Category Archives: General Legal

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.

Does it Take an Act of Congress to Get a Divorce…in Mississippi?

The Mississippi Constitution of 1817, Article VI, Section 17 , provided that “Divorces from the bonds of matrimony, shall not be granted but in cases provided for by law, by suit in Chancery; provided that no decree for divorce shall have effect until the same shall be sanctioned by two-thirds of both branches of the General Assembly.”

At the time Mississippi became a state it took a vote by 2/3 of the legislature to get a divorce, after a Judge determined you had grounds for divorce.

This requirement for legislative approval was removed in 1869 and likewise did not reappear in the 1890 Mississippi, the state’s current Constitution.

So, no, it does not take an act of the legislature to get a divorce…anymore, but it can still be difficult and possibly impossible in Mississippi without provable fault grounds.

Matthew Thompson is a divorce and civil litigation attorney in Mississippi.