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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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

January Miss. Jury Verdict Reporter Preview

Posted in General
Here is a preview of the January 2017 issue of the Miss. Jury Verdict Reporter: $16.5 million settlement- Hattiesburg federal court civil rights case; three men wrongfully convicted of murder; served combined 83 years in prison (8/1/16); $138,960 verdict- Convington County breach of employment contract case covered here (9/9/16); $85,000 verdict- Harrison County county court… 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

Legal Profession’s Drinking Problem – It’s the Job, Not the Culture

Posted in Attorney Mental Health, General
Last  week a friend emailed me this CNN article about this Journal of Addiction Medicine Article regarding substance abuse and mental health problems in the legal profession. From the CNN article by Patrick Krill, lead author of the study: The law has always been a magnet for hard-working, self-reliant, and competitive people who often prioritize… Continue Reading

Bringing Back Memories of Taking the Bar Exam

Posted in General
We are all excited at my office because we are getting the ultra-fast C-Spire internet service. Our office is located on a corner. A few weeks ago, workers jack-hammered the street all day running the cable. But I couldn’t figure out why they were running the cable to the building on the other side of… Continue Reading

Tupelo Bolsters Reputation For Dumb Criminals

Posted in General
The NE Daily Journal reports that the plan of three Tupelo men to rob and kidnap Circuit Judge Paul Funderburk was foiled before it got out of the Huddle House: Three Lee County men were arrested Monday after law enforcement uncovered a plot to kidnap Circuit Court Judge Paul Funderburk. According to Lee County Sheriff… Continue Reading

Time to Shut It Down

Posted in General
Time to shut it down….for the year. I’m picking today as the day. I’m going out with this photo of a coffee mug that an attorney friend received as a gift. It goes with my recent posts about know-it-all clients. 2015 has been a good year professionally. But not necessarily where it counts–on the home… Continue Reading

But I Did Stay At a Holiday Inn Express Last Night

Posted in General
Last week I talked about the over-involved client. And then, there is the client who reminds you of this guy: This is how lawyers sometimes feel when non-lawyer clients try to dictate trial tactics right down to specific questions. Invariably, they want you to ask a question that you can’t. Damn those pesky rules of… Continue Reading

The Problem of the Over-involved Client

Posted in General
Judge Primeaux had this post last week titled “What You Get to Decide as Attorney.” The post examined who gets to decide what in litigation: the lawyer, or the client. This is an issue for all lawyers, but particularly defense lawyers, as Anderson pointed out in a comment: This can get particularly annoying when the… Continue Reading

Cops: Too Many Tackleberrys, Not Enough Hightowers

Posted in General
It seems like every few weeks there is a report of another ridiculous cop shooting. Last week the news was Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke killing seventeen year old Laquan McDonald by shooting him a dozen times. Here is a NY Times report with video. This on the heels of many other publicized bad… Continue Reading