Miss. Comm’n on Env. Quality v. Bell Utilities is being heard by Justices Randolph, King and Pierce. Favorite quote so far by Justice Randolph about the lack of administrative procedures: “We expect a little due process, maybe a whole bunch . . . .” For some reason that reminds me of my favorite Justice Banks question, “Where does that get you?” Sort of the opposite of pomposity. The central question here is whether a chancery court may order an administrative agency to adopt rules and regulations.
Estate of Kimbrough – Again Justices Randolph, King and Pierce. Interesting twist is that the person in the alleged confidential relationship, Matthew Johnson, was not someone who inherited through the will. The sole beneficiary was Kimbrough’s significant other Mildred Washington. Appellants argue that the chancellor failed to determine whether Matthew Johnson exercised undue influence but only looked at whether Mildred exercised undue influence. Washington argues that since Johnson was not related to Washington, the chancellor was correct not to look at Johnson’s relationship with Kimbrough. (Washington also characterized Kimbrough as a hard-headed man who was used to getting his way which, given the 36 children, is hard to dispute. Anyway, this would go to Kimbrough’s not having been influenced by anyone). Johnson, however, was an executor of the will. Justice Randolph points out that there is a conflict between Johnson’s role as executor to maximize the estate while Johnson’s duty vis-a-vis his publishing company is to pay as little as possible for Kimbrough’s work.