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.


Sharknado and the Courts

There are, at present, no cases in the Westlaw databases name-checking Sharknado, as the search depicted above makes clear.

But that may be about to change, courtesy of the Chief Judge of the Northern District of Mississippi. Today, in dismissing the claim that the use of a paraphrase of the quote, ”The past […]

Trailer to James Franco’s movie of As I Lay Dying



You lose the Nobel Prize from the display cabinet. What goes in its place?

When the representatives from Sotheby’s and the Faulkner family came to get the Nobel Prize plaque from the archives at the University of Mississippi so it can be auctioned, it left a void.  What would be an appropriate replacement?

A Robert Johnson 78 record, “Last Fair Deal Gone Down,” of course.  A reliable source […]

Perhaps the past is past: Nobel Prize Medal for sale

(Alternate title:  Sartoris move or Snopes move?).  From the New York Times:

William Faulkner typed the story on the back of University of Mississippi letterhead, an early exercise in fiction writing about a fur trapper’s trip to a big city. Its 13 browned pages, stashed in an old, mismarked box in a barn on […]

Joseph Blotner, Faulkner biographer, has died at 89

The New York Times obituary notes:

Joseph Blotner did a bit more. He spent 10 years writing a two-volume, 2,115-page, 8 1/2-pound biography of the great American novelist so chock-full of details — down to postmarks and menus — that some critics dismissed it as overwhelming.

But Mr. Blotner’s “Faulkner: A Biography,” published in 1974, became […]

Noel Polk, Faulkner scholar, has died

Noel Polk, most prominently, the editor of “corrected texts” of William Faulkner’s work, and editor of Faulkner’s work for the Library of America, has died at 69.   He taught for decades at University of Southern Mississippi, and most recently at Mississippi State.  In addition to editing Faulkner (and Robert Penn Warren’s All The […]

The casting call for As I Lay Dying: Who are these people?

I’ve been ignoring the news that Canton was going to stand in for Jefferson in the film version of As I Lay Dying, having already stood-in for John Grisham’s county seat in A Time to Kill, but Anderson insists that attention must be paid.

My question, though, isn’t about location selection.  It’s about this […]

A note about the end of Sanctuary and Faulkner’s legal fiction

Plot disclosure warning: I know at one person reading Sanctuary, and this post probably reveals more plot than you’d want if you’re going to read the book any time soon.

I last read Sanctuary in undergraduate school in the 70s. I wasn’t a lawyer, yet, and the ultimate end of Popeye– another man convicted […]

Word for the Day: Snooded

…perhaps in the interval between songs a rich, sourceless voice coming out of the high darkness where the ragged shadow of the heaven-tree which snooded the street lamp at the corner fretted and mourned.

from William Faulkner, Sanctuary.


The Dictionary of American Regional English does not contain the word (although it reports […]

A note from Faulkner’s Sanctuary, and recent reading

William Faulkner famously wrote Sanctuary and used the advance to buy the house in which he moved with his just-married wife Estelle, who had been divorced from her first husband.

Here’s how he has one of his characters describe marrying someone who’d been previously married:

When you marry your own wife, you start off […]