SLABBED exclusive: Eastland to Holder – re: Minor and prosecutor’s duty to refrain from improper methods designed to produce wrongful conviction

Hiram Eastland, counsel for Paul Minor, has written Attorney General Holder a letter requesting …at a minimum… Mr. Minor’s immediate release pending full review of his case. The full text of Eastland’s letter to General Holder, followed by the text of footnotes incorporated into the body of the letter, is below.

I encourage reader’s to consider Minor’s first trial was also before a jury of his peers and the first prosecution of Mr. Minor ended with an acquittal on various charges and a hung jury on other charges. On retrial. after the presiding judge revised his evidentiary rulings and relieved the prosecution of the need to prove certain elements of the alleged [bribery] crime, Mr. Minor was convicted of what have been described as ‘vague’ charges based on alleged efforts to obtain an unfair advantage from the two lower court judges, again through loan guarantees, and again despite the fact that Mississippi law allows such guarantees.”



June 24, 2009

Honorable Eric Holder
Attorney General
United States Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530-0001

Dear Attorney General Holder:

I am writing this letter to request that you implement an immediate full review of Paul Minor’s case and whether the Department of Justice complied with Mr. Minor’s Brady requests for government disclosure of all exculpatory or impeaching material in the United States’ possession, custody or control, the existence of which was known or by exercise of due diligence could have become known to the government before the 2005 and 2007 trials of Paul Minor. See Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963); United States v. Agurs, 427 U.S. 97 (1976); Giglio v. United States, 405 U.S. 150 (1972); see also, Exhibits 1 and 2 attached Brady progeny requests for Paul Minor’s 2005 and 2007 trials. Continue reading “SLABBED exclusive: Eastland to Holder – re: Minor and prosecutor’s duty to refrain from improper methods designed to produce wrongful conviction”

Slabbed Daily June 24: Two Martinis is my blogging limit

Yep only a very select few people know the story of how me and Nowdy ended up together partnering this blog. 😉 One of the first things I disclosed to her was my 2 martini rule which in short means that once I drink 2 martinis the computer is turned off. I’m on #2 tonight which is a rarity for me anymore but I still honor the rule. So before I label myself Scipio Africanus and proclaim that I am master of the universe and digress to my younger days as an Honors College student at USM I’ll sign off. Consider this today’s open thread.


A reader shared this with us today (Updated with revised lyrics)

With the suggestion that in cases involving State Farm bad faith claims (and lord knows State Farm and Bad Faith go together like Love and Marriage), that a pretrial motion be submitted to let the policyholder lawyers show this video in jury selection and question the jury about it. This sounds reasonable to me but the slabbed may barf when they view the video to decide the merits of this suggestion for themselves. Mark my words this will happen, it’s just a question of when.  😉

[youtube=] Continue reading “A reader shared this with us today (Updated with revised lyrics)”

Fortify Your Castle Part Deux: The Mississippi Windpool finally recognizes the building code.

Three and a half years in the making, policyholders that build in communities with the latest building codes will receive a discount. Homeowners who retrofit their houses will also get a discount. Anita Lee has the story from a bit over a week ago:

Changes coming July 1 to the state wind pool will reward communities that have adopted and are enforcing stronger building codes.

The wind pool will offer discounts to businesses and homeowners with structures built to stronger standards.

Wind pool board member Dave Treutel of Bay St. Louis said the South Mississippi insurer of last resort also will for the first time offer residents alternate-living-arrangements reimbursement when a mandatory evacuation has been declared. In addition, he said, policies will be easier to read.

Residents who live in homes built before stronger standards were adopted can receive discounts on premiums by retrofitting their homes. Those discounts will range from 12 to 30 percent.

“We’re recognizing those, and crediting those who have done well,” Treutel said, “not beating those who haven’t. But in reality, communities that haven’t had strong codes will not do as well.” Continue reading “Fortify Your Castle Part Deux: The Mississippi Windpool finally recognizes the building code.”

Trade Secrets? Only in Judge Walker’s world. A Bossier v State Farm Postscript

Sunshine is a wonderful disinfectant and we’ve been shining the light on Magistrate Judge Walker and his blonder moments on the bench most recently here.  He’s never met a State Farm case he didn’t like to seal at least partially preferring insurance litigation in his court to be conducted in the shadows away from public scrutiny.  His efforts are largely futile however because the Judges in the Eastern District of Louisiana are dealing with the same issues in a far different and open manner.  For example, we posted the State Farm Cat Induction Manual last August and  I’ve noticed it’s popularity as a download here of late.

Our non pictorial document library has around 2,200 items including that Cat Induction Manual,  and that does not include 500 or so specimin altered State Farm engineering reports and other info I maintain offline that takes over 2 gigs of space on my trusty computer.  So, if you are a policyholder lawyer that has encountered Judge Walker and his curious legal thinking that State Farm’s dirty claims handling tricks constitute trade secrets drop us a line because we just might have what you’re looking for or can hook you up with someone who can help.


Some very interesting political news

Dave Dennis is the man who should be our current Senator IMHO. Passed over by the Gov last year to fill Trent Lott’s senate seat Dave owes no allegience to the current Mississippi GOP power structure. We’ve blogged about Dave a few times here on slabbed and while I do not know him personally I do know coastie GOP faithful to the person think very highly of Dave Dennis. I’m favorably disposed because he is a construction guy/small businessman. In construction leadership ability is not the only thing but is basically everything around which a successful contractor is built and as such I think Dave will do very well on the campaign trail. Michael Newsom has the Sun Herald story:

Coast businessman and community leader Dave Dennis told the Sun Herald on Tuesday he is strongly considering a run for governor in 2011.

The Pass Christian resident said if he runs it would be as a Republican, but he is not ready to make an announcement yet. He said he’s “still in the process of considering and potentially putting an organization together” and has not begun fundraising yet. Dennis, 56, said often candidates who announce too early don’t do as well.

“I am very, very strongly considering this,” Dennis said, but “there is no announcement imminent.” Continue reading “Some very interesting political news”