Category Archives: General Legal

Don’t Lie to Your Attorney- or there will be Consequences…

This is not a threat. This is a fact.

Lawyers give their best advice based on what the client tells them. Based on what the “facts” are can significantly impact not only the outcome, but also the advice given.

Routinely, clients have denied certain conduct and based upon those assertion, advice is given. Then, the other side files a pleading alleging the very conduct. Many times I have called opposing counsel and asked that they provide the proof, as it may well change my advice.

When you lie to your lawyer it impacts your case. It impacts the advice given. It impacts the strategy of the case. It also impacts what your lawyer believes from you thereafter. AND, it can also impact the outcome of your case.

So, did you lie to your attorney about a material, critical part of your case? Did that lie effect the advice given and strategy used? Did that lie come back to bite you in the tail (and could have been minimized had you just told the truth)? So, think long and hard about lying to your attorney – – and don’t do it.

Matthew Thompson is a civil litigation attorney and knows the adage of if your lips are moving you’re lying, but still wants to believe the clients.

Marriage in Mississippi- Until Death…Irretrievable Breakdown is Dead.

A proposed bill died a quiet death in committee yesterday, the same committee that helped in the drafting and promoting it. This bill had previously passed the Senate as well…

In November, I wrote about the “word on the street” of changes coming in Family Law in Mississippi. Last summer the Mississippi Legislature assembled a blue-ribbon panel of lawyers, judges, legislators, law professors and the like to assess some of Mississippi’s more difficult or out-of-the-main-stream family law laws.

This panel suggested multiple changes with child support/age of majority and adding a 13th ground for divorce- irretrievable breakdown. This change would bring Mississippi in line with approximately 48 other states.

Part of the reason for the blue-ribbon panel was to gain insight from the practitioners, judges and persons dealing with the families this would impact. The rumor mill was that this was a done deal, was much-needed and would alleviate what one supreme court justice described as “financial blackmail.”

Yoggi Berra said it first, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.”

Senate Bill 2643 (Miss 2022) died in Committee on March 1, 2022, when it was referred to Judiciary A, by Speaker, Philip Gun.

“4   02/10 (S) Transmitted To House
   5   03/01 (H) Referred To Judiciary A
   6   03/01 (H) Died In Committee”

Unfortunately, we may never know all of the behind-the-scenes details on why this was studied, proposed, promoted, passed, referred and allowed to whither on the vine. But, it was a much needed change in Mississippi law and one that would do more to promote family harmony than anything else the Mississippi legislature could do.

This harkens back to 2017 when a legislator single-handedly killed attempts to add domestic violence as a specific element of a cruelty based divorce and allow for the victim’s testimony to be sufficient proof of such. Once the domestic violence provision was struck the firestorm that erupted caused an about-face of the legislator and the language reappeared in another bill…lets hope for some common sense and that history repeats itself.

Matthew Thompson is a Mississippi Divorce and Civil Defense Attorney and is routing for another Change of Heart!

Mississippi ID Goes Digital – MS Mobile ID

Forgot your wallet or purse? No problem. You now have a legal, state issued ID on your phone or mobile device….and, we know you did not forget your phone!

MS Mobile ID https://www.driverservicebureau.dps.ms.gov/mobile-id/

Mobile ID is an app allowing Mississippi residents to maintain a valid, state-issued ID on their device. Mobile ID reports that it is a “highly secure, digitized version of your driver license or state-issued ID, carried in an app on your smartphone”

Mobile ID is endorsed by the Department of Public Safety and the MS Drivers Service Bureau. “Mississippi Mobile ID keeps user data secure and ensures privacy of personal information by only storing information with the state system of record and on the user’s device.”

Mobile ID offers a contactless method for verifying identity. “Mobile ID allows the DPS to push updates to information such as an address change or status update, so verifiers can be confident the identity they are accepting is authentic and up-to-date.”

This appears to be safe, easy and legitimate. Now you can have your ID on you whether you have your wallet or not.

Who Can You Count On?

Woody, from Toy Story, was always someone Andy could count on.

However, Woody is fiction and so is the vast numbers of people you can count on.

