I am Tom Freeland, a lawyer in Oxford, Mississippi. The picture in the header is my law office. I'm on Twitter as NMissC

Missing Posts: If you have a link to a post that's not here or are looking for posts from Summer of 2010, check this page.


Imposing “attend church” as a condition of bail?! Also, a question about sanctioning judges

I’ve an observation and a question about a Judicial Performance case the Mississippi Supreme Court decided today.

First, there’s this, from the facts:

In April 2006, Judge Dearman presided over the initial appearance of Philipe D. White, who was charged with felony possession of a controlled substance, cocaine base. Judge Dearman set White’s […]

Jimmy Robertson meditates on judging, justice, and innocence cases

Jimmy Robertson has an article (that may not be a permalink) that’s well worth reading about innocence cases and the Mississippi Supreme Court that centers around a case that came before the court while he was on it.  It begins:

On Feb. 18, 2011, Circuit Judge Robert Helfrich of Hattiesburg entered an order that […]

Phillip Thomas has a nice report on the damages cap argument

Here it is.

The damages cap is a Proscrustean Bed

At Eleusis, Theseus killed Cercyon in a wrestling match. A little farther down the road, he found Procrustes. Theseus killed Procrustes by stretching him on his own bed of torture, as he himself had done to so many unhappy visitors. Like Hercules, Theseus justly compelled criminals to suffer the same torments that their […]

Wednesday Noon Various

A naive reader of the Clarion Ledger account of yesterday’s damage cap argument in Learmonth would conclude from the headline (“Cap on jury awards a legal limit, state Supreme Court told”) and the first seven paragraphs that Sears was reassuring the court everything was ok with the damages cap while Learmonth’s lawyer stood mute. […]

California Bankruptcy Court holds Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional

A bankruptcy judge in the Central District of California, in an opinion also signed by 19 of the 24 bankruptcy judges in that district, has declared (NYTimes article) the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional insofar as it discriminates between types of married couples.  The court holds that the law fails under either heightened scrutiny or rational […]

Randy Wallace reports on the damage cap argument

Regular readers are probably aware that the Fifth Circuit certified the question of whether the tort damages cap is constitutional under the state constitution.

The case, Sears v. Learmonth, had en banc oral argument today.  Randy Wallace has a brief, interesting report on the live simulcast of the argument, which I’m sorry to […]

Quote for the day

The Nevada Supreme Court thought a legislator’s vote to be protected speech because voting ‘is a core legislative function.’

We disagree, for the same reason.

From the Scalia opinion in Nevada Comm’n on Ethics v. Carrington.

h/t Mark Tushnet on Balkinization.

Tuesday Morning Various

Lyle Denniston at the SCOTUS blog writes about the cert grant in Smith yesterday (the New Orleans Brady revisit that I wrote about) and goes through the timing of the cert grant.  The petition was filed in December, after the argument in Connick and the state was asked to respond while draft opinions […]

Connick redux: The Supreme Court grants cert in another Brady case from New Orleans

Folks may recall the Supreme Court opinion from last Fall in Connick v. Thompson, in which an exonerated inmate sued the District Attorney’s office in New Orleans for violating the rule in Brady v. Maryland that holds that the Due Process Clause requires prosecutors to give defendants exculpatory information.  The Supreme Court held that […]