New names surface for empty U.S. judgeship in North Mississippi

By PATSY R. BRUMFIELD/Daily Journal

Two new names have bubbled up as possible nominees to fill the U.S. District Court’s Northern Mississippi vacancy created by the death of W. Allen Pepper Jr.
Both Jackson attorneys, they are Debra Brown of the Wise Carter Child & Caraway firm and La’Verne Edney with Baker Donelson.
Reported months ago, Oxford-based U.S. Attorney Felicia Adams also is in the mix.
Pepper died suddenly in January 2012.
If any of the three is nominated and confirmed, she will become the state’s first black female federal judge. U.S. district judges serve until they resign, die or are removed from office.
Neither Brown nor Edney responded to Daily Journal requests for comment Monday.
Only the President can nominate federal judgeships candidates, who then must win approval of the U.S. Senate.
As recently as a few weeks ago, aides to Republican Sens. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker said they have had no contact from the White House about the nomination.
Brown, admitted to the Mississippi Bar in 1997, is a partner at Wise Carter specializing in premises liability, product liability, intellectual property and insurance defense.
Edney, admitted to the Mississippi Bar in 1996, is a partner at Baker Donelson and concentrates her practice in products liability, tort liability, commercial litigation and health care litigation.
Until the vacancy is filled, Pepper’s former load of cases is being handled by two district judges, two senior judges and in some instances, the district’s three magistrate judges.
• Read more in Tuesday’s Daily Journal