Monthly Archives: May 2008

Scruggs Nation: I Fought the Law and the Law Won version

Dickie Scruggs, Zach Scruggs, and their former law partner Sid Backstrom are to be sentenced July 2 in the Scruggs bribery scandal.  John O’Brien at Legal Newsline has a story, and here is Judge Biggers’ order setting the scheduling hearing.

Here’s an excerpt from the judge’s order:

The court has observed that the defendants have solicited numerous persons to write letters to the court requesting leniency for the defendants and making observations about the defendants’ character. The court will allow testimony from a maximum of three persons for each defendant in the defendant’s discretion at the sentencing hearing.  

How much time for rebuttal witnesses? 

Dickie Scruggs, as you may recall, is to receive five years in prison as part of his plea agreement, and Backstrom two-and-a-half, but Zach Scruggs’ guilty plea came after what might loosely be termed the "open enrollment" period for plea bargains, and for plea bargains after the last date set from them before trial, the Court does not necessarily feel obligated to accept any terms worked out with prosecutors.  In return for Zach Scruggs’ plea to misprision of a felony, prosecutors are recommending a sentence of probation.  We’ll see if Judge Biggers goes with that or something harsher.  

 

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Scruggs Lite, update May 29

Some of the things that have been going on in the Scruggs Nation that past few weeks, not all of which I have had time to touch on yet.

A story from Anita Lee of the Sun Herald: E.A. Renfroe is asking for the dismissal of Ex rel. Rigsby, the False Claims Act case brought against Renfroe, State Farm and others by the purported "whistleblower" Rigsby sisters and their now disgraced lawyer and employer, Dickie "Magic Jurisdiction" Scruggs.  

I’ve mentioned this before, but only briefly.  In the McIntosh v. State Farm case, the Thunderdome of Katrina litigation, Scruggs was ordered earlier this month to turn over the following:

      • All communications between Scruggs and Brian Ford, the guy who was interested in a $10,000 a month consulting job with the Scruggs Katrina Group ("Hey, why should be Rigsbys be the only ones to make some "consulting" dough off this thing!").  Ford, as you may recall, was the engineer who went to the McIntosh home and came back with a report that essentially overlooked flood damage — a considerable oversight, in that Kerri Rigsby herself later authorized payment of flood insurance to the McIntoshes.
      • Communications between Scruggs and the media about Hurricane Katrina, including ABC, which engaged in a brief spasm of "whistleblower" stories about the Rigsbys, including a big 20/20 piece, but which has been strangely silent of late.
      • Any documents Scruggs picked up from a "highly placed source" at State Farm.  You may remember that the Scruggs claimed in a media interview that he picked up documents from such a source in Bloomington, Illinois, State Farm’s headquarters.  I am skeptical this ever happened, unless whoever this supposedly was went through the trash or is someone who took complete leave of their senses and lost all instincts of self-preservation.  People will say all kinds of things to reporters that are half true or not remotely true. 
      • All documents related to any financial interest Scruggs still has in Katrina litigation against State Farm.  This last one is interesting — I’ve wondered myself what interest and/or control Scruggs still has in Katrina litigation.  Here’s an Associated Press story on it from a while back.

— How long do you figure it will be until Scruggs, the Rigsby sisters and possibly a whole lot of others get sued by State Farm and State Farm employees over their roles in Katrina litigation?  My guess? Not too long.

—  What in the world is that federal grand jury doing in the Southern District of Mississippi?  You know, that new grand jury that was impaneled earlier this year to replace the outgoing grand jury, in the investigation of alleged Katrina insurer fraud that has spent wheelbarrows of federal dough but returned results that can be summarized as follows: bupkis.

— Scruggs to be unable to benefit by Lazarus Ruling — at Law and More.

— Someone from the website Slabbed has been incessantly trying to promote the site in the comments to this blog.  As you may or may not know, no comment appears on this blog unless I hit a button saying it will be published.  Sometimes when I’m too busy Marjory Morford fulfills this function.  Excessive self-promotion is one of the things that makes me hit the delete button on comments submitted. But in this instance I’m going to throw out a hat tip to Slabbed, if for no other reason than to stop the incessant spamming of my comments box, regarding a post on some developments yesterday in the McIntosh case, involving Scruggs saying he didn’t receive notice of State Farm’s discovery motion. 

