Category Archives: General Legal

Hinds Chancery Judge Race

Hinds County has four full-time Family Law Judges. The qualifying deadline is May for those persons seeking to become the next Chancellor. Qualifiers, so far, include;


Dewayne Thomas Chancery Court Judge 5 Sub 5-1

Judge Thomas is a shoe-in to win. Not only because he is unopposed currently, though that helps, but also because he has a reputation for fair rulings, a good judicial temperament and willingness to listen.


Subdistrict 2 is the race to watch right now.(primarily because it is the only contested race).

Patricia Wise Chancery Court Judge 5 Sub 5-2

Judge Wise is the incumbent. She has served as a Chancellor since being elected in 1989. Judge Wise has reputation for being tough and insisting that attorneys and litigants respect the Court and follow the required procedures. The rumor was Judge Wise considered retirement, but she has qualified and is seeking another four years.

Reginald Harrion Chancery Court Judge 5 Sub 5-2

Reginald Harrion is challenging Judge Wise for the District 2 seat. Harrion, an associate with Schwartz & Associates, P.A., is admitted to practice in Mississippi, Arizona and Georgia. He has been practicing for nearly 20 years.


Denise Owens Chancery Court Judge 5 Sub 5-3

Judge Owens is the Senior Chancellor, meaning she has been the longest-serving Chancellor of the current Judges. Rumors swirled about Judge Owens possibly retiring as well. However, Judge Owens qualified to run again. Judge Owens has a good reputation and is known for thoughtful, fair rulings.


Steven P. Nixon Chancery Court Judge 5 Sub 5-4

Subdistrict 4 will be lead by a new Chancellor in 2019, with the retirement of Judge Singletary. So far, only one candidate has qualified for this seat, Steven Nixon. Nixon has been in private practice since 2004 and has also served as Municipal Court Judge in Clinton. Nixon has a good reputation as an attorney and will make a good jurist.

The rumor-mill has at least another attorney qualifying for this seat, but has not as of the time of this posting.

Matthew Thompson is a Family Law Attorney in Mississippi and limits his practice to almost exclusively Chancery Court in the State.



When an “Agreement” is Not an Agreement.

Let’s agree to disagree.


Parties in a lawsuit have a lot of latitude to agree to settlement terms. This is certainly true in divorce. Virtually everything is negotiable and if an agreement can be reached, usually it will be approved by the Court.

However, to be an enforceable agreement it must be approved by the Court. Until such time as your agreement is reduced to writing, signed and approved by the Court, it is on iffy ground as to enforceability issues. While some issues may be contracted without Court approval in a family law case, such as property division and alimony, some issues can not be enforced absent Court approval, such as child custody related terms.

Likewise, “changing” your Court papers without Court approval is dicey. Swapping out a holiday here or a week there is not usually a big deal, but changing payment terms, amounts, or duration can lead to serious consequences if done without Court approval. Child support vests as it comes due and absent exigent circumstances cannot be forgiven.

An agreement to agree is no agreement at all.

Matthew Thompson is a Divorce Attorney and reminds you to have your Agreement approved by the Court in an Order.


Deadlines matter.

In life, there are deadlines.


1. the latest time or date by which something should be completed.
“the deadline for submissions is February 5th”
2. a line drawn around a prison beyond which prisoners were liable to be shot.
Deadlines induce stress, anxiety and even panic. Deadlines, or rather, meeting deadlines is critical to be successful in life. Projects, bills and responses have deadlines. Sometimes there may be false deadlines, sometimes deadlines may have dire consequences. Knowing the difference is key.
In law school I took Counseling & Negotiation. It was an upper level class taught by an Adjunct Professor, X.M. “Mike” Frascogna. About half way through the semester he made an offer, any student would be guaranteed a “C” if they attended the remaining classes. They did not have to take the final. I recall a student took that offer. I did not consider it.
The final required us to negotiate with the professor for our final grade. There was no set exam. Their were wild stories of students doing wild stunts to get an A. However, one of the lessons that stuck with me was either not allowing the other side to know your deadline or setting a deadline that you know would put pressure on the other side. He told the story of an international negotiation where one person let the other side know he was flying out in 4 days. They wined and dined him, showed him the sights and otherwise occupied his time for 3 1/2 days. On the last day, the traveler agreed to a worse deal because it had to be finalized that day.
Deadlines matter.
Matthew Thompson is a Family Law Attorney in Mississippi and negotiated his way to an A in Counseling & Negotiation.