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Hall v. State

Supreme Court of Mississippi

February 1, 2018

JASON HALL a/k/a JASON LADELL HALL a/k/a JASON L. HALL
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 01/31/2017

         FORREST COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT TRIAL JUDGE: HON. L. BRELAND HILBURN

          TRIAL COURT ATTORNEYS: SAMUEL STEVEN McHARD WILSON DOUGLAS MINOR MARCUS A. McLELLAND

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: SAMUEL STEVEN McHARD MARCUS A. McLELLAND

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY: LEE DAVIS THAMES, JR.

          BEFORE WALLER, C.J., CHAMBERLIN AND ISHEE, JJ.

          WALLER, CHIEF JUSTICE

         ¶1. The sole issue presented is the interpretation of Mississippi Code Section 11-44-7, which provides the method for determining attorney's fees in a wrongful conviction and imprisonment case. The trial court held that the statute sets out an escalation of fees tied to each stage of the case, capping the fee award at 25%. We agree.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         ¶2. This Court reversed and vacated Jason Hall's conviction of accessory after the fact. Hall v. State, 127 So.3d 202 (Miss. 2013) (Hall I). Hall then sued the State under the Wrongful Conviction and Imprisonment Act, Mississippi Code Section 11-44-1, et seq. Hall appealed the grant of summary judgment in favor of the State, and this Court reversed the trial court's judgment and remanded the matter for further proceedings. Hall v. State, 187 So.3d 133 (Miss. 2016) (Hall II). Hall subsequently was awarded $126, 507.00 for the wrongful incarceration pursuant to Mississippi Code Section 11-44-7(2)(a). At a subsequent hearing to determine attorney's fees, Hall's attorneys were granted $31, 626.75-calculated at 25% of the amount awarded to Hall.[1] Hall argues on appeal that the trial court misconstrued the statute for calculating the attorney's fee award.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         ¶3. "Statutory interpretation is a matter of law which this Court reviews de novo." Lutz Homes, Inc. v. Weston, 19 So.3d 60, 62 (¶ 8) (Miss. 2009).

         DISCUSSION

         ¶4. The interpretation of the ...


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