Considered by many as Mississippi’s most experienced zoning lawyer, James A. Peden, Jr. has been assisting clients for nearly 50 years. For the entirety of his professional career, he has been a member of Stennett Wilkinson & Peden, P.A., a firm that provides quality legal services in numerous areas. Since 2009, Mr. Peden has also served as an adjunct professor at the Mississippi College School of Law, teaching the course on Land Use Controls. He has served on the staffs of Mississippi statesmen John C. Stennis and William F. Winter. As a practicing attorney, he has represented clients in more than 150 zoning cases, including several cases concerning major projects that have been significant in the economic development of local communities. Some of his previous zoning clients include prominent churches, universities and national corporations. Notably, Mr. Peden has represented clients in appeals in 17 separate zoning matters before the Mississippi Supreme Court.
Mr. Peden has served as president of the Young Lawyers Division of the Mississippi Bar, Bar Commissioner, and charter member of the Governor’s Judicial Nominating Committee. He is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, the ABA’s Young Lawyers Division, the Mississippi Bar’s Young Lawyers Division, and the Mississippi Bar Foundation. He has also served as president of the Millsaps Arts & Lecture Series.
Mr. Peden matriculated at the University of Mississippi as the recipient of a Carrier Scholarship and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, in history, political science and Latin in 1966. He ranked first academically in his graduating class. During his undergraduate studies, he was awarded a Taylor Medal in Political Science in Latin. Additionally, Mr. Peden received a James George Smith Memorial Scholarship from his fraternity, Beta Theta Pi. He was then awarded a Fulbright Scholarship from the United States government for graduate coursework in England. From 1966 to 1967, Mr. Peden studied British government and politics at the University of Bristol. In the fall of 1967, he entered the University of Mississippi School of Law as the recipient of a Ford Foundation Law Fellowship. He graduated with a Juris Doctor in 1970.
Throughout the course of his illustrious career, Mr. Peden has received numerous awards and accolades. Since 2008, he has been listed annually among the Best Lawyers in America© in the fields of land use and zoning. In 2010, Mr. Peden was listed in the Top 10 in the Mississippi Business Journal’s First Leadership in Law Class. Additionally, he was the recipient of a Minuteman Award from the National Guard Bureau in recognition of his contributions to military legal education. Recently, he received the Distinguished Civilian Service Medal from the state of Mississippi. In recognition of his hard work and dedication to the field, Mr. Peden has been listed in Marquis Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in American Law.
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