Category Archives: Opinion

Happy Birthday! Donate to Mississippi Legal Services

In lieu of birthday presents this year, I’m asking that you consider making a donation to Mississippi Center for Legal Services Corporation.

Legal Services afforded me my first legal “job!” The summer of my first year of law school I volunteered with them. I was assigned to work with an amazing attorney, Lula Anderson.

Attorney Anderson was one of the contract family law attorneys at the time and I heard Irreconcilable Differences Divorce 101 more times than I could count that Summer. Due to that experience it helped me get a paying clerkship with the family law firm Chinn & Associates, paving the way for Thompson Law Firm.

I’ve chosen this nonprofit because their mission means a lot to me. Legal Service’s attorneys represent low income families, pro bono, in Mississippi that need civil representation.

A lot of the great people I worked with are still there, including; Tara Bryant Walker, Richard Hitt, and Lindia Robinson just to name a few.

Since establishing my own firm, I have continued to volunteer with Legal Services. I now serve on the Board of Directors and routinely speak at Continuing Legal Education seminars for Legal Services. I’ll be presenting a Family Law Update on July 27 in Hattiesburg.

I hope you’ll consider contributing as a way to celebrate with me. Every little bit will help the goal.

This link goes to the Facebook donation page.

331197450751450/331197460751449/https://www.facebook.com/donate/

No Facebook? Donate directly here.

Matthew Thompson is a Mississippi Family Law attorney and Board member with Mississippi Center for Legal Services.

Careful of Your Online Footprint…

What goes on the internet stays on the internet!

Flim Flam – Steve Robertson

I recently read the book Flim Flam. One theme that stuck out was that your activities through electronic devices leaves a footprint that can be traced back to you.

This is a good lesson for persons maneuvering a family law matter. Your digital footprint will lead back to you.

Hillary Clinton and Tom Brady know this and you should too.

Just like in real life, your mother told you (or divorce attorney) not to go places you don’t need to go. Well, don’t go there electronically either.

Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney in Mississippi cautioning you that your digital footprint may lead straight back to you.

(601)850-8000

http://www.BowTieLawyer.ms

The Race is ON! Electing Judges Mississippi style.

In Mississippi we pick our judges like we pick class favorites. The winner is whoever gets the most votes. The qualifying deadline passed, just minutes ago, and below are your candidates.

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This post is focused on certain Family Law Judge races primarily, because that is what I primarily do. I will expound on other judicial races in future posts. This link will take you to all of the candidates.

Races to Watch.

HINDS COUNTY

Chancery Court Judge Sub 5-1

Dewayne Thomas 

Unopposed. Congratulations Judge Thomas.

Chancery Court Judge Sub 5-2

Patricia Wise – Current Chancellor – Withdrawn

The rumor mill had her retiring effective the end of this year and that appears true as she is not listed among the candidates.

Reginald Harrion 

Qualified early and is in it to win it.

Crystal Wise Martin

Recently qualified. Interestingly, this is Judge Wise’s daughter. She was technically running against her mother for a few weeks.

Chancery Court Judge Sub 5-3

Denise Owens 

Unopposed. The current Senior Chancellor is signing  up for 4 more years. Congratulations Judge Owens

Chancery Court Judge Sub 5-4

Steven P. Nixon 

Qualified early and was hoping to be the only candidate in the field. However, three additional candidates qualified to run for this spot this week. This is an Open seat due to Judge Singletary’s announced retirement.

Tiffany Grove

Qualified this week.

Monique Brown-Barrett

Qualified this week.

Ottawa Carter, Jr. 

Qualified this week.

RANKIN COUNTY

Chancery Court Judge 20, 1

John C. McLaurin, Jr. 

Unopposed. Congratulations Judge McLaurin.

Chancery Court Judge 20, 1

Tamekia Cooper Bennett

Mel Coxwell

Troy Odom

Place 2 is the race to watch in Rankin. Judicial stalwart John Grant is retiring.

Chancery Court Judge 20, 3

Haydn J. Roberts 

Unopposed. Congratulations Judge Roberts

LAUDERDALE COUNTY

Chancery Court Judge 12 – 1 (includes other areas)

Charles E. “Charlie” Smith
Frances Smith Stephenson 

This should be a tight race. This is an open seat due to Judge Mason’s retirement. The winner will have big shoes to fill with Mason’s retirement, but will have perhaps the best asset possible across the hall for all things Chancery, their colleague Judge Larry Primeaux.

LEFLORE COUNTY

Chancery Court Judge 7, Sub 7-2 (includes additional Delta counties)

Katherine Tackett Mills 
Willie J. Perkins, Sr. 
Richard W. Ryals, II

This is an open seat due to Judge Barnwell’s retirement.

SIMPSON COUNTY

Chancery Court Judge 13, 1

David Shoemake

Allen Buffington

Judge Shoemake had an opponent early on who withdrew to run for Andy Gipson’s position once Gipson was elevated (removed) from the legislature. Buffington is a familiar name, but it is NOT the previous Judge Buffington, that was Larry. This will be an interesting race to watch. Shoemake has some weak spots…

THE COAST

Chancery Court Judge 8, 3

Margaret Alfonso 
Diane Herman Ellis
Sanford R. (Sandy) Steckler

This race is exciting because of the candidates. Judge Steckler is the incumbent. Judge Alfonso is a former Chancellor who left Chancery for Youth Court (County Court) and is now running. This makes a very recent former Chancellor against a current Chancellor and they actually served together.

Attorney Ellis, a practitioner, has some acclaim for a case of first impression in Mississippi that ultimately made law that a child born of the marriage, of a same-sex marriage is of the marriage, even though genetic material may have come from a different source.

There are other hotly contested races in Starkville, Hattiesburg, the Coast and other judicial positions. Stay tuned for the 411!

Matthew Thompson is a lawyer and will likely run for judge in 15-25 years. It’s never too early to start campaigning!