Down in Mississippi, No Judgerly Love

About two and a half years ago, we blogged a law-review article by University of Tennessee law professor Benjamin Barton which asked whether judges “systematically” favored the interests of the legal profession.

It was Barton’s contention that the answer was, well, yes, that judges did, as a group, issue rulings that favored the legal profession. It was a bold and interesting finding, and ever since then we’ve looked at rulings on lawyers and judges through a slightly different lens.

And that might explain why a federal-court ruling down in Mississippi, in which one judge stuck it to another judge, prompted us to sit up and take note.

Federal judge Tom Lee, who serves on the Southern District of Mississippi in Jackson, last week declined to dismiss a libel lawsuit filed against a state judge in Mississippi. That judge, Hinds County Judge Houston Patton, was sued for allegedly stating that another man, James Jennings Jr., and Jennings’s lawyer had tried to bribe Patton. Click here for the story, from the Jackson Clarion-Ledger; click here for the opinion; here for further commentary from something called Jackson Jambalaya,