Tag Archives: chancellor

14th District Chancery Race is On! Starkville, Columbus, Houston, Okolona and more…

The State of Mississippi is divided into twenty Chancery Court districts. The Fourteenth Chancery Court District includes Chickasaw, Clay, Lowndes, Noxubee, Oktibbeha and Webster Counties.


There are three chancellors for the 14th district and all of them are retiring. Today’s post is about the Honorable Kenneth Burns‘ position. Judge Burns, first elected in 2003, has set a high standard for the future Judge to follow in his robe, er…footsteps.

So far, five candidates have qualified,  guaranteeing a runoff.

Elizabeth Fox Ausbern 

This candidate has been practicing law since 1993, the majority of which has been devoted to the area of chancery law. Her office is in Houston, MS.

In my personal life, I have been faced with divorce and now the death of someone I love dearly. I know my personal experiences will equip me to empathize with those individuals before the court.

The voting area will encompass Chickasaw and Webster counties and the precincts of South Adaton, South Longview, South Starkville, West Starkville, Sturgis/North Bradley, Self Creek:Double Springs, Center Gove/ North and Craig Springs/ South of Oktibbeha County.

Gene Barton

Barton, practicing for over 40 years, is from Okolona, MS. He has a general practice and approximately half of which is family law related.

Todd Bennett 

Practicing since 2007, Bennett handles domestic and real estate cases in Houston, MS and the surrounding area. These are matters heard in Chancery Court.

On January 5th, I qualified with the MS Secretary of State’s office to be a candidate for Chancery Judge 14th District, Place 1… Since my practice started in 2007, I have almost exclusively practiced in the areas covered by the Chancery Court… I only ask three things of those who read this. First, pray for me as I embark on this new adventure, no matter the results. Second, please share this post with your family and friends, especially those that will vote for Place 1. Third, please consider voting on November 6th for me to be your next Chancery Judge 14th District, Place 1.

Rodney Faver 

Faver is a partner in the law firm of Ward, Rogers & Faver, PLLC located in… Starkville, Mississippi. His firm provides a broad range of services to clients… with a special emphasis in Litigation, Criminal Defense, Personal Injury and Divorce cases.

Rodney P. Faver has over 27 years of trial experience in both Mississippi and Florida. Mr. Faver has dedicated his diverse legal career to the pursuit of justice for the people he represents, and is dedicated to the highest standards of excellence and integrity.

Lee Ann Turner 

Turner devotes most of her practice to family law and other chancery court matters at The Winfield Law Firm, P.A., in Starkville, MS. Since 2009 she has been appointed as a Special Master for commitments and Youth Court Referee for Oktibbeha County, served on dozens of cases as a Guardian Ad Litem to protect children’s interests in Chancery Court matters, is the Starkville School District’s Student Disciplinary Hearing Officer, and serves on the Board of Directors for Safe Haven, a domestic violence shelter located in Columbus.  Lee Ann is frequently asked to speak at continuing legal education seminars (CLE’s) and most recently gave a presentation on ethics at the Mississippi Judicial College’s Youth Court Judges’ Fall 2017 training seminar.   Lee Ann was also selected as one of Mississippi’s 50 Leading Business Women for the class of 2009 by the Mississippi Business Journal.

J.D. in 1996 from the University of Alabama School of Law,  Editor-in-Chief of the Law and Psychology Review, a member of the Bench and Bar Legal Honor Society, Phi Delta Phi, and Managing Editor of the Law School newspaper.

Before entering private practice in 2003, Lee Ann spent nearly 6 years as the Staff Attorney for the 14th District Chancery Court of the State of Mississippi, working for Chancellors Dorothy W. Colom, Kenneth M. Burns, Robert L. Lancaster, James S. Gore, and Woodrow W. Brand.

The Candidate bios are piecemealed together by me. Information regarding the candidates was not always easily ascertainable. I provided links to their FaceBook pages, personal firm pages or the source of the information quoted above.

Matthew Thompson is a Chancery Court practitioner and will continue to update the Chancery judge races throughout this campaign season.


Rankin Chancery Judicial Election

Again?!? It seems there is a Judicial race every year. Normally, this is not the case, but the legislature saw fit to create new judicial positions and with the untimely passing of a sitting Chancellor, another election is around the corner.

