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Flechas v. Pitts

Supreme Court of Mississippi

May 7, 2014

EDUARDO A. FLECHAS
v.
ALYCE PEARL PITTS

FOR EDWARDO FLECHAS: Christopher D. Morris and Edward J. Currie, Jr.

FOR ALYCE PITTS: W. Brady Kellems and Joseph Durr.

OPINION

Page 908

WILLIAM L. WALLER, JR., CHIEF JUSTICE.

ORDER

The motion for reconsideration is denied. The en banc Court's order filed herein on December 20, 2013, is vacated and withdrawn, and this order is substituted in lieu thereof.

This matter is before the Court en banc on the Motion for Immediate, Extraordinary Relief, and Petition for Reconsideration and/or Rehearing of Previous Ruling Based on Newly Discovered Evidence and Related Legal Issues filed by Petitioner; the Motion to Dismiss and to Strike the Motion for Immediate, Extraordinary Relief, and Petition for Reconsideration and/or Rehearing of Previous Ruling Based on Newly Discovered Evidence and Related Legal Issues, or to Partially Strike filed by Respondent; Respondent's Rule 48A(d) Mississippi Rules of Appellate Procedure

Page 909

Motion for Access to Sealed Document, and all responses and rebuttals.

By orders dated March 27, 2013, and June 5, 2013, separate panels of this Court denied Petitioner's requests for interlocutory appeal or writ of prohibition as to orders entered by the Lincoln County Chancery Court in Cause No. 2011-0478. Petitioner then asked for reconsideration of these decisions. By order dated June 20, 2013, this Court stayed all proceedings in Cause No. 2011-0478, and ordered responses from Respondent and the Lincoln County Chancery Court. After consideration, this Court entered an order on August 29, 2013, which allowed the Lincoln County Chancery Court to enter an order resulting from a hearing held in the chancery court on June 20, 2013. This order was entered by the chancery court on September 13, 2013.

After consideration of the pleadings, the transcript of the June 20, 2013, hearing, and the September 13, 2013, order, the Court finds that the Motion for Immediate, Extraordinary Relief, and Petition for Reconsideration and/or Rehearing of Previous Ruling Based on Newly Discovered Evidence and Related Legal Issues should be granted; that, pursuant to Mississippi Rule of Appellate Procedure 21(d), this Court should dispose of this motion for extraordinary relief in an expedited manner under Mississippi Rule of Appellate Procedure 5(e), and that the Court further finds as follows:

1. With respect to the Order of September 13, 2013, the chancery court stated " [t]his Order does not supersede or vacate, in whole or in part, any of the court's previous orders," requiring this Court to address the subpoena duces tecum of May 30, 2012 (" Subpoena" ); the chancery court's Order of February 1, 2013 (" Order 1" ); the chancery court's Order of May 23, 2013 (" Order 2" ); and the chancery court's order of September 13, 2013 (" Order 3" ).

2. The subpoena is at the core of this dispute. The subpoena was served on an attorney for a party and not the party or a witness. The subject matter of the subpoena includes all of Flechas's personal files and records regarding all aspects of his representation of Troy Pitts. These include " all files, records, electronic communications, written or any documents . . . including . . . all divorce files, personal injury defense files, estate files, Will or trust files, [and] deed preparation files." See Subpoena. At the time the subpoena was served, the only proceeding pending was a will contest between competing wills advanced by Alyce Pitts and Todd Pitts.

3. Flechas sought to withdraw as attorney for Todd Pitts by Motion of April 4, 2012, which motion was denied by the chancery court. While this issue is not before the Court, it is self-evident that Flechas's ability to represent Todd Pitts has been compromised by the ongoing subpoena litigation, or a trial within a trial, and the chancery court should revisit this. See Mississippi Rule of ...


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