OF JUDGMENT: 10/24/2017
CIRCUIT COURT OF THE FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT OF HINDS COUNTY
TRIAL JUDGE: HON. TOMIE T. GREEN
COURT ATTORNEYS: CECIL MAISON HEIDELBERG GEORGE W. NEVILLE
BENJAMIN GILBERT BRYANT LUCIEN SMITH WILLIAM E. COPLEY
WILLIAM L. SMITH JACQUELINE H. RAY CRYMES G. PITTMAN CLIFFORD
KAVANAUGH BAILEY, III GREGG A. CARAWAY MARY JO WOODS GEOFFREY
C. MORGAN AUGUST J. MATTEIS, JR. MATTHEW S. KRAUSS SEAN J.
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: GREGG A. CARAWAY CLIFFORD KAVANAUGH
BAILEY, III JUDY Y. BARRASSO STEPHEN L. MILES CHLOE M. CHETTA
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: GEORGE W. NEVILLE DONALD L. KILGORE
JACQUELINE H. RAY WILLIAM L. SMITH W. LUCIEN SMITH BENJAMIN
GILBERT BRYANT CRYMES G. PITTMAN WILLIAM E. COPLEY CECIL
This is a sister appeal to Safeco Insurance Company of
America v. State, No. 2017-IA-01554-SCT (Miss. Aug. 22,
2019) (Safeco). But unlike Safeco, there is no
issue of case reassignment from one judge's docket to
another. The only issue in this appeal is the trial
court's appointment of a special master.
The order appointing the special master to the case against
Liberty Mutual Insurance Company is almost verbatim to the
appointment order in Safeco. Thus, this order also
falls outside the discretionary bounds of Mississippi Rule of
Civil Procedure 53. For the same reasons articulated in
Safeco, we vacate the order appointing the special
master and remand this case for further proceedings
consistent with this opinion.
Liberty Mutual also asks this Court to appoint a special
judge to preside over this case. But a majority of this Court
does not find the record before us sufficient for this Court
to invoke Mississippi Code Section 9-1-105(2) (Rev. 2014) in
this case. On remand, if Judge Green is convinced additional
judicial resources are necessary, Section 9-1-105(2) authorizes
her to request the Chief Justice appoint a special judge to
preside in this case or to assist the Hinds County Circuit
Court in the prompt administration of justice.
VACATED AND REMANDED.
RANDOLPH, C.J., COLEMAN, BEAM, CHAMBERLIN, ISHEE AND GRIFFIS,
PRESIDING JUSTICE, DISSENTING:
For the reasons stated in the dissenting portion of my
opinion in Safeco Insurance Co. of America v. State,
No. 2017-IA-01554-SCT ...