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Scruggs, son, others charged with conspiring to bribe judge.( Trent Lott's Brother in Law )
Sun Herald( South Mississippi ) ^ | Wed, Nov. 28, 2007 | ANITA LEE

Posted on 11/28/2007 7:23:30 PM PST by Leisler

A grand jury in North Mississippi has indicted Richard "Dickie" Scruggs, his son, Zach Scruggs, Scruggs Law Firm attorney Sidney A. Backstrom, attorney Timothy Balducci and former State Auditor Steve Patterson for conspiring to bribe a state court judge in North Mississippi over a case that involved funds from a settlement with State Farm insurance companies. The indictment, filed late Thursday, said Scruggs attempted to influence Lackey in the case by offering him $40,000 for an order that would resolve the lawsuit Jones vs. Scruggs in favor of Dickie Scruggs and the Scruggs Law Firm.

Dickie Scruggs also is accused of attempting to conceal his and the other attorneys' involvement in the alleged bribery attempt.

The Scruggeses were not in their law office Thursday afternoon and the law firm's attorney, Joey Langston, did not return telephone calls to comment.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government; US: Mississippi
KEYWORDS: democrat; dickiescruggs; katrinafraud; lawyers; lott; republican; washington

1 posted on 11/28/2007 7:23:32 PM PST by Leisler
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To: Leisler

Scruggs, whose brother-in-law is Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., earned millions from asbestos litigation and from his role in brokering a multibillion dollar settlement with tobacco companies in the mid-1990s. After Katrina hit on Aug. 29, 2005, the Gulf Coast native sued insurers on behalf of hundreds of policyholders whose claims were denied after the storm.


2 posted on 11/28/2007 7:27:28 PM PST by Leisler (RNC, RINO National Committee. Always was, always will be.)
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To: Leisler

Dickie must be one dumb lawyer. Should have added a charge of felonious stupidity.


3 posted on 11/28/2007 7:27:50 PM PST by CaptRon (Pedicaris alive or Raisuli dead)
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To: Leisler

He should have sat on the hundreds of millions he probably made earlier from the tobacco and asbestos settlements.


4 posted on 11/28/2007 7:31:06 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: CaptRon

He’s not dumb.

Dickie Scrugg’s WIKI

Richard “Dickie” Scruggs was hired by Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore to assist with a lawsuit against thirteen tobacco companies in the 1990s. Prior to that he was known for his class action lawsuits against the asbestos industry. Settlement of the state’s case against the tobacco companies was for 368 billion dollars (USD). His performance in this case was portrayed in the movie The Insider by Colm Feore. Scruggs also would lead and become a spokesman for the plaintiffs in the Ritalin class action lawsuits. He asserted that the Ritalin defendants, “manufactured a disease”...and “it has been grossly over-prescribed. It is a huge risk.” All five class actions in five separate states were dismissed before trial.

Scruggs attended law school at the University of Mississippi with Mike Moore. He practiced law in Jackson, Mississippi and New York before opening his own private practice in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

Scruggs and his wife Diane are ardent supporters of the University of Mississippi, having made large donations to several organizations on campus. Scruggs Hall was named in their honor. It currently houses the Music department.

Scruggs’ brother-in-law is Senator Trent Lott, former Majority Leader of the US Senate. Scruggs is currently representing Lott through the Scruggs Katrina Group in a lawsuit against insurance company State Farm because of damage stemming from Hurricane Katrina.

Robert Hood tapped Scruggs to file suit against on behalf of Mississippi against numerous insurance companies to recover damages in wake of Katrina. On June 15, 2007, U.S. District Court Judge William Acker, in an opinion recommending that Scruggs be prosecuted for criminal contempt, suggested high pressure tactics were unfairly used to pressure the insurance companies into settlement, and that documents were improperly sent to Hood’s office “for the calculated purpose of ensuring noncompliance with or avoidance.”[1]

On Wednesday, November 28, Scruggs was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges that he and a group of four others attempted to bribe Mississippi Third Circuit Court Judge Henry L. Lackey with around $40,000. This payment was allegedly in exchange for a favorable ruling in a case involving $26.5 million in disputed legal fees related to his Scruggs Katrina Group litigation team.


5 posted on 11/28/2007 7:31:27 PM PST by Leisler (RNC, RINO National Committee. Always was, always will be.)
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To: Cicero

There’s always a lawyer with a bigger yacht or younger third wife.


6 posted on 11/28/2007 7:32:31 PM PST by Leisler (RNC, RINO National Committee. Always was, always will be.)
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To: Leisler

Trent Lott just resigned from the Senate. Makes a man wonder . . .


7 posted on 11/28/2007 7:33:26 PM PST by live+let_live
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To: live+let_live

There are no coincidences...


8 posted on 11/28/2007 7:35:33 PM PST by danneskjold
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To: Leisler
judge in North Mississippi

I think I see the problem. Things are done a little differently north of I-10.

9 posted on 11/28/2007 7:38:51 PM PST by PAR35
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To: Leisler

Regardless of his biography, a lawyer who attempts to bribe a judge is dumb.


10 posted on 11/28/2007 7:39:48 PM PST by CaptRon (Pedicaris alive or Raisuli dead)
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To: Leisler

I’m thinkin’ Dickie went up against the wrong bunch this time. Don’t mess with insurance companies. I’m sure Trent Lott knew what would come of messin’ with State Farm, but he did what he thought was right. It must have been decided by some powers that be that it would be disastrous if insurance companies had to pay for damage that occurred during Hurricane Katrina. It was no big deal to take out big tobacco companies and their coffers. It was no big deal to take out asbestos companies. But don’t mess with insurance.

