Court of appeals schedules arguments at MSU

November 9, 2009

The Mississippi Court of Appeals will convene on the Mississippi State campus Nov. 19 to hear oral arguments in two cases. Arguments are scheduled for 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. at the Hunter Henry Center.

Spectators should plan to arrive early and be seated before 1:30 p.m.

The court of appeals periodically schedules oral arguments on college campuses. The Court on the Road program provides an opportunity for students and the general public to observe an appellate level proceeding and learn about the operations of the court.

This will be the court of appeals' third time to hear oral arguments at Mississippi State. Judges usually talk to the students afterwards and answer questions. Judges may talk about the appellate process, but not about the cases themselves.

The court will hear arguments at 1:30 p.m. in the civil appeal of Charles T. Scarborough vs. Mildred P. Rollins, case No. 2008-CA-01579 COA. The case is a boundary line dispute involving property in Starkville. Scarborough appealed an Aug. 28, 2008, ruling from Oktibbeha County Chancery Court. Scarborough is represented by attorney Dolton W. McAlpin, and Rollins is represented by attorney Charles Bruce Brown. Both attorneys are from Starkville.

At 2:30 p.m., the court will hear arguments in the criminal appeal of Brian Keith Martin vs. State of Mississippi, case No. 2008-KA-01460 COA. Martin, a paraplegic confined to a wheelchair, was convicted of manslaughter in Copiah County Circuit Court in July 2008 and sentenced to 20 years in prison. John Welch, who, according to trial testimony, also had partial paralysis, was stabbed March 10, 2008, in the Hazlehurst home he shared with Martin and Martin's mother.

While the upcoming oral arguments will present an opportunity for students and the public to observe, the proceedings also will provide experience to a team of University of Mississippi School of Law students who will present oral arguments on behalf of Martin. Special Assistant Attorney General Laura H. Tedder will argue on behalf of the state.