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Attorney Sul Ozerden Confirmed as U.S. District Judge for Mississippi’s Southern District

From: Office of Sen. Trent Lott   Filed 4/24/07  GCN

Hattiesburg native and Gulfport attorney Halil Suleyman “Sul” Ozerden was unanimously confirmed today (95-0) by the U.S. Senate to the U.S. District Court for South Mississippi.  He succeeds Judge David C. Bramlette who is taking senior status on the court.

Ozerden, 40, was nominated to the court last September by President Bush, on the recommendation of Senators Trent Lott and Thad Cochran.

 “President Bush has nominated one of South Mississippi’s finest to fill one of Mississippi’s most important positions on the federal bench,” Senator Lott said.  “Sul’s academic credentials, brilliant mind, analytical ability, legal skills, world experiences and common sense are rare qualities in one person.  The federal judiciary is lucky to have the opportunity to secure the services of Sul Ozerden.”

The son of Turkish immigrants, Ozerden is a shareholder in the Gulfport firm of Dukes, Dukes, Keating & Faneca where his practice has focused on general civil defense litigation, representation of local law enforcement and governmental entities, and commercial transactions and litigation.

A Gulfport High graduate, Ozerden attended Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service on a Navy ROTC scholarship and graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa.  Following graduation, he served six years active duty as a commissioned officer and naval flight officer in the U.S. Navy where he achieved the rank of lieutenant.  Lt. Ozenden was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal for missions flown over Iraq during “Operation Southern Watch” and over Somalia during “Operation Restore Hope.”         

Ozenden went on to earn his law degree from the Stanford Law School and afterward clerked for the Honorable Eldon Fallon, U.S. District Court Judge in New Orleans, before returning to Gulfport to enter private practice.

 Speaking on the Senate floor just prior to the confirmation vote, Senator Lott told his colleagues that he has “seldom seen a judicial nominee who comes as highly recommended, and who is as highly credentialed, as Sul Ozerden.”  Senator Lott noted that in addition to his professional achievements, Ozerden is recognized as a Gulfport community leader – lauded by the Gulfport Chamber as its “Volunteer of the Year” and recognized as one of The Sun Herald’s “Top 10 Business Leaders under 40” for South Mississippi.  He currently serves on the building committee of St. Peter’s By-the-Sea Episcopal Church which was damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

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