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Bar News - April 18, 2008

Mississippi Supreme Court Justice to Keynote Bar Foundation Dinner

Court Justice Jess H. Dickinson
Associate Justice Jess H. Dickinson of the Mississippi Supreme Court will be the keynote speaker for the NH Bar Foundationís annual dinner on May 8, 2008, at C.R. Sparks in Bedford. Justice Dickinson is a charter member of the Mississippi Access to Justice Commission and serves as the MS Supreme Court liaison to organizations providing legal services to the poor. Mississippi is five times the size of New Hampshire with 2.5 times as many people.

In his address, Justice Dickinson plans to answer his self-imposed question, "Can a Southern Judge Take Pride in New Hampshire?"

Like New Hampshire, Mississippi recently established an Access to Justice Commission. Justice Dickinsonís announcement of the MS Commission essentially paraphrases the New Hampshire Bar Foundationís mission statement: "This commissionís overriding objective is to make sure that every citizen of this state, regardless of economic status, has reasonable access to justice and that no one is excluded because they donít have the money to hire an attorney."

A 1982 graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Law, Justice Dickinson practiced law for one year in Jackson and twenty years in Gulfport, Mississippiís two largest cities. He served as a Special Circuit Judge for a year prior to beginning his eight-year term on the Supreme Court in January 2004.

During his first year on the Supreme Court, Justice Dickinson was awarded the "Chief Justice Award" for his work in advancing the administration of justice, and he has been appointed to the MS Supreme Courtís Rules Committee for each of the past three years.

On a personal note, Justice Dickinson is an avid photographer and golfer, and plays 14 different instruments, including the hammered dulcimer, piano, guitar, trumpet, drums, and Irish low whistle. Heís a student of colonial history and serves as adjunct faculty at the University of Mississippi School of Law.

"Justice Dickinson comes highly recommended as an engaging and knowledgeable speaker and we look forward to welcoming him and his wife, Janet, to the New Hampshire Bar Foundationís Annual Dinner," said David Snyder, executive director.

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