The following is a fictionalized account of a conversation between the plaintiffâ€™s attorneys in Illinois Central Railroad Co. v. Broussard, No. 2007-CA-01010-COA (Miss.Ct. App. Sept. 30, 2008), as reported at 24 Lawyersâ€™ Manual 535 (Oct. 15, 2008).
Associate: You know that asbestos case we filed a couple of weeks ago?
Partner: You mean Broussard? Yeah, that was a close one! Got in just before the statute of limitations expired.
Associate: Thatâ€™s the one. We got a motion to dismiss on it.
Partner: So what else is new. Fire up your keyboard and letâ€™s knock that one back at them.
Associate: Itâ€™s going to be kind of a tough one.
Partner: Why is that?
Associate: Well, they say heâ€™s dead.
Partner: What, do they think we counted the days wrong? We checked and double-checked that we were getting in before the statute expired.
Associate: No, not dead like his claim is dead. Dead like heâ€™s dead. Like gone to a better place dead.
Partner: They think Broussard is dead?!
Partner: Didnâ€™t you talk to him before we filed?
Associate: No, you always like to talk to the clients.
Partner: How dead do they think he is?
Associate: Really quite dead. Like 20 months worth of dead.
Partner: Have you tried calling him?
Associate: Ya. Number disconnected.
Upon being informed the client was dead, the decedentâ€™s firm moved to dismiss their complaint. The Mississippi Court of Appeals, reviewing the district courtâ€™s denial of sanctions against the law firm, held 6-4 that the complaint was frivolous and that Rule 11 sanctions should be awarded.