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James A. Peden Jr.

Stennett Wilkinson & Peden P.A.

After graduating summa cum laude from the University of Mississippi in 1966, James Peden Jr. found himself in England pursuing post-graduate studies as a Fullbright Scholar.

But Peden eventually returned to his adopted home state of Mississippi and became a lawyer.

Now a principal with Jackson law firm Stennett, Wilkinson & Peden, the Florida native devotes a substantial percentage of his practice to zoning, planning and land use law.  Peden also has expertise in military law after proudly serving his country as a Judge Advocate for the Air National Guard.

If that’s not enough, the Gainesville, Fla. -born attorney also teaches law as an adjunct professor at the Mississippi College School of Law.

Peden’s role models are two of Mississippi’s most revered statesmen.

“William Winter was a visionary and a champion of education and good government,” said Peden, a former staff lawyer for the former governor.  “He’s always taken the high road even when doing so may be politically unpopular.”

The late Sen. John Stennis, another former employer, was a man Peden greatly admired.

“Sen. Stennis was a scholar, distinguished lawyer and judge, highly respected and influential legislator, champion of a strong defense and a man of unimpeachable integrity,” he said.

Peden considers his most significant professional accomplishment as lead counsel for the H.C. Bailey Companies, the developer of Ridgeland’s Renaissance at Colony Park.

In a highly publicized legal battle, a special exception authorizing construction of the 200 Renaissance Building to the height of 13 stories was affirmed unanimously by the Mississippi Supreme Court earlier this year.

The University of Mississippi Law School graduate also says securing approval from the City of Ridgeland for the relocation of the landmark Washington Monument for Colony Park was among his most noted legal triumphs.

Peden lists several contributions he feels he’s made to the legal community, including serving in several leadership positions in The Mississippi Bar, especially as a young lawyer; serving on the Bar’s Centennial Committee in 2006 and writing the chapter on “Lawyers at Arms” for the Centennial History; and, serving on the faculty for numerous continuing legal education seminars involving zoning or military law, including his service on the faculty of the Mississippi National Guard Judge Advocate Conference for 26 consecutive years.

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More on James A. Peden Jr.:

Age: 66

Birthplace: Gainesville, Fla.

One word to describe himself: Diligent

Donates time to: Habitat for Humanity/MetroJackson Inc.

Favorite place to travel: Washington, D.C.

Role models: Gov. William Winter and the late Sen. John C. Stennis

Favorite website: Law of the Land blog

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