Fred L. Banks Jr., senior partner at Phelps Dunbar and former presiding justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court, was recently honored with the American Inns of Court Professionalism Award at the 2013 Judicial Conference of the Fifth Circuit in Fort Worth, Texas. Banks has practiced in the areas of commercial litigation, alternative dispute resolution, legislative and governmental relations, and appellate law at Phelps Dunbar’s Jackson office since retiring from the Mississippi Supreme Court in 2001. Prior to his appointment to the Supreme Court, he served as a circuit judge in Hinds and Yazoo counties and in the Mississippi House of Representatives, where he was chair of the Ethics Committee and a member of the House Judiciary Committee “B” as well as the Legislative Black Caucus.
Banks is a member of a number of bar associations, including the Mississippi Bar Association, Magnolia Bar Association, National Bar Association, the American Bar Association and District of Columbia Bar Association. In addition, he is a member of the national board of directors of the NAACP, Charles Clark Inn of Court and American Law Institute. He has also served on a number of boards of directors for community improvement activities.