Mississippi Court of Appeals Judge James D. Maxwell II of Oxford has been appointed to the Mississippi Supreme Court effective Jan. 1.
Gov. Phil Bryant announced the appointment Wednesday afternoon. Maxwell replaces former Justice David Chandler, whom Bryant recently appointed executive director of the Mississippi Department of Family and Children’s Services.
Maxwell, who lives in Oxford, has served on the Court of Appeals since 2009. Initially appointed by Gov. Haley Barbour on Feb. 2, 2009, Maxwell was elected in 2010 and re-elected in 2014.
On the Court of Appeals, Maxwell represented Northeast Mississippi’s District 1. On the Supreme Court, he will represent District 3, which encompasses Northeast Mississippi and most of Northwest Mississippi. The seat will be on the ballot in November 2016.
“I appreciate Gov. Bryant’s confidence in me and am honored to represent North Mississippi on our Supreme Court,” Maxwell said. “Having worked both sides of the bench, I know the importance of a fair and impartial judiciary. And I will work hard to continue to uphold the integrity of our state’s highest Court.”
Maxwell earned his undergraduate degree and law degree from the University of Mississippi. He practiced civil law in Jackson before returning to Oxford to serve as assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi.
As a federal prosecutor, he represented the Department of Justice in prosecutions and jury trials of public corruption and white collar fraud cases, as well as money laundering, drug trafficking, immigration, and gang-related crimes. He also handled appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Maxwell served as corporate fraud coordinator and participated on the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force..
“Judge Maxwell has seen the judicial system from all sides as an attorney in private practice, a former prosecutor and a Court of Appeals judge, and that experience makes him extremely qualified for the Mississippi Supreme Court,” Bryant said.
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