Justia Mississippi Supreme Court Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Internet Law
Parish Transport LLC, et al. v. Jordan Carriers Inc.
Eric Parish and Parish Transport LLC (Parish Transport) emailed Doug Jordan, the Vice President of Jordan Carriers Inc. (Jordan Carriers), to inquire about purchasing heavy haul equipment from Jordan Carriers. After several email exchanges, Doug Jordan offered to sell the equipment for $1,443,000. Months later, Eric Parish responded, submitting Parish Transport’s offer to buy the equipment for $1,250,000. Later that day, Jordan replied, informing Parish Transport that he needed to discuss the offer and would get back with an answer. Jordan concluded his email with his name and contact information. After discussing the deal with his partner, Jordan replied to Parish’s email, stating, “Ok. Let’s do it.” But this time, Jordan’s email concluded with “Sent from my iPhone” instead of his name and contact information. The next day, Jordan received a higher bid for the equipment from Lone Star Transportation LLC (Lone Star), which Jordan accepted verbally over the telephone. After receiving a confirmation email from Lone Star, Jordan emailed Parish Transport informing the company that “a contract has already been entered into for the sale of [the equipment].” Parish Transport sued for breach of contract and negligent misrepresentation. The matter was later transferred and consolidated with Jordan Carriers’ motion for declaratory judgment. After the cases were consolidated, Jordan Carriers moved for summary judgment, arguing “that it did not have an enforceable contract with Parish [Transport] for the sale of the equipment.” The circuit court agreed and granted Jordan Carriers’ motion for summary judgment. Parish Transport appealed. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment because “[w]ithout a signature, an enforceable contract does not exist.” The Court of Appeals determined that “[m]erely sending an email does not satisfy the signature requirement” and that “[a]n email that states ‘Sent from my iPhone’ does not indicate that the sender intended to sign the record.” The Mississippi Supreme Court granted certiorari to address an issue of first impression: an interpretation or application of Mississippi’s Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA). After careful analysis, the Court found the UETA permitted contracts to be formed by electronic means, i.e, emails. Further, the Court found that the determination of whether an email was electronically signed pursuant to the UETA was a question of fact that turned on a party’s intent to adopt or accept the writing, which was a determination for the fact finder. Because there was a genuine issue of material fact about Doug Jordan’s intent, judgment was reversed and the matter remanded for further proceedings. View "Parish Transport LLC, et al. v. Jordan Carriers Inc." on Justia Law
Carr v. Mississippi Lottery Corporation
In the year leading up to the Mississippi Legislature’s statutory creation of a lottery, Jonathan Carr registered more than fifty domain names with some iteration of the name Mississippi Lottery. The newly created Mississippi Lottery Corporation accused Carr of cybersquatting. Carr countered with a claim of reverse domain-name hijacking, asserting the Lottery had violated his ownership rights to the domain names, which he contended he registered in good faith to promote his religious opposition to gambling and to provide resources to those with gambling addictions. Carr and the Lottery filed competing motions for preliminary injunction aimed at gaining the right to five domain names; the trial court granted the Lottery's motion, issuing a permanent injunction against Carr, and ordering that he immediately transfer the five domain names to the Lottery. Carr appealed, arguing the Lottery failed to prove he committed cybersquatting. But the Mississippi Supreme Court concluded it could not address the merits of Carr’s claim because the order Carr appealed was not final and thus not appealable. View "Carr v. Mississippi Lottery Corporation" on Justia Law
Gregg v. Natchez Trace Electric Power Ass’n
Petitioner Barry Gregg challenged a Workers’ Compensation Commission (Commission) holding that denied him permanent partial disability benefits. Petitioner was injured on the job for Respondent Natchez Trace Electric Power (Natchez) and was unable to satisfactorily return to his job nor earn on-call compensation. Petitioner unsuccessfully appealed the Commission’s decision to the circuit court and the Court of Appeals. On appeal to the Supreme Court, Petitioner argued that the Commission erred in reaching its decision. In the decision adopted by the Commission, the administrative law judge observed that Petitioner made more money after his injury than before he was injured. The appellate court affirmed the Commission’s decision on the basis of a presumption that because of that earning discrepancy, Petitioner failed to prove that he suffered a loss of “wage-earning capacity.” The Supreme Court found that the Commission erred by considering Petitioner’s higher wage post-injury as determinative of his earning capacity. The Court found that Petitioner had rebutted the presumption regarding his earning capacity. Subsequently, the Court reversed both the Commission’s and the appellate court’s holdings and remanded the case for further proceedings.