If you’ve been keeping an eye on the news, you’re likely aware that our state will embrace some new laws in 2020. While more laws will be implemented as the year progresses, there are definitive changes being made in January. For example, the Mississippi bar exam rules are changing. And while no official decisions have been made, the state is looking into the implications of county redistricting and the possibility of legalizing medical marijuana. Let’s take a look at what law changes are coming in 2020 to Mississippi.
Changing the Mississippi Bar Exam Rules
Effective January 1, 2020, Rule IV, Section 8, Re-Examination in Excess of Three limits the number of times an applicant can take the Mississippi Bar Exam. A person seeking to become a lawyer in the state has to pass the exam within three attempts. If they fail to do so, they will be required to return to law school for a minimum of 12 semester hours before they can retake the exam. If they pursue the additional education, they are allowed to take the bar exam only one more time.
This new requirement was put into place after a significant portion of applicants failed the bar exam three or more times. In July 2018, 14 of the 178 test-takers failed the exam three times, which is nearly eight percent. The percentage rose to nearly ten in February 2019 when 10 of the 102 applicants failed the bar exam three or more times. For 2019 overall, only 48% of applicants passed the Mississippi bar exam.
While an official reason for the decline in passing has not been determined, speculations involve law school accepting more students with lower incoming credentials and changes in the test over time.
While the decline in passing could concern some people about the future of the quality of lawyers available to pursue personal injury cases and other legal matters, we make sure our clients receive the best representation possible from a skilled and experienced team.
Examining County Redistricting
Every ten years, as mandated by the U.S. Constitution, the country’s population is counted. The U.S. Census counts every resident in the United States. With 2020 here, the next census will require counting a growing population of around 330 million people in more than 140 million housing units.
The data collected determines the number of seats each state has in the House of Representatives. This process is called apportionment. Additionally, the census is used to distribute federal funding to local communities.
The census can have an impact on county redistricting, which is the process of drawing electoral district boundaries. While some counties have changed precinct lines prior to the release of a new census, some Mississippi lawmakers want to prevent redistricting of the election boundaries until the census results are in. While an official law has not been decreed yet, Ted Booth, attorney for the state’s Joint Standing Reapportionment Committee, is urging legislators to pass a bill to ban redistricting until January 1, 2021.
Medical Marijuana in Mississippi
While an official law has not been passed regarding medical marijuana in Mississippi, the Mississippians for Compassionate Care delivered enough signatures to the secretary of state to get the issue before voters in 2020. While the group collected over 214,000 signatures, only 105,000 were certified by local clerks. The only need to have more than 86,000.
Currently, both medical and recreational marijuana use is illegal in Mississippi. The Medical Marijuana 2020 campaign hopes to pass an initiative that allows doctors to prescribe medical marijuana for medical conditions like cancer, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and more. If the decision is left up to voters and it passes, the Department of Health would be in charge of regulating the program, including determining which treatment centers would sell the drug.
As the year progresses, more laws and amendments will be introduced and passed in Mississippi. At Corban Gunn Attorney at Law, we stay current with all the law changes so we can best serve our clients. If you have questions about any of the changes discussed above, we can help you get answers.
If you’ve recently been injured in an accident you believe someone else caused, we’re here for you too. As a personal injury law firm, we represent those who have been wrongfully injured. We can help you seek compensation for your losses so you can move forward comfortably with your life. Schedule a free consultation with us today to learn more.