 

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Scruggs Nation, May 27

I know, I know, citizens of the Scruggs Nation, I know.  You will see this post and be stricken with nostalgia for the days of the 20,000-word Scruggs Nation posts, the ones that took me five hours to write, the days when the feds were rattling, the Scruggs was battling and Dickie’s friends were skedaddling.  Time moves on, however, and we deal with the world as it is. 

Yes, you say, but you should at least headline this post with the Scruggs Lite designation, as it is not a full-blown employment of creative powers, not a worthy successor to the Scruggs Nation line.  And to that I say this: I considered this, but thought the headline might be misinterpreted as applying to the quality of the New Yorker article on Scruggs that I am going to talk about today.  And it is a fine story, so I would not wish to give this impression.

As you may recall, this story came out about the time I was headed to Florida and also when I hit a particularly nightmarish patch of extreme busyness, which continues in full force.  So I did not read the New Yorker article until BPM’s marketing director, Marjory Morford, left a copy on my chair one day last week.  Although I am a subscriber, I couldn’t find that issue at home, which is not entirely surprising — I have a 4-year-old daughter who likes those little subscription cards that fall out of the magazine when you open it, and she may have walked off with it and hidden it in her private library, wherever that happens to be at the time.

Here is a link to the story.  As yet, it is still only in abstract form on the website, so you can’t read the full text at the link. My reaction? My first reaction was that it could have been called "Best of Dickie Scruggs," or "Scruggs’ Greatest Hits."  I don’t mean to imply it was pro-Scruggs, certainly not in the sense of the adoring press coverage Scruggs received a year or two ago — it was an even-handed, fair story.  It was a very good overview, caught a lot of the great details.  (But I would have liked to see some more of the Falstaffian Jim Hood in there, and at least some mention of the Trailer Lawyers). However, despite the article’s length, I did not learn much about the why of it all, I would have preferred an article that could have been called the Psychology of Pscruggs.   

The story also bought into the Balducci Wannabe theory, which has some attractive elements to it, but is one that I ultimately reject because it suggests Balducci, not Scruggs, was primarily to blame. If this theory has any validity, I think it comes only as a subtext to the main irony — Balducci was not in fact the prime mover, he was merely an opportunistic agent operating under parameters and precedent that had been set by Scruggs.  The Wannabe theory tends to show Scruggs in the light of a victim, but he is not — he is a victim only in the sense that someone who steps on his own landmine after forgetting where he buried it is a victim. 

Also, the story characterizes the Rigsby sisters as being fired.  This has been disputed in legal proceedings, but in my view, they in essence quit or fired themselves.  They did the data dump, illicitly copying thousands of pages of confidential documents, then walked in and announced it, hoping to provoke some big scene where they could look like martyrs.  Instead, they were treated quite courteously, apparently to their disappointment.  At that point, one should note, they had already come to an agreement where they would work for Pscruggs as "sham" consultants, as Judge Senter put it.  One of the story’s biggest disappointments was that it gave short shrift to characters in the plot like Hood and the Rigsby sisters.  Looking more closely at them would have done a lot to explain more about how Dickie Scruggs’ brain works.  In other words, my approach: the Katrina Follies.  It would have been better than the extensive quotes about him — those are interesting, but they are merely what people say, and quickly the quotes started looking like this to me: "Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah." More showing, less telling would have been welcome.  

Still, I don’t want to be too critical of the story.  Not everyone has followed the Pscruggs Psaga closely, and even a Greatest Hits type of story must come as quite a shocker to many first-time readers or casual observers.  But, I do have to say, the definitive Scruggs Story has yet to be written.

Also, one last point.  You know what the story really needed?  I know that you do.  A song!  The story even mentioned that dopey quote by Scruggs about how he was so poor growing up, if he wouldn’t have been a boy he "wouldn’t have had anything to play with."  This quote, of course, is the basis for one of the great numbers in my upcoming musical, The Katrina Follies, entitled "Dickie’s Got A Magic Jurisdiction." 

