Miss. Supreme Court to unveil portrait of former chief justice

Published 10:50 pm Saturday, October 7, 2006

A portrait of former Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Edwin Lloyd Pittman will be unveiled next week in the third floor lobby of the Gartin Justice Building.

Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice James W. Smith Jr. and Mississippi Bar President C. York Craig Jr. will speak during the ceremony, which starts at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Pittman’s children and the children of his wife, Virginia Pittman, commissioned the portrait, which was painted by Jackson artist Jane Nichols. It is traditional for a justice’s family to present a portrait to the court.

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“I’m honored, and I appreciate our children making this gift to the Court,” Pittman, 71, said in a news release Friday. “It also gives me an opportunity to thank the people who have helped me so much, and to thank them for the career they allowed me to have.

“It also allows me to say again how much I appreciate the court,” he said. “I enjoyed being there. We have a really good court now. They do good work.”

Nichols said Pittman “was delightful to work with” during the painting of the portrait.

Pittman retired March 31, 2004, after a 40-year career in which he was elected to public office in all three branches of government. He now practices law in Ridgeland.

Pittman joined the Mississippi Supreme Court in January 1989 and became chief justice in January 2001. He served in the Mississippi Senate from 1964-72; as state treasurer from 1976-80; as secretary of state from 1980-84; and as attorney general from 1984-88.

He retired from the Mississippi National Guard as brigadier general with 30 years of service.