Former presiding justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court and Phelps Dunbar, LLP senior partner Fred Banks was recently honored by the Mississippi Center for Justice with its “Champion of Justice” award for 2013. Banks has spent much of his legal career dedicated to civil rights and justice and was a member of the legal team that implemented landmark civil rights legislation and desegregated public schools in Mississippi. From 1976-1985, Banks served in the Mississippi House of Representatives, where he was chair of the Ethics Committee, as well as a member of the Judiciary Committee and the Legislative Black Caucus. He then served as a circuit judge in Hinds and Yazoo counties, and in 1991 was appointed to the Mississippi Supreme Court. In 2001, Banks retired from his position as presiding justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court and joined Phelps Dunbar’s Jackson office.
Banks currently practices in the area of commercial litigation, alternative dispute resolution, legislative and governmental relations, and appellate law. He has been recognized by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, The Best Lawyers in America and Mid-South Super Lawyers. He also currently serves as legal chair on the NAACP’s national Board of Directors.