The Mississippi Bar Summer School starts today

MONDAY, JULY 9, 2018
8:00-9:00 AM Recovered! – “Real Life” Ethics (Ethics Session)- Hank Ros, BILOXI, Bonnie Bridgers Smith, RIDGELAND

9:05-10:05 AM An Overview Of The 2018 Legislative Session – Representative Bryant Clark, LEXINGTON, Senator Gray Tollison, OXFORD

10:10-11:10 AM Enlargements Of Time: Defining “Cause” In Light Of Fulgham And Other Civil Procedure Lagniappe – Justice Bobby Chamberlin, HERNANDO Randy Pierce, OXFORD

11:15 AM-12:15 PM From The Poor House To The Jailhouse To The Federal Courthouse: Poverty And The New Rules of Criminal Procedure -Will Allen, BROOKHAVEN Cliff Johnson, OXFORD

Navigating Immigration Challenges In 2018: A Look At The Basics In A Dynamic Environment -Jim Letten, NEW ORLEANS, LA Gabriela Ungo, TUPELO

Getting Divorced In Today’s Technological World: Accessing A Spouse’s Electronic Information And Other Tips and Cautions – Jennifer Boydston, RIDGELAND Douglas Ford, COLUMBUS

Marching To The Beat Of Your Own Drum: Opening And Running A Solo Practice – Mike Carr, CLEVELAND Tametrice Hodges, RIDGELAND Philip Thomas, JACKSON

The Only Thing Constant Is Change: Current Trends In Sexual Harassment Litigation – Nick Norris, JACKSON Robin Taylor, RIDGELAND

A Prosecutor, A Judge, And A Defense Lawyer Walk Into A Bar: Hot Topics And Trends In Criminal Law – Bryan Buckley, CANTON, Judge Lisa Dodson, GULFPORT, Aafram Sellers, JACKSON

Analyzing The “Trump” Card: Planning For LLC’s And Partnerships After The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act – Bob Box, JACKSON, Jan Lewis, CPA, JACKSON

You Can’t See What You Can’t See: Implicit Bias In Legal Communication – Mary Largent Purvis, JACKSON

If I Knew Then What I Know Now: Lessons Learned from Experience – Roy Campbell, JACKSON, Alveno Castilla, RIDGELAND, Cindy Mitchell, CLARKSDALE

WEDNESDAY, JULY 1 1 , 2018
8:00-9:30 AM Federal Discovery Practice And Settlement Conferences: Views From The Bench – Judge Keith Ball, JACKSON, Judge Roy Percy, OXFORD, Judge Ginny Virden, GREENVILLE

9:35-10:35 AM An Update From Your State Treasurer And Secretary of State, STATE TREASURER Lynn Fitch, SECRETARY OF STATE Delbert Hosemann

10:30 AM-12:00 PM The “Perfect” Match: Selecting Clients For Successful Representation (Ethics Session) Adam Kilgore, JACKSON, Missye Martin, JACKSON

Tim Threadgill, CHAIR • Graham Carner, Cory Griffin,  Chad Hammons,

Special Committee Opinion 2018-005

Opinion 2018-005

The Special Committee on Judicial Election Campaign Intervention received a request for an opinion on the following issue:

A local county ordinance was provided to the judicial candidates of a certain Mississippi county which prohibits putting up political signs “on property by the owner thereof or other private property with the property owner’s consent and not in any County or State right-of-way or easement” until 60 days prior to the election. On June 6, 2018, which is 120 days prior to the allowed time period for erecting signs, it was observed that one judicial candidate had erected a large political sign outside his/her office located in this county. Is this a violation of Canon 5(A)(3) and/or an unethical and unfair campaign practice or can all candidates put up signs at their offices?

Canon 5(A)(3), in relevant part, provides that “[a] candidate for a judicial office shall maintain the dignity appropriate to judicial office and act in a manner consistent with the integrity and independence of the judiciary . . . . Also, Canon 5(F) provides that “[t]he objective of the Special Committee shall be to alleviate unethical and unfair campaign practices in judicial election . . . .”

