Scruggs Nation miscellany

Finally got home after some bad weather and even worse plane flights.  Just before the flight took off I got a number of messages with a couple things that, if I had had access to a computer, I would have used as an update to the last post.  However, enough time has passed that a lot of people won’t see it, and I like that post the way it is, so I’ll throw a few things together in this post and resume my Christmas break.

This story by Errol Castens in the Daily Journal is a well-written profile of Tim Balducci. What caught my eye, however, were these grafs near the end:

Attorney General Jim Hood says Balducci’s status as a special assistant attorney general was strictly as an employee of The Langston Law Firm.

“His only involvement with our office is in whatever tasks he was assigned by his employer,” Hood told the Daily Journal.

Hood’s chief of staff, Geoffrey Morgan, added, “To my knowledge, Timothy Balducci has not handled any part of the Eli Lilly case since on or about Dec. 1, 2006, when he left the Langston Law Firm.”

Hood talked to the Daily Journal? Then I’ll definitely be waiting to hear from him and his assistant AG Courtney Schloemer about when I get to conduct those interviews of them next week.  After all, according to Schloemer’s comments published in Legal Newsline, I’m ignoring their side of the story.  So again, I’m ready to tell it, and I have a lot of questions. 

This Anita Lee story in the Sun Herald contains a fact I did not know — the Scruggs(less) Katrina Group has stopped paying the Rigsby sisters their annual $150,000 salaries for "consulting" work.  The way I have linked to the story is to its second part, and the relevant part is the second paragraph from the top.  Maybe Dickie Scruggs is still paying them out of his own funds.

— You may remember that, in Renfroe v. Rigsby, Judge Acker requested a written response to the court to his question about when Scruggs agreed to indemnify the Rigsbies and pay for their attorney fees in this case.  Here is the answer.  There is no written agreement, but instead evidence of when such an agreement came into being through partial evidence and performance of the agreement. The pleading says the attorney fees have been paid in large part out of SKG funds, and it also appears that Scruggs may have committed the SKG rather than himself as the indemnitor. In light of the Anita Lee story about the SKG declining to pay further consulting fees to the sisters, I wonder if they will also repudiate the attorney fee payments and the indemnity agreement itself.  If so, that probably leaves the sisters with no agreement and dependent solely on Scruggs’ goodwill.

Here’s an order from yesterday in the Scruggs bribery case from Judge Biggers granting the request for a continuance, but note that he moved the trial date only to February 25.  Here’s a second order extending the date for plea agreements to February 11.  Wonder if there will be any more. 

— That’s it for now.  Merry Christmas.



Filed under Industry Developments

17 Responses to Scruggs Nation miscellany

  1. iwannaknow

    david – look at page 17 of ford notes you linked previously
    my reading – seems to be direct knowledge by AG office of discussions to pay ford


    Is it just me, or did Trent Lott just leave the U.S. Senate with, not just little, absolutely NO fanfare. I am reminded of a cat whose paws are so soft that it can leave the room and no one is the wiser.


    Let’s see: Balducci is in the Federal Witness Protection Program. He’s probably relocated with his wife and 2 pre-teenage children to . . . could it be . . . hmmmm Portland? Also liked the part about the complaints to the Miss Bar Association in JULY and still no answer about Patterson holding himself out as an attorney. The quote from the AG’s office about Balducci’s role was published about 2 weeks ago. I agree with the Tupelo DJ’s writer: Balducci left Langston law firm b/c Joey would not make him a shareholder/partner in the firm. David, are you coming for the Trial on 2/25? I can see Rossmiller, Lott, Wigand, Merrill Williams, Bennett LeBow, John McCain, Geoffrey Bible, Steve Goldstone, William Jefferson Clinton, Moore, Dick Morris, Merkel, Luckey, Lecky, Acker and Johnny Jones.

  4. mississippiobserver

    Anybody wanting to see that trial in person (especially sitting down) better get there early.

  5. Jim

    Yep some of the remarks by Castens almost turn into spin?

  6. Cowbell, whether I come for the trial depends on 1. whether my schedule for depositions and other discovery allows it — I currently have depositions pending that may be all over the country the next two months, client work obviously takes priority; 2. how long the trial is going to be. Obviously this trial is going to be of huge importance. I also owe the people of Mississippi a visit, folks there have been very good to me. If I can be there, I will.

  7. m.williams

    The More Cowbell question asks Mr.Rossmiller if he will be at THE trial. And I ask that Cowbell clarify WHICH trial? More Cowbell, aren’t there several “trials” on the wagon trail here? I think so. But in any event,

  8. jim

    Re: extesion of time for plea agreements
    Could this possibly signal that there is something in the works by somebody?

  9. Slicky Grubbs

    Great work on your blog! Merry Christmas. For a cute Christmas take on the events, check out the Northside Sun article:
    Santa confirms rumors of attempted bribe

  10. jim

    M. Williams,
    I clearly understood More Cowbell as he used the date of the trial to be 2/25 which is the date judge Biggers has set. And yes I think that trial will lead to and result in more trials.

  11. m.williams

    Jim – that’s obvious. But the question is in two parts. So if Cowbell busted his fingers riding bull, and you’re answering for him, steer us toward the meaning of that Cowbell round-up invitational. What’s your take on the Gumpy hologramatics? I’m curious if it’s as as good a vision as I think, so whip it out and share. Cowbell “sees” is hindsight worth sharing. Tell that, Jim. So what’s the meaning, Jim? Got the bell. Will you lasso More Cowbell’s clapper too? Bus those grits.

  12. Wes

    Mr. Keker obviously knows when to fight and when to fold em. His defense of Andrew Fastow in the Enron scandal was telling….. even though he got a 10 year sentence. Perhaps the continuance
    might mean a plea bargain is in the works for these guys……especially if
    the taped conversations prove fatal.

  13. observer

    It could be that Keker has seen the writing on the wall. In the normal course of things, the defense attorney, not being emotionally involved, usually does make a pretty honest, and pretty quick, assessment of the case. Getting the client to do the same thing, can take a lot longer.


    M. Williams: go read the PBS Frontline interviews with Dick Morris/Mike Moore about the Tobacco Deal. Fascinating. Scruggs with Lott, McCain & Clinton. The 1996 Republican National Convention. The meeting with the industry giants LeBow, Bible & Goldstone. Morris became famous for doing polling work and he details his involvement. Fav quote: “When the history of the 20th century is written, there are going to be some pretty obscure people who are entitled to sainthood. And they’re not going to be well-known. Nobody is going to know their names, and I don’t know if they’ll go on to do anything else in their lives. I don’t know what their futures hold. But Scruggs and Moore have earned their place in heaven.”
    Looks like Scruggs has earned a place next to Bernie.

  15. m.williams

    RE More Cowbell’s – go straight to heaven. But before I allow that to stand as sweet justice for good deeds, I have to go into details about Morris/Scruggs/Frontline to make a point. For starters, PBS’Frontline coverage began on the heels of Maddox, vs Unknown Defendant, Jefferson County Circuit Court, Louisville, Ky, Sept. 29th, 1993. A six-year series of project shoots began as early as December, 1993, when Lowell Bergman, roaming associate of 60 Minutes, was in Louisville, Kentucky, prospecting for a story and a film for his friend Mike Mann. Kentucky and Federal Court Orders prevented Williams from talking with Bergman about anything. Apparently, it’s likely that Wigand was working up something with Bergman after Sept.29th, the filing by Wyatt, Tarrant, and Combs.The 1994 coup d’etat by Republican-led Newt Gingridge and Lott, and that sneaky “Contract with Amemrica”pointedly threatened to snuff out PBS – but Lott, who may have actually liked watching Big Bird, seized his powerful position, and kept PBS on budget. Now, Mr.Bergman’s hairball interest in “firesafe cigarettes” was inspired by the Moakley hearings. Bergman began filming with PBS on or about 1992. He is still filming in this above-mentioned interview, but give me a second shot at this because I need to re-read the piece.[I shall return]. In the mix, Ron Motley, according to one source, wanted to do something new. Bergman wanted a big story for 60 Minutes. Dick Morris, victimized by press coverage of his whore live-in, was Lott’s well-known political pitch man. He soon was a paid consultant in Mike Moore’s Medicaid Lawsuit. As a pitch man and dramaturge, Morris worked for Scruggs at the time of the above mentioned interview. However – back up – when the cotton was tall in the Delta, and Barrett was being bitch-slapped by tobacco, Scruggs was down in the Point (Biloxi) picking Asbestos’ pockets – not a player in big tobacco. Barrett was fried and bitch-slapped by tobacco in 1988, 1989, 1990, and came close to soup line lawyering. From a totally unreliable book authorized by Ron Motley, it’s written that Scruggs was piddling with a few million while Barrett was up to his neck in debt. Mostly,the bitch-slapping went on in 1988-89. But Barrett’s bitch-slapping drew the attention of Scruggs who wanted to watch. Meanwhile, Moore nabbed Scruggs and introduced the “amorphous plaintiff” theory, a theory very well known by tobacco savy lawyers at Shook, Hardy, Bacon,at least for 10 years, but Moore called it “the Lewis theory”. Scruggs asked Lott to get Morris to prove the not-so-obvious theory that jury’s say no to Plaintiff’s who smoke. He did an “assumption of risk”nada-nada poll to prove what Scruggs wanted. Barrett’s losses got Scruggs attention, but not until Moore presented the joint-defense theory regarding “assumption of risk”. What Cowbell has here is the hype of a really highly paid political guy who made a bagfull as Dickie and Moore’s consultant. Jes – pay the man and you go straight to heaven. It’s gotten a bit dodgey recently. Maybe there isn’t a heaven. [part I, cowbell].