 

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Memorial Day 2008

I wrote the post below two years ago for Memorial Day as a tribute to my Dad, who served as a soldier during World War II.  This is the third straight year for this post, and I’ll continue to run it every year.  I’ve thought of his service often, and have read many books about war and military history to try to understand what he did, what he went through, and also who he was.  As Dickens pointed out in A Tale of Two Cities, the human heart is a mystery even to those closest to us, and there are many things I know about my Dad, but so much I don’t.  

I do know this much.  He was born to farmers, he farmed before he went to war, and he came back home to farm.  In a way, he was a descendant of the citizen-soldiers during the Peloponnesian War — farmers who left the land to put on armor and engage in a widespread conflagration, shipped out to fight in places they knew little about.  For soldiers in the era of classical Greece, the highest honor was not to kill or stand out as a hero, but to stay in line, not run away, and support the man standing next to you.  And so it is to this day. (The classicist Victor Davis Hanson has done impressive work in tracing the origins of Western military discipline, methods of fighting and ethos back to ancient Greece). I also know that my Dad was wounded once — some shrapnel from an exploding artillery shell struck him in the neck — but he must have refrained from applying for a Purple Heart, because it is not among his battle decorations. I know of it only because I directly asked him once if he had been shot during the war, and he never mentioned it to me again. Knowing my Dad, he would have been embarrassed to get a decoration for his wound when so many others were hurt much worse or killed.

I also know this: he was a tough, tough man in every sense.  He did whatever work he could find to earn money during the Depression — he was one of 12 kids in his family.  He did some farming for his father, he dug ditches and planted trees for the government. He enlisted before the United States entered World War II, and came back home after a brutal war in which he had seen a great deal of savage behavior by the Japanese Imperial Army, but I never heard him say one word of hate against the Japanese.  He was the kind of man who worked on the oil rigs in 40-below weather in the winter to feed his family during years the crops had failed.  When it was too cold to start the car, he walked four miles to town in a blizzard to get kerosene and supplies.  He was tough enough to fight some of the best soldiers that ever lived — Japanese Imperial Marines — in jungles and mountains (how much he must have hated that, being from flat, treeless North Dakota). He was tough enough to have seen many people killed — besides deaths in straight-up combat, his unit was chronically short of officers because they were constantly killed in camp and behind the front lines by Japanese snipers — and never talk of wanting to hurt other people. And he was also tough enough to deliver me and one of my older sisters when we were born, with the nearest doctor 20 miles away. I guess he had helped so many calves to be born, he thought how hard can it be to bring a baby into the world. He taught me how to work hard, how to see humanity even in people you don’t like, how to keep going ahead when things don’t go your way and you feel like quitting. He died in 1984.  I don’t think a single day has passed since then that I haven’t thought of him.    

Here’s the original post from 2006, updated to make the year current.  

_____________________________________________ 

Sixty-three years ago this month, the men of the Sixth Infantry Division, U.S. Army, were in their fifth month of fighting the Japanese Imperial Army on the island of Luzon, the Philippines.  They had just cracked the Shimbu line after a two-month battle in which the division’s three regiments were thrown into a battle against 14,000 Japanese soldiers waiting in bunkers, pillboxes, trenches and caves.  During the Shimbu line battles, every attack was met with a counterattack from the Japanese, who favored night actions and the banzai charge.  Many of the Sixth’s soldiers were ill with diseases like malaria from fighting in the jungles of New Guinea the prior year against elite Imperial Marines.

At that time, in late May 1945, plans were being drawn up for Operation Coronet, the invasion of Honshu, Japan, which was to begin on March 1, 1946.  Operation Coronet was to follow Operation Olympic, the invasion of Kyushu, which was scheduled for November 9, 1945.  How many American dead and wounded were expected from these two invasions is disputed, but this much is known for sure — the Army manufactured 500,000 Purple Hearts in anticipation of the battle for Japan, a stockpile it has yet to exhaust in all the years since.  The Order of Battle for Operation Coronet included the landing of eight armored and infantry divisions west of Tokyo Bay.  These divisions were then to fight their way north and take the city in conjunction with other U.S. forces.  Among those divisions was the Sixth. Among the three regiments of the Sixth was the 63rd Infantry Regiment, and among the 63rd’s 12 companies was Company C.  Among the soldiers of Company C that would have fought their way toward Tokyo, presuming they had not already been killed