Gartin Building Courtroom with the Great Seal of the State of Mississippi

Court of Appeals to visit Mississippi State University Nov. 16

November 3, 2016

The Mississippi Court of Appeals will convene on the campus of Mississippi State University on Nov. 16 to hear criminal and civil appeals. Oral arguments are scheduled for 1:30 and 3 p.m. at the Hunter Henry Center.

A three-judge panel will hold court on the Starkville campus as part of its Court on the Road educational program for students and the public. Throughout the year, the Jackson-based court hears a few cases on college campuses around the state. The court visits MSU each fall.

The Court on the Road program helps educate students and the public about appeals court proceedings and gives appellate judges an opportunity to answer questions about how the court operates. Judges talk with students after the oral arguments, although they don’t talk about the pending cases. Having an opportunity to see the court at work provides a valuable learning experience for students who may have an interest in careers in law as well as those who simply want to better understand how each branch of government functions.

Whit Waide, clinical assistant professor of the Department of Political Science, said, “When Mississippi State hosts the Court of Appeals, we have standing room only. Hundreds of students come to see the Court in action. It is a popular event for students and I am always amazed the next day in class by the questions I get about the proceedings.

“College students are always eager for real world experiences that complement what they are learning in the classroom,” Waide said. “ Having the Court of Appeals on campus is an excellent way to provide that. Mississippi State very much appreciates the Court of Appeals’ willingness to bring this experience to our students.”

Law students from the University of Mississippi School of Law Criminal Appeals Clinic represent the appellant in one of the cases set for oral arguments. Law students Darian Etienne of Harrisburg, Ill., and Adreain Reynolds of Bruce will present oral arguments at 1:30 p.m. on behalf of Andrew Acie Adams. Recent graduates Jay Clay of Jackson and Derek Cantrell of Huntsville, Ala., wrote the brief in Adams’ appeal before they graduated in May. The students are admitted to limited practice of law under the supervision of Clinical Professor of Law Phillip W. Broadhead.

Special Assistant Attorney General Abbie E. Koonce represents the state.

Adams was convicted of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and sentenced to 10 years in prison as a habitual offender. He was arrested Oct. 16, 2014, in Gulfport, according to court records. The case is Andrew Acie Adams v. State of Mississippi, cause number 2015-KA-1703-COA.

Preparing an appeal and making oral arguments provide a valuable learning experience for students. Broadhead said, “The clinical experience transforms their focus to problem-solving in real cases through working together within the case teams.”

The Criminal Appeals Clinic at the University of Mississippi School of Law is in its fourteenth year, and has represented clients in more than 100 appeals, gaining reversals in 14 of those cases and training 191 law students in the highly-specialized field of appellate practice and criminal procedure, Broadhead said.

The 3 p.m. oral argument is in a civil appeal in the case of Robert Hammons Jr. v. C. Wade Navarre II, Individually and d/b/a Navarre Fabrication, Inc.; Velcon Filters, LLC; Knappco Corporation; and Wilden Pump and Engineering, LLC, cause number 2015-CA-0243 -COA.

Hammons, a helicopter pilot from Corinth, was injured in an Oct. 25, 2009, crash near Eupora while applying herbicides to timber, according to court records. Hammons, who was left a paraplegic, filed a product liability and negligence lawsuit in Leflore County Circuit Court. The Leflore County Circuit Court dismissed the out-of-state defendants. Hammons seeks to reinstate his lawsuit against those defendants.

Hammons is represented by attorneys Wayne E. Ferrell Jr. and Adrienne P. Parker of Jackson. Navarre and Navarre Fabrication are represented by the Ridgeland law firm of Copeland Cook Taylor and Bush. Velcon Filters is represented by the Greenwood law firm of Upshaw, Williams, Biggers and Beckham. Knappco Corporation and Wilden Pump and Engineering are represented by the Jackson office of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell and Berkowitz.

The oral arguments will not be broadcast via the court’s Internet web site, since the Court of Appeals is convening this special session away from its camera-equipped courtroom.

Any media organization which may wish to photograph or videotape the oral arguments must file a Camera Coverage Notice. Camera Coverage Notices should be directed to Clerk of the Court Muriel Ellis, fax 601-359-2407, and to Assistant Court Administrator Camille Evans, fax 601-576-4708. The Camera Coverage Notice form is at

Photographers and videographers must be familiar with and follow the Rules for Electronic and Photographic Coverage of Judicial Proceedings. The camera coverage rules are available at