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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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

Justice Graves’ Senate Judiciary Re-vote Set for January 27, 2011

Posted in 5th Circuit Court of Appeals
Justice James Graves’ Senate Judiciary Committee Re-vote will be Thursday January 27, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. That is 9:00 a.m. Jackson time. Here is the agenda. You can also link to a live webcast of the hearing at the same link. But I doubt that it will be very exciting. The re-vote is necessary because judicial nominations expired with the… Continue Reading

5th Circuit Affirms $2.8 Million Verdict and Certifies Issue of Constitutionality of Non-Economic Caps to Miss. Supreme Court

Posted in 5th Circuit Court of Appeals
On Wednesday the 5th  Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a jury verdict of $2.8 million in Learmonth vs. Sears, Roebuck and Co. The Court also certified the issue of the constitutionality of Mississippi’s caps on non-economic damages to the Mississippi Supreme Court. Here is the Court’s opinion. The case was based on an auto accident between… Continue Reading

Justice Graves Nomination Not Dead

Posted in 5th Circuit Court of Appeals
Today’s headlines suggesting that Justice James Graves’ nomination to the 5th  Circuit Court of Appeals is dead are misleading. Judicial nominations not yet approved by the full Senate die as a matter of course when the Senate adjourns for the year. That does not mean that Graves will not be confirmed. The key statement in the article… Continue Reading

Justice Graves’ Nomination Held Over by Senate Judiciary Committee

Posted in 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, National Politics
The Senate Judiciary Committee did not act on any pending judicial nominations today. This included the 5th Circuit nomination for Justice James Graves. Here is the link. The Point of Law blog noted in a post today that conservatives are trying to stall on all nominations for the entire lame duck session.  President Obama may… Continue Reading

Justice Graves Likely to Clear Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday

Posted in 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, National Politics
Charles Griffin reports on his Minority Defense Litigator Blog that on Thursday Justice James Graves will get his Senate Judiciary Committee vote for his appointment to  the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Here is a Sun-Herald story on the vote. This is one of the steps in Graves’ confirmation process. After he clears the committee he… Continue Reading

Graves Confirmation Hearing was a Non-Event

Posted in 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, National Politics
Will Bardwell attended Justice Graves’ Senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday and wrote this account for the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal. The hearing opened with softballs from Senator Al Franken. Franken reminded Graves that “you’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and dog-gone it, people like you.” Then it was time for the Republican attack. Except the Republicans implemented… Continue Reading

Attack on Justice Graves Has a Lesson for All Appellate Judges

Posted in 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, National Politics
Blogs were burning up on Friday over this blog post by a California law professor (Eugene Volokh) that suggested that 5th Circuit nominee and current Miss. S. Ct. Justice James Graves (who is African-American) is racist. Volokh’s blog has a national following. In support of the theory, Volokh contrasted Graves’ voting record on several appeals In which Graves did… Continue Reading

Reeves Nomination Clears Senate Committee—Justice Graves Nomination on the Slow Track?

Posted in 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, National Politics, U.S. District Courts in Mississippi
Jackson lawyer Carlton Reeves’ nomination to be a U.S. District Judge cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. Here is the Clarion-Ledger article on the story. The next step for Reeves is a full Senate vote. Logic suggests that the Senate vote should take place in the next few weeks. But we’re talking Washington politics, so… Continue Reading

Republicans in 4-Corners on Obama’s Judicial Nominees

Posted in 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, National Politics, U.S. District Courts in Mississippi
USA Today has this new article on the slow going that President Obama is having in getting federal judicial appointments approved by the Senate. The article is fairly typical of similar articles focusing on the confirmation delay during the past year or so.  The article notes that the President is appointing record numbers of non-white males: So far… Continue Reading

5th Circuit Upholds Tax Evasion Conviction of Notorious Expert Witness Dr. Calvin Ramsey

Posted in 5th Circuit Court of Appeals
The Clarion-Ledger reported this weekend on the 5th  Circuit upholding the tax evasion conviction against Dr. Calvin Ramsey. According to the article: The IRS said Ramsey underreported his income and owed the government $232,117 in additional taxes. Ramsey contended he did not intentionally falsify his tax returns. The 5th Circuit panel found ample evidence to… Continue Reading

Who Does Governor Barbour Appoint to Replace Justice James Graves?

Posted in 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, Mississippi Supreme Court, Politics in Mississippi
Any doubts about whether Justice James Graves would be confirmed to serve on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals seemed to be put to rest on Friday with Mississippi Republican Senator Roger Wicker’s endorsement of Graves. So how does Graves’ imminent departure impact the future of the Mississippi Supreme Court? It’s hard to say at this point,… Continue Reading

Justice James Graves Headed to Fifth Circuit–Part 1 of My Take

Posted in 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, Mississippi Supreme Court, National Politics
On Thursday President Obama finally nominated Mississippi Supreme Court Justice James Graves to serve on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Here is the Clarion-Ledger’s article. Here is Graves’ bio on the Supreme Court’s web site. Graves has been the front runner since Judge Barksdale took senior status in the Fall. My prior posts on… Continue Reading

After Friday’s Bizarre Fifth Circuit Non-decision, Gulf Oil Spill MDL Should Not be Located in 5th Circuit

Posted in 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, Gulf Oil Spill Litigation
On Friday the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals did about the most bizarre thing that I can recall an appellate court ever doing in the Comer v. Murphy Oil case: dismissed an appeal without deciding it because it did not have a quorum to decide the case. Needless to say, it’s caused a huge stir that you… Continue Reading

President Obama Moving Slowly in Filling 5th Circuit Vacancy

Posted in 5th Circuit Court of Appeals
In this October post, I discussed the vacant 5th Circuit Court of Appeals slot and mentioned Justice James Graves as a candidate to fill the position. Since then, President Obama’s administration has moved at its typical slow pace in filling the position. With the President’s White House Counsel leaving the administration at the end of the year,… Continue Reading

Paul Minor Soon to be a Free Man?

Posted in 5th Circuit Court of Appeals
NMC and Will Bardwell are stating that with today’s 5th Circuit partial reversal of Paul Minor’s conviction, the remaining portion of the conviction may hinge on the honest services fraud conviction. Here is what the WSJ Blog said about honest services fraud earlier this week: The days of the honest services fraud law — for years a go-to… Continue Reading