By: States Attorney.
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James “Clay” Joyner
The outgoing U.S. Attorney William C. Lamar announced his resignation on February 27, 2021, and welcomed the incoming interim Chief Federal Law Enforcement Official for the Northern District of Mississippi. Presently the First Assistant United States Attorney to U.S. Attorney Lamar, James C. “Clay” Joyner is taking over in the highest position in the Office of the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi by virtue of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act. The changes in the Office have been catalyzed by the request of President Joe Biden for the 55 remaining Trump-appointed U.S. Attorneys to tender their resignations, as delivered by Acting United States Attorney General Robert M. “Monty” Wilkinson on February 9, 2021. Clay Joyner’s appointment will take effect on March 1, 2021.
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James C. “Clay” Joyner has been appointed as the interim Chief Federal Law Enforcement Official for the Northern District of Mississippi, taking over in the highest position in the Office by virtue of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act. Acting U.S. Attorney Clay Joyner succeeds the outgoing U.S. attorney William C. Lamar, who has recently tendered his resignation in response to the call of the Biden Administration for the 55 remaining U.S. Attorneys who have previously been appointed by former President Donald Trump to step down. On behalf of the United States Department of Justice, Acting U.S. Attorney General Robert M. “Monty” Wilkinson delivered the request of President Joe Biden on February 9, 2021, as it is customary in the process of the transition into the new administration. It was noted by U.S. Attorney Lamar that upon his resignation on February 27, 2021, First Assistant U.S. Attorney James C. Joyner would take on additional responsibilities as the interim Top Federal Prosecutor for the Northern District of Mississippi effective March 1, 2021. Moreover, Clay Joyner is expected to remain in the position for the subsequent 300 days or until the Biden Administration has put forth nominations and has ultimately confirmed a new U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi.
Educational Background and Early Legal Career
U.S. Attorney Clay Joyner is a graduate of the University of Mississippi, from where he took his undergraduate studies. He has subsequently earned his Juris Doctorate from the Mississippi College – School of Law and directly launched his legal career as a Special Assistant Attorney General at the Office of the Mississippi Attorney General in 1996. In this line of work, U.S. Attorney Joyner was expected to serve as special counsel to the Attorney General, apart from being responsible for performing duties as required by the general laws, including rendering professional legal services on matters and proceedings that are related to his assigned division and area of law. Clay Joyner was also necessitated to perform administrative duties that are deemed essential for accomplishing the functions of the Office of the Attorney General.
After a year of serving as a Special Assistant Attorney General at the Office of the Mississippi Attorney General, Acting U.S. Attorney James Joyner became an Assistant District Attorney in Tupelo for the First District Circuit Court. For about 11 years, from 1997 to 2008, U.S. Attorney Joyner focused on serving as the President of the Mississippi Prosecutor’s Association, on top of being an Assistant District Attorney.
Acting U.S. Attorney Clay Joyner first came into the Office of the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi in Oxford, MS, in August of 2008. He was initially appointed as an Assistant United States Attorney. He was in charge of prosecuting a wide variety of criminal cases, emphasizing crimes against children, drug trafficking, financial crimes, and terrorism offenses. In February of 2011, through August of 2012, U.S. Attorney Clay Joyner was detailed by the United States Department of Justice as an Attorney-Advisor and later as the Justice Attache’ at the United States Embassy Baghdad, Iraq.
Being in the Office of the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi for approximately 13 years, James C. Joyner has carried out numerous duties in the Office and has even held several leadership positions. Acting U.S. Attorney Clay Joyner has previously served as the Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council Coordinator and the Office’s Senior Litigation Counsel. In 2017, upon the appointment of former U.S. Attorney William C. Lamar, James Joyner was also named the First Assistant United States Attorney in the Office.
Announcement Made by the Outgoing U.S. Attorney Lamar
Previously, on February 27, 2021, outgoing U.S. Attorney Lamar spoke of his successor and asserted that current First Assistant United States Att0rney Clay Joyner is a well-respected prosecutor within the law enforcement sector and within the community. Lamar notes that Acting U.S. Attorney Joyner will most definitely do an outstanding job as the new interim Chief Federal Law Enforcement Official for the Northern District of Mississippi. Furthermore, he extends his thanks for his indispensable service as second-in-command in the Office during his tenure as United States Attorney.
“Clay is well-respected by law enforcement, the defense bar, and our community, and he will do an outstanding job as Acting U.S. Attorney. I want to thank him for his counsel and his hard work personally, and I wish him all the best in this role. He will do an excellent job for the citizens of the Northern District of Mississippi,” said former U.S. Attorney Lamar.
Case Previously Handled by Acting U.S. Attorney Joyner
Interim Top Federal Prosecutor Clay Joyner is an exceptional prosecutor with a depth of experience. In 2011, he was co-prosecutor in a case involving child pornography, in which a resident of Columbus has been sentenced to 120 months in prison, followed by ten years of supervised release. The prosecution demonstrated the efforts of the Office of the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi in the combat against the exploitation of children.
James C. Joyner will begin serving as the interim Chief Federal Law Enforcement Official on March 1, 2021. As Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi, Clay Joyner is responsible for leading the Office through the prosecution of all criminal matters within the district, particularly those that involve child exploitation, firearms, financial fraud, healthcare fraud, human trafficking, public corruption, narcotics, and terrorism, among other federal violations. Moreover, the Office is in charge of representing the United States in all affirmative and defensive civil cases throughout the district and collecting the debts owed to the United States. Acting United States Attorney James Joyner leads a staff of approximately 46 people in the Office of the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi. The Office consists of 14 Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the Criminal Division, 6 Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the Civil Division, and 26 Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the Administrative Division, along with support personnel.
Full Name: James C. “Clay” Joyner
District/State: Northern District of Mississippi
Public email ID: [email protected]
United States Attorney’s Office,
900 Jefferson Ave.,
Oxford, MS 38655
Fax – Administrative Division
Fax – Criminal Division
Fax – Civil Division
Social Media Profiles of James Joyner
Username: Clay Joyner
Username: U.S. Attorney NDMS
Updated: April 19, 2021