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.


Michelle Byrom: The Mississippi Supreme Court has ordered a new trial.

Update below

The Mississippi Supreme Court entered an order today that Michelle Byrom is to receive a new trial. They have also ordered that the trial be before a new judge, in an en banc order signed by Justice Coleman with no dissents.

This is extraordinary and unprecedented to my knowledge. The order says […]

Michelle Byrom–What kind of representation did she have? Part 2: How closely decided were the cases?

Michelle Byrom had a direct appeal, a post conviction appeal, a decision by a federal judge on habeas, and a decision by the Fifth Circuit on habeas.  She filed certiorari petitions in the United States Supreme Court.

You will frequently see proponents of death sentences count up the judges involved in the process and […]

Advertising Begins in Northern Supreme Court race

Last week, two sets of ads started running in the Northern District Supreme Court race.  The first out (not available online) had animations of sharks swimming about and was full of vague but dark intimations about Flip Phillips suing local companies.  The local companies not named, nor were the local companies Phillips represents.

Almost […]

Gen. Hood on the Supreme Court pardon decision

Cottonmouth has the Attorney General’s statement:

We do respect the decision of the Court, but feel deeply for how it must weigh on the victims and their families. It is these victims and family members who have lost today and the criminals who have won. As Supreme Court Justice Mike Randolph wrote in his […]

The Mississippi Supreme Court just stayed the Pardons Case and set en banc hearing for 2/9

Briefs are to be filed by February 7th, en banc argument (that is, before the entire court) on February 9th, and the lower court proceeding before Judge Green is stayed.

I have never heard of an en banc argument set just over a week out!

Tom Fortner seems to have got their attention.



MS Supreme Court overturns life-without-parole sentence in felony DUI case

Tyrone Gowdy got picked up for a fourth DUI in Meridian.  He was indicted for felony DUI; just before trial, he was offered a year in jail and a couple of years probation.  He declined, and went to trial and was convicted.

After trial, the DA discovered that Gowdy had two prior felonies in […]

Double Quick— the damages cap case– is decided with a Kitchens opinion

Folks may recall that many lawyers were awaiting a decision in Double Quick v. Lymas, in which the plaintiff had a verdict reduced because of the damages cap.  The idea was that the Mississippi Supreme Court was going to use the case as an opportunity to hold the damages cap unconstitutional.  I was convinced […]

This week in the Miss. Supreme Court: We’re relieved to note that the burden of proof is still on the prosecution

The Mississippi Supreme Court this week had two cases that involve variations on issues we learned in law school– that the state always has the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, and that there never can be a directed verdict in a criminal case.  Unfortunately, there’s not full agreement on these principles within […]

Separation of Powers: The Mississippi Supreme Court throws down the Gauntlet

Matt at Ipse Blogit just told me that Justice Randlolph stated at a CLE on the coast  that at 1:00 this afternoon, the Mississippi Supreme Court issued an order that the Governor has no authority to cut the funds appropriate to the Judiciary Branch.  Matt’s blogged this development.

This should be interesting!

UPDATE:  Here’s […]

Mississippi Supreme Court decisions, 12/17/09

There’s an oddity on this week’s decision list– a cert. grant for a pro se petitioner in Robert Jackson v. State, with the vote to grant–Waller, Carlson, Graves, Dickinson, Lamar, Chandler and Pierce, and to deny– Randolph and Kitchens.  The Court of Appeals opinion is extremely unexceptional– a short unanimous opinion denying Jackson’s effort […]