The Mississippi Court of Appeals is the intermediate-level appellate court for the state of Mississippi. A creation of the Mississippi Legislature, the court began operations in 1995 for the purpose of relieving a backlog of cases before the Supreme Court of Mississippi.
The Mississippi Court of Appeals hears and decides appeals from the various trial courts of the state. The cases the court hears are assigned to it by the Supreme Court of Mississippi, and generally concern issues in which the law is already settled, but the facts are in dispute. Thus, contrary to federal procedure, Mississippi does not protect the common law right to a trial by jury, since it permits appellate review of facts found by a jury. The Supreme Court may review Court of Appeals decisions, but if the Supreme Court declines review, the decision of the Court of Appeals stands.
The court's ten judges are elected from five districts and serve eight-year terms. Non-partisan elections are staggered so that not all positions are up for election at one time. The districts coincided with Mississippi's congressional districts prior to Mississippi's losing one district in 2000. Some of the state's counties are divided between districts. However, the districts are not jurisdictional: appeals from all over the state go to the Supreme Court and may be deflected by it to the Court of Appeals.
As of March 2021, there are ten judges on the Mississippi Court of Appeals:
- Donna M. Barnes – Chief Judge
- Virginia C. Carlton – Presiding Judge
- Jack L. Wilson – Presiding Judge
- Jim M. Greenlee
- Latrice A. Westbrooks
- Deborah McDonald
- Anthony N. Lawrence III
- David Neil McCarty
- Joel Smith
- John H. Emfinger
- Cf. U.S. Const. Amend. VII.
- State of Mississippi Judiciary – Court of Appeals Judicial Map
- "James H. Herring". hlclawfirm.com. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
- State of Mississippi Judiciary – Court of Appeals Judges