Today’s post is not a pessimistic world view, but you can count on five people, maybe.

You can count on your parents, usually. You can count on your siblings, oftentimes. You can count on bestfriends, sometimes. You can count on professionals, reasonably speaking. You can count on your spouse, about half of the time. Anyone else? Don’t count on it.

That co-worker that said the orange shirt looked good on you told your other co-worker it looked like you worked at Orange Julius. That friend from the gym, isn’t so friendly behind your back. That acquaintance from tennis that always smiles, is not smiling when they’re recounting the latest bit of gossip, that they know is not true…

A wise man once said, “If you have no expectations of people, you will not be disappointed.”

Humans are imperfect creatures. We all mess up. Sometimes in big public ways that lend themselves to public scorn, sometimes in private, discreet manners that result in no harm, no foul. However, we all mess up. Remember that.

Matthew Thompson is a family law/civil defense attorney and often gives the advice- prepare for the worst, hope for the best, and you’ll usually end up somewhere in between.

Divorce is a Lonely Process

I was recently at a conference where the speaker, an attorney from Austin, TX, made this profound statement.

It struck a chord, as it is a very true statement…

Divorce is hard and when going through the depths of it, it can seem overwhelming. Your family, friends and neighbors may avoid you like the plague.

Sides are picked, lines drawn and sometimes what you think is a sure thing is not.

If you find yourself going through a divorce or about to, identify a good lawyer that can represent you, get a recommendation of a good counselor that can help deal with the emotions and drama, and strive to maintain your support system.

Matthew Thompson is a divorce and civil defense attorney and encourages you to have a support system when going through a divorce.

(601)850-8000 www.ThompsonAddison.com

Happy Father’s Day!

Memorial Day – In memoriam

Memorial Day is a day to remember and honor those who have died in service to this Country.   

On Memorial Day, the flag of the United States is raised briskly to the top of the staff and then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position, where it remains only until noon. It is then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day.

The half-staff position remembers the more than one million men and women who gave their lives in service of their country. At noon, their memory is raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.

Legal Citation of the Decade: Madison the City, an Old Scandal and FOUL language…

A recent decision ended the litigation between the Estate of Mark Mayfield vs. The City of Madison. It was a sordid affair involving the Cochran nursing home scandal, a hotly contested U.S. Senate race, a tragic death and multiple twists that prove time and again that truth is stranger than fiction.

You can read the full Order here and see a myriad of comments from legal scholars that post to the Blog; Jackson Jambalaya

Today’s post just focuses on one quote from Federal Judge, Carlton Reeves’s Opinion.

At the third and final step, the Mayfields must come forward with evidence that a jury could use to conclude that the City’s probable cause was, for lack of a better term, bullshit. See generally HARRYG. FRANKFURT, ON BULLSHIT (2005) (attempting to define the term). The questions at step three are supposed to be tailored to the particular circumstances of the case…”

“…In this case, the framework suggests that we should ask a series of questions. Did the investigation follow the evidence to its targets, or did the police “round up the usual suspects? ”Was there anything unusual about the timing or the manner of the City’s investigation? Is there any other case where the City Attorney met with the District Attorney and the investigators everyday to discuss charges and be involved in how those charges would proceed? Were persons who engaged in similar conduct also arrested, or were they let off the hook because of more agreeable political beliefs? See Nieves, 139 S. Ct. at 1727.An examination of the evidence adduced in this case satisfactorily answers these questions. Instead of rounding up the most vocal McDaniel supporters, City investigators followed the evidence from Kelly to Mary to Mayfield. The police were given free rein to conduct their investigation as they saw fit, without direction from the Mayor, a Cochran supporter. There is no evidence that before the Rose Cochran incident, the City of Madison was itching for an excuse to go after McDaniel supporters. And there is no evidence of differential treatment of McDaniel and Cochran supporters. As an example, there is no evidence that Cochran supporters entered a McDaniel relative’s home in Madison, after which the City refused to prosecute them.”

It’s not often you see Bullsh*t attempt to be defined in a judicial opinion.

Matthew Thompson is a civil litigation/family law attorney and “LOL-ed” when reading this Opinion.