Commitment & Leadership: Colette A. Oldmixon Inducted into Ole Miss Hall of Fame

Published 10:30 am Thursday, April 27, 2023

by Staff Writer, Ole Miss Law School Alumni Hall of Fame.

On March 25, 2023, Colette A. Oldmixon, of Poplarville, Mississippi, and 4 other outstanding alumni, were inducted into the Ole Miss Law School Alumni Hall of Fame.

As Susan Duncan, Dean of the Ole Miss School of Law observed; Oldmixon is,

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“Indicative of the quality practitioners and community leaders this school has been producing for almost 170 years.”

A native of Texas, Oldmixon is a 1981 graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Law. As a law student, she was a member of Phi Delta Phi legal fraternity and served on the Mississippi Law Journal (MLJ) as Supreme Court Review Editor. Her case note was published in the MLJ. She worked as a researcher for the Mississippi Judicial College while in law school. Prior to her studies in Oxford, Oldmixon attended Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana, where she received her bachelor’s degree in Journalism. For there years, she was editor of Current Sauce, the university’s weekly newspaper.

Immediately following graduation, Oldmixon moved to Poplarville to work with her mentor, David R. Smith. Predominantly a plaintiff’s personal injury lawyer, she maintains what is now the law firm of Smith & Oldmixon, at 201 W. Pearl Street in Poplarville. Smith, who was an original member of the Mississippi Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules, introduced Oldmixon to the Committee early on in her career. In 1996, she was nominated by the Mississippi Bar to the committee and served on it continuously until the end of 2022. With this committee, she has chaired the Mississippi Rules of Civil Procedure subcommittee and served as secretary-treasurer, vice-chair and, ultimately, chair of the committee.

In addition to judging mock trials for the Mississippi Bar for 24 years, Oldmixon has served on the CLE Committee, the Mississippi Lawyer Committee, the Nominating Committee, Professionalism Committee, Ethic Committee, Planning Committee, Committee on Professional Responsibility—chairing many of the committees. She also served on Bar’s Task Force to Improve Public Confidence in the Judicial Systems. Oldmixon served as Mississippi’s delegate to the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, was and is currently a Commissioner to the Bar for the 15th Circuit Court District, and chaired the ad hoc Committee on Rule 12. As important, for more than two decades, since its inception, she participated in the James O. Dukes professionalism programs for first year law students at both Mississippi law schools. Oldmixon has been a fellow of the Mississippi Bar Foundation and has served on its board of trustees, was chair of the Loan Repayment Assistance Program and was elected President-elect and President.

Oldmixon is a lifetime member of the Mississippi Association of Justice, her membership spanning more than 40 years. She has served on and chaired its numerous committees. She has also been on its Board of Governors and is a past parliamentarian and secretary of the organization. In 2004, she was inducted into the Mississippi Chapter of ABOTA and served as its Secretary-Treasurer, Vice-President, and President. At the law school, Oldmixon is a past president of the Law Alumni Chapter’s board of directors and a past chair of the Lamar Order. Oldmixon is also an inaugural member of the Federal Local Rules Committee on which she continues to serve. She has been a life-long member of the Pearl River County Bar Association and served as treasurer, secretary, vice-president, and president.

In 2002, the Mississippi Bar awarded her the Distinguished Service Award for her work on Rule 12 of the Rules of Discipline. The Mississippi Association for Justice recognized her in 2004 as its Trial Lawyer of the Year. In 2009, she was given the Law Related Education Award by the Mississippi Bar Foundation. In 2011, the Mississippi Business Journal named her one of Mississippi’s 50 leading Attorneys in its Leadership in Law program. The Ole Miss School of Law, in 2016, named her its Law Alumna of the Year. In 2022, the Mississippi Supreme Court presented a plaque to recognized her years of service to the Rules Committee.

Oldmixon has been appointed on numerous occasions by the 10th Chancery Court District to serve as its guardian ad litem and by Circuit Judges to serve as special master. She is a frequent speaker at judicial and legal conferences; guest lecturer at the trial practice classes of both Mississippi law schools; and speaker at local Pearl River County schools.

In addition to her 42 years of representing clients, Oldmixon has served as the attorney for the City of Poplarville. She is a faithful member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Mission in Poplarville and has served on the Parish Council. She is a past participant of the Poplarville School District’s strategic planning committee. Oldmixon has past service to the Pearl River county Hospital and Nursing Home board of trustees and served as chair of that board for about one year.

Donald C. Dornan, Jr., a long-time friend and colleague, observed “In 1981, even though there had been a lot of progress among women in the law practice, there was still a lot…it was still a male-dominated profession, and [Oldmixon], like a lot of women lawyers at that time, had to navigate those issues…She is no ordinary lawyer”. During the 2023 Mississippi Legislative Session, a joint resolution was adopted in recognition of Oldmixon’s years of service and dedication. Oldmixon was once compared to the “energizer bunny…she just never runs out of the willingness to volunteer, to serve and to lead.” In her 42 years as a member of the Mississippi Bar, Oldmixon has provided invaluable services to her clients, the town of Poplarville, Pearl River County, the University of Mississippi School of Law, and to the state of Mississippi.