutmaster for 15 years. He is a Worship Leader at St. James’ Episcopal Church, where he also served as Junior Warden and Senior Warden. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Mississippi and a Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi School of Law.
Judge Bise, renominated to the Advisory Committee by the Conference of Chancery Court Judges, has served as a chancellor of the Eighth Chancery Court since January 2002. The Eighth Chancery includes Harrison, Hancock and Stone counties. He practiced law on the Gulf Coast for 20 years before he took the bench. He served twice as president of the Harrison County Young Lawyers, and on the boards of Lynn Meadows Discovery Center, Harrison County Habitat for Humanity, and South Mississippi AIDS Task Force. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Belhaven College, now Belhaven University, and a law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law.
Wilkins, renominated to the Advisory Committee by the Mississippi Bar, is a member of the Watkins and Eager law firm in Jackson. His practice includes tort law defense, product liability, premises litigation and personal injury litigation. He is a member of the Mississippi Bar, Magnolia Bar Association, Magnolia Bar Association, the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel and the Defense Research Institute. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in political science, summa cum laude, from Alcorn State University and a Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Tulane University Law School. He served as a law clerk for U.S. District Judge William H. Barbour Jr. of the Southern District of Mississippi 1997-1998.
Cook, renominated by the Mississippi Public Defenders Association, has been an assistant state defender in the Mississippi Office of the State Public Defender for more than 10 years. He previously served for three and a half years as a staff attorney in the Mississippi Office of Indigent Appeals. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from the College of Charleston and a Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi School of Law.
Currie, renominated by the Mississippi Defense Lawyers Association, is a partner in the firm of Currie Johnson & Myers. He has practiced law for 45 years. His practice covers a range of insurance defense matters. He taught as an adjunct professor for eight years at Mississippi College School of Law and served on the faculties of the International Association of Defense and Corporate Counsel Trial Academy, the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, and trial academies of the Mississippi Defense Lawyers Association. Currie is former president of the Mississippi Defense Lawyers Association, a former member of the Board of Directors of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, former president and a founding regent of the American College of Coverage Counsel, a member of the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance, and a charter member of the Insurance Litigation Institute of America. He is a member of the American Law Institute, the American Board of Trial Advocates and the International Association of Defense Counsel. He is a former member of the Mississippi Board of Bar Commissioners and former chairman of the Mississippi Bar’s General Practice/Litigation Section. He is former president of the Mississippi Chapter of the Federal Bar Association. He is a fellow of Litigation Counsel of America and the Mississippi Bar Foundation. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Mississippi and a Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi School of Law.