Scruggs Nation, Day 52

I’m a bit under the weather today so just a quick post for now.

The Daily Journal has the transcript of Joey Langston’s guilty plea, which contains this passage:

At about that time, Langston, working with Balducci and

Steven A . Patterson, contacted and retained the services of Ed

Peters, a close personal friend of Judge DeLaughter. For his

services , Langston agreed to pay Peters $50,000 in cash. After

paying the $50,000, the parties agreed that they would also

divide any money over and above what Scruggs was willing to pay

in the Wilson matter.

In the end, based on this reverse contingency fee, Peters

received an additional $950,000 for his services. After hiring

Peters, Langston and Timothy R . Balducci and Steven A .

Patterson were in regular contact either by phone or by

facsimile concerning the case; and the three traveled regularly

from the Northern District of Mississippi to Jackson,

Mississippi, to meet with Peters in person to discuss issues

concerning the Wilson litigation.

While Peters was not fully cognizant of the issues

surrounding the litigation, he would relay whatever information

he received from Langston, Balducci, and Patterson to Judge

DeLaughter before any of this information was filed with the

Court. In at least one instance, Judge DeLaughter e -mailed a

rough draft of an opinion he planned to enter to Peters . And

Langston and Balducci and Patterson would be able to see it

before any filed – – final version was filed.

During the course of the litigation, Langston and Scruggs

were also aware that Judge DeLaughter was interested in a

position as a federal judge. Based on this knowledge, Scruggs

told Langston to let the Judge know that if he ruled in his

favor he would pass his name along for consideration regarding

the federal judgeship. Langston then informed Peters, who, in

turn, passed the information along to Judge DeLaughter. The

Government would further show that, in fact, DeLaughter’ s name

was submitted for consideration for a federal judgeship, and

DeLaughter was so notified.

Here’s a story on the Langston transcript and plea by Patsy Brumfield of the Daily Journal.

Here’s another story on events by Jerry Mitchell of the Clarion Ledger.  According to the story, Judge DeLaughter continued to deny any wrongdoing.

23 Comments

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23 Responses to Scruggs Nation, Day 52

  1. Silas

    Is the “passing of his name for consideration” the smoking gun in the hand of bro-in-law Lott?????

  2. Silas

    Is the “passing of his name for consideration” the smoking gun in the hand of bro-in-law Lott?????

  3. WISam

    Hope you feel better soon! Thanks for continuing the coverage.

  4. JustABystander

    Below a paste from today’s Yall Politics
    In September 2007, Phil Bryant sent a letter to Jim Hood (his attorney) stating that he would be seeking the recovery of the $14M that Langston and Balducci were given out of the MCI settlement. Bryant basically asked Hood, in his official capacity as the attorney representing state agencies, to file a complaint. Obviously, Hood refused.
    Here’s where it get’s interesting. The letter and complaint wound up on Joey Langston’s website. However, one of the fax numbers on the complaint was 601-933-0071. A quick bit of research finds that number belongs to Mike Moore. From the MS Bar Attorney Directory.
    Name: Michael C Moore
    Firm: Mike Moore Law Firm
    Address: 10 Canebrake Blvd Ste 150
    City, State, Zip: Flowood MS 39232
    Address: P O Box 321048
    City, State, Zip: Flowood, MS 39232
    County: Rankin
    Telephone: (601) 933-0070
    Fax: (601) 933-0071
    E-mail: mm@mikemoorelawfirm.com
    Status: Active
    Admit Date: 01/01/1977
    OK, follow the bouncing ball here. Hood represents Bryant, who is requesting action against attorneys that have an interest contrary to that of a state agency. Moore represented MCI. Langston and Balducci were ostensibly outside counsel for Hood’s office. Unless there is something I am missing, the letter from Bryant to Hood winds up in Mike Moore’s hands. Moore then sends it to Langston, who then posts it on his website.
    Can someone answer the question why Hood would share this letter, which I would presume to be confidential in nature as a client’s request to his attorney for legal action, with people that actually have interests contrary to that of the client?
    Posted January 18, 2008 – 9:55 am

  5. Ole Miss Law Student

    The rumor is NOT a joke. The word as of yesterday, according to several attorneys, both in Oxford and Tupelo, was that Scruggs has flipped. Speculation of the number to be indicted ranges from over 100 to the 52 that I discussed yesterday. I acquired this information through my father who is a defense attorney in Tupelo.

  6. Unindicted MS lawyer

    There are rumblings aound Jackson that Judge DeLaughter is about to step down. Anyone have confirmation or a debunking of this?

  7. Mississippian

    Thanks David for the dedication. Hope you know how much we appreciate your extraordinary work. Can’t imagine how you can get this done. Feel better soon!

  8. msbarfly

    Ole Miss Law Student,
    Whoa! Appreciate your reply. Any buzz about when moore hoods and/or heads may roll?

  9. Ole Miss Law Student

    As of yet, no news on indictments. However, word is that DeLaughter WILL resign and there is also news that former Senator Trent Lott (Dickie’s brother-in-law) put DeLaughter up for Southern District Judge but was overruled by Thad Cochran.

  10. Tort Victim

    If you haven’t been a victim of all these tort lawyers, you might not pick up on the most ammusing part of the transcript.
    It’s the part where the judge tells Shane Langston to “hit the door.”

