The ruling literally just came down.The Court hammered Judge Weill pretty hard but refused to recuse him from the 55 cases as requested by the Office of the Hinds County Public Defender.
*All 55 defendants were represented by the Public Defender. Ms. Purvis argued they were appointed in lower courts. However, Judge Weill said there was nothing in the file to indicate they were represented by counsel and thus required a new finding of indigence. The Court overruled his argument and said they were represented by counsel when they appeared in his court. It would appear Ms. Purvis was right and the Court slammed the Judge on this point.
*The Court said he could remove the public defender if he found a conflict of interest or "other good cause" to be shown. The Court said Judge Weill's opposition to Public Defender Allison Kelly representing defendants in his court was based on his view that she was incompetent and had "committed incidents of sanctionable conduct."
*The Court said viewing her as "incompetent was "not a substitute for the bar complain process" It said Judge Weill usurped the role of the Mississippi Supreme Court as it said the Court was the only entity who could determine the competency of a lawyer. Judge Weill thus has no "authority to deny Ms. Kelly the right to practice law before him" as the Court never determined her fitness to practice law. Judge Kitchens disclosed in his opinion that the Judge had filed a bar complaint against Ms. Kelly while Kelley had filed one against Judge Weill with the Commission on Judicial Performance. The Court said that since the bar complaint had not yet reached the court for review, it could not comment on the fitness of Ms. Kelly to practice law.
*The Court also noted that Judge Weill has yet to find Ms. Kelly in contempt. This remedy is available to Judge Weill to discipline wayward attorneys but it was never used against Ms. Kelly in her courtroom. The Court also said that he had no hearing, made no finding of contempt, nor issued any sanction against Ms. Kelly. Thus Ms. Kelly can represent defendants in Judge Weill's courtroom.
*The Court refused to reassign the 55 cases as requested by Ms. Purvis. The Court did authorize the HCPDO to inform each defendant that he could keep the counsel appointed by Judge Weill or utilize a public defender.
*The Court refused to determine who was at fault and ordered all parties to figure out a way to get along.
Kingfish note: The Court hammered Judge Weill in this ruling for ignoring procedure and the law. I said on the radio he could hold her in contempt, sanction her, or file a bar complaint but didn't see how he could ban her from the courtroom absent those remedies. It appears the court refused to grant either party completely what they wanted and instead tried to defuse the conflict and make the wheelsl of justice move along more smoothly by keeping the cases on his docket.