Judge Gargiulo Joins the Southern District

Terryl Rushing

Article by Terryl Rushing Featured Author


Judge John C. Gargiulo has joined the Court as Magistrate Judge in Gulfport, taking the place of recently-retired Chief Magistrate Judge John Roper. Judge Gargiulo had been serving as Circuit Judge for the Second Circuit Court District of Mississippi, serving Hancock, Harrison, and Stone Counties.

Judge Gargiulo is the product of a family tradition of military service, being the youngest of five military officers. After graduating from the University of Southern Mississippi as a Distinguished Military Student and Graduate, he was commissioned as an Intelligence Officer with the 24th Infantry Division. During Operation Desert Storm, Judge Gargiulo was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for participating in the first combat dismounted patrol into enemy territory, and the Governor awarded him the Meritorious Service Medal for his voluntary service during Hurricane Katrina.

After the completion of his active duty, Judge Gargiulo graduated from law school at the University of Mississippi, where he served on the Moot Court Board. He began private practice, litigating personal injury, medical malpractice, insurance, and municipal liability claims. In 2000, he was appointed as an Assistant District Attorney, serving as lead prosecutor for all felonies, with emphasis on cases involving high-profile sexual and violent crimes. He was appointed Circuit Judge in 2009, and he was elected to that position in 2010. Judge Gargiulo began his work as a federal magistrate judge in August of this year.

Judge Gargiulo has held numerous civic positions, including serving as a board member for the Boys and Girls Club and Saint Stanislaus College. He serves as a board member for the Russell Blass Chapter of the Inns of Court. He is also a Lieutenant Colonel in the Mississippi Air National Guard. Judge Gargiulo has three children: twin sons Andrew and Jordan, and daughter Katherine, all of whom participated in his Investiture Ceremony in Gulfport on January 16, 2015. That ceremony displayed several aspects of Judge Gargiulo's life, beginning with an invocation by Fr. Jude Israel, O.S.B., who was one of the Judge's teachers at St. Stanislaus. Karen Sawyer, representing the Mississippi Bar, attested to his work ethic, and Maj. Gen. William Crisler, Jr. lauded not just the Judge's exemplary military service, but that of his family. It was Joel Smith, however, District Attorney for the Second Circuit Judicial District, who gave the Court a glimpse into the Judge's more playful side, including his propensity for strategic acquisitions from other offices. In fact, having heard that address, it is likely that the other Judges in the Gulfport Courthouse are keeping a close eye on personal possessions that could end up in Judge Gargiulo's chambers.

When asked for his observations on his federal service thus far, Judge Gargiulo said, "I'm overwhelmed and increasingly impressed by the degree of professionalism I've observed from each and every employee I've met since coming aboard. Everyone has been so helpful and friendly. I've been received with such warmth and courtesy that my transition into this new family was easier than I could ever have imagined." Chief Judge Guirola said about our new judge, "The Court is delighted to have him here, and we are confident that he will do a great job."