This matter was submitted as a request for an opinion. No candidate was named, no ordinance was provided, and no evidence of any unlawful, unethical or unfair conduct was provided.

The Special Committee has decided that the request for an opinion failed to include sufficient information to determine whether a candidate violated a law or committed an unethical or unfair campaign practice. The Special Committee notes that in Reed v. Town of Gilbert, Ariz., 135 S.Ct. 2218 (2015), the United States Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional a local sign ordinance that set time limits for display by political candidates. However, because of the lack of sufficient facts or information to determine whether Reed would apply to the sign ordinance referenced here, the Special Committee declines to act on the request for an opinion.

This opinion is limited to the scope and authority of the Special Committee under the Mississippi Code of Judicial Conduct.

Any questions should be in writing and directed to:

Special Committee on Judicial Election Campaign Intervention
Attn: Darlene Ballard
Executive Director
Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance
660 North Street, Suite 104
Jackson, MS 39202
Telephone: (601) 359-1273 • Fax: (601) 354-6277

The Declaration of Independence

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

A Good Judge

“There never was a time that I did not find him a fair, courteous, patient, and impartial judge and, sometimes to my sorrow, a very wise and discerning judge. In all these years I never found him anything but a wise, patient, and loyal friend, always ready to give generously to a younger man from the great store of wisdom which he had accumulated through the years. All the time I have been practicing law he has been one of the men whom I held before me as a model to be imitated, however far I might fall short of success in such imitation.”

Phil Stone, Address at a Memorial Ceremony Honoring Chief Justice Sydney M. Smith, (1948)

Southwick, The Least of Evils for Judicial Selection, 21 Miss. C. L. Rev. 209 (2002)

Special Committee Opinion 2018-004

Opinion 2018-004

The Special Committee on Judicial Election Campaign Intervention received a request for an opinion on the following issue:

If an individual wishes to make a campaign donation via credit card but the committee does not have the capability to process the credit card, may the card be run through the candidate’s office account and then have a check written to the committee for the appropriate donation?

The Special Committee has determined that this issue presents a question of sufficient general interest and importance. As a result, the Special Committee has decided to issue the following formal opinion.

Canon 5(C)(2), in relevant part, provides:

A candidate shall not personally . . . accept campaign contributions . . . . A candidate may, however, establish committees of responsible persons to conduct campaigns for the candidate . . . . Such committees may . . . accept reasonable campaign contributions . . . . Such committees are not prohibited from . . . accepting reasonable campaign contributions and public support from lawyers.

Canon 5(C)(2) prohibits the candidate from “personally . . . accept[ing] campaign contributions.” The Special Committee is of the opinion that the receipt of a campaign donation through a credit card transaction that is processed by or through the candidate’s office credit card account would violate Canon 5(C)(2). The candidate’s committee may process the credit card campaign donation or the committee may use a third party to process the donation.

This opinion is limited to the scope and authority of the Special Committee under the Mississippi Code of Judicial Conduct.

Any questions should be in writing and directed to:

Special Committee on Judicial Election Campaign Intervention
Attn: Darlene Ballard
Executive Director
Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance
660 North Street, Suite 104
Jackson, MS 39202
Telephone: (601) 359-1273 • Fax: (601) 354-6277

Justice Kennedy retires

On Tuesday, The Clarion Ledger had an article on who would replace Judge E. Grady Jolly on the 5th Circuit.  It implied the appointment would come soon.  Oh well, the retirement of Justice Kennedy just stopped the nomination/confirmation process for a while.

According to the article, the short list includes:

Mississippi Supreme Court Justice James D. Maxwell

Mississippi Court of Appeals Judge Jack Wilson

U.S. Southern District Chief Judge Dan Jordan

I had also heard that Judge Sul Ozerden was being considered.  I’ve even heard that he was the favorite.

Prayers and good luck to the person chosen.  Tough road to go through a confirmation.  I’m glad we have good candidates who are willing to take on this difficult, but important task.