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Coleman enters Northern District MSSC race

Defense attorney Josiah Coleman of Toccopola announced Wednesday afternoon that he has qualified to run for the Mississippi Supreme Court seat being vacated by Presiding Justice George C. Carlson Jr.

The seat is one of three in the Northern District. Coleman, whose grandfather J.P. Coleman served as governor, joins Batesville lawyer Flip Phillips and the Stennis Institute’s Lydia Quarles in the race.

Here’s a press release Coleman sent.

Mississippi defense attorney Josiah Dennis Coleman of Toccopola announced today that he will be a candidate for the Mississippi Supreme Court; District 3, Place 3.  He has qualified with the Secretary of State’s Office.
 
“The principles of our democratic and constitutional form of government demand the careful safeguarding of liberty.  My campaign for Supreme Court will be about legal integrity,” stated Coleman.  He added, “I believe appellate judges should not act to make public policy as though they were members of the legislative branch of the government.  Rather, the job of our courts is to fairly apply properly enacted law to the facts of the cases before them.”
 
“Mississippi’s courts must be impartial and consistent in reviewing cases, as it heavily impacts the people in our state,” continued Coleman.  “As a Supreme Court Justice, I will ensure that our laws protect our families and businesses and that Mississippi is a place where fair and swift justice prevail, so as to not threaten the life, liberty, and property of the people.  By upholding the values of due process and submitting to the law, I want to prevent unnecessary multiplication of expense and effort to litigate disputes in Mississippi.”
 
Coleman has a family history of public service, as he is the son of Mississippi Court of Appeals Judge Thomas A. Coleman and the grandson of Governor and Fifth Circuit Judge J.P. Coleman.  In addition, his mother, Dr. Frances Coleman, dedicated 30 years to instructing Mississippi’s students as a public school teacher in Choctaw County.  
 
Over the last 10 to 15 years, many people in Mississippi have devoted themselves to making sure that Mississippi’s courts are fair and impartial, and Coleman, as a Supreme Court Justice, will act with diligence and impartiality to ensure their work continues to last.
 
“I am running for this position because I believe in the rights that all Mississippians have before the courts of this state, and my dedication to ensuring those rights, equipped with the skills and gifts to serve our state, makes me the ideal candidate for the Supreme Court,” Coleman said.  
 
Coleman grew up on his grandfather’s farm where he was first introduced to hard work and perseverance, leading him to graduate valedictorian from Ackerman High School.  He attended The University of Mississippi, where he graduated cum laude and received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Philosophy in 1995. Upon graduation, he worked for the Mississippi Secretary of State.  Later he attended and graduated from The University of Mississippi School of Law, where he served as Treasurer of the Moot Court Board.
 
After graduating from law school in 1999, Coleman clerked for United States Magistrate Judge Allan Alexander.  Following his clerkship, Coleman entered private practice.  His practice has emphasized defense litigation, including the defense of physicians, hospitals, businesses and individuals throughout Mississippi.  He currently works for the Oxford firm of Hickman, Goza, & Spragins.
 
Coleman is a member of the Mississippi Bar Association, the Mississippi Defense Lawyers Association, Lafayette County Bar Association, American Inns of Court, Pontotoc County Firefighters Association and has been admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, all United States District Courts in the state and all State Courts in Mississippi. 
 
He resides in Toccopola in Pontotoc County where he is an active volunteer firefighter and a Deacon at College Hill Presbyterian Church in Oxford.  Coleman is married to the former Ashleigh Allison Burke of Columbia, South Carolina and they happily await the arrival of their first child in April
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