T. H. FREELAND, III is the senior partner of the firm. You can write him at .
He has been in the practice of law since 1958, when he was graduated from the University of Mississippi School of Law. His areas of practice have included insurance defense and bad faith litigation, corporate and banking litigation, professional malpractice litigation, and real estate practice, including both transactions and litigation.
In the area of bad faith litigation and insurance defense, he is the co-author of "Bad Faith Litigation: A Practical Analysis," 53 Miss. L.J. 237 (1983). This article is a distillation of the experience he and his partner, T.H. Freeland, IV, had in litigating bad faith cases in the state and federal courts of Mississippi from the inception of these claims; the approach argued in those cases and in the article was largely adopted by the Mississippi Supreme Court after the publication of the article. He has several times lectured in continuing legal education seminars on this topic. The firm has had consistent success defending insurers in bad faith cases throughout the eighties and nineties.
He argued and won Papasan v. Allain , 478 U.S. 265 (1986) before the United States Supreme Court. In Papasan, he represented 36 school districts and classes of school children in North Mississippi, successfully asserting claims that Mississippi's use of school lands income violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. After the plaintiffs prevailed in the United States Supreme Court, a settlement was achieved that has and will in the future produce in excess of six million dollars a year for the schools and school children in North Mississippi. After this case, he was a co-author of "Seeking Education Funding Equity In Mississippi: I Asked For Water, You Gave Me Gasoline ," 58 Miss. L.J. 247 (1988), a part of a Mississippi Law Journal special issue on education reform.
A substantial area of practice has been commercial litigation and fraud cases. One notable recent cases was Memphis Hardwood Flooring Co. v. Daniel, 771 So. 2d 924 (Miss. 2000), in which he obtain a judgment of in excess of a million dollars for fraud by the Memphis Hardwood Flooring Co. and others in their dealings with an elderly woman in New Albany, Mississippi.
Other major reported cases include Ellzey v. Fyr-Pruf, Inc., 376 So.2d 1328 (Miss. 1979), a stockholders derivative action involving the corporate opportunity doctrine, Dotson v. Indianola, 739 F.2d 1022 (5th Cir. 1984), a voting rights case in which he represented the City of Indianola, Alden v. Lewis, 247 Miss. 663, 160 So.2d 481 (1965), which, at the time, was the largest will contest in the history of Mississippi, Reaves v. Foster, 191 So. 2d 423 (Miss. 1966), and 200 So. 2d 453 (Miss. 1967), the first case applying the Sullivan doctrine to Mississippi libel law, and Tyson v. Moore, 613 So.2d 817 (Miss. (1992), an attorney malpractice case. He has defended professional malpractice cases in a variety of areas, including accountancy malpractice and medical malpractice. In addition to Reaves, he and the firm have done other libel defense, including the unreported case Phyfer v. Fiona Press in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi.
In unreported cases, he was the attorney for the plaintiffs for a class of former employees of the Quaker Oats company who successfully sued for benefits under a pre-ERISA early retirement plan. These cases, Workman v. Quaker Oats, and Hicks v. Quaker Oats, were in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi. He also successfully represented holders of Calhoun County Hospital bonds in a securities fraud action, Nelson v. Waring, which settled for in excess of one hundred percent of the face amount of the bonds.
Another practice area is banking and commercial law; he has represented banking institutions in litigation in Mississippi and Tennessee, and directors of banking institutions under their errors and omissions coverage in actions in both states, including the former directors of North Mississippi Savings and Loan in a suit by the F.S.L.I.C. and its successor the Resolution Trust Fund. While an assistant professor at the University of Mississippi Law School, he taught Commercial Law.
He was born Brookhaven, Mississippi, March 24, 1930. He is a charter member of and president (1984-1985) of the William Keady Inn of the American Inns of Court, the third such inn to be established. He is admitted to the practice of law in all Mississippi Courts, including the Northern and Southern District federal courts and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. He is also admitted to the Sixth and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeals, the United States Supreme Court, and the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the Mississippi Bar Association, the Fifth Circuit Bar Association, and the Lafayette County Bar Association. After undergraduate school (University of Mississippi, B.A. 1952), he served in the United States Navy (Lt., U.S. Naval Reserve, active duty, 1952-1956). During law school, he was Associate Editor, University of Mississippi Law Journal, 1951-1952; 1956-1958 and a member of Phi Delta Phi. After law school, he was Acting Assistant Professor of Law, University of Mississippi Law School, 1959-1964.