Decisions – Miss.S.Ct. – Jan. 5, 2017


 

A. Randall Harris v. State of Mississippi – contempt –   In 2015 Judge Jeff Weill removed public defender Allison Kelly from cases in his courtroom.  Harris was appointed to take over the defense of Cameron Travelsted.  The Miss.S.Ct. ended up  lifting Judge Weill’s blanket ban against Kelly but refused to automatically reassign all fifty-five cases back to Kelly.  Instead, the clients could choose between the PD’s office and private appointed counsel.  The PD’s office met with Travelstead who chose to remain with Harris.  However, at some point it became clear that the Hinds County Board of Supervisors was refusing to pay the lawyers whom Weill had appointed.  Travelstead was to go to trial on July 13, 2015.  The Friday before, Harris filed a motion to withdraw.  On July 13, Judge Weill denied Harris’ Motion to Withdraw.  Thereafter Harris declined to go forward. A week later, at a status conference on the case,  Judge Weill entered an order finding that Harris was  guilty of direct criminal contempt. The order also directed Harris to pay a $100 fine and a $1,200 assessment for the cost of the jury that had shown up for voir dire on July 13. Harris appeals. The Miss.S.Ct. affirms.

Estate of Richard B. Davis, by and through its Executrix, Janice Y. Davis v. Darrell N. Blaylock, MD d/b/a Blaylock Medical Clinic, LLC – wrongful death – Janice Davis filed four wrongful death suits over the death of her father.  All but the first filed were dismissed.  She appeals claiming that the trial court should have consolidated the cases. The Mississippi Supreme Court affirms.

Still, Davis contends the proper course was to consolidate her multiple actions. But when faced with a similar request to consolidate in Long, we clearly held that, because any subsequently filed actions are “of no effect and should be dismissed,” they cannot be consolidated with the first action. Id. at 174. “Consolidation of suits presupposes that there are two suits to consolidate.” Id. And because a wrongful-death claim “must be brought in a single suit, there cannot be two suits to consolidate.” Id.

 

Mississippi Department of Revenue v. James Alcorn Russell, III a/k/a J.A. Russell d/b/a Russell Racing and Repair – Per Curiam Affirmance.

One thought on “Decisions – Miss.S.Ct. – Jan. 5, 2017

  1. I feel sorry for Harris. This whole mess was started by Judge Weill acting ultra vires and unlawfully dismissing counsel for the defense. He created this hornet’s nest by his misconduct. Then he proposes that Harris should serve whether he gets paid or not. What a travesty. Too bad the Supreme Court didn’t take all that into consideration before upholding Weill’s order.

    Now, Harris will have to eat his unpaid fees, on top of paying off Weill’s contempt judgment – that, or sue the Hinds County Board of Supervisors for his money, which will cost more than he’s owed.

    Meanwhile, Weill remains undisturbed to cavort from incident to incident like a maniac.

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