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.


“it would be tooth-fairy odd … in the absence of a quid pro quo.” Notes on Dickie Scruggs’s Fifth Circuit Appeal, Part 3

The record makes manifest that the petitioner passed out search warrants like popsicles in July to a person whom he knew had no legitimate use for them. Common sense strongly suggests that the petitioner—who risked his reputation, his job, and his liberty by conspiring with Fosher—must have received some sort of emolument to make […]

“Defendants all over the country were raising these kinds of claims.” Notes on Dickie Scruggs’s Fifth Circuit Appeal, Part 2

This is the second of three posts about Dickie Scruggs’s Fifth Circuit appeal of the denial of relief from his guilty plea to bribery of Judge DeLaughter.  Part one is here.

Dickie Scruggs’s Fifth Circuit appeal is about the case involving Bobby DeLaughter.  The question on appeal is, essentially, whether admittedly corrupt or unethical contact with […]

New Mobile, Old Mobile

For users of the mobile (smart-phone, etc.) version of the blog:

I’ve just changed it.  I like the new version better, but am open to suggestions.  The change was prompted when, after updating the plugin that created my old mobile version of the blog, I learned from a reader that it didn’t work any […]

Linda Greenhouse is horrified by what she thinks the Supreme Court is about to do.

Her latest starts with a bang:

Years from now, when the Supreme Court has come to its senses, justices then sitting will look back on the spring of 2013 in bewilderment. On what basis, they will wonder, did five conservative justices, professed believers in judicial restraint, reach out to grab the authority that the […]

It’s a wild ass, a Hail Mary pass, a lost raft bobbling at sea…

There is something about the writ of coram nobis that inspires opinion writers to odd metaphors. One instance is a longtime favorite cryptic quote: The writ of coram nobis appears to be the wild ass of the law which the courts cannot control. Anderson v. Buchanan, 292 Ky. 810, 168 S.W.2d 48, 55 […]

Speaking of unauthorized practice of law…

Well, some of us were speaking about it.

Here’s a classified ad in today’s Oxford Eagle:

Divorce Services DIVORCE WITH OR WITHOUT children $125.00. Includes name change and property settlement agreement. SAVE hundreds. Fast and easy. Call 1-888-733-7165, 24/7

Search for the number on the internet, and one learns that the same ad is […]

“The silence of the Information” and “ethically nefarious acts”: Notes on Dickie Scruggs’s Fifth Circuit appeal, Part 1

The eight paragraphs of the Information speak for themselves. So does the silence of the Information.

Concededly, the Superseding Information recites ethically nefarious acts.

-US v. Scruggs, Fifth Circuit reply brief of the Appellant

There’s no particular significance to the quoted first quoted passage, except that the strange poetics of the sentence, “So […]

Some legal research with dad and the law clerk

Probably 5-8 years ago, one our firm’s former law clerks called me with this story about my father today.

Dad told the clerk he wanted a Mississippi case on a very specific point. The clerk went looking, and, to his surprise, turns up a case on that exact issue. He pulls the book (because […]

An AIDS cure reported at U. of Miss. Medical Center

There has been one prior instance of someone cured of AiDS in history, a patient who had a bone marrow transplant.

NPR reports a child who contracted AIDS at or near birth, cured by early and higher doses of antiviral drugs, administered by a University of Mississippi pediatric infectious disease specialist named Hannah Gay (pictured above, from the medical center’s web page).  The development has been described as “exciting” and “definitely a game-changer.”

NPR reports:

Scientists believe a little girl born with HIV has been cured of the infection.

She’s the first child and only the second person in the world known to have been cured since the virus touched off a global pandemic nearly 32 years ago.

Doctors aren’t releasing the child’s name, but we know she was born in Mississippi and is now 2 ½ years old – and healthy. Scientists presented details of the case on Sunday at ascientific conference in Atlanta.

The case has big implications. While fewer than 130 such children are born each year in the U.S., an estimated 330,000 children around the world get infected with HIV at or around birth every year, most of them in sub-Saharan Africa.

And while many countries are striving to prevent these mother-to-child infections, many thousands of children will certainly get infected in coming years.

Until now, such children have been considered permanently infected. Specialists thought they needed lifelong antiviral drugs to prevent HIV from destroying their immune system and killing them of AIDS.

The Mississippi child’s surprising cure came about from happenstance – and the quick thinking “The child came to our attention as a high-risk exposure to maternal HIV,” Gay tells Shots. Her mother hadn’t had any prenatal care, she says, so didn’t get antiviral drugs during pregnancy.

The fact that the newborn tested positive for HIV within 30 hours of birth is a sign she was probably infected in utero, HIV specialists say.

Gay decided to begin treating the child immediately, with the first dose of antivirals given within 31 hours of birth. That’s faster than most infants born with HIV get treated, and specialists think it’s one important factor in the child’s cure.

In addition, Gay gave higher-than-usual, “therapeutic” doses of three powerful HIV drugs rather than the “prophylactic” doses usually given in these circumstances.

Continue reading An AIDS cure reported at U. of Miss. Medical Center

Gary Wills on Robert Caro’s latest volume on LBJ

Wills has a really great review of Caro’s latest that focuses on one of the big themes of the book, the hatred between Johnson and Bobby Kennedy.   One of the interesting things in Caro’s book is that he at least rhetorically rides the fence on two big historical questions:  Did John Kennedy really back almost […]