Supremes to Hilburn: Explain Your Stay

The Mississippi Supreme Court today ordered Judge Breland Hilburn to explain his reasoning for entering a stay in the Almond case.  Judge Hilburn has until noon Wednesday to file his response.

Filing responses today were former SRHS Trustee Scott Taylor, SRHS attorneys Kelly Sessoms and Brett Williams, and Jackson County attorney Billy Guice.

The responses of Special Master Britt Singletary, Special Fiduciary Steve Simpson, along with plaintiffs’ attorneys Jim Reeves and Matt Mestayer are due tomorrow.

Order to Judge Hilburn
Response of Billy Guice
Response of Sessoms & Williams
Response of Scott Taylor

9 thoughts on “Supremes to Hilburn: Explain Your Stay”

  1. It is interesting that they are not asking him directly to explain why he accepted the invitation to attend or attended the meeting. It almost seems like a judge caught being bribed is being asked to explain why he or she demanded only unmarked twenties.

    The remaining answers should be “interesting,” especially Singletary and Simpson.

  2. Can someone help me understand? The court orders SRHS to pay back what it owes. THEN, Reeves and Mestayer show up to represent retirees and create a settlement that says SRHS has to pay back what it owes which has already been ordered. Reeves and Mestayer now get to pocket $6.4 Million. What am I missing?

    1. Judge Hilburn declared the payments not made by SRHS to the pension trust are a debt it owes to the trust. He never fixed an amount.

      The mediation/settlement has never been about repaying the retirees/employees what they are owed. It has always been about setting the lowest amount possible SRHS has to pay to get out of the trap. A 35 year, unsecured note to the pension trust is a sweet deal for SRHS.

      Maybe SRHS cannot afford to pay more. But the public cannot verify any of that, since no one has seen any detailed financial information who is not bound by a confidentiality order/agreement. And many of them are getting a share of the $6.4M in attorney fees.

      1. “And many of them are getting a share of the $6.4M in attorney fees.” I think ALL in attendance at these clandestine meetings are getting a share of the $6.4 million.

  3. I give you ten dollars to put away for me so I will have $20 later down the road

    I trusted you to invest my monies and keep them safe

    20 years later I try to get some of my monies and you tell me sorry I can only give you $5 of what you gave me. I had some financial bumps along the road but I promise to give you the rest of your monies over the next 20 years

    I ain’t no fool, that so called buddy ain’t never gonna give me what wS mine and what he promised. He lied to me once so why should I believe and trust him now?

    Story sounds kinda familiar don’t it?

  4. I suggested the replies to the “Omnibus”/Mandamus, especially Singletary’s and Simpson’s, would be “interesting.” I should have have suggested “mindboggling.”

    Among the first questions that should be asked by a reviewing court is, “All of you (respondents) state that this is an emotionally-charged case being played out on social media and in the public eye – for example, Taylor claims in his response that he resigned as trustee out of fear for his family and home because of alleged statements on social media. Assuming such an environment, why would any of you, who self-describe yourselves as well-respected, highly competent and highly decorated officers of the court, even consider this meeting? Why didn’t at least one of you ask not if the meeting was something you could potentially defend as proper, but rather, ask ‘is this meeting a smart idea?’”

    As to the responses, it would seem that leading off with telling the very Court who creates the rules in question, including the catch-all “we can do whatever we wish because we make the rules” rule (Rule 2(c)), that they cannot do anything and then, follow it up with calling your accusers (fellow bar members and officers of the court who caught you with your pants down) a bunch of names while bitching about them calling you names isn’t the way many knowledgeable attorneys might have played this. But that’s why they call it “practicing” law, I suppose. I didn’t see it mentioned by anyone, but Rule 21 might be worth a read.

    “Ex parte” generally translates to “from one side.” It wouldn’t matter if the meeting took place in front of 10,000 people if none of those 10,000 people were “the other side.” All the gibberish about distances to parking lots, broad daylight and Denham and Barton refusing past invitations is nothing but a very inept attempt at a smokescreen. Likewise, the ad hominem about Denham and Barton are immaterial and come across as bratty and whining. It isn’t about the conduct, morals, ethics or shoe size of the lawyers on “the other side,” it is about the conduct of the judge, special master, and attorneys who participated in the meetings (apparently Guice admitted publicly there were more than one meeting). Even if Barton, Denham, etc. had been invited and were unable (or even unwilling) to attend, once any facts potentially relevant to the Chancery Court cases were mentioned in the presence of Hilburn, etc., rules were broken. The gang that can’t litigate straight gets no waiver of the rules prohibiting their admitted conduct regardless of the alleged conduct of the aggrieved parties’ counsel. Again, Rule 3.10:

    “No person shall undertake to discuss with or in the presence or hearing of the Chancellor the law or the facts or alleged facts of any litigated action then pending in the Court or likely to be instituted therein, except in the orderly progress of the trial, and arguments or briefs connected therewith.” and “Any person who shall violate this rule, knowing that such conduct is prohibited, shall be guilty of a contempt.”

    As to Hilburn’s response to the Court’s order that he explain his stay, his statement that Plaintiffs in a MS CHANCERY action, who specifically oppose the class action, are somehow obligated to support what counsel who are not their own are promoting (and attempting to collect 6.4 million in fees in the process) is “unusual.”

    I would love to be there when the MSSC realizes that Hilburn flatly called MS court proceedings “a distraction” when compared to Federal court proceedings. I’d really love to be there when various Federal judges realize that a federal class action and the Federal courts are ostensibly being used in a highly localized dispute to save wear and tear on MS courts and make an end-run around state law, which just so happens to bar class action. The pension, the hospital, the boards and trustees, the current Plaintiffs and the entire putative class are in Jackson County, MS (I’m not suggesting all the putative class lives in Jackson County or even MS, only that it is the likely proper state court jurisdiction).

    The bit from Hilburn about his own order not being formal and that any future formal order would allow for hearings, etc. is “interesting.” I cannot figure out if he is saying, “Wait, wait, wait! I hoped to get away with this, but now that I’m caught, just pretend it didn’t happen and I’ll jury rig a band-aid over this thing,” or “Kumquats! Lots of them! And unicorns, too! Wheeeee! I’m a giant rabbit! I’m Breland the Bunny! Let’s play tinkertoys and see who can put the most graham crackers in their mouth!”

    I do feel sincerely and incredibly sorry for you retirees and employees.

    1. They all seem to be using the same talking points in the submitted responses pertaining to Denham and Barton,social media, ect. Someone is doing a great job of coaching this group. Is Roy Williams the puppet master? Somebody is.Who is paying Billy Guice to attend these secret meetings? Who is paying Billy Guice for replying to the Ms.Supreme Court? Hell, he will probably bill the county for that response by the page instead of his “discounted money loosing hourly rate”. Somebody better be checking his invoices. He will charge $10.00 for a paper clip. Are there not other attorneys involved besides Denham and Barton that did not receive an invite to these meetings? To many unanswered questions for any settlement to be considered at this point.

      1. In our estimation they are doing a very poor job of coordinating their stories. There are posts in the pipeline which show the various holes in the stories, hence the “Swiss Cheese Chronicles.” One thing they are singing in harmony on is bashing Denham & Barton.

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