In 2004, Chamberlin, 51, was appointed to serve in the Seventeenth Circuit Court District and is currently the district’s senior circuit court judge.
As the high court reviews cases, “The bulk of those are decisions that are made by circuit courts,” said Chamberlin. “The vast majority of those are going to be criminal cases. I think it’s good having a justice who has been in the trenches and had to make those decisions every day in some of the toughest and roughest cases that you’ll see.”
An Ole Miss graduate with degrees in history and law, Chamberlin has served as a municipal judge in Hernando, municipal prosecutor in Horn Lake, and board attorney for the Desoto County Board of Supervisors while maintaining a private practice. He first worked with what would become the Austin Law Firm in Hernando and later formed Chamberlin-Nowak, P.C.
He was elected to the Mississippi Senate in 1999 and reelected before being appointed to the circuit court. While in the Senate, he served as vice-chairman of the Universities and Colleges Committee and chairman of the Elections Committee.
In 2006, he worked with Ann Lamar to establish a drug court in the 17th district.
Chamberlin said every courtroom should be a level playing field.
“Everyone that comes into a court should be treated with the respect and dignity that they deserve,” he said. “As far as judicial philosophy, I believe justices should apply the law and not attempt to make the law. That’s what the legislature is for.”
He said that is a concern he has heard from residents.
Chamberlin hopes people will make the effort to vote on Tuesday despite the very light ballot. While it may not be a terribly exciting race, “It’s a very important race,” he said.