Justice Court Judge Teresa Dearman back on the blogs

NMC recently posted about Stone County Justice Court Judge Teresa Dearman and a few of the problems she’s had properly running her courtroom.

We tackled Miss Dearman’s judicial escapades last year and her lawyer stopped in with a rebuttal. The Mississippi Supreme Court obviously did not see things the same way but Miss Dearman remains on the bench.

It will be interesting to see if the problems in her courtroom will translate into problems at the ballot box in a couple of months.


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.


Jim Brown hits one out of the Park: Edith Jones and other ultra conservative ideologues tarnish the reputation of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Baton Rouge, Louisiana



Before the President made his choice this week for a new nominee to fill the coming vacancy on the United States Supreme Court, the White House undertook a nationwide search. There were parameters. The pick was certain to be a woman. But by even the widest stretch of standards to be met by any nominee, one thing was pretty clear from the start. No judge serving on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans was given the slightest consideration.

It’s true that the Fifth Circuit is heavy laden with Republican appointees. But that has not been a major stumbling block for the new President so far. His most recent major appointment, the new Ambassador to China, went to Republican Governor John Huntsman, who had set up an exploratory committee to run against President Obama in 2012. And the final choice made on Tuesday of this week, Court of Appeals Judge Sonia Sotomayor, was initially appointed to the federal bench by President George H. W. Bush.

Being a federal court of appeals judge has become almost a prerequisite to ascending up to the Supreme Court. Every present judge on the Court was elevated from the federal court of appeals system. So one would think the three women on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, all from either Louisiana or Texas, would have been given a perusal review. No way, say the close court watchers. Their qualifications or lack thereof, speak for themselves.

The chief judge is one Edith Jones, who received international notoriety a few years back when she ruled that a fellow named Calvin Burdine, convicted of murder and sentenced to death row, received a fair trial even though his court appointed lawyer slept through a good bit of the trial. A sleeping attorney didn’t’ seem to bother Jones, who wrote in upholding the conviction that “we cannot determine whether the defense counsel slept during a critical stage of Burdine’s trial.” So, according to Jones, it’s OK to nap a bit during a trial if you are representing a defendant who could be (and in this case was) given the death penalty. Just pick and choose when you doze off. Continue reading “Jim Brown hits one out of the Park: Edith Jones and other ultra conservative ideologues tarnish the reputation of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals”