James Mitchell Lanier, retired chief public defender with Berkeley County, died Saturday. He was 65.

Born May 22, 1947, in Beaufort, he was the son of Edwin Lanier and Lena Mae Sharp Lanier. He served in the Army during Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star. He graduated from the College of Charleston and earned his juris doctor degree from the University of South Carolina.

In 1980, Lanier opened his civil law practice in Moncks Corner. He soon began his career with the Berkeley County public defenderís office and was the chief public defender for over two decades.

He is survived by his wife, Judith Singletary Lanier; son James M. Lanier Jr. and wife Kristen; and grandson James Mitchell Lanier III.

A service will be held from 6-8 p.m. Thursday at Dial-MurrayFuneral Home in Moncks Corner.