Monday, August 1, 2016
Extension of Time to File Appeal
Last week, the Mississippi Supreme Court decided Nunnery v. Nunnery located here. The case dealt with whether the death of an attorney's family member constituted excusable neglect such that the reopening of the appeal period should be granted. Under the circumstances of the case, the Mississippi Supreme Court in a divided opinion found that it was not. The majority reasoned that the prejudice to the opposing party was too great under the circumstances. The dissent argued that the prejudice was only minor since it was only missed by a few days. The analysis seemed to largely hinge on the fact that the motion for a new trial was denied fifteen months after it was filed. The lesson from this seems to be that excusable neglect is a high standard subject to an abuse of discretion review on appeal.