  11. This whole mess sounds like a man with cancer. Just when he thinks he has found it and had the surgery, it pops up somewhere else. Oh for some real “whistleblowers” who aren’t trying to save their rears from the iron jungle or pad their bank accounts for the next life. Hope you feel better, David.

  12. MORE COWBELL

    What about the firm Daniel Coker handling the defense of Scruggs et al in the Jones lawsuit. Was Daniel Coker doing any work, or was Balducci doing the heavy lifting. Can’t believe this high profile firm couldn’t get the case sent to arbitration pronto, as Coleman ruled. He still retains jurisdiction for the moment to hear the motion for sanctions. And it took Coleman only one look at the case to see this result.

  13. MORE COWBELL

    David, did you see 20/20 tonight? Story about the female mayor of Arlington, Oregon and what she wasn’t wearing on MySpace. And a story on NBC news tonight about Fargo and the Dakotas in the recent National Geographic Magazine. Lots of upset people.

  14. msbarfly

    WHAT????? I wondered long and hard about that “hit the door” comment. Unless I missed something, I came up empty trying to put it in context. Was the Judge directing the clerk or bailiff or marshall to indeed close the door while the “Information” was being read? What was SHANE LANGSTON doing there? If it was an open hearing, why would the Judge tell SHANE LANGSTON to “hit the door?”
    In any event, I regrouped and kept reading. Then came the “mr. langston, can you behave” thing….
    WOULD SOMEONE, ANYONE, PLEASE TELL US JUST WHAT THE ATMOSPHERE IN THAT COURTROOM WAS….PLEASE.
    I DON’T KNOW ABOUT THE REST OF YOU, BUT MY LAST HOPES HANG ON OUR FEDERAL JUDICIARY TAKING THIS SERIOUSLY.

  15. TN Lawyer

    My take on the “hit the door” comment and the “behave” comment are 1) Judge Mills told Shane Langston to leave the courtoom when he said “hit the door” as this was not an “open” proceeding and 2) he was confirming with Langston that there was no need for the U.S. Marshall to put him in handcuffs as he went through processing. Just my $02. worth

  16. JustABystander

    Clarion Ledger this morning reported that Judge Delaughter RECUSED himself from hearing any matters involving the lawyers or parties involved in the Federal investigation. No mention of him stepping down. And no mention of Scruggs “flipping.”

  17. msbarfly

    TN LAWYER–
    Hope you’re right…that was my initial “benefit of the doubt” conclusion…there’s a rare strain of viral paranoia, too good to be true, symptoms going around these parts, however.
    Incidentally, what with the cost of MS justice being considerably higher than your 2 cents and mine put together, I’m having serious “major life change” and “high time for second career” thoughts.

  18. Ole Miss Trial Lawyer

    On the DeLaughter front:
    He’s not planning on stepping down. He’s preparing to preside over criminal trials starting on Tuesday. On the 28th, he’s set to preside over the capital murder trial of a defendant who was 14 at the time of the crime he’s charged with.
    Also, someone should go grab the ex parte order referenced by the MSSC in this opinion: http://www.mssc.state.ms.us/Images/Opinions/CO45884.pdf

  19. msbarfly

    OleMiss Law Student et al.,
    First thing out of the mouth of Keker, et al. post-indictment: “My client is innocent.” “My client is a good and noble man.” “My client is in this business for the greater good of the little person.” “So and so is a nogood wannabe with a complex.”
    Then (after gov’ts first discovery production): “We are excited and on cloud nine here…gov’t ain’t got a damn thing.” Home free.
    Eerie, deafening silence ensues.
    Rumors of Patterson’s imminent flip about as Hiram flatly denies them all.
    Patterson pleads guilty. Hiram does a 180…excitement about being home free becomes story of “profound perspective” about to “unfold.”
    Rumors of Langston’s demise gain toehold — this being the one and same Joey L. who said at Scruggs’ arraignment that all this is a huge misunderstanding and that high profile people are naturally convenient targets.
    Langston pleads guilty.
    Need I go on?
    Of course, Delay has not taken a bribe…..today.

  20. Tim

    “Tort victim” we would love to here your story.

  21. DeltaNative

    The New York Times has checked in with this story on PL Blake and Scruggs.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/20/business/20blake.html?_r=1&oref=slogin&pagewanted=print

  22. Ole Miss Law Student

    I received another confirmation yesterday, this time from a plaintiffs’ lawyer in Jackson, that around 50 indictments are being drafted. I would suspect that Dickie is probably in heavy negotiations over his plea deal in order to make sure that his son, and possibly his brother-in-law, don’t do any jail-time. So I guess we’ll see if the govt “aint got a damn thing.”

  23. msbarfly

    I, for one, find it refreshing that U.S. Attorney Greenlee is not out there beating the drums and leading the dog and pony show around the town square for the click of every camera in Oxford.
    The work product coming out of his office is of sufficient volume that he need not grab every microphone thrust in his face. He’s astute and clever indeed to leave that to the lawyers and state politicians who still think we all fell off yesterday’s turnip truck.
    I’ll be the first to admit my patience is hanging by a very frayed thread as I wait for the ultimate hammer-down on every corrupt lawyer and state official caught up in this insidious, disgusting atrocity committed against the United States. (Unless I have missed a breaking development, there has been no crime yet committed against the State of Mississippi.)
    But, I betcha Mr. Greenlee’s staff is logging some serious overtime these days. And, because of the impotency of the state’s law enforcement, we must leave our hopes in the capable hands of the U.S. Government.