Hot Off the Press: Volume 40, Issue 2 of the Mississippi College Law Review – The Mississippi Edition

Written by: McKenna Stone Cloud

The Class of 2022 Law Review’s second publication is devoted to Mississippi scholars and emerging law affecting Mississippians.  Volume 40, Issue 2 tackles environmental protection laws, addresses Mississippi’s worker’s compensation law and rules of civil procedure, proposes updates to Fifth Amendment takings jurisprudence, and offers a concrete process for students striving to pass a bar examination.

Please consider reading Volume 40 of the Mississippi College Law Review online.  The Mississippi College Law Review Digital Commons provides online access to all publications.  The Mississippi Edition can be located here.

A brief synopsis of each publication follows.

Get Your Head in the Game: Gamifying the Bar Examination by Professor Donald E. Campbell

This Article, penned by Professor Donald E. Campbell of Mississippi College School of Law, offers a series of unique strategies for law students aiming to pass the bar exam.  The Article draws from sports psychology and college football coach Nick Saban’s idea of “The Process” to help those taking (or retaking) the bar exam reach their full potential and pass.  Professor Campbell explains that success on the bar exam requires dedication and the right state of mind, and he proposes steps to enhance study habits that derive from Coach Saban’s notion of “The Process.”  The Article compares college athletes to those taking a bar examination and describes how developing self-discipline is crucial to bar exam success, just as it is to success in competitive sports.

An Appeal to Heaven—The Timeless Plea for Nollan/Dolan Extension to the Sphere of Legislative Exactions by Sam Sturgis

Sam Sturgis, a 2022 graduate of Mississippi College School of Law and current student at the University of Florida College of Law’s Tax LLM program, proposes updates to Fifth Amendment takings jurisprudence to better protect property owners.  His Comment discusses the rulings of U.S. Supreme Court cases Nollan v. California Coastal Commission and Dolan v. City of Tigard and argues they should be extended to legislative exactions to “clarify an area of law long shrouded in mystery and provide solid footing for city governments and property owners alike.”  Mr. Sturgis contends such a move would give cities the clarification they need to craft proper regulatory measures; at the same time, it would protect property owners by ensuring valid ordinances do not overstep their authority.

Constitutional Standoff: An Example of Practical Difficulty in Mississippi Venue Rules by Hunter C. Ransom

This Comment, written by Hunter C. Ransom, a 2022 graduate of Mississippi College School of Law and current Law Clerk for the Honorable Kristi H. Johnson of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, discusses a clash between Mississippi’s legislative and judicial branches over the power to make procedural rules.  It explores the potential practical difficulty in Mississippi venue rules due to a possible conflict between the state venue statute and the Mississippi Rules of Civil Procedure.  Mr. Ransom proposes potential solutions to the narrow issue of venue, ultimately concluding a more cooperative process between the legislature and the judiciary is needed to prevent similar problems from arising in the future.

Able But Unwilling to Work: Why the Current State of Worker’s Compensation Law in Mississippi Deters Workers from Returning to Work as Soon as They are Physically Able by Chandler Sessums

Chandler Sessums, a 2022 graduate of Mississippi College School of Law and current associate attorney at Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen, highlights issues with Mississippi’s current worker’s compensation law and how it has been interpreted in recent years.  In particular, his Comment analyzes the Mississippi Supreme Court’s 2016 case, Hudspeth Regional Center v. Mitchell, and argues the ruling discourages workers from returning to work as soon as physically able to do so.  This is due to the presumption they have suffered no loss of wage-earning capacity if they return to work before reaching maximum medical improvement.  Mr. Sessums explores the negative implications of this holding for both workers and employers and proposes that, instead, the rebuttable presumption should only be applied if the worker returns to work after they have reached maximum medical improvement.

The Clean Water Act: Wading Back into Muddy Interpretations by Kord Wilkerson

Kord Wilkerson, a 2022 graduate of Mississippi College School of Law and current student at the University of Florida College of Law’s Tax LLM program, addresses a recent development in environmental protection laws.  Specifically, his Comment explores the U.S. Supreme Court’s interpretation of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) in Hawaii Wildlife Fund v. County of Maui, in which the Court reinterpreted the CWA to require a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for pollutant discharges into groundwater, a nonpoint source.  Mr. Wilkerson explains how the Court’s new test undermines states’ authorities in water quality control over nonpoint sources and creates practical problems such as defining and applying the test to regulated entities.  The Comment argues the Court’s interpretation not only misinterprets congressional intent by undermining traditional state authority over groundwater, but it also raises many practical issues such as a lack of guidance on how the test should be applied and to whom it applies.