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

Court of Appeals to visit Mississippi State University on Nov. 15

October 30, 2017

The Mississippi Court of Appeals will convene on the campus of Mississippi State University Nov. 15 to hear oral arguments. A three-judge panel will hold court in the Hunter Henry Center at 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.

The Jackson-based court hears a few cases on college campuses each year as part of its Court on the Road program, which educates students and the general public about the operation of appellate courts. Judges talk with students after the oral arguments and answer questions, although they don’t talk about the pending cases.

Court of Appeals Judge Jack Wilson said, “This will be a good opportunity for college students and others to get a sense of how our court operates and see how proceedings at the appellate level are different from what occurs in a trial court. The role of an appellate court is to ensure that trial courts apply the law fairly and correctly, and these two arguments should give the audience a window into how our Court goes about doing that.”

Oral arguments will be heard in two cases. Oral arguments are scheduled for 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. People wishing to watch the oral arguments are asked to be in their seats 15 minutes before each proceeding is scheduled to begin.

The 1 p.m. oral argument is in the civil appeal of Beverly Irwin-Giles v. Panola County, cause number 2016-CA-1637-COA. Irwin-Giles sued Panola County over the death of her parents, Lynda and William Irwin, who died July 21, 2015, in a car crash at an intersection on Mississippi Highway 6. A pickup truck driven by a Panola County sheriff’s deputy collided with the car driven by Lynda Irwin. A judge of the Panola County Circuit Court granted summary judgment in favor of Panola County. Irwin-Giles appealed.

Irwin-Giles is represented by the Clarksdale law firm of Chapman, Lewis and Swan. Panola County is represented by attorney David D. O’Donnell of the law firm of Clayton O’Donnell of Oxford.

Irwin-Giles’ brief is at this link:

The brief filed on behalf of Panola County is at this link:

The 2:30 p.m. oral argument is a criminal appeal in the case of Adam Chism v. State of Mississippi, cause number 2016-KA-1404-COA. Chism was convicted of house burglary in Hinds County Circuit Court. The incident occurred Jan. 16, 2016. He was sentenced as a habitual offender to life in prison without parole.

Chism is represented by law students of the University of Mississippi School of Law Criminal Appeals Clinic under the supervision of Professor Phillip W. Broadhead. Special Assistant Attorney General Joseph Hemleben represents the state.

Chism’s brief is at this link:

The Attorney General’s brief is at this link:

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

Any media organization which may wish to photograph or videotape the 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