Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Startle decisis?

Bill Whitfield writes in the MDLA Quarterly about footnote 9 to Robinson Property Group, LP v. McCalman:
The defense lawyer should be alerted to two things about this opinion. The first is the Court's quite obvious reservation of the right to "revisit" the issue of whether the negligence of a "party" relative to apportionment, means a "party" to the litigation, or a "party" to the "negligence." Footnote 9 of the opinion would surely leave one with the impression that this issue has not been decided yet by the Court, when in fact it seems, with some clarity, to have already been resolved. See, Coho Resources, Inc. v. Marion C. Chapman, No. 1999-CA-01825-SCT (Miss. April 21, 2005); Estate of Hunter v. General Motors Corp., 729 So. 2d 1264 (Miss. 1999) and Mack Truck, Inc. v. Tackett, 841 So. 2d 1107 (Miss. 2003).
So glad someone else wondered what the heck the Court was talking about. Supposing the Court to have been "reserving" anything (rather than simply failing to check behind a law clerk's draft) is characteristically gracious on Whitfield's part.

... Given that 85-5-7 has been amended since Estate of Hunter, it seems that even if the MSSC decided it had been erroneous in its reading of the statute, Caves v. Yarbrough would require that the Court adhere to its interpretation. Unless of course the Court also decides to reel Caves back in as well.

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