Gambrell scheduled to be sworn in today

Published 3:01 pm Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Hattiesburg attorney Deborah J. Gambrell was scheduled to be sworn in this morning as 10th District Chancery Court Judge, Place 1, in court chambers at the county courthouse on Main Street. The swearing in is termed an “investiture service.”

She was appointed on Jan. 4 as chancery court judge by Gov. Haley Barbour after former Judge James H.C. Thomas, Jr., died in office on Oct. 1, and still won a majority of votes cast in the Nov. 2 General Election.

The ballots were already printed when he died and his name could not be removed.

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State law then allowed Barbour to name a person to fill the seat until a Special Election can be held on Nov. 2 to fill Thomas’ unexpired term.

Thomas was unopposed, but his death opened up the race to write-ins; however, no one out polled the late judge.

Gambrell is managing partner of the Gambrell Law Firm, PLLC, in Hattiesburg, and has served as a Justice Court judge since 1980. She is a 1972 of the University of Southern Mississippi graduate and has her law degree from the Mississippi College School of Law. She is widely known as a civic leader in the Hattiesburg area.

Said Barbour, “Mrs. Gambrell’s legal experience and community involvement show a deep commitment to the law and the people of the 10th District. I thank her for her continuing commitment to public service by accepting this appointment.”

The Chancery Court 10th District includes Forrest, Lamar, Marion, Pearl River and Perry counties.

Gambrell is the second female to assume a 10th chancery court judgeship. Lamar County attorney Dawn Beam was recently sworn in after winning the seat of Judge Sebe Dale, Jr., who retired. Beam and Gambrell are the first two female judges to serve in the 10th district chancery court.