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Hazlehurst attorney appointed to Ethics Commission

James D. Shannon

Attorney James D. Shannon of Hazlehurst has been appointed to the Mississippi Ethics Commission.

Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice James W. Smith Jr. in an order signed Oct. 31 appointed Shannon to a one-year unexpired term on the Ethics Commission. The term will begin immediately and will conclude Nov. 14, 2008.

Shannon will serve out the term of Jim Ingram of Madison, who has stepped down from the Ethics Commission.

Chief Justice Smith in announcing the appointment said, “Jim Shannon is recognized as a premier trial lawyer with exceptional talent in the courtroom. He is noted for his ethical and conscientious work habits.  His integrity and character are beyond reproach.   I have a great amount of confidence in Mr. Shannon in this appointment.”

Shannon said, “I’m pleased that Chief Justice Smith has the confidence in me that he has, and I hope to do a good job for the citizens of the state of Mississippi.”

Shannon, 60, serves as Hazlehurst Municipal Court Judge and attorney for the Copiah County Board of Supervisors. In private law practice, his firm  primarily represents personal injury plaintiffs. He has participated in cases all over the nation, as well as in the Virgin Islands and Venezuela. He is licensed to practice in all state and federal courts in Mississippi as well as the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Shannon was born in Nashville, Tenn. As the son of a career Army officer, he spent his childhood abroad, graduating from high school in Japan. He earned his Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Arts degrees from Mississippi College. From 1969 through 1971, he served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam as a First Lieutenant with the 101st Airborne Division. He earned his Juris Doctor degree in 1977 from the University of Mississippi School of Law.

Chief Justice Smith also commended Ingram’s public service career.

“I want to express my deep appreciation to Jim Ingram for his many years of service on the Ethics Commission. Mississippi  is indebted to Mr. Ingram for all of his public service.  He has a  tremendous record,  having served this sate as Commissioner of Public Safety under former Gov. Kirk Fordice. His service with the FBI, including service here in Mississippi during some tumultuous times, was exemplary.”

Chief Justice Smith appointed Ingram to the Ethics Commission in November 2004. Ingram previously served on the Ethics Commission from  January 2000 until November 2003 by appointment of Gov. Fordice.

The Chief Justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court appoints two of the eight members of the Ethics Commission. Chief Justice Smith on Oct. 22 also appointed attorney Michael R. Cooper, 38, of Madison for a four-year term that will begin  Nov. 15. Cooper will take the position on the Ethics Commission held by Gene Warr of Gulfport, whose term expires Nov. 14.

Cooper is general counsel for The Molpus Woodlands Group, LLC and Molpus Timberlands Management, LLC. He is president of the Mississippi Corporate Counsel Association and is a member of the American Bar Association, the Mississippi Bar and the Mississippi Forestry Association.

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