Gardner, Tollison recognized by state Bar

By Patsy R. Brumfield
Daily Journal

A longtime circuit judge and an Oxford attorney won distinctions at this year’s Mississippi Bar Association convention.

Thomas A. Gardner III of Tupelo received the 2012-2013 Judicial Excellence Award, given to recognize judges who exceed the call of their judicial office.

According to the Bar, recipients are judges “who exemplify the quality and efficiency of justice and a person of high ideals, character and integrity.”

Nina Stubblefield Tollison of Oxford was presented the 2013 Susie Blue Buchanan Award by the Bar’s Women in the Profession Committee.

The award recognizes female attorneys who achieve professional excellence and influence other women to pursue legal careers.

Gardner, a Jackson native, earned an undergraduate degree from Millsaps College and his law degree from the University of Mississippi Law School.

He practiced law in Tupelo, was a public defender, city prosecutor and assistant district attorney before election to the bench in 1980.

The district’s senior circuit judge, he led efforts to establish the Office of Court Administrator, a model for others across the state. He also was a director of the Gardner-Simmons Home for Girls, a group home to help victims of abuse and/or neglect.

Tollison earned a law degree from Mississippi College School of Law and was president of the Mississippi Bar and on numerous committees. She has served in leadership positions for state, regional and national Bar organizations.

In 1993, MC named her its Lawyer of the Year and presented her with the Amicus Award in 2004.

Tupelo’s Guy Mitchell III was sworn in as president of the Mississippi Bar at the convention.

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