VINOD KHOSLA, KFT TRUST, VINOD KHOSLA, TRUSTEE, SAMIR KAUL, DENNIS CUNEO, VK SERVICES, LLC, KHOSLA VENTURES, LLC, KHOSLA VENTURES ASSOCIATES II, LLC, KHOSLA VENTURES II, L.P., KHOSLA VENTURES III, L.P., KHOSLA VENTURES ASSOCIATES III, LLC, FRED CANNON, CHRISTOPHER A. ARTZER, ANDRE DITSCH, JOHN HACSKAYLO, RALPH ALEXANDER, DR. WILLIAM ROACH AND GARY L. WHITLOCK
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI EX REL. JIM HOOD
OF JUDGMENT: 11/06/2017
CIRCUIT COURT OF THE FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT OF HINDS COUNTY
TRIAL JUDGE: HON. WILLIAM A. GOWAN, JR.
COURT ATTORNEYS: WILLIAM M. QUINN, II W. THOMAS McCRANEY, III
LINDSEY B. SILVER WILLIAM C. BRABEC MICHAEL G. BONGIORNO
HIRAM RICHARD DAVIS, JR. PETER J. KOLOVOS LEAH N. LEDFORD KIP
MENDRYGAL JAMES POTTER STREETMAN, III PAUL E. COGGINS J.
DOUGLAS MINOR, JR. ALICIA N. NETTERVILLE DEAN KIEHL ROY D.
CAMPBELL, III JAN NIELSEN LITTLE JUSTINA K. SESSIONS STEVEN
P. RAGLAND MATTHEW WADE ALLEN LEONARD D. VAN SLYKE, JR.
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANTS: J. DOUGLAS MINOR, JR. ROY D.
CAMPBELL, III ALICIA N. NETTERVILLE JAN NIELSEN LITTLE STEVEN
P. RAGLAND JUSTINA K. SESSIONS DEAN A. ZIEHL WILLIAM C.
BRABEC H. RICHARD DAVIS MICHAEL G. BONGIORNO PETER J. KOLOVOS
LINDSEY B. SILVER LEAH N. LEDFORD JAMES P. STREETMAN, III
PAUL E. COGGINS KIP MENDRYGAL
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: WILLIAM M. QUINN II W. THOMAS
KITCHENS, PRESIDING JUSTICE
This Court consolidated three cases from the Circuit Court of
the First Judicial District of Hinds County for purposes of
interlocutory appeal. Circuit Court District Seven, comprised of
Hinds County only, is a multi-judge district. The three cases
were assigned randomly to circuit court judges under Uniform
Civil Rule of Circuit and County Court Practice 1.05A. The
original assignments were as follows:
(1) Safeco - Circuit Court Judge William Gowan
(2) Liberty Mutual - Senior Circuit Court Judge
(3) Cannon - Circuit Court Judge William Gowan
the approval of Judge Green and Judge Gowan, Safeco
and Cannon were reassigned or transferred to Judge
Green's docket. Safeco and Cannon objected to the
reassignments, arguing that neither Judge Green nor Judge
Gowan had the authority to make the reassignments. To the
extent that a court is authorized to transfer or reassign
cases for those reasons the majority has established in
Safeco, we hold in this case that the trial court
acted within its discretion in transferring the case to
another judge in the same court district. This Court now has
rescinded the order of consolidation and has deconsolidated
the cases. Regarding this case, because the trial court was
within its discretion to reassign the case, we affirm.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Defendants in this case are, inter alia, former
officers, directors, employees, and investors of KiOR Inc., a
startup biofuels company. The State lent KiOR $75 million to
construct its first commercial-scale production facility in
Columbus, Mississippi. The facility was completed in 2012.
Operations were suspended in early 2014, however, and KiOR
filed for bankruptcy later that year.
In January 2015, the State sued Defendants, alleging
fraudulent and negligent misrepresentation, fraudulent and
negligent omission, civil conspiracy, aiding and abetting,
and respondeat superior. The case was assigned
randomly to Judge Gowan. He ordered the complaint to be
sealed, so the record is sealed for this ...