JACKSON, Miss. (Legal Newsline) - Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour announced this week the appointment of Judge Leslie King to the Mississippi Supreme Court.

King, who served as the chief judge of the Mississippi Court of Appeals, replaces Justice James Graves, who was recently sworn in as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. King's appointment was effective Wednesday, the governor said.

"I thank Judge King for accepting this position on the state Supreme Court," Barbour said in a statement. "His extensive knowledge of Mississippi's legal system and his dedication to public service made him the top choice for this position."

King will serve the remainder of Graves' term through December 2012.

In the meantime, the Governor's Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee will recommend a replacement for King's seat on the appellate bench. The 31-member committee includes a chairman and 10 attorneys from each of the state's Supreme Court Districts.

King has served on the Court of Appeals since its creation. He was elected in 1994 to the District 2, Position 2 seat on the court.

Previously, the Greenville native served in the Mississippi House of Representatives beginning in 1980. During his tenure, he served as vice-chairman of the Ways and Means Committee and vice-chairman of the Conservation and Water Resources Committee. He also served on the Judiciary, Insurance, Environmental Protection Council, Housing Finance Oversight, and Universities and Colleges committees.

He also was chairman of the Mississippi Black Legislative Caucus in 1988.

King began practicing law in 1973 and served as Youth Court Counselor for Washington County, Public Defender, Youth Court Prosecutor and Municipal Court Judge for the town of Metcalfe.

He graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1970 and from the Texas Southern University School of Law in 1973.

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