Decisions – Miss.S.Ct. – Dec. 3, 2015

Expro Americas, LLC v. Eddie K. Walters and H&H Welding DING, LLC – bond injunction rule – Expro Americas is a Texas company that offers  oil and gas well and pipeline services including “helping customers with the safe handling of high pressure hydrocarbons by separating, filtering, and flaring of the gases that result from, among other things, the cleaning, testing, flushing and commissioning and decommissioning of pipelines.”  Expro hired  H&H Welding in Ellisville for  various flare-stack-related work. Eddie Walters was an Expro employee until August 5, 2013. Walters then became  employed by Clean Combustion, a competitor of Expro’s that was created in 2013 by former Expro employees.  Two weeks later,  Expro filed a for a TRO and injunction alleging that Walters and H&H had stolen confidential trade secrets. After conducting an evidentiary hearing, the chancellor dissolved the temporary restraining order and found no facts to justify the issuance of a preliminary injunction. The chancellor awarded the defendants attorneys’ fees and expenses in excess of the $5,000 injunction bond that Expro had posted. On appeal, Expro argues that the chancellor erred in  erred in awarding attorneys’ fees and expenses in excess of the injunction security bond, violating well-established Mississippi law.  The court upholds the award of attorneys fees and leaves for another day the question of whether the bond injunction rule is still in effect.  The Court reverses the dismissal of H&H with prejudice because the dismissal was not after a trial, “a clear prerequisite to dismissal with prejudice pursuant to Rule 41(b).”

Darryl Shinn ineffective assistance of counsel – Shinn was convicted of the armed robbery of Tiya’s Market in Columbus.  Store employees identified him as the robber.  On appeal he raises sufficiency of the evidence issues and the Miss. S. Ct. affirms.  Shinn filed for rehearing alleging various ineffective assistance of counsel claims. The Court granted rehearing to entertain Shinn’s claims but again affirms after addressing Shinn’s ineffective assistance of counsel claims.

James Robert Rowsey v. State“personality conflict” with attorney as basis for conflict –   Rowsey was convicted of aggravated assault in Feb. 2014  for throwing scalding water on a fellow inmate at the South Mississippi Correctional Institution. Rowsey was sentenced to serve ten years of incarceration to run consecutively to the life sentence he already was serving for murder. On appeal, his attorney argues that his speedy trial right was violated.  Rowsey filed a pro se brief alleging that his court appointed attorney had a conflict because he had unsuccessfully moved to withdraw because he was being constantly harassed by Rowsey. The court rejects both arguments. In doing so, it finds that the “personality conflict  between Rowsey and his attorney had no obvious effect on the quality of his attorney’s representation at trial.”  Rowsey also claims it was error to sanction Rowsey for filing a pro se motion entitled “Defendant’s Talleying [sic] of Some Legitimate Rules the Trial Court has Failed to Follow And Motion to Dismiss for the Violation/Error Thereof.”  The trial court ordered Rowsey to pay a filing fee for this motion after finding that it was disrespectful.  The Court finds that the court’s sanctioning of Rowsey was not error.  Nor does it find any evidence that Rowsey was forced to testify in violation of his Fifth Amendment right.

 

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