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Bennie T.
Democrat MS 2

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  • Honoring Muriel Ellis

    by Representative Bennie G. Thompson

    Posted on 2014-12-11

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    THOMPSON of mississippi in the house of representatives Thursday, December 11, 2014 Mr. THOMPSON of Mississippi. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor Mrs. Muriel Ellis, who has been blazing through Mississippi's legal system.

    Mrs. Ellis, 54, became the first African American clerk of Mississippi's Supreme Court and Court of Appeals on July 1 this year, after being the first African American Supreme Court deputy clerk and chief deputy clerk.

    [[Page E1832]] Mrs. Ellis worked her way through the clerk's office for 23 years after beginning as a legal clerk in 1991. The Callaway High School alumna, who graduated in 1977, became chief deputy clerk in 2009 after being named a team leader in 2000 and deputy clerk in 2007.

    The Jackson native said she is blessed and honored to accept her new position. ``I am just going to lead the clerk's office forward,'' she said. Mrs. Ellis took courses at Phillips Business College and worked as a ward secretary for St. Dominic Hospital from 1979-1987.

    Mrs. Ellis has seen many changes since working in the clerk's office. Along with Ms. Kathy Gillis, former Mississippi Supreme Court Clerk of 33 years, Mrs. Ellis supervised the office's transition to electronic filing. Since the office's mandatory e-filing for briefs and motions began on Jan. 1, 2014, she continues to work on the electronic transition through implementing emailed orders and clerk's notices, as well as e-filing transcripts and records from other trial courts.

    The clerk became interested in a career in the legal system when she was serving as an alternate juror in the Hinds County Circuit Court. While working in the billing edits department at the City of Jackson Water Department, she said she drove past the Supreme Court building all the time on her way to the Water Department office, which is also located on High Street. ``I never knew what this building was, but I used to say: ``That is a pretty building. I would love to work there someday,'' Mrs. Ellis said.

    Mrs. Ellis has three children: Karen Ellis Evans, Kimberly Ellis and Leonard Ellis; three grandchildren: Madison Evans, Leonard Ellis, III and Bryson Williams--and is married to Mr. Leonard Ellis, Sr.

    Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in recognizing Mrs. Muriel Ellis.


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