Meridian native to lead Court of Appeals

Mississippi Court of Appeals Judge Kenny Griffis (Source: WTOK-TV)
Mississippi Court of Appeals Judge Kenny Griffis (Source: WTOK-TV)(WTOK)
Published: Nov. 16, 2018 at 11:52 AM CST
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Judge Kenny Griffis, Jr., will become the next Chief Judge of the Mississippi Court of Appeals. Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller, Jr., made the announcement Friday.

Griffis, 57, is a Meridian native now living in Ridgeland. He's begin his service as administrative head of the Court of Appeals Jan. 2, 2019. He will take over the leadership position from Court of Appeals Chief Judge L. Joseph Lee, who will retire Dec. 31.

“Judge Griffis is a seasoned appellate judge with extensive experience who has always worked for and supported the improvement of the judiciary and the administration of justice," said Chief Justice Waller. "I appreciate his willingness to take on the additional administrative duties of Chief Judge. He will be an outstanding leader as Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals.”

“I look forward to continuing the excellence of the Court of Appeals and working with other members of the Court as we meet our responsibility of rendering well-reasoned and timely decisions," said Griffis. "I am honored to serve the Court of Appeals in this capacity.”

With the Dec. 31 retirements of Chief Judge Lee and Presiding Judge Tyree Irving, Judge Griffis will become the longest serving member of the Court of Appeals. He has been a member of the court for 16 years. He was elected in November 2002 to District 3, Position 2, and took office in January 2003.

The Court of Appeals handles cases in three-judge panels, although all ten judges vote on decisions.

Judge Griffis will become the sixth Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals. The court was created by the Mississippi Legislature and began hearing cases in January 1995 to relieve a backlog of appeals. It is an intermediate appellate court, deciding cases assigned to it by the Supreme Court.

Griffis earned accounting and law degrees from the University of Mississippi. He attended Meridian Community College and Mississippi State University Meridian campus.