You Can’t Pick Your Judge (…or Can You?) 2014 MS Judicial Elections

Normally you do not get to pick your Judge.  In fact, “judge shopping” wherein a suit is filed, you see who it’s assigned to, then dismiss and refile hoping to get a different Judge is unethical and illegal.  However, November 4, 2014, is the date that you DO have a say in which Judge will hear your case.  This is election day for the Judges that are required to run for their positions.

Kittisak/ freedigitalphotos.net

Most Judges in Mississippi take the bench via  election.  Judges run in a non-partisan capacity, meaning they are not required to pick a political party, though they can be endorsed by parties, individuals and entities.  Judge qualifications differ depending on the seat sought, with age, residency requirements and most positions requiring a law degree and practice experience, but not all.

May 9, is the qualifying deadline for non-partisan Judicial elections.  Registration is with the Secretary of State’s Office and a recent list of the those that have qualified thus far has been released.

Most Judges are running unopposed, at least for now, but a few races will be interesting.

  • On the Coast, Chancellor Neil Harris, who’s been in the news, has an opponent in local Jackson County Board Attorney, Paula Yancey.
  • The 13th Chancery District will have a contested election.  Current Chancellor, Joe Dale Walker has some controversy surrounding a recent ruling, as noted here, and faces at least 2 opponents if he chooses to seek re-election. Gerald Martin and Deborah Kennedy have both qualified to run for this seat.   The 13th District serves Covington, Jefferson Davis, Lawrence, Simpson and Smith counties.
  • Close to home, current Chancellor Janace Harvey-Goree has not yet qualified to run, though attorney Robert G. Clark, III, of Lexington, MS has.   Judge Goree sits over Holmes, Yazoo, Madison and Leake counties.
  • Also, as of current, no Chancellors in Rankin or Hinds counties have opponents.

2014 Candidate Qualifying List

Matthew Thompson is a Family Law Attorney, with a statewide practice, reminding you that your vote counts.

Follow the blog: #BowTieLawyer Visit the website: #Thompson Law Firm  You may also contact Matthew with your family law case or question at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms

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