Scruggs former colleagues say he’s out; Scruggs says he’s in

Dickie Scruggs’ list of adversaries, including insurance companies generally and two sets of federal prosecutors, just got a little longer and now includes his ex-partners in the former Scruggs Katrina Group.  You may remember that in a post from this morning I mentioned that the other firms in the group were kicking the Scruggs Law Firm out due to fear of being tarnished with the now unsavory Scruggs brand name. 

Accordingly, Don Barrett, of the Barrett Law Office, sent a letter today to the courts in which the group’s Katrina cases were located, saying "In light of what happened in Oxford, the Scruggs Law Firm will be withdrawing from all Katrina-related litigation." The letter also said what used to be the Scruggs Katrina Group would re-form, sans the Scruggs, to handle the cases.  Click here for a copy of the letter.  

But Dickie Scruggs says no. He sent his own letter to the same judges: "I am afraid there is a misunderstanding.  My firm and I do not intend to let down or hinder any of the families, many of whom we have known all or our lives.  Obviously, anyone who wishes other counsel may simply ask, and we will honor their agreement..  I am sorry of the miscommunication." Click here to see a copy.

You know, I don’t know what kind of contract or agreement the members of the former Scruggs Katrina Group had between them, so I’m not in a position to say what is going to happen here.  The other firms are surely able to leave the Scruggs Katrina Group and do their own thing, but the basic rule is that clients are always free to pick their own lawyers, and client choice is paramount. That’s why non-compete agreements are not enforceable against lawyers.  However, the question is who are the clients’ lawyers before the break-up, and what type of written or oral agreements the group had in place to handle contingencies such as one firm leaving, voluntarily or otherwise. Could yet more litigation be on its way, this time between the policyholder lawyers? 

9 Comments

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9 Responses to Scruggs former colleagues say he’s out; Scruggs says he’s in

  1. Kim David

    How can this happen?
    How many times can we loose the same home?
    I believed Scruggs was the most powerful firm in the south.
    He never had to bribe anyone.
    He had truth & justice on his side.
    Why would he risk everything to bribe one Judge
    for one trial?
    He had enough evidence to win every trial by jury or judge.
    Scruggs is/was our man.
    He stood up for the people.
    We should stand by him.
    Once again…
    Katrina Victims left out to dry.
    He fought for the homeowners
    with Katrina & he won….
    Now…he needs a Lawyer.
    What shall we do?
    We are lost without Scruggs.
    Where can we go & how do we get there?

  2. seetherealdeal

    They can run but they cannot hide. Scruggs’ colleagues drank the Kool-Aid long ago and now they have a bad taste in their mouths. Barrett and the rest of the group are simply running as fast as they can – all of them wearing “Dickie Who?” t-shirts while purporting to be concerned about the clients. Really?!? Hopefully the DOJ will look at the big picture.

  3. Chris

    Newsflash – it was about the money
    It was about the money, not tobacco, not Katrina.
    It was always about the money, and it didn’t matter how much one had to lie cheat or steal.
    He fought for the money with Katrina, but he didn’t win, he almost had to share
    It has always been all for the money and it doesn’t matter if it is illegal, if you get screwed, if others are at risk.
    It’s about the money

  4. KG

    “Scruggs is/was our man.
    He stood up for the people.
    We should stand by him.”
    This is, quite simply, the most elegant unintentional haiku I have ever seen.

  5. Scruggs indictment, day two

    David Rossmiller at Insurance Coverage Blog (who’s also a co-blogger of mine at Point of Law) continues to be the must-read source on this sensational story and its fast-breaking developments. He’s posted a PDF of…

  6. E Marfer

    “Why would he risk everything to bribe one Judge for one trial?”
    I keep seeing that comment. I think the logical answer is that this has been Scruggs’ modus operandi all along.

  7. James P. Reilly

    Re Kim David’s comments:
    “He had truth and justice on his side.”
    “Once again, Katrina victims left out to dry.”
    Oh thank god for the naive professional victims. That’s what keeps the plaintiff’s bar alive!

  8. M.Williams

    Mr.Barrett once again shows how he can be born again, but he’s really a nice guy who does kinda like Kool-aid. Friends come and go. Now Senator Lott left on Monday and you’re probably right about him, but there are some reasonable assumptions about vacant seats which apparently were being kept warm for good friends. I think it’s safe to say Moore will run – or rather sprint now.