Article byPosted Featured AuthorAugust 16, 2013
New State Bar President Guy Mitchell continues a family tradition of legal service in Mississippi. His grandfather founded the firm now known as Mitchell McNutt & Sams in 1904. His father joined the firm in 1935, and Guy III followed his footsteps in 1972, including succeeding his father as Tupelo's City Attorney.
Mitchell McNutt had 6 lawyers in Tupelo when Guy joined the firm. It now has 34 lawyers with offices in Tupelo, Oxford, Columbus, and Corinth and a work office in Memphis. Guy's leadership has been a significant factor in the stability and growth of one of Mississippi's oldest and most respected law firms.
A more than avid sports fan, Guy has attended more major sports events than most, including sailing's Ryder Cup, college basketball's Final Four, pro football's Super Bowl and golf's Masters Tournament, just to name a few. He follows the Ole Miss Rebels and Vanderbilt Commodores (his law school and undergraduate schools, respectively) and for years was (and may still be) a season ticket holder of the Tennessee Titans. Whether he has attended the Talladega 500 is unknown, but he did exhibit an early interest in drag racing at Tupelo High School. They still talk about when he raced his station wagon against Lloyd Ator. The race road was perpendicular to an elevated railroad track, and the start line was a few yards from the track. The start signal was "stomp." When Guy yelled the signal, Ator — unfortunately — had his car in reverse, and it flew backwards over the track wheels up. Kenny Milam reports that Ator was unhurt, but his vehicle suffered badly.
Milam, a partner at Watkins & Eager, has been one of Guy's best friends since age 3. He and Guy's son-in-law, Don Frugé, Jr., are sources for some of the background for this article (there are others, and other "events").
The younger Don (son of Ole Miss's inimitable Don and Mary Ann Frugé) is married to Guy's daughter, Liza, a lawyer and clerk to United States Magistrate Judge Allan Alexander. Another party responsible for Liza is Guy's wife of 45 years, the former Susan Sudduth of Vicksburg. I first met Guy in 1966 — through Susan who shared an apartment with my wife in Nashville. When we grilled steaks on the covered walkway outside the apartment somebody used too much lighter fluid, and, when Guy lit the charcoal, the flames hit the bottom of the covered walkway. There were no personal injuries and only mild property damage.
That was the year Guy left Vanderbilt to attend the Ole Miss law school. I was starting at the Vanderbilt law school, and I never met a person on that campus who didn't know Guy Mitchell. His good nature and popularity earned him recognition by the student body as "Mr. Commodore."
Guy distinguished himself at the Ole Miss law school where he served as Research Editor of the Mississippi Law Journal. After law school, he spent four years in the United States Navy, serving as legislative liaison in Washington to Admiral Means Johnston of Greenwood, Mississippi.
Guy's distinguished legal career followed. His diverse legal practice has included commercial and public entity litigation, municipal and county government and estate and probate practice. He has served as President of the Mississippi Defense Lawyers Association, the Ole Miss Law Alumni Chapter, Lee County Bar Association and United Way of Greater Lee County. He is a member of the American College of Mortgage Attorneys and serves on the Board of Directors of BancorpSouth.
Guy and Susan are also parents to Katie Mitchell Tucker, who resides in Atlanta, Georgia. She and her husband have three children, Francie, Eva and George (ages 3-10). Liza and Don have four children, Don III, Rosemary, Charlie and Guy (ages 4-12). That means Guy and Susan have seven grandchildren. He takes them boating at Pickwick Lake where they can enjoy his wide variety of nautical sports paraphernalia. Guy likes those kinds of toys and other gadgets. He has more iPhone apps than any person his age in the State of Mississippi.
He has never been seen in public without a smile on his face.