Locals earn State Supreme Court appointments
Published 7:12 am Wednesday, July 19, 2023
Will serve on Access to Justice Commission
The Mississippi Supreme Court recently appointed four new members to the Access to Justice Commission and reappointed three members.
New members are Dan Hall of Madison, Mary Purvis of Jackson, Tunica County Justice Court Judge Richard W. “Wes” Ryals II of Tunica and Catherine Servati of Oxford. Reappointed to the commission are Presiding Justice Leslie D. King of Greenville, retired Chancellor Denise Owens of Terry and Professor David Calder of Oxford.
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Chief Justice Mike Randolph signed the appointments order on June 21. Appointees’ three-year terms will end June 30, 2026.
The quarterly meeting of the Access to Justice Commission is scheduled for Aug. 15 at 10 a.m. at the Gartin Justice Building in Jackson.
The Mississippi Supreme Court created the Access to Justice Commission in June 2006. The Commission works to develop a unified strategy to improve access to justice in civil legal proceedings for the poor in Mississippi.
The commission is tasked with investigating the need for civil legal services to the poor and evaluating, developing and recommending policies, programs and initiatives that will assist the judiciary in meeting needs for civil legal services to the poor.
Servati serves as a law clerk for U.S. Magistrate Judge David Sanders of the Northern District of Mississippi. She previously served in the same position for U.S. Magistrate Judge Roy Percy. She also was an adjunct professor of legal research at the University of Mississippi School of Law. Before joining the staff of the federal judiciary, she practiced law with the firm of Webb Sanders & Williams in Tupelo.
She earned a bachelor of arts, magna cum laude, in English from the University of Mississippi and a Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, from the University of Mississippi School of Law. As a law student, she worked with the Housing Clinic, helping low-income clients with landlord-tenant issues, and with the Mississippi Innocence Project.
Calder is a clinical professor of law and director of the Child Advocacy Clinic at the University of Mississippi School of Law. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in religious studies from Mississippi College and a Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi School of Law. He served as law clerk for U.S. Magistrate Judge Jerry A. Davis for two years before entering private practice.
He directed the Fair Housing Clinical Program at the University of Mississippi School of Law from 1994 to 1996, and he served as a part-time visiting clinical professor in the Civil Legal Clinic before becoming a full-time faculty member.