Articles Posted in Communications Law

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In February 2006, BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc., and BellSouth MNS, Inc., filed an ex parte motion for a protective order in the Chancery Court, seeking to protect certain documents. The documents fell into the following four categories: (1) an August 2005 proposal submitted by BellSouth to the Mississippi Department of Information Technology Services in response to the Department’s request for telecommunications products and services; (2) the Telecommunications Products and Service Agreement between BellSouth and the Department dated November 2005; (3) correspondence between BellSouth and the Department related to the first two documents; and (4) related BellSouth marketing materials. Following legislative amendments in 2015 to the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983 and to Mississippi Code Section 25-1-100, CellularSouth sought production of the proposal and the contract between the Department and BellSouth. After review, the Supreme Court found the chancery court erred in its interpretation of the amended Mississippi Code Section 25-61-11 when it entered an order continuing to protect the contract from production. Furthermore, the Court held that, because the rights in question in the case sub judice were created by statute, the Public Records Act, as amended, governed this dispute. Accordingly, the Court reversed and remanded for further proceedings. View "Cellular South, Inc. v. BellSouth Telecommunications, LLC" on Justia Law

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Two appeals are were consolidated from chancery-court cases. In the first case, Diamondhead Country Club and Property Owners Association, Inc. sued Thomas R. Alfonso, III, and Anne Scafidi Cordova,1 d/b/a Bay Jourdan Publishing Co. (BJP) for breach of a contract to publish "The Diamondhead News." In 1997, the chancery court entered a preliminary injunction order preventing BJP from publishing "The Diamondhead News," selling advertising, collecting or disposing of advertising revenues derived from the publication the paper, and interfering with the printing, publication, or distribution of "The Diamondhead News." The chancery court also found that an arbitration clause in the publishing contract was inapplicable to the lawsuit. The chancery court denied BJP’s two subsequent motions to compel arbitration of the breach-of-contract dispute. BJP appealed the chancery court’s latest denial of arbitration. In the second case, BJP sued Diamondhead and Gulf Publishing Co., Inc., d/b/a "The Sun Herald" (“Gulf Publishing”), for intentional interference with the publishing contract. Gulf Publishing filed a motion for summary judgment. The court granted summary judgment to Gulf Publishing and directed the entry of a final judgment as to Gulf Publishing pursuant to Mississippi Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b). BJP appealed the grant of summary judgment. Upon review, the Supreme Court affirmed the chancery court’s order denying BJP’s third motion to compel arbitration because the issue was ruled upon previously, and no appeal was taken. Finding genuine issues of material fact for trial, the Court reversed the chancery court’s order granting summary judgment to Diamondhead and Gulf Publishing, and remanded the second case for further proceedings. View "Alfonso v. Gulf Publishing Co., Inc." on Justia Law

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Two appeals were consolidated from chancery-court cases. In the first case, Diamondhead Country Club and Property Owners Association, Inc. sued Thomas Alfonso, III, and Anne Scafidi Cordova (d/b/a Bay Jourdan Publishing Co., "BJP") for breach of a contract to publish "The Diamondhead News." In 1997, the chancery court entered a preliminary injunction order preventing BJP from publishing "The Diamondhead News," selling advertising for the paper, collecting or disposing of advertising revenues derived from the publication of the paper, and interfering with the printing, publication, or distribution of "The Diamondhead News." The chancery court also found that an arbitration clause in the publishing contract was inapplicable to the lawsuit. The chancery court denied BJP's two subsequent motions to compel arbitration of the breach-of-contract dispute. BJP appealed the chancery court's denial of arbitration. In the second case, BJP sued Diamondhead and Gulf Publishing Co., Inc. (d/b/a The Sun Herald) for intentional interference with the publishing contract. Gulf Publishing filed a motion for summary judgment. The court granted summary judgment to Gulf Publishing and directed the entry of a final judgment as to Gulf Publishing pursuant to Mississippi Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b). BJP appealed that grant of summary judgment. Upon review, the Supreme Court affirmed the chancery court's order denying BJP’s second motion to compel arbitration because the issue was ruled upon previously, and no appeal was taken. Finding genuine issues of material fact for trial, the Court reversed the chancery court's order granting summary judgment to Diamondhead and Gulf Publishing, and remanded that case for further proceedings. View "Alfonso v. Gulf Publishing Co., Inc." on Justia Law