June 23, 2002
There is something unseemly about two Mississippi Supreme Court justices and state trial lawyers engaged in a noisy throw-down on the Coast. It happened the other day at a bed and breakfast inn operated by Justice Oliver Diaz's ex-wife.
Details came to light thanks to reporting by The Sun Herald, which questioned Diaz about the appropriateness of hosting a party for trial lawyers with whom the court obviously does considerable legal business especially in light of all the adverse publicity surrounding the state's civil justice system. Such a cozy relationship between members of the supreme court and trial lawyers who have won hundreds of millions of dollars working a flawed civil justice system should prompt questions.
The party came in conjunction with the Mississippi Trial Lawyers Association convention. Diaz and Justice Chuck McRae attended, as did such lawyers as Paul Minor, who has won multimillion-dollar jury verdicts and settlements. The June 7 gathering, which featured a live band, drew complaints from neighbors about noise, and so police were summoned.
Some of Mississippi's public officials still display an arrogant disregard for common sense. Amazing.