Justice Ann H. Lamar | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Justice Ann H. Lamar

Photo courtesy Administrative Office of Courts

Photo courtesy Administrative Office of Courts

Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Ann H. Lamar of Senatobia received the Chief Justice Award on July 16 during the Mississippi Bar Convention in Destin, Fla. The award recognizes an individual whose work has significantly improved the judicial system each year. Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. presented Lamar with the award.

Justice Lamar received the honor for her 32 years of public service, including nine years on the Mississippi Supreme Court. Gov. Haley Barbour appointed her to the position on May 21, 2007, after then-presiding Justice Kay B. Cobb retired. Lamar was formally elected to serve an eight-year term in November 2008, and her term began on Jan. 1, 2009. She is the third woman to serve on the Mississippi Supreme Court.

Lamar previously served for five and a half years as judge of the 17th District Circuit Court, which is made up of Desoto, Tate, Panola, Yalobusha and Tallahatchie counties. During her time as a circuit court judge, she served the Conference of Circuit Court Judges as chairman from 2006 to 2007. Lamar also served two years as district attorney and nine years as assistant district attorney.

Before she earned a law degree, Lamar worked for two years as a court reporter in chancery court and four years as administrative assistant in the governor's Office of Education and Training. She attended Northwest Mississippi Junior College and earned a bachelor's degree in education from Delta State University in 1974 before attending the University of Mississippi School of Law, where she earned her law degree in 1982. She then opened law practice Lamar & Lamar with her husband, John Lamar, in Senatobia.

In 2008, Lamar served as co-chair of the Commission for the Study of Domestic Abuse Proceedings, which works to improve victims' access to the courts and promote understanding of domestic abuse proceedings. She is also the current chairman of the Mississippi Supreme Court's Rules Committee on Criminal Practice and Procedure. She also serves as the chairman of the Board of Governors of the Mississippi Judicial College.

The Tate County Economic Development Foundation named her Citizen of the Year in 2010, and the Mississippi Bar Foundation inducted her as a Fellow in 2011. Lamar also received the Mississippi Bar's Susie Blue Buchanan Award for commitment to the advancement of women in the field of law and the Mississippi Women Lawyers Association's Outstanding Women Lawyer Award.

Justice Lamar announced in January that she would not seek re-election and plans to retire from the court on Dec. 31, 2016.

On the award, Lamar said in a press release: "I am thankful for the many years that I have been given the opportunity to serve this state. It was an honor to receive this award. I was truly humbled by the recognition from Chief Justice Waller, one of my peers on the court. The work on the Criminal Rules Committee has been a collaborative effort by all of us who serve on that committee."

Lamar and her husband have two adult children, Vance and John "Trey" Lamar III, who works with his father at Lamar & Hannaford, P.A., and three grandchildren.

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