  16. m.williams

    Re Cowbell/part II. Dick Morris. I did just get to read your suggestion, and it was pretty much the same thing that I remember from about five years ago and I think the same way now as I did then. I’m not sure it’s fair, but Morris did call Mike Moore a “pygmy”, but that couldn’t have been double entendre, only a freaky kind of analogy. Mike’s just short. I also loved re-reading the Morris analogy of how the scene was set for Mike Moore’s lawsuit in 1994, especially the question from Bergman, “how dangerous…blah, blah, blah,” was it in 1994 for Moore to take on tobacco? I can think of half a dozen people more worthy of fielding that question, perhaps the most honorable of which was J.Fox DeMoissey who actually had intestinal fortitude as did Alun Morrison, Dick Daynard, Nina Selz, and a whole batch of newspaper reporters who kept the bullets out of the mailboxes[sic]. Not to downplay Morris’humanism, because I can see the tear jerky with whine when he speaks of his mother dying in the same month that Maddox, et al. vs Unknown Defendant, Sept. 29th, 1993 was filed,letting all hell loose. No way this guy is alive, on earth, and doing sit-downs with the President. He’s got to be a great piano player, because the rest of this guy is REAL idiot. I don’t believe he was Clinton’s advisor. He actually was the advisor to Charles De Gaulle who fashioned the only rue route when Charles fired up his Renault and rolled out of France before Hitler got him. And he even took a cat in a hat. What a guy! [Morris: Scruggs was in it for the issue.] Hunh? Sweet mercy! And read this chatty Kathy. [Morris: Scruggs put his whole practice on hold.] What practice was that, Mo Mo? Scruggs held a November Crystal ein Gezelshaften wherein he savaged law partner Julie Lawson because she didn’t have enough money to hang around and ante up – he told her to take in wash and fired her! Who needs sensitivity training here? Opra moment! And Coup de gras here – [Morris “I was personally born…” ] I can’t say I wasn’t, can you? So, thank you, Cowbell. It was the shallowest read of my year, but Morris is certainly one of those “it depends on what is is” guys. Now how on earth can I possibly think that deep, constructive reasoning exists in Western civilization when Dick Morris is probably the guy who made it because he was personally born? Tell me the truth. He’s still working for Saturday Night Live, right? He wrote for Henny Youngman, right? Mel Brooks?

  17. m.williams

    Re Cowbell/part 2. I think it’s best that I opt out here, having enjoyed the reading of Frontline’s filmography. I have a book to re-write from the Portugese version which is now sans libel problems – so knocking out the English will tune me out of here forever, but with that in mind, always remembering that Dick Morris is way more entertaining than Gilbert and Sullivan, and, I’ll never forget that his words, “I was personally born…” Bye, y’all.