Monday, June 17, 2019

The Siemens Curse Struck Hemphill

In Jackson, all roads lead back to Siemens and the Hemphill-M.A.C. feud is no exception.  An old lawsuit may explain why Hemphill Construction is going to such lengths to gets its money from  Marcus Wallace.  Hemphill sued M.A.C. after Marcus Wallace withdrew $4 million from a joint checking account without the required approval from Hemphill Construction.  Needless to say, Hemphill was none too pleased by the withdrawal and sued Regions. 

Siemens hired M.A.C. to serve as a "prime contractor" in July 2013.  M.A.C. hired Hemphill Construction at the same time to "perform part of the work for the project."  M.A.C. and Hemphill agreed to open a joint checking account.  The joint checking account was opened at Regions Bank in September 2013.  Regions issued a signature card that required two signatures from each company.   The terms of the checking account required one signature from each company for each transaction.

Two-signature rule seems simple enough for a checking account.  However, nothing is simple when it comes to the Siemens deal.  The complaint states:

8. Despite this two signature requirement, Regions allowed M.A.C. to unilaterally withdraw or otherwise remove from the Account over $4,000,000.00 in direct violation of the terms of the Account Package.
Hemphill accused Regions of approving the unauthorized transactions and demanded repayment.  Regions refused.  Regions claimed that since the bank didn't add the language to the agreement, it didn't have to honor the two-signature rule.  Hemphill said oh really?

Instead, Regions ignored the requirement without prior notice to the Hemphill signatories and allowed the M.A.C. & Associates, LLC signatories to unilaterally transfer millions of dollars out of this account without requiring signatures from both M.A.C. and Hemphill in violation of the express requirements of the "Signature Card". The exact number and nature of the Bank's unauthorized transactions were also provided to you by Darin Grantham, Hemphill's CFO. But, to avoid any confusion, Hemphill contends that each and every debit to this account, whether by check, withdrawal;· wire transfer or otherwise, that was not authorized in writing by a Hemphill signature, was and is unauthorized.

Regions has caused significant damage to Hemphill, not only by failing to honor this dual signature requirement, but more importantly, by failing to advise Hemphill that it did not intend to honor the two signatory requirement despite the fact that the pre-printed Signature Card made it clear that two signatures were required and the added language simply identified the names of Hemphill's authorized signatories.
The lawsuit was filed in Madison County Circuit court on March 16, 2015.  Regions removed the to federal court and  cross-claimed M.A.C.    The Gibbs Whitwell law firm represented M.A.C.   Meanwhile, the enemy combatants all fired motions and memos at each other while the lawyers got rich.

The case settled in September 2016.  Judge Henry Wingate dismissed the case with prejudice a year later. 

Madison County Circuit Judge Steve Ratcliff awarded a $325,000 judgment to Hemphill against M.A.C. in January.  Hemphill sued M.A.C. and Mr. Wallace after it was forced to pay the insurance company for claims filed against M.A.C. on a JSU project.  Judge Ratcliff approved a garnishment of M.A.C.'s fees on the North State Street project last week.  


Anonymous said...

Hey Hemphill, "Lie down with dogs..."

Anonymous said...

The spin machine is in overdrive for all parties. Someone is trying to define the narrative in order to deflect attention and blame. "Follow the money"

Anonymous said...

9:43, in other words do not work in Jackson for dogs are all that is left.

Anonymous said...

KF is quick to talk about lawyers when that is not the essence of the story. KF states in this post that numerous motions and memos were filed while all the lawyers got rich.

My question is: Should the lawyers have done this work for free? Who's next, accountants working for free? Truck drivers? What about MAC and Siemens, should they have done the work for free?

Yes, I'm sure lawyers filed numerous documents. It's a $4M loss/claim. And it wound up being removed from State court to the Federal Courts at the behest of Regions. Work had to be done.

So the point of the lawyers getting paid is what?

Why is that relevant to the story?

Lets all say this together: In Court, when you have a lawyer, they are most likely getting paid. Time to move on.

Kingfish said...

It's called cynicism.

Anonymous said...

Lawyers have every reason to sport those inferiority complexes. Its hard being a leech.

Anonymous said...

10:28 I just hope you aren't on the clock for any of your clients while spending time on a Monday morning perusing JJ and sharing your whiny opinion in defense of lawyers.

Anonymous said...

So, what happened to the original 4 million?

Let me guess: 1) New Escalade 2) New condo 3) New BMW 4) New Mercedes 5) New Range Rover 6) New crib 7) New Rolex ..................

If Hemphill was so worried about M.A.C., they should have used some lawyer's trust account.

Macy Hanson said...

Three very excellent attorneys on that pleading.

Anonymous said...

What happened 10:47, ex-wife kept the house?

Anonymous said...

I don't understand the lawyers to leeches comparison. A leech is defined as a "hanger-on who seeks advantage or gain." I don't recall lawyers ever being able to hire themselves for a client or who remain in a case once terminated. If lawyers are leeches then so is every other professional that issues a bill for services rendered after being retained.

Accountants, doctors, therapist, contractors, etc. Even Kingfish. Kingfish trumpets trifling tabloidish stories so he can charge for ad space. But, people voluntarily pay to place ads just like they voluntarily pay to retain a lawyer. If you're jealous you can't charge lawyer like rates, then maybe you should reconsider the life decisions you made that make lawyer's pay a problem.

As a lawyer, what makes the lawyer to leeches comparison even more confusing is knowing how often I have to convince a client NOT to file a complaint, motion, etc. because I question the merit.

Regardless, for those of you who think a lawyer's services are overvalued and/or unnecessary, I remind you that you always have the right to represent yourself.

Anonymous said...

Isn't one of Baby Chocks appointees to the Aireport Board (currently vacationing in Paris) one of the 'minority contractors' that Siemens was forced to employ? Memory tells me he was in charge of, of all things, 'quality conttol'.

Kind of strange that Chock didn't include him, or a few others who 'benefited royally' off this deal. Appears he only chose those that are currently not in favor with his Radical Administration

Cynical Sam said...

All but one judge recused himself today, even judge blessings. Bwa, ha, ha.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of the "Aireport" I'll bet this MAC dude dips his beak there as well.

Anonymous said...

The blame should be first, on those who know they did the wrong thing and choose to use the courts as a strategy in hopes of making it too costly for the plaintiff to survive the years it will take to be " made whole".

The judges are to blame for allowing either party to try to " paper" the other with unfounded motions or overkill production of documents. They have the power to stop that.

The legislature and the Mississippi Bar could punished those who use this strategy and it's used in divorces and estate and insurance settlements as well.

Indeed, every time an insurance company pays " go away" money because it's cheaper to " settle", we pay in higher premiums.

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