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Types of Cases Handled:

  • Criminal Felony Cases: Capital Murder (Death Penalty eligible), all other types of murder and/or manslaughter cases; other serious felony charges including but not limited to robbery, burglary, assault and sexual assault, all controlled substance charges.

  • Criminal Post-Conviction Cases: Wrongful conviction, ineffective assistance of counsel resulting in conviction, wrongful incarceration, attacks on guilty pleas, etc.

  • Criminal Appeals: Appeal of criminal convictions from all circuit courts to the Mississippi Supreme Court and Mississippi Court of Appeals .

  • Expungements: Related to eligible felony and misdemeanor convictions.

  • D.U.I. defense

Licensed to Practice In:

  • All State Courts in Mississippi

  • All U.S. District Courts in Mississippi

  • U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals

  • U.S. Supreme Court

Past Employment Positions:

  • Jackson County, Mississippi Public Defender -1981-1991

  • Hinds County, Mississippi Public Defender- 1991-2005

  • Maricopa County, Arizona Office of Legal Defender-2005-2009 Lowrey & Fortner, P.A. -2009-Present


  • Mississippi Bar Association (MSB) (1981)

  • American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL)

  • Mississippi Public Defenders Association (Founding and Life Member) Mississippi Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules (1982-2000)

  • Mississippi State Legislature Criminal Justice Task Force (1998-2005) National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys (NACDL)

Paralegal: Lolita Evans


Tom Fortner represents clients in criminal cases in all federal and state courts throughout the State of Mississippi. He is the former Public Defender for Jackson County and Hinds County, Mississippi. Tom has been representing citizens accused of all types of felony crimes for over 36 years, and he has tried hundreds of cases to verdict before juries. He graduated from undergraduate school at Tulane University in 1975 and received his law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1981.

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