Latin Lessons; Res Judicata

Today’s blog is about one of those Latin terms that lawyers and judges say and no one else really knows what it means, until today.


Res judicata, pronounced (Race Jude-ih-kah-tah), means the thing that has been decided or a matter already judged.  It is usually used as a legal defense to a suit, wherein the Defendant, the person being sued, raises the defense and argues the Plaintiff, the person suing, cannot get the relief they are seeking because they previously sought and were granted relief, or previously sought and were denied relief or previously sought relief and should have included that claim at that time.

By way of example, this scenario may better explain Res judicata;

Mary sues Jim for divorce.  As a part of the divorce Mary seeks the house and equitable distribution of the property, a fair division of the stuff.  However, Mary does not seek alimony.  The case is either settled or decided by the Chancellor.  All issues raised by Mary are resolved.  Upon settlement, or the Court’s ruling becoming final, the matter is closed.  Mary then realizes her mistake and seeks alimony, either through a new action or through a modification.  However, it is too late.  That issue is Res judicata, even if Mary should have received alimony, even if the Court would have awarded it.  It is barred because Mary could have brought it at the time of the divorce and should have, but did not for whatever reason.

It is important for parties involved in legal proceedings to know what their attorney is talking about and what those terms mean, some of them can really matter.

Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney that knows some Latin terms and does not mind explaining them to his clients, even 2 or 3 times.  Trust the Bow Tie.

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer    Visit the website: Thompson Law Firm

You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or

Super Bowl Sunday; Super Strange Custody Fight

With the Super Bowl imminent it reminded me of a case I was involved in where there was a serious custody battle.  The fight was not over the children, nor the house or the retirement accounts.  The fight was over SEC Season Football Tickets! (certainly worth fighting for)


The tickets were secured by one party who had been getting them for years, but were actually paid for by the other party.  So, both felt they had a legitimate claim, additionally both genuinely wanted the tickets. It was not posturing by the wife to get a better deal or more support.

The solution?  Joint custody.

Each picked certain games that they would attend each year and on the ones that both wanted to attend they agreed to alternate even years and odd years to determine who got to go.  Another interesting aside was that there were 2 tickets for each game.  Who the guest would be was also an issue, as they obviously would not both go at the same time! Neither wanted the other to be able to take a bf/gf. The compromise was that the other ticket would be used by a family member, or a minor friend of the children. (Minor meaning under 21, not just small).  The custody of the season tickets was one of the last issues to get resolved. It really did matter.

Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney that will handle your custody case, whether it be over Children, the House, Accounts, SEC Season Football Tickets or the Dog!  Trust the Bow Tie.

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer    Visit the website: Thompson Law Firm

You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or

The Bow Tie Changes Everything…

I have previously blogged on why I am the Bow Tie Lawyer and how I came to sport bow ties.  I recently read an article about how beards change not only one’s appearance, but also how they are perceived and it made me realize the bow tie also changes not only the person that wears it, but also those that come into contact with the bow tie wearer.

How, you ask, can a mere bow tie change someone?  A bow tie is just a narrow piece of cloth, placed around the neck and collar, tied into a bow, and usually worn on special occasion, also known as a dicky bow.  Here are some beneficial changes;

  • Most people assume you did not tie it and are astounded to find out that you tied it yourself.  They now see you in awe.
  • Most assume tying it is very difficult and because you can tie it you are very smart.  They now see you as superior.
  • Strangers will speak to you and comment on the bow tie’s dashing good looks.  They see you as a trend setter.
  • Fellow bow tie wearers give you an approving head nod.  They see you as in the fraternity.
  • Elderly women think it’s very handsome.  They see you as very handsome.

And, there are some not so beneficial changes;

  • A lot of people assume it’s a clip-on and never find out otherwise.  They see you as an odd, old man wearing a clip-on bow tie.
  • A lot of people assume you are a nerd.  They see you as a nerd.
  • Strangers will make comments to you and  call you Bill Nye and not mean it in a flattering manner. Again, they see you as a nerd.
  • When you are used to wearing long neck ties and switch to bow ties the first several times you wear the bow tie you feel a little under dressed due to not being able to see your tie, other than in a mirror. You are startled when you see yourself the first several times.
  • Younger women think it’s very dorky. They see you as dorky.

The good news is that bow ties are coming back into the mainstream. So, hopefully, if you wear one enough bow ties will once again gain wide acceptance, minimizing the negatives.

Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney that wears bow ties.  He is also the exception to the rule as all age groups think he and his bow ties are quite dashing and smart.  Trust the Bow Tie.

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer    Visit the website: Thompson Law Firm

You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or

Divorce, Child Custody & Child Support, Alimony, Contempt, Modification, Youth Court, Adoption and Appeals.

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