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Oxford lawyer James Minor has died at 64

James Minor, who has practiced law in Oxford for decades and was an Ole Miss law graduate from 1972, died this morning at age 64.

If not the first, he was one of the first African-American professors hired at the Ole Miss law school on a tenure track.  In 1983, he co-published a book on health care reimbursement.

Jackson lawyer Charles Griffin remembers him well as a supportive mentor when Charles was at the Ole Miss law school in the 80s.  Charles said to me, “I believe he was committed to making sure that minorties had greater opportunities at the law school and he worked to make that happen.  I give my condolences to the family.”

I have known him for decades as a friendly and professional member of the local bar (I think he taught right after I was graduated) and was sad to get this news.  More details later.

15 comments to Oxford lawyer James Minor has died at 64

  • Ben

    James was the first black student with whom I ever attended school (excluding military schools and service). It was law school, no less. That was a time when we had some real knucklehead students who refused to sit in a class with a person of color … sat outside the classroom and tried to take notes. The better teachers closed and locked the classroom doors once class began. James and I quickly became lifelong best friends, and he served in my wedding party. His passing creates a big hole in my heart. Rest in peace, dear friend.

  • dura

    What was the name of the tall, charismatic black lawyer at Oxford Legal Services in the 70′s and 80′s? He went to Cuba when it was strictly prohibited. Seems like he got in trouble with the Bar later.

  • Jefferson

    Dura – are your thinking of Alvin Chambliss?

    James Minor was always gracious and had a big heart. He was a good man.

  • Observer

    I am STUNNED. James was always so nice to me, and I always tried to be as nice to him. It’s only been a couple of weeks ago that I saw him at the Chancery Building. Man. He was one of the world’s truly nice guys, and there are too few of them in the world in general, and in the legal business in particular.

  • DeltaLawMama

    James was a true gentleman lawyer. Reasonable and just particular enough. I will miss him greatly. My condolences to his family.

  • dura

    Not thinking of Alvin. No one could forget him. Trying to remeber James. Was he a rather diminutive guy (like me)?

  • NMC

    James was on the small side, and balding. Had a nice, quiet sense of humor. I think he may have practiced in Senatobia (and been from there) before going on the law faculty, then practiced here in Oxford thereafter from the mid-80s.

    If he every practiced with legal services, I am unaware of that.

  • Ben

    Dura: Wilhelm Joseph? Or Joseph Wilhelm?

  • dura

    That’s not it, but thanks for trying. Just a very interesting person who passes thru your life and then is gone.

  • dura

    PS: The first black I attended school with was James Meredith, Calculus at UM, summer of 63. Fellow students didnt sit outside the classroom, but didnt sit beside him (me included, I’m ashamed to admit). My only excuse was I was 17 at the time.

  • hootie dasher

    I recall james as soft-spoken and mild mannered. He always seemed at ease with himself. had the pleasure about 5 years ago to meet his son.

  • Michael O. Minor

    Thanks everyone for your warm words! My brother was truly a caring person. He never spoke much about his work. Yet, in his passing, the extent of his legal career is coming to light. I had no idea that he was the counsel for the landmark Frazier v. Callicutt voting rights case in the ’70s. It was never about him but the people. Although he was surely judged by his race, he never looked at people from the outside in but the inside out and still found a way to love everybody. Our family will surely miss him as well as you and many others. His legacy will continue through his body of work and his son James D. Minor, II. Thanks again and God bless!

  • Michael O. Minor

    James Douglas Minor, Sr. passed Monday, October 17, 2011 after a sudden illness.
    The family will receive visitors from 5 until 7pm Friday, October 21 at Second Baptist Church, 611 Jackson Ave., Oxford, MS. Funeral services will be 11am Saturday, October 22 at Mt. Calm Baptist Church, 4923 Arkabutla Rd, Coldwater, MS 38655 with viewing one hour prior to services.

    In lieu of flowers, the family asks that tax-deductible donations be directed to the Samuel D Minor, Sr. Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 267, Coldwater, MS 38618. Hodges-Freeman Funeral Home (662) 236-0004.

  • I did not have the pleasure of knowing James Minor but I know his nephew, Elvin Knight. Please accept my sincere condolences during this time. I pray that the emotional wounds from your loss will be healed.

    Lucretia Coleman

  • Greg Franklin

    It was my distinct honor and privilege to know Mr. James Minor. He was a true gentleman. My condolences go to his wife and family. May God truely bless and keep you.

    Greg Franklin & Family

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