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Judge Primeaux will cease posting to his Better Chancery Practice Blog

May 22, 2020

After 10 years of publishing the Better Chancery Practice Blog, Chancellor Larry Primeaux of Meridian will make his last post on June 15.

Chancellor Charles Smith

In his announcement earlier this month, Judge Primeaux headlined a blog post ominously, “The End is Near,” then said, “No, not that end; this end.” He went on to explain that by this past January, composing four blog posts a week felt more of a burden than enjoyment. The COVID-19 quarantine also caused him to re-evaluate.

In an interview, he said he isn’t tired of writing. “I love expressing myself. I enjoy putting my thoughts down on paper in a coherent way that is accurate.” But producing precise legal analysis on a weekly schedule “gets to be a demand more than an enjoyment.”

Three of the weekly posts cover recent appellate court decisions, mostly dealing with family law practice. His analyses are seasoned with wit and wisdom, and practical applications. “I always try to end on a practical note. Here’s how you can apply those (appellate rulings) to your cases. I try to keep it practical.”

And once a week, usually on Friday, he publishes something just to provide a moment of reflection, a smile or laugh. His compilations of quotes, funny headlines and newspaper bloopers have been shared among the bench and bar as well as forwarded to friends and family who live in blissful ignorance of the minutiae of Chancery Court practice. Judge Primeaux also treats his readers to occasional photo features. The blog has 1,202followers.

The ABA Journal in November 2016 named Judge Primeaux’s Better Chancery Practice Blog among the nation's 100 best blogs for a legal audience, and in 2017 the blog placed first in the Expert Institute's Best Legal Blog Contest and second overall among all blog contestants.

Explaining his intent in publishing the blog, Judge Primeaux said, “I wanted to have a place that lawyers and particularly young lawyers could go to and get information and ideas about how to be more efficient, how to do things in Chancery Court that can be somewhat baffling.” Since some lawyers didn’t seek out mentors, the blog could provide something akin to mentoring. “I also wanted to improve professionalism among older lawyers,” he said.

“It was a labor of love because – and this sounds really sappy – I’m devoted to the law. I understand how hard a job it is to be a lawyer because I did it for 33 years before I took the bench. I understand how difficult it can be to be successful in the courtroom and to do a good job, and I wanted to improve professionalism . I did it out of devotion to the profession.”

And now, he said, it’s someone else’s turn. “Surely there is a person or a team of persons who can fill this niche.”

David Calder, Director of the Child Advocacy Clinic at the University of Mississippi School of Law, is among those wondering how the void might be filled. “The Mississippi Bar will suffer a great loss” when Judge Primeaux’s regular blog postings end. “I have been amazed at the amount of information and commentary that he has written, in addition to having a day job. This has certainly benefitted my practice, and my law students were always encouraged to take advantage of the wealth of resources that he made available for free, especially if they intended to practice in Mississippi.”

Mississippi Judicial College Executive Director Randy Pierce said the blog lived up to its name. “Judge Primeaux's blog has been an excellent resource for judges, lawyers, court personnel and litigants. I appreciate his willingness to go above and beyond his duties to provide timely information and content through his Better Chancery Practice Blog.”

Jackson attorney Pieter Teeuwissen likened the blog to the authoritative writings of former Chancellor and Supreme Court Justice Virgil A. Griffith, who wrote two editions of Mississippi Chancery Practice, in 1925 and 1950.

Teeuwissen said, “As a young lawyer, I was fortunate to receive a used copy of Griffith's Mississippi Chancery Practice, Second Edition (1950), generally considered the Bible of Mississippi Chancery Practice. Judge Primeaux was the spiritual successor to Griffith’s as the Judge’s blog became the modern-day must-have resource for chancery practice. Chancery practice is unique in that it arises from equity, yet involves many precise statutory procedures and the juxtaposition of the rules of court (Hello Rule 81!). Many a fine practitioner has tripped along the way to seeking equitable relief. Judge Primeaux realized that far too many errors occur routinely and sought to teach the bar how to practice better – therefore how to achieve better results for a client.”

Regular readers of the blog posted comments expressing sadness at the loss of its weekly publication and appreciation that the information compiled for a decade will remain available at its blog spot, https://betterchancery.com/.

Chancellor Sheila H. Smallwood of Hattiesburg posted, “This blog has been so beneficial to me as a lawyer and a chancellor. I’m glad to know that it will be available for reference when needed. Thanks!”

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