Monday, February 27, 2017

Seminar of Interest

On March 15-17, Larry Rice will have his divorce CLE what he does about every two years in Memphis.  A copy of the schedule is located here.  As an attorney, this has been the most useful CLE I have been to.  I have attended his past two and will be at the one this year.  Come join me for some entertainment while learning useful and practical practice tools. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Youth Crimes Jurisdiction

 Mississippi Code Annotated section 43-21-151 (Rev. 2015) provides, in the relevant part that:

(1) The youth court shall have exclusive original jurisdiction in all proceedings concerning a delinquent child, a child in need of supervision, a neglected child, an abused child or a dependent child except in the following circumstances:
(a) Any act attempted or committed by a child, which if committed by an adult would be punishable under state or federal law by life imprisonment or death, will be in the original jurisdiction of the circuit court;
(b) Any act attempted or committed by a child with the use of a deadly weapon, the carrying of which concealed is prohibited by [s]ection 97-37-1, or a shotgun or a rifle, which would be a felony if committed by an adult, will be in the original jurisdiction of the circuit court[.]

The statute deals with some very narrow exceptions where a crime can be tried in Youth Court as opposed to Circuit Court.  The Court of Appeals recently vacated a jury verdict where the State skipped getting the case transferred from Youth Court.  A link to the opinion is here

Friday, February 17, 2017

Another Avenue for Attorney's Fees

Saw this note in a Mississippi Supreme Court case last week and never had thought about it much.  The Mississippi Supreme Court has held attorney’s fees may be awarded in cases where punitive damages are, or would be, proper, but are not actually awarded.  See Aqua-Culture Technologies, Ltd. v. Holly, 677 So. 2d 171, 184-85 (Miss. 1996); see also Pursue Energy Corp. v. Abernathy, 77 So. 3d 1094, 1100-01 (Miss. 2011).  Furthermore, punitive damages are not a prerequisite for attorney’s fees, and a chancellor does not abuse his or her discretion by awarding such fees where an award of punitive damages would have been justified.  Aqua-Culture, 677 So. 2d at 184-85.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Misconduct in Trial

Yesterday, the Mississippi Court of Appeals decided White v. State located here.  This case has lots of useful information to be filed away.  The case deals with social media evidence in a statutory rape trial.  The Court of Appeals found multiple errors in this case and reversed it.  With regard to social media, it goes through and states how social media can be offered into evidence and that the trial court has to let a witness attempt to authenticate it.  Additionally, this case has one of the most detailed lists I am aware of regarding prosecutorial misconduct.  Anyone who does criminal defense work will want a copy of it.   It can make a really good list of potential motions in limine.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Bill of Interest

A bill passed by a narrow margin in the state house to abolish the collateral source rule in Mississippi.  The bill is headed to the state senate.  A copy of the bill is here

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Withdrawing Admissions

Under Rule 36 of the Rules of Civil Procedure, failure to respond to admissions automatically deems them admitted in Mississippi.  Located here is one of the best briefs I have found dealing with the current caselaw on withdrawing admissions.  The case in the brief is currently up on appeal.  This is one area that some new law needs to be established in.  To me, admissions are a little too much of gamesmanship as opposed an adjudication on the merits.