Mississippi State Medical Association (MSMA) executive director Charmain Kanosky announced that Neely C. Carlton has joined the MSMA staff. Neely, of Greenville, began her career at the Mississippi Supreme Court while clerking for Justice Edwin Lloyd Pittman. She returned home to Greenville in 1995 to open a law firm. That same year and at the age of 25, Neely became the youngest person ever elected to the Mississippi State Senate.
Neely served as vice chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and chair of the Interstate and Federal Cooperation Committee. As a member of the Senate Conference Committee on Medical Tort Reform in 2002, Neely championed new laws, which laid the foundation for the sweeping changes in the Mississippi legal system that followed in 2004.
After starting a family in 2005, Neely made the decision not to seek re-election to the Senate. She and her family moved to Jackson in 2003 where Neely accepted a job at Phelps Dunbar, LLP, in the firm’s business law section. This venture was cut short by an offer from Gov. Haley Barbour, who asked Neely to join his staff when he took office in Jan. 2004 as counsel to the governor and legislative liaison for his administration. Beginning in 2008, she transferred to another branch of the administration as chief of staff for the commissioner of the Department of Public Safety.