Decisions – Miss.Ct.App. – Aug. 19, 2014 – part one

Steven Galle v. Isle of Capri Casinos – Galle filed suit against the Isle of Capri for wrongful termination.  The trial court granted summary judgment for the casino and the Miss. Ct. of Appeals reverses “as it is uncontested that Galle was
terminated after reporting to the Mississippi Gaming Commission that the Casino had him managing the poker room without a required license. Moreover, the trial court erred in going beyond the motion for summary judgment to dismiss Galle’s other causes of action.”  Galle started working in the poker room of the Isle of Capri in 05.  He was promoted to poker room manager by 2008 but that position required a “key employee license” from the Gaming Commission. Galle  was denied such a license because he failed to disclose a 1994 arrest on the application. He was  nominally demoted o supervisor. In 2011, Galle was issued a new ID badge by the casino that identified his  position as “manager.”  Galle claimed he brought this to his superiors’ attention, but he was told to wear it anyway.  A few months later, a Gaming Commission inspector noticed Galle’s badge and the Commission sent a letter to the casino alleging that Galle was illegally acting as manager and demanding that it remove him from that role. The Casino subsequently fired Galle for allegedly misrepresenting his position.  Galle represented himself throughout.

Dareous Rico Bryant v. State – Bryant was convicted of murder after a series of fights broke out during his birthday celebration at the Bee Hive Club in Shuqualak and Bryant was alleged to have shot one of the combatants, Lamarco Tate, after Tate punched Bryant’s brother.  Bryant raises sufficiency of the evidence.  He also alleged during his motion for new trial   that there was jury tampering.  When the jury was initially polled, one of the jurors voted not guilty.  The jury was sent back in and came back unanimous. At the hearing on the motion for new trial, the bailiffs who supervised the jury were questioned and could not identify any extraneous influences. The Ct. of App. affirms.   

Darryl Tillis v. State – Tillis was convicted of murder.  He met up at a Jackson gas station with Michael Olowo-Ake to consummate a drug deal.  There was an argument about the quality of the drugs and Olowo-Ake was shot and killed.  Tillis argued that the shooting was an accident that happened when Olowe-Ake pulled out a gun, Tillis grabbed it to protect himself, and as Olowe-Ake fought to get the gun back and Tillis was restraining him, the gun went off twice.  Among the issues, the state called the coroner and not a pathologist to testify.  She testified that the manner of death was homicide.  Tillis objected to her qualifications to testify as well as the fact that the State argued to the jury that the homicide ruling ruled out accidental death even though there is a difference between the medical meaning of homicide and the legal meaning of homicide and, thus, the jury was left with the notion that the state’s expert had ruled out an accidental shooting when this was not the case.

Summerlin v. Eldridge – custody modification – Tamara and Mike were divorced in 2011.  Mike was awarded custody of the eldest daughter Madison while Tamara got custody of the two youngest daughters Haley and Grace.  Three months later Tamara filed a motion to modify custody asking to exchange Grace for Madison.  Mike agreed and an order was signed.   More litigation followed.  Eventually the chancellor awarded custody of all three to Mike after finding that there was a material change in circumstances in that Tamara married Del, she relocated with Del to Alabama, Tamara and Del had interfered with Mike’s visitation, etc. Tamara’s oldest daughter testified that Del had verbally attacked everyone on the house.  In 2012, he confronted Madison about her desire to live with Mike.  He stormed out of the house and Tamara locked herself and the kids on and kept a loaded firearm by her bed.  The Miss.Ct. of Appeals affirmed the modification of custody.  



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