- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 23, 2015

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Gov. Phil Bryant appointed Mississippi Court of Appeals Judge James D. Maxwell II to the Mississippi Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Maxwell’s appointment is effective Jan. 1. The seat will be on the November 2016 ballot.

Maxwell, of Oxford, replaces former Justice David Chandler, whom Bryant recently named executive director of the Mississippi Division of Family and Children’s Services.

Maxwell has served on the appeals court since 2009, representing northeast Mississippi’s District 1. On the Supreme Court, he will represent District 3, which covers northeast Mississippi and most of northwest Mississippi.

“I appreciate Governor Bryant’s confidence in me and am honored to represent North Mississippi on our Supreme Court,” Maxwell said in a news release.

Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. welcomed Maxwell to the court.

“His energy and experience will serve the court and the citizens of the state well,” Waller said.

Maxwell earned his undergraduate degree and juris doctorate from the University of Mississippi. He practiced civil law in Jackson before returning to Oxford to serve as assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi.

Justice Randy Pierce of Leakesville will leave the court Feb. 1 to become director of the Mississippi Judicial College based at the University of Mississippi law school in Oxford. Bryant has not yet announced who will fill Pierce’s job.

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This story has been corrected to show that the name of the department is the Mississippi Division of Family and Children’s Services.

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