I’m not sure why a graduation cap is in this graphic.

Rankin County Mississippi will host a contested Chancery Judge election this fall. Contested in the nicest sense of the word!

Running as the incumbent is John McLaurin.

John McLaurin was selected by Governor Bryant to fill the vacancy left by Judge Dan Fairly’s passing. Judge McLaurin served as the Family Master for Rankin County since 2007, hearing the exact type of cases he now hears as a full-time Chancellor.

Judge McLaurin “has extensive legal experience with heavy emphasis in the chancery court system. He is a lifelong resident of Rankin County…” said Bryant.

McLaurin holds a bachelors degree from Vanderbilt University and graduated from the University of Mississippi School of Law. Prior to taking the bench, he practiced law at McLaurin & McLaurin since 1976.

McLaurin is a lifelong member of Brandon First United Methodist Church. He and his wife, the late Carol Noel McLaurin, were married for 33 years. They have two adult children and two granddaughters. http://www.governorbryant.com/gov-bryant-appoints-john-mclaurin-jr-as-rankin-county-chancery-judge/

* As a point of interest, McLaurin is the great-great nephew of the former Governor of Mississippi, and U.S. Senator, Anselm McLaurin, and is related to the late Robin Williams.

Running as the challenger is James “Jim” Nix.

Jim has practiced law for over 35 years and same was devoted almost exclusively to matters which are within the substantive jurisdiction of the Chancery Court.

You may remember attorney Nix from the last contested Rankin County Chancery race.

Neither candidate has really cranked up their political machines. However, this will be the most civil and professional contested race, ever, in Mississippi.

Matthew Thompson is a Mississippi Family Law Attorney and wishes both candidates could win.

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

New Judges are Coming… 11th, 20th, & 4th Districts; The Scoop on the Candidates.

Family Law is not necessarily full of exciting news. Sure, we have juicy stories of debauchery, but that has occurred since man became upright…

Illustration by Barbara Kelley 

But, getting 3 new Judge positions is exciting!

Governor Bryant signed into law a bill that creates 3 new judges to hear divorce, custody, child support, paternity, will, estate and land matters, among other limited areas of the law.

These 3 new judges will be over districts that have been in much demand for another Judge.

District 11 is getting a 3rd Judge. District 11 covers Madison, Leake, Holmes and Yazoo counties. The Current Judges are Cynthia Brewer and Robert Clark, III.

The candidate for this seat is James Walker (click for website). Walker is the current Family Master for the District, hearing Emergencies,Temporary Hearings and the types of matters the current Chancellors hear. Walker is the former staff attorney for Judge Cynthia Brewer and former staff attorney for DHS.  Walker is the definite front-runner (FB).

District 20 covers Rankin County and will likewise be getting a 3rd Judge.  The current Judge is John Grant.  There is a vacancy for the 2nd Chancellor due to the untimely passing of Judge Dan Fairly– which will be filled, most likely, by appointment and special election.

Craig Slay is the only candidate that has qualified for the new position, but the rumor mill has at least 4 other candidates in the mix. Slay is the Board Attorney for the  Rankin County Board of Supervisors and has practiced law for nearly 20 years. At the time of this post Slay’s social media presence was not readily apparent.

Prentiss Grant is one of those candidates. He has announced publicly to be in the running for Rankin Chancery Judge, though not listed yet on the Secretary of State’s website.  P. Grant has practiced for over 25 years and handled many Chancery Court cases, among criminal and personal injury areas of practice as well.

This will be an exciting race to watch!

District 4 covers Amite, Franklin, Pike and Walthall counties and will be getting a much needed second Chancellor.

Conrad Mord is the only candidate to toss his hat in the ring so far. Mord has practiced in the district for 40 years and currently serves as the Youth Court Referee, a.k.a. Youth Court Judge. The current lone Chancellor is Debbra Halford.

Stay tuned for all of your Family Law Judge news.  This election coverage will be updated as more candidates qualify, though not so much coverage as to be soul-crushing to the casual reader!

Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney and is interested in the election process and the candidates that will decide critical issues for Families in Mississippi.

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer Visit the website: Thompson Law Firm

You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at 

(601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms.

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