Mississippi Litigation Review & Commentary

Mississippi Litigation Review & Commentary

Comments on the Latest Developments in Mississippi Civil Litigation

Philip is a trial attorney based in Jackson, Mississippi with a diverse civil litigation practice.

Category Archives: 5th Circuit Court of Appeals

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Mississippi Appears Favorite to Retain Open 5th Circuit Seat

Posted in 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, National Politics, Politics in Mississippi
Geoff Pender’s article on the Clarion-Ledger’s website Thursday confirmed that the recent nominations to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals did not include a nomination for the seat held by the retired Judge Grady Jolly. From the article: On Thursday, the White House sent the Engelhardt nomination to the Senate listed as a replacement for… Continue Reading

Update on Mississippi’s Lost 5th Circuit Seat

Posted in 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, National Politics, Politics in Mississippi
The A.P. has a short story today titled ‘Mississippi jurist should fill appellate seat, senators say.’ Here are the key passages: Mississippi’s two Republican U.S. senators say they are working with President Donald Trump’s administration to fill a seat on a federal appeals court with someone from the state. Sens. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker… Continue Reading

Mississippi Loses Seat on Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals

Posted in 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, National Politics, Politics in Mississippi
President Trump announced his nominations for the vacant seats on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday. The slots are going to two Texans and two Louisianans. This apparently includes the seat held by the retiring Judge Grady Jolly, whose chambers are in Jackson. Louisiana gained a seat. Here is a link to a How… Continue Reading

5th Circuit’s H.B. 1523 Ruling Adds to State’s Macro-level Economic Struggles

Posted in 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, Politics in Mississippi
Mississippi’s economy got some terrible news last week with the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals reversing the District Court on standing grounds and upholding the homophobic House Bill 1523. Regardless of what you think of H.B. 1523, it is undeniably bad for the economy. Just ask North Carolina, which repealed its homophobic law after it… Continue Reading

Will Filling Judge Jolly’s Fifth Circuit Seat Create a Domino Effect?

Posted in 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, National Politics, Politics in Mississippi
I recently had an interesting conversation about the potential domino effect that could be created by the President’s nomination to fill the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals seat held by Judge Grady Jolly, who will retire in October. Everyone I’ve talked to expects the nominee to be a current District Court judge. If so, that… Continue Reading

Sun Herald Urges Bryant to Drop HB 1523 Appeal

Posted in 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, Politics in Mississippi
In an editorial published on Thursday, the Sun Herald urged Governor Phil Bryant to drop his appeal of District Judge Carlton Reeves’ ruling that HB 1523 (the religious objections law) is unconstitutional. In addition to urging the Governor to dismiss the appeal, the editorial notes the differences in how the law plays in North Mississippi… Continue Reading

5th Circuit Affirms $6.5 Million Judgment in Breach of Fiduciary Duty Case

Posted in 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, U.S. District Courts in Mississippi
Jimmy Gates with the Clarion Ledger reported a few weeks ago on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals affirming a 2014 bench trial verdict of $6.49 million by U.S. District Judge Daniel Jordan. The case was tried for three weeks in 2014 and involved ERISA breach of fiduciary duty claims. Here is the 5th Circuit’s… Continue Reading

State Has Close to 0% Chance of Getting Reversal of Judge Reeves’ HB 1523 Decision

Posted in 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, U.S. District Courts in Mississippi
Over the weekend I read Judge Reeves’ entire opinion in which he issued a preliminary injunction enjoining the enactment or enforcement of HB 1523. It’s not a good look for Governor Phil Bryant and the state’s right-wing leadership. Here are some key and interesting points from Judge Reeves’ opinion: the State can’t promote one religious… Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Reverses 5th Circuit in a Jim Waide §1983 Action

Posted in 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, U.S. Supreme Court
On Monday the U.S. Supreme Court reversed a 5th Circuit decision that affirmed the District Court’s grant of summary judgment in Johnson v. City of Shelby. Here is the Court’s per curiam Opinion. The plaintiffs worked as police officers for the City of Shelby. They alleged that they were fired for refusing to ignore an… Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Vacates 5th Circuit Decision on Mississippi Retaliatory Discharge Case

Posted in 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, U.S. Supreme Court
On June 30, 2014 the U.S. Supreme Court granted cert and vacated a 5th Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Gibson v. Kilpatrick. The case originated in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, with Judge Michael Mills presiding. The plaintiff was the former police chief of Drew. He alleged that the… Continue Reading

Courts Entertaining Pretextual Reason for Abortion Bill is Bad for Judicial System

Posted in 5th Circuit Court of Appeals
As the Fifth Circuit ponders whether Mississippi’s law aimed at closing the state’s only abortion clinic is constitutional, neighboring states are enacting similar laws. According to this New York Times article, Alabama, Texas and now Louisiana have all passed bills similar to the one passed in Mississippi. The bills require that a physician performing abortions… Continue Reading

Commentary on the Fifth Circuit’s Ruling in Sears v. Learmonth

Posted in 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, Politics in Mississippi, Tort Reform
When I wrote last week that I would comment later on the Fifth Circuit upholding Mississippi’s damages cap in Sears v. Learmonth, I hoped that the intervening days would fuel inspiration on the topic. They haven’t. I don’t have much to say. The Fifth Circuit’s opinion was about what you would expect from an opinion… Continue Reading

A.P. Reports 5th Circuit Ruling in Sears v. Learmonth Will be Next Year

Posted in 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, Mississippi Supreme Court
An A.P. article on Tuesday stated that the 5th Circuit’s ruling on the constitutionality of Mississippi’s non-economic damages caps will not be made until 2013. The article reports that briefing will not be complete until December 3.  Oral argument has not been scheduled. Attorneys for the parties are uncertain about whether there will be oral argument:… Continue Reading

5th Circuit Moving Forward with Deciding Caps in Sears v. Learmonth

Posted in 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, Mississippi Supreme Court
The Mississippi Business Journal Reports that the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals is asking for more briefs in the Sears v. Learmonth case. This is the case where the Mississippi Supreme Court refused to decide the constitutionality of the state’s non-economic damages on a certified question from the 5th Circuit.  The 5th Circuit’s October 5,… Continue Reading

What Will 5th Circuit Do With the Sears v. Learmonth Hot Potato?

Posted in 5th Circuit Court of Appeals
With the Mississippi Supreme Court punting the decision on the constitutionality of Mississippi’s non-economic damages caps, the issue is back where it started: the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. So what will the 5th Circuit do? The panel assigned to the case consists of Judges King, Stewart and Owen. Two of the three were appointed by Democratic… Continue Reading

5th Circuit Reverses Retaliation Plaintiff’s Verdict in 2010 Jackson Federal Court Trial

Posted in 5th Circuit Court of Appeals
Last month the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a 2010 plaintiff’s verdict of $345,020 in Akers v. Hinds Community College. Here is the Court’s opinion. Here is my 2010 post on the verdict. Plaintiff alleged that Hinds passed over her for a promotion because she helped a colleague who accused Hinds of racial discrimination. The… Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Affirms Judge Wingate in Jackson Firefighters Sexual Harrassment Case Attorney Fee Dispute

Posted in 5th Circuit Court of Appeals
Readers of this post from Tuesday who wonder how the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals analyzes appeals of attorney fee awards have a recent 5th Circuit decision that provides insight on this question. In this March 2011 post I wrote about U.S. District Judge Henry Wingate awarding 21% of the requested attorney’s fees and expenses in the City of… Continue Reading

Graves to 5th Circuit– Who is Next Miss. Supreme Court Justice?

Posted in 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, Mississippi Court of Appeals, Mississippi Supreme Court, National Politics, Politics in Mississippi
With the U.S. Senate approving Justice James Graves’ appointment to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday, attention turns to who Governor Barbour will appoint to replace Graves on the Miss. Supreme Court. I posted on this issue in this post last June. I’ve had lines in the water for weeks on this issue and do… Continue Reading