Category Archives: Opinion

It’s NOT a Vast Conspiracy…(usually).

“Do you think the Judge was on the take?”


There have certainly been instances of judicial corruption. However, they are few and far between. In Family Law matters, Judges wield considerable power, read as discretion. The Judge, a.k.a. Chancellor, decides what evidence is admitted, how to determine witness credibility and what weight is given both.

To help in this endeavor, there are rules which the Court must apply and adhere to. These rules deal with whether evidence may be introduced, or if certain “witnesses” may even offer testimony. The lawyer knowing these rules, or at least that they exist and where to find them, should argue the application of the rules to the offered evidence or testimony and then the Judge determines if it is accepted.

With that background, if Court did not go your way ask your lawyer first. Were they prepared? Did they make sensible arguments? Did they know the law on the issues before the Court? Because, if they were not prepared, made nonsensical arguments and did not know the proper legal standard, perhaps your loss was not due to the vast conspiracy, but do to your own efforts and that of your counsel.

99 times out of 100 your loss is not to be put at the blame of the Judge.  The Judge wasn’t bribed. Think about it. Why would the Judge risk his or her career, reputation and freedom just to give you a bad deal? They would not. Think about the checks and balances in place, the process for having rulings appealed, the fact that every word uttered in Court is taken down, recorded and documented and then look in the mirror and ask that person if they have done the right thing.

The Judge wasn’t bribed. Just maybe, the outcome was because of the facts.

Matthew Thompson is a Family Law Attorney in Mississippi and represents parents in domestic disputes regarding divorce, alimony, child custody and support.


Don’t Send a “Novel” in a Text Message


The first text message was sent in 1992 from Neil Papworth, a former developer at Sema Group Telecoms. Mobile phones didn’t have keyboards at the time, so Papworth had to type the message on a PC. Papworth’s text — “Merry Christmas” — was successfully sent to Richard Jarvis at Vodafone

A two-word message was the first text message and is a good general guide for how long your messages should be. Texting a novel is NOT a good idea. It is hard to read. Punctuation is an afterthought. Grammar rules are ignored. There is no tone in text messages.

A text message novel is a mere paragraph in an email. In an email form it is not daunting or harassing. In text form it is over the top. Send short texts. Save the longer messages for an email or even a letter.

Matthew Thompson is a Family Law Attorney in Mississippi and reminds you to avoid sending a novel length text message.


Biloxi Lighthouse: A Beacon in the Night

On March 3, 1847, the United States Congress authorized $12,000 for the construction of a lighthouse in Biloxi, Mississippi. The lighthouse was completed and placed in operation in 1848. The tower is 45 feet from the base to the lantern room and displayed nine lamps.

The lighthouse is (now in the middle of Highway 90) across from the Biloxi visitors center. It is open for tours, weather permitting, every morning at 9:00 am, 9:15 am, and 9:30 am. $5 for adults, $2 for children and you get a Biloxi Lighthouse bracelet.












Throughout its IMG_8724history, the lighthouse has survived numerous hurricanes, including Camille and Katrina. Inside the lighthouse, blue lines are painted on the wall to mark historic storm surges above ‘mean sea level.’Hurricane Camille’s record of 17.5 feet was broken by Hurricane Katrina, which crested at 21.5 feet.


The Biloxi Lighthouse is one of the most photographed sites on the Gulf Coast. The lighthouse was featured on over 2 million registered Mississippi vehicles on license plates.

The Lighthouse uses 1-200 watt light bulb. It shines for 3 seconds and is dark for 1 second, a code unique to Biloxi. It has 3 backup bulbs if the primary bulb burns out.

In 2009, the landmark underwent a 14-month $400,000 restoration, finished in 2010.  It is the only lighthouse in the United States to stand in the middle of a U.S. Highway and is now billed as 65 feet tall. Today you can climb the Light’s 57 steps and 8-rung ladder into the light room. –Wikipedia. 

Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney in Mississippi, a History major and enjoys exploring Mississippi’s hidden and not-so-hidden gems.