Presiding Justice William L. Waller, Jr., a native and current resident of Jackson, is a graduate of Murrah High School and Mississippi State University and received his law degree from the University of Mississippi in 1977. He practiced law with the firm of Waller and Waller in Jackson for over 20 years and served as a Municipal Judge for the City of Jackson. Justice Waller was elected to the Mississippi Supreme Court in November 1996, and reelected in November 2004. Justice Waller assumed the position of Presiding Justice in January 2004.
Justice Waller has sought to bring reforms in the administration of justice. He supported adoption by the Supreme Court of mediation rules for civil litigation and served as Chairman of the Mississippi Public Defender Task Force from 2000 - 2005. Justice Waller was principal architect of what became legislation which created the Office of Capital Post Conviction Counsel, the Office of Indigent Appeals and the Comprehensive Electronic Court Systems Fund. Justice Waller serves as Chairman of the Rules Committee. Justice Waller was the recipient of the Judicial Innovation Award for 2003-2004 by the Hinds County Bar Association and the Jackson Young Lawyers Association. He received the Chief Justice Award in 2005 for his work as chairman of a special study committee to develop a statewide e-filing and docket management system.
Presently assigned to the Retired Reserve, Justice Waller served over 29 years in the Mississippi Army National Guard, attaining the rank of Brigadier General while serving as Commander of the 66th Troop Command, Jackson, Mississippi. Justice Waller and his wife, Charlotte, have three children and are members of First Baptist Church Jackson where he has recently served as Chairman of the Deacons.