Mississippi Center for Justice Board Chair Confirmed as U.S. District Court Judge

Mississippi Center for Justice
For Immediate Release
Contact: Diana Lee, diana@berlinrosen.com,

Mississippi Center for Justice Board Chair Confirmed as
U.S.District Court Judge
Debra Brown Is First African-American woman Federal District Court Judge in Mississippi

Jackson, MS – The Mississippi Center for Justice (MCJ) is pleased to announce that MCJ Board Chair Debra M. Brown has been confirmed as a U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of Mississippi. Following unanimous confirmation by the U.S. Senate on November 4, Brown is the first African-American woman to serve as a district judge in Mississippi.

President Obama nominated Brown in May for the judgeship, which presides over court in Greenville, Mississippi. Current MCJ Board Vice Chair La’Verne Edney will replace Debra Brown as the new Board Chair.

The leadership change comes as MCJ celebrates its ten-year anniversary. Since its founding in 2003, the Mississippi Center for Justice has become a leading voice both within Mississippi and nationally on approaches to eradicating predatory lending to consumers and on the Gulf Coast’s recovery from Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill.

“We applaud this historic moment,” said Reilly Morse, President and CEO of the Mississippi Center for Justice. “Debra has been a visionary leader and we are confident she will continue to advance the cause of justice in our state and country.”

Incoming MCJ Board Chair La’Verne Edney said: “Debra’s unanimous confirmation to the U.S. District Court is a recognition of her integrity, professionalism and longstanding commitment to public service. The Center is immensely proud to see Debra become the first African American woman to become a District Judge in our state.”

Prior to joining MCJ in 2012, Brown was a shareholder at the law firm of Wise Carter Child & Caraway, P.A. in Jackson, where she handled a wide variety of commercial litigation matters before both federal and state courts. Previously, she worked at Phelps Dunbar LLP for more than 14 years. Brown received her J.D. in 1997 from the University of Mississippi School of Law and her B.Arch. in 1987 from Mississippi State University. Between college and law school, Brown worked as an architect in the Washington, D.C. area. From 2003 to 2004, she served as President of the Mississippi Women Lawyers Association.

More on the Mississippi Center for Justice’s ten-year record of growth and forthcoming projects can be found here.