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.


Today’s pick-a-punishment for misbehaving Justice Court judges…

Here’s the statement of facts, in full:

In September 2007, Judge Bustin executed a felony arrest warrant for David C. Lema, charging him with kidnapping his own child. The warrant was based upon an affidavit filed by Lema’s ex-wife, who claimed primary physical custody of the child. Judge Bustin, who is a licensed attorney, […]

Justice Court Judge announces to public: Don’t depend on the legal system, take the law into your own hands.

At a sentencing hearing in a case where a member of his family was an alleged victim, Justice Court Judge Jimmy McGee had this to say:

I could assure you that if anything like this ever happened to anybody that I know, my advice to them would be do not use the court, handle […]

Another public reprimand for judges jailing lawyers: Judicial Performance Commission and Judge Albert Smith

The AP is reporting two judicial misconduct cases to be submitted at the Mississippi Supreme Court, one involving a justice court judge and the other (submitted tomorrow without argument) involving Circuit Judge Albert Smith from the district over in the Delta that runs from Bolivar up to Tunica County.

Judge Smith and the Judicial Performance […]

Judge Patton sanctioned for ex parte communication, due process violaitons, and improper incarceration of parties

Yesterday, the Mississippi Supreme Court had before it a case where Hinds County judge Houston Patton (according to the allegations of the Judicial Performance Committee)

had engaged in ex parte communications with  the  plaintiff  and  counsel  for  the  defendant; had granted  relief not prayed for by the plaintiffs; and had wrongfully held the defendant […]

Judicial Performance Commission: DeLaughter is over, don’t worry about resolving our motion

Kingfish is the first one out with the Judicial Performance Commissions motion to withdraw their interim suspension of DeLaughter.  As the basis, they state that he’s entred a guilty plea to obstruction of justice by lying about Wilson v. Scrgugs, that he’s resigned as a judge, and that he’s promised to never attempt to […]

What should a court do when it sees lawyers (or lower court judges) misbehave?

Back in the 70s, a relatively prominent Mississippi attorney (now dead) was involved in a bribe of the state banking comptroller.  The bribe was made to  obtain a bank charter.

One interesting detail about the case was how the bribe was paid– the bank comptroller had a good friend who was known to have […]

A serious question about Judicial Performance and the State Bar and the Supreme Court

Important Update below

This is not a rhetorical question, but a real one:  Is there any form of coordination between the State Bar, and Judicial Performance Commission, and/or the Mississippi Supreme Court when one sees things that might be an issue for the other?

For instance, when I read the Supreme Court’s opinion in […]

Patsy Brumfield asks “Quo vadis” and Jimmie Gates recounts DeLaughters and Peters in Kirk v. Pope

Patsy Brumfield and Jimmie Gates have day-of-the-plea DeLaughter stories.

In the Daily Journal, Patsy Brumfield asks “What’s next,” focusing largely on what’s going to happen in Wilson v. Scruggs. She writes:

– Will anyone else be indicted in this case?

– Will this second judicial bribery case in north Mississippi be the last related […]

Clarion Ledger story about Judge DeLaughter and the judicial performance commission

Jimmie Gates writes about Judge DeLaughter’s judicial performance commission matter, with two bits of news– that DeLaughter’s suspension pending his Judicial Performance commission complaint resolution is one of the longest on record, and that there is apparently an agreement between the Commission and DeLaughter that resolution of the judicial performance complaints will await resolution […]