Supremely stupid decision – Mississippi Supreme Court bans publication of Justice Diaz's dissent

Acceptance of dissent is the fundamental requirement of a free society.

What, then, does it mean when the Justices of the Mississippi Supreme Court vote to ban publication of Judge Diaz’s dissenting opinion?

Well, take a look and then a guess.

A look at Diaz’s dissent shows he argues the error of the court’s decision that the statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits begins at the time of the injury, not on the date of death.

“The obvious result is that a wrongful death action may expire before the decedent does.

“This judicially created rule is without foundation, and frankly, absurd,” he adds in his seven-page document provided to the Daily Journal.

Patsy Brumfield had the story on-line for the Journal but a h/t goes to Y’all for the notice.

Obviously, voting to ban publication of a dissenting opinion is an assault on justice almost beyond comprehension – but so was the majority decision. Not to mention it gave common sense a pretty good whack, too.

What kind of tort reform is it to have folks filing suit for wrongful death while they’re still alive?

Patsy’s story has more details but we are left to guess the thinking behind the decision itself and the subsequent decision to ban the dissenting opinion of Justice Diaz; but, I suspect we’re not missing much. Continue reading “Supremely stupid decision – Mississippi Supreme Court bans publication of Justice Diaz's dissent”

Speaking of a "slabbed party" the invites are out for Rigsby depositions on September 3

A quick check of Pacer showed invitations – yes invitations as in you are invited– are out for the September 3 deposition of the Rigsby sisters and it looks like a big party. No RSVP is required and there are probably 50 or more names on the invitation list – all of whom are invited to cross examine – but Maison Heidelberg’s was not among them and only one attorney from the Gilbert Randolph qui tam team made the cut.

Maybe one of our lawyer-readers can explain. There are bound to be rules about who is invited, how much time is allowed others, and so forth – and how the one-hour provided under Walker’s order translates to such an open-ended invitations.

Other questions: Both notices state the depositions are “for all purposes” but don’t the rules Judge Senter set for qui tam discovery make related questions off limits? Another, if the sisters can not be witnesses in the McIntosh case, what use is their testimony?

State Farm’s notice, actually amended notice one per sister, was on the docket today. The text follows below with the Renfroe notice thereafter – emphasis added to both pointing our text related to these comments. Continue reading “Speaking of a "slabbed party" the invites are out for Rigsby depositions on September 3”

The Clarion Ledger Editorializes on Bushies Visit to the Coast: Good Job Brownie!

My personal opinion is this piece is spot on as is today’s Marshall Ramsey cartoon. However, I’ll start off with Marshall’s blog entry on today’s cartoon:

I’m glad the President is dropping by the Coast to check on things.  I just wanted to let him know that sky-high insurance costs are drowning many people’s hope of rebuilding their lives.

The content of the the related Op-Ed is very painful for blind Bushie lovers though:

As President Bush gave his upbeat take on the Coast’s recovery from Hurricane Katrina on Wednesday, he must somewhere deep inside wonder how he got into such a fix – or how it all went so wrong.

From the very first, the storm was a nightmare for his presidency, starting with his ignoring the reports in Crawford, Texas, that a potentially devastating storm was heading for the Gulf Coast.

A later video tape of his being briefed about the storm contradicted his assertions that he knew nothing about it.

Then, there was the storm hitting, and his people who were charged with handling the emergency couldn’t even decide the extent of the damage – even denying the levee at New Orleans had been breached, while news crews showed live footage of water streaming into the 9th Ward. Continue reading “The Clarion Ledger Editorializes on Bushies Visit to the Coast: Good Job Brownie!”

Road Home recipients in NOLA short by average $54,586 according to new report

No wonder I got lost and made the wrong connection on my recent stroll down memory lane – the Road Home is short, way short according to the PolicyLink report: A Long Way Home: The State of Housing Recovery in Louisiana 2008. The Times Picayune has the story:

In New Orleans, 81 percent of Road Home recipients received awards that did not cover the needed repairs to their homes. The average shortfall was $54,586, the report stated. In other parishes, 69 percent of recipients had shortfalls.

…Most storm-beleaguered Louisiana homeowners did not receive enough Road Home money to completely rebuild their homes, and limited recovery dollars will only help replace a portion of the state’s damaged rental units, according to a report to be released today…

Since Road Home grants are calculated based on pre-Katrina property values — not the actual replacement cost of the dwelling — the gaps were especially large in neighborhoods with low pre-storm property assessments, such as the Lower 9th Ward and eastern New Orleans, the report found. Road Home recipients in those areas may have been fairly compensated relative to the pre-Katrina value of their properties, which was the stated goal of the program, but the grants typically would not cover the cost to rebuild those homes.

Currently the Road Home litigation is stalled – and were it not for Beau, NAAS, Sop and others I would be, too. It is this case, and not the anti-trust case, in the Sun Herald story of Judge Duval’s ruling last week. Continue reading “Road Home recipients in NOLA short by average $54,586 according to new report”

Renfroe files another unusual motion – this one in Shows

Maybe this motion isn’t as unusual as it seems; but, it has an air of the chicken-salad set about it that seems out of place to me. For all you lawyers unfamiliar with the term, the chicken-salad set are those who whisper things like, I think Mary brought store-bought brownies to bridge club last week.

I suppose that translates to a presumption of privilege when applied to this Response to “Unopposed” Motion to Sever filed today in Shows v State Farm et al, the Katrina RICO case, clarifying Renfroe’s position.

During the case management conference, counsel for Renfroe stated that it did not object to the proposed severance and would not oppose plaintiffs’ motions to sever.

Renfroe wants to make clear that its position is based on its understanding that the severed plaintiffs, Ellen Summers, Stephen F. Summers, and Sandra Simpson, do not intend to name Renfroe, Gene Renfroe, or Jana Renfroe as parties to their claims or to file a RICO or civil conspiracy claim.

Renfroe based its position on the fact that neither it nor its principals would be parties to the new, severed cases and that, because Ellen Summers, Stephen F. Summers, and Sandra Simpson would solely be pursuing “wind versus water” claims against State Farm pursuant to their respective State Farm insurance policies, such suits would differ materially from the RICO and other conspiracy claims asserted by the remaining plaintiffs in this action. There would, therefore, be a substantial distinction between the severing and non-severing plaintiffs’ claims that justified severing the actions… Continue reading “Renfroe files another unusual motion – this one in Shows”

Editilla on the NOLA Levees and ASCE

A week or so back I noticed Editilla at the Ladder was raising some hell about the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) impeding other levee failure investigations. It is a most worthy topic so I invited him to do a guest post us here on slabbed on the topic. He suggested a confab involving the Ladder and we are happy to oblige.

Before we get to Editilla some background is in order couresty of Sandy Rosenthal at and the Times Picayune., the local nonprofit flood protection watchdog group, blasted on Tuesday the American Society of Civil Engineers for failing to complete an investigation of alleged unethical behavior of its staff during the initial investigation of levee failures in New Orleans. founder Sandy Rosenthal further criticized delays in the completion of a review of ASCE’s peer reviews of natural and man-made disasters, which the industry group commissioned in December after the filing of the ethics complaint. Continue reading “Editilla on the NOLA Levees and ASCE”