Oral argument – Ct. of App – Jan. 28, Feb. 5 & 6, 2014

Tuesday Jan 28, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. 

Baxter v. State – In April 2010, Baxter pleaded guilty to two counts of manufacture and possession of a controlled substance.   He skipped his sentencing hearing a few months later.  A bench warrant was issued.  When Baxter’s girlfriend was spotted in her truck with what appeared to be a passenger hiding in the seat next to her, a deputy pulled in behind her and the truck sped off. Other deputies joined the chase. Eventually the truck turned around, struck the sheriff (who later died from his injuries) and left the scene.  No one could tell who was driving the truck.  The next day both Baxter and his girlfriend were found hiding in a trailer. Baxter signed a Miranda waiver and admitted to being the driver and  having “nudged” a deputy.  Baxter was charged with capital murder but was considered too mentally challenged to qualify for the death penalty. Among the issues: 1) whether evidence of the pursuit should have been suppressed because of a lack of probable cause to make a traffic stop; 2) whether Baxter knowingly waived his Miranda rights given his mental deficits; 3) whether the indictment should have been dismissed because the girlfriend gave allegedly false testimony before the grand jury; 4) whether the venire should have been quashed because of statements made by prospective jurors during voir dire; 5) whether it was error to introduce Baxter’s April 2010 guilty plea; and 6) and whether a mistrial should have been ordered when the prosecution made a Caldwell argument (that an appellate court would review their decision), etc. 

State’s brief

Baxter’s reply brief

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

at 10:30 – Price v. Pereira – this started as an enrollment of a judgment out of a NY bankruptcy proceeding. Price argued that the Bankruptcy Court’s judgment was not entitled to full faith and credit because of due process (procedural) errors in the bankruptcy proceeding. The court granted summary judgment to Pereira. Only Price’s reply brief is available.

Price reply brief

at 1:30 – Anderson v. State – what started as a bar fight ended up in the death of one of the combatants and the arrest of the other. Anderson raises 1) sufficiency of the evidence; 2) whether Anderson should have been allowed to impeach the testimony of the State’s witnesses via discrepancies in the police report 3) whether it was error to allow the state to adduce evidence of empty .40 caliber gun boxes containing lots of ammunition found in Anderson’s home.

State’s brief

Anderson’s reply brief

Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014 at 10:00 a.m

Atkins v. Old River Supply – Atkins and others were employed at a Volvo dealership. They sued for overtime pay. The court found that Old River Supply was exempt under §213(b)(10)(a) of the Fair Labor Standards Act. That exemption reads: “(A) any salesman, partsman, or mechanic primarily engaged in selling or servicing automobiles, trucks, or farm implements, if he is employed by a nonmanufacturing establishment primarily engaged in the business of selling such vehicles or implements to ultimate purchasers.”

Atkins’ brief

4 thoughts on “Oral argument – Ct. of App – Jan. 28, Feb. 5 & 6, 2014

  1. It was a serious mistake to grant oral argument in Atkins. The opinion in that matter will have absolutely no effect on the development of the law. No federal court in the country will have the slightest interest in what the Mississippi Court of Appeals thinks the FLSA means.

  2. I seem to remember that when I clerked, the person deciding whether oral argument was granted was the justice to whom the case was assigned and everyone has different views about granting it. Here Atkins asked for oral argument. Maybe the justice it was assigned to is lenient when granting oral argument. If someone has a more recent clue as to how it is decided which cases are argued,please let us know.

  3. Reid, you seem to misapprehend the uses of oral argument. If nothing else, the COA’s decision will be binding on Mississippi courts when they interpret that FLSA section, unless & until the MSSC holds differently.

    Re: Jane’s comment, that is my understanding as well; some justices grant oral argument pretty much whenever it’s requested, because they like oral argument. Some doubtless feel differently.

    For myself, I have sometimes observed that federal law can be somewhat of a brain-teaser to some state-court judges, so it’s probably a good thing the COA is affording the parties every opportunity to explain their positions.

  4. When I clerked ages ago (in prehistory i.e. before the internet), the cases were assigned by having one clerk from each office pick cases from a cup (the case names were written on slips of paper). The cases were divided up by the number of volumes.

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