Not that I’m a fan of Dickie Scruggs. Quite frankly, there are quite a few law firms in MS that give me the heebie-jeebies, no thanks to John Grisham novels.


11 posted on 11/28/2007 7:44:52 PM PST by petitfour
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To: CaptRon
There be lots of bribing in law. Er, consultants. Anyways, 40k on a 27 mil deal is pretty insulting.
12 posted on 11/28/2007 7:46:20 PM PST by Leisler (RNC, RINO National Committee. Always was, always will be.)
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To: petitfour

Few people want to pay for a quality house, or quality insurance. You can get anything insured, under any circumstance. You just can’t get it at any old price. I would imagine a glorified stick frame house, below flood level and on open water would be very expensive.


13 posted on 11/28/2007 7:50:09 PM PST by Leisler (RNC, RINO National Committee. Always was, always will be.)
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To: Leisler

Which might be why the judge turned him in. But I have to disagree on the ‘lots of bribing in law’. 30 years ago I worked in the law. I’m currently a paralegal student. From my experience, lawyers, for the most part, avoid ehtics violations like the plague.


14 posted on 11/28/2007 7:51:32 PM PST by CaptRon (Pedicaris alive or Raisuli dead)
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To: CaptRon
Well, when lawyers write the rules, they can color within their own lines very comfortably.
15 posted on 11/28/2007 7:54:13 PM PST by Leisler (RNC, RINO National Committee. Always was, always will be.)
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To: WKB; wardaddy; ejonesie22; bkwells; DogwoodSouth; WileyPink; jmax; Islander7; 2ndDivisionVet; ...

MS Ping


16 posted on 11/28/2007 7:55:03 PM PST by petitfour
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To: Leisler

True, but attempted bribe of a judge is coloring waaaaaaay outside the lines.


17 posted on 11/28/2007 7:55:18 PM PST by CaptRon (Pedicaris alive or Raisuli dead)
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To: CaptRon

It is a bit gauche. Perhaps whispering of a Federal Judgeship would of been more in order. What with a state and Federal pension and all. Nothing on paper mind you, and all because of the agust judge coming to the lucky attentions of others.


18 posted on 11/28/2007 7:58:33 PM PST by Leisler (RNC, RINO National Committee. Always was, always will be.)
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To: Leisler

A corrupt trial lawyer? Who would have thought!


19 posted on 11/28/2007 7:58:59 PM PST by OldCorps
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To: petitfour; WKB

Thanks, petitfour!

Cross-linking with an earlier thread...

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1931940/posts


20 posted on 11/28/2007 7:59:08 PM PST by dixiechick2000 (There ought to be one day-- just one-- when there is open season on senators. ~~ Will Rogers)
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To: Leisler

If he were in a position to make such an offer. Be interesting to hear more details. I do note that the judge has not been indicted.


21 posted on 11/28/2007 8:03:50 PM PST by CaptRon (Pedicaris alive or Raisuli dead)
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To: Leisler
From the Houston Chronicle:

"The indictment accuses Richard "Dickie" Scruggs of conspiring to pay the judge $40,000 to rule in his favor in a lawsuit brought by other attorneys who sought fees for work on Katrina insurance litigation.

Circuit Court Judge Henry Lackey reported the "bribery overture" to federal authorities and agreed to assist investigators in an "undercover capacity," according to the indictment."

Apparently the judge blew the whistle.

22 posted on 11/28/2007 8:09:45 PM PST by CaptRon (Pedicaris alive or Raisuli dead)
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To: dixiechick2000

I wonder if this figured into Lott’s resignation?


23 posted on 11/28/2007 8:13:59 PM PST by Clintonfatigued (You can't be serious about national security unless you're serious about border security)
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To: Leisler

Arden supporters of Ole Miss. Well, that says it all.


24 posted on 11/28/2007 8:29:00 PM PST by Coldwater Creek
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To: PAR35

No the problem is that North Mississippi is just south of Memphis. The crime all runs together.


25 posted on 11/28/2007 8:30:19 PM PST by Coldwater Creek
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To: Clintonfatigued

I’ve been wondering that, too.

I guess we’ll find out soon.


26 posted on 11/28/2007 8:48:47 PM PST by dixiechick2000 (There ought to be one day-- just one-- when there is open season on senators. ~~ Will Rogers)
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To: Leisler

Was Scruggs the basis for a Grisham character in the Rainmaker,the Runaway Jury or The Firm? He seems to fit them all.


27 posted on 11/28/2007 9:25:20 PM PST by A Strict Constructionist (We have become an oligarchy not a Republic.)
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To: A Strict Constructionist

I’ve been inside a law firm in Jackson that fit the description of The Firm rather closely. But I have a suspicion there are a lot of firms like The Firm.


28 posted on 11/28/2007 9:28:32 PM PST by petitfour
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To: A Strict Constructionist

I’m not sure — a lot of us here in Mississippi always thought the Tort King was an amalgamation of Paul Minor, Scruggs, and several other notorious trial lawyers in south Mississippi.


29 posted on 11/29/2007 3:10:31 AM PST by pollyg107
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To: A Strict Constructionist
The Rainmaker and the Firm were Memphis films. Goodness knows, that John had plenty of material to work with.
30 posted on 11/29/2007 4:33:56 AM PST by Coldwater Creek
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