Mississippi Supreme Court Presiding Justice George C. Carlson Jr. of Batesville is the recipient of the 2012 Chief Justice Award. The annual award recognizes individuals whose work improves the judicial system.
Carlson was honored for his 30 years of public service, including 11 years on the Supreme Court and 19 years as 17th District Circuit Judge, and for his leadership. Presiding Justice Carlson chairs the Supreme Court Rules Committee on Civil Practice and Procedure and the Mississippi Model Jury Instructions Commission. He became a presiding justice and a member of the court’s Executive Committee in 2009.
It was Carlson’s second time to receive the Chief Justice Award. He shared the award with several other recipients in 2003.
Carlson was appointed to a vacancy on the Supreme Court Nov. 1, 2001. He has announced that he will retire in January 2013 at the end of his term.
He previously served for 19 years as a circuit judge for the 17th Circuit District of DeSoto, Panola, Tallahatchie, Tate and Yalobusha counties. He served as vice-chair of the Mississippi Circuit Judges Conference in 1998-1999 and chair of the Conference in 1999-2000.
Carlson served as a member on the Governor’s Criminal Justice Task Force in 1991, and as a member of the Commission on the Courts in the 21st Century 1992-1993. He served as a member of the Professionalism Committee of the Mississippi Bar 1998-1999, and as a member of the Law School Professionalism Program Task Force 1998-1999.
Carlson is a member and past president of the Panola County Bar Association, and a member and past president of the William C. Keady American Inns of Court. He is a Fellow of the Mississippi Bar Foundation. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the American Judges Association, the Mississippi Bar, and the Lamar Order of the University of Mississippi School of Law.
Carlson is a 1964 graduate of South Panola High School. Outside the court, he is probably best known as the radio play-by-play announcer for the South Panola Tigers.
He earned a bachelor of science degree from Mississippi State University in 1969, and a law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1972. Carlson graduated from the National Judicial College, University of Nevada, Reno, in October 1982.
An elder in the Batesville Presbyterian Church, he is married to Jane Ivy Russel Carlson. They have two children and three grandchildren.