Decisions – Ct. of App. – May 20, 2014

Yarbrough v. State – holding that if you represent the defendant and a victim in a criminal case, you need to explain to the defendant that there might be a down side.   Defendant was charged with aggravated assault of a police officer.  The defendant’s attorney was representing the cop in a post-divorce contempt proceeding at the same time as the criminal trial.  Attorney failed to obtain a knowing and intelligent waiver of this actual conflict from the defendants.  The trial court’s finding otherwise is reversed.  (This was my case with James Craig and we did most of it pro bono because the facts were so egregious. I’ll post the brief as soon as I figure out how to post documents) 

 Amos v. JPS –  Amos was injured when he broke his thumb tackling another student during a recreational football game at  school.  He sued the school district.  There was differing testimony at trial (county court) as to whether the teacher told the students not to tackle.  The trial court found that the school was not negligent and, besides, this was a discretionary function.  The circuit court affirmed as does the Court of Appeals.

 Howse v. Brentwood Behavioral Health Systems –  Archie, an employee at Brentwood, removed Howse from a classroom for misbehavior and Howse ended up injured.    Archie was fired and pleaded guilty to abuse of a vulnerable adult.   Howse sued Brentwood and the court granted summary judgment for Brentwood finding that the facility exercised reasonable care when it removed a disruptive Howse from the classroom and that until the legislature holds otherwise, a healthcare facility is not responsible for the criminal actions of its employees.  Archie was acting within the scope of his employment when he removed Howse but not when he assaulted Howse so Brentwood is not vicariously liable. Nor was Brentwood negligent in failing to have a working video camera in the time out room where Howse was placed.

 Benitez v. State – Benitez was convicted of murder in the stabbing death of his TSA coworker.  On appeal he argues that he should have been convicted of manslaughter not murder; that his statements to TSA investigators should have been suppressed because they did not inform him of his right to counsel and that the evidence seized from his car and apartment should have been suppressed because the search warrant was insufficient.  Court of Appeals affirms the conviction. 

Turner v. Entergy – Turner was employed at Tempstaff which had her working at Entergy. While at Entergy, Turner claims she was in a restroom when an air vent fell on her head. She filed for workers comp and then filed a civil suit. The court found that Turner’s sole remedy was with workers comp and dismissed her civil case.

Cobb v. State of Mississippi – Cobb Bail Bonding had written a $10,000 bond for Christopher Reid who had been charged with felony possession of a controlled substance. Cobb was t o appear in court on February 1, 2012. On that day, Cobb informed the court administrator that it intended to surrender Reid’s bond. Reid found out about it and left the courthouse via a second story window. The circuit court entered a judgment nisi against Reid, Sandra Cobb and Cobb Bail Bonding as well as a scire facias summoning Reid and Cobb to appeare on May 3,. 2012. When neither appeared, the court entered a final judgment against Reid and Cobb for $10,000. Cobb appeals arguing that her company fulfilled its obligations when it informed the court administrator that it was surrendering the bond. The Miss. Ct. Of Appeals held otherwise. To surrender pursuant to MCA Sect. 99-5-27(1)(a) means to deliver the defendant physically to the sheriff. While Cobb attempted to surrender Reid to the bailiff, he refused because it was contrary to the policy of the sheriff’s department.

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