There are more than 10, of course, way more. But these 10 will do for a starter.
1. How likely do you think it was that a lawyer of the reputation of John Keker and a defendant of the wealth and notoriety of Dickie Scruggs failed to test their case before mock juries? I would say it is very unlikely, and my guess is they used more than one. I would also take an educated guess that, if they did, the answers from the mock jury were unfavorable.
2. Is the talk of the 50 sealed indictments just wishful thinking on the part of Mississippians, some deus ex machina that will come in and settle the plot? And if they are real, what are the feds waiting for? One reason I’ve been skeptical of this is hardly anything is really a secret about the Scruggs case — I hear a lot more than I pass on, much of it credible or reliable — but I’ve not heard any of the names supposedly on this list.
3. It seems evident that the government will seek an indictment against Scruggs for his alleged role in the Wilson case. Why did they wait until the conclusion of the Lackey bribery case rather than going after a superseding indictment and rolling all the charges into one?
4. Where will Dickie Scruggs do his prison sentence?
5. What exactly does the phrase mean that Balducci used with Judge Lackey, "lay the corn on the ground"?
6. Will Jim Hood continue to hand out multi-million dollar cases like a Pez dispenser? (Scroll down to the middle of the post).
7. Will we ever find out what exactly P.L. Blake did for those millions?
8. Returning to the issue of the Wilson case, was the timing of Joey Langston’s guilty plea anything other than a justification to use the evidence as prior bad act evidence against Scruggs? Were there plans to roll up the Wilson case, but then these plans were scrapped?
9. When and if all the information on the Wilson case comes out, I’m sure going to be curious to see the testimony about Trent Lott’s role in the call to Judge DeLaughter, aren’t you? I mean, given that he had known Bobs Wilson for a long time, and given that Dickie Scruggs was his brother-in-law, is it possible that he could have been unaware that Judge DeLaughter had before him a case involving Wilson and Scruggs? If he did know, how is that OK? If he didn’t know, how is that OK?
10. In thinking about this, it seems to me that when Mike Moore was brought on the Zach Scruggs’ defense team, this indicated a fighting strategy, a trial strategy. If this is so, what happened to change this strategy and make Zach willing to take a plea agreement just a short time later?
UPDATE: What do you think of this letter to the editor in the Wall Street Journal? It was written by an attorney and takes John Keker to task for his statements about how weak and even fraudulent the case was against Dickie Scruggs, including right up to the time Scruggs pleaded guilty to these fraudulent charges. An excerpt:
It was really nauseating, however, to read the absurd assertion by John Keker, his lawyer, that Mr. Scruggs was innocent and that the "prosecutors have concocted a ‘manufactured crime’ in which his client had no part". . . . So, according to Mr. Keker, the prosecutors could freely be accused of trying to frame an innocent man. . . .
One assumed that when Mr. Keker made factual assertions he was accurately reporting what Mr. Scruggs had told him, since he presumably knew Mr. Scruggs’s side of the story through lengthy interviews under the protection of the attorney-client privilege.
Then we learned, a few hours later, that Mr. Scruggs was guilty all along. Either Mr. Keker knew this or he was ignorant. . . .
Every day these lawyers appear on television and in the papers repeating the ridiculous alibis of their clients, not as their clients’ legal positions but as facts, only to be ultimately made foolish by a plea or a trial.
SECOND UPDATE: The phrasing in this New York Times story on the Zach Scruggs plea was interesting, I think, and an indication of the zeitgeist. The lede called Dickie Scruggs "a recently disgraced trial lawyer." (For those who wonder why I spell "lede" this way, it’s the way journalists write it so it’s not confused with the word "lead," as in lead paint). My first thought was no, he disgraced himself quite a long time ago, but then I thought again, they’re right. Although an act that results in disgracing might have occurred some time back, the disgracing itself connotes a public consensus and does not occur until the public knows the disgraceful facts. Think about that phrase for a minute. If last October anyone had told you that you would see that sentence in the Times or anywhere else in March, would you have thought they were nuts? I would have.