Judge Deborah J. Gambrell of Hattiesburg will receive the 2022 Judicial Excellence Award presented during The Mississippi Bar’s 2022 Annual Business Session held on July 15, 2022.
The Bar’s Board of Commissioners established the Judicial Excellence Award to recognize judges who exceed the call of their judicial office. Recipients are considered to exemplify judicial excellence through leadership in advancing the quality and efficiency of justice and to possess high ideals, character, and integrity. Judge Gambrell received this honor for her outstanding leadership, efficiency in the field of jurisprudence, and her character and integrity.
Judge Gambrell has served as an active member of The Mississippi Bar for 43 years. In 1978, Judge Gambrell established the Gambrell Law Firm where she engaged in general practice for 31 years. She also served as a Justice Court Judge for Forrest County from 1980-2011. In 2011, Governor Haley Barber appointed Judge Gambrell to serve as a Chancellor for the 10th Chancery Court District of Mississippi where she has served with distinction for the last 11 years. Judge Gambrell currently serves as Senior Chancellor, and during her tenure, she has spearheaded efforts to enhance courtroom safety and security measures throughout her district and realigned court staffing priorities to improve the efficiency of court operations and the administration of justice.
As a member of The Mississippi Bar, Judge Gambrell has served on the Access to Justice Committee, the Committee on Professional Responsibility, and is also a Mississippi Bar Foundation Fellow. Judge Gambrell was named South Central Bar Association President in 2000, inducted into the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) Hall of Fame in 2014, and served on USM’s Dubard School Advisory Board 2010-2011.
Judge Gambrell graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1972 with a B.S. in Political Science before receiving her Juris Doctorate from the Mississippi College School of Law in 1978.