Judge Hollis McGehee on Friday approved Cochran's motion to dismiss McDaniel's lawsuit.
McGehee agreed with Cochran's lawyers that a 1959 state Supreme Court ruling imposed a 20-day deadline for McDaniel to file a challenge, first with the state Republican Party. McDaniel didn't file his challenge of the June 24 GOP runoff until 41 days after the election.
McDaniel's team had argued at a Thursday hearing in Laurel that election laws had been changed since the 1959 "Kellum" ruling that applied a deadline to filing district or statewide election challenges. They also pointed to now House Speaker Philip Gunn's successful challenge against former state Rep. Jep Barbour in 2003.
The state high court heard that case, which Gunn filed 34 days after the primary. There was at the time no argument from either side, or the court, about a deadline.
MgGehee on Friday ruled that the Kellum decision was still "good law." He said that changes to election laws in the interim were not substantial enough to change the court's ruling, as Cochran's lawyers had argued. He said that failure of the parties or court to address a deadline in Gunn's case doesn't dismiss the deadline created by the 1959 decision.
No shit, Matlock.
I don't know Mississippi law, but it's pretty stupid to assume that a case stands for a proposition it does not address. My guess is that McDaniel's shysters never considered the limitations issue until it was too late, because no competent attorney would advise her client to ignore a clear statement of the law based on nothing more than the fact pattern in a later case. Any prudent mouthpiece would advise the client in writing of 20 day deadline (and memorialize it six ways to Sunday if the client chose not to follow that advice).
The good news for McDaniel's shysters is that to prevail in a malpractice case, McDaniel would have to show he would have prevailed on the merits of his challenge of the election but for the blown limitations period. And that never would have happened.
McDaniel is currently weighing whether he can further fleece the Tea Party in order to finance an appeal, and will identify who he blames for that decision on Tuesday. If McDaniel decides not to appeal, the most incompetent lawyers in the state will be freed up to represent Mark Mayfield's heirs and that still-threatened wrongful death suit.