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: General

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Tales of the Absurd

Posted in General
I saw a report that an effort in the Florida legislature to amend the state’s workers compensation act failed in part because the House wanted to cap fees of claimants’ attorneys at $150 per hour. The Senate was more generous, only wanting to cap fees at $250 per hour. Florida has close to 30 million… Continue Reading

Rocky Wilkins Joins Morgan & Morgan

Posted in General
A couple of weeks ago Jackson personal injury attorney Rocky Wilkins announced that he will join the Jackson office of Morgan & Morgan on May 1. It’s my understanding that the plan is for Rocky to try all of the firm’s Mississippi cases. Wilkins’ late father was a well known criminal lawyer in Jackson. Before… Continue Reading

Pain Pills Scarier than Murder?

Posted in General
Note: I wrote most of this post week before last. In the interim, another local man in his early 20’s overdosed. Good kid. Good family. The opioid epidemic is real–and it’s in your neighborhood. This is kind of off topic, but it’s becoming more apparent by the day that maybe the number one threat facing… Continue Reading

An Interesting Decision Involving Inadvertent Production

Posted in General
In February a federal district court in Virginia issued this opinion on a motion to disqualify counsel for using inadvertently produced documents. Here’s what happened factually: In an effort to share information electronically, Thomas Cesario, a Senior Investigator for Nationwide Insurance Company, (“Nationwide”), which owns Harleysville, uploaded video surveillance footage of the fire loss scene,… Continue Reading

Artificial Intelligence to Make Lawyers Obsolete?

Posted in General
This Jason Koebler article in the Atlantic speculates on the Rise of Robolawyers. Don’t laugh. I believe it’s coming. From the article: …The most successful robolawyer yet was developed by a British teenager named Joshua Browder. Called DoNotPay, it’s a free parking-ticket-fighting chatbot that asks a series of questions about your case—Were the signs clearly… Continue Reading

My Favorite Judge Frank Russell Story

Posted in General
As reported in the Daily Journal, former Circuit Judge Frank Russell died on Saturday. Judge Russell had a quick wit, as evidenced by this exchange that I was lucky enough to see in person: Defense lawyer:  I’ve got 10 reasons for why you should grant our summary judgment motion. Judge Russell:  Well, you better pick… Continue Reading

Smartphone – Dumb Driver

Posted in General
The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday on the ‘epidemic issue’ of drivers distracted by their smartphones. In response, auto insurers are raising rates for everyone. And its not just texting. Insurer surveys show that in 2015, 29% of drivers admitted to accessing the internet while driving compared to only 13% in 2009. Among drivers aged… Continue Reading

The Wonderful World of Lawyer Emails

Posted in General
I enjoy reading articles about lawyer email etiquette like this one by Stefan Savic on Above the Law. It always reminds me of how ill equipped I and many other lawyers were when we began using email in the mid-1990’s. Because trust me, if you think lawyers need lessons in email etiquette now, you have… Continue Reading

Fewer Companies Results in Shrinking Legal Market

Posted in General
I recently came across this Above the Law post by Michael McDonald about the shrinking legal market. McDonald points out that there are 35% (3,500) fewer publicly traded companies in the U.S. than there were in 1997. This hurts the legal economy because there are fewer potential clients. All but the mega-firms suffer: The result… Continue Reading

Nursing Home Arbitration Banned: What’s the Impact for Mississippi Litigation?

Posted in General, Tort Reform
The New York Times announced last night that the federal government is banning arbitration clauses in nursing homes that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding, which is pretty much all of them. It’s nice to see that the nursing home industry isn’t happy, since they are lying about arbitration: The nursing home industry has said that… Continue Reading

Your Boss Probably Isn’t This Bad

Posted in General
Don’t know how I missed this guy, but the NY Times announced today that Mike Davis, the world’s grumpiest boss has died. How grumpy you ask? Consider some of these gems contained in memos in the pre-email days: There will be no more birthday celebrations, birthday cakes, levity or celebrations of any kind within the… Continue Reading

State Budget Woes Brings Bad News for Miss. Attorneys

Posted in General
I’m not an economist, but when I read articles like this one in the Northeast Daily Journal about Mississippi’s tax revenues being down I conclude that Mississippi is in a statewide economic recession. From the article: Mississippi’s July revenue report, released on Monday during the final days of August, reveals the state collected $11.5 million… Continue Reading

Jury Acquits Mikal Watts in BP Oil Spill Fraud Trial

Posted in General
On Thursday a federal court jury in Gulfport acquitted Texas lawyer Mikal Watts and two other employees of his law firm on fraud charges related to BP oil spill claims. The jury convicted two defendants who made up fictitious claimants and turned the information over to Watts’ firm. Here is the Anita Lee’s Sun Herald’s… Continue Reading

Could Florida Really Have Worse Drivers Than Mississippi?

Posted in General
I was stunned when this new Smart Asset study came out ranking Mississippi drivers as only the second worst in the country. The fact that Mississippi drivers are terrible is, obviously, unsurprising. But Florida’s are worse? I’m not buying it. Either the study is flawed or–more likely–Mississippi drivers on vacation in Florida drag down Florida’s… Continue Reading

The Onion Breaks Down Jury Selection

Posted in General
The Onion has been on a roll lately in the presidential election cycle. My favorite recent article is this one on the Trump campaign pondering going negative. And if you don’t know what the Onion is, you are really missing out. The ‘article’ includes this gem: We’ve tried to run a clean campaign that we… Continue Reading

Mississippi Legal Icons Pass

Posted in General
Two icons in the Mississippi legal community are no longer with us with the passing this week of Judge Marcus Gordon and famed attorney Gene Tullos of Smith County. Here is a Jerry Mitchell Clarion-Ledger article on the passing of Judge Gordon. He served as a Circuit Judge for over 36 years. He is best… Continue Reading

Report: Most Lawyers Are Not Busy Enough

Posted in General
You are not alone if you are a partner at a law firm and aren’t busy enough. According to this ABA article an Altman Weil report reveals that most partners aren’t busy enough. The figure is 80% for non-equity partners at big firms. Here is a summary of the report. Stats from the article: Fifty-two… Continue Reading

Varidesk is a Great Stand-up Desk Option

Posted in General
Regular readers are familiar with my bitching about the health effects of sitting at a desk and working on a computer all day. Sitting all day makes my neck stiff and hurt. My gut feeling is that it’s generally bad for my physical health. For this reason, I’ve been in the market for a stand-up… Continue Reading

Recommendation for OneNote Users: Install Onetastic

Posted in General
Microsoft OneNote is indispensable in my practice. While I still maintain traditional (paperless) files, I organize most of my case and practice workflow in OneNote. In a typical case I have sections for experts, standards-rules, key documents, witnesses, settlement, trial themes and contact notes with opposing and co-counsel. But since I use it so much,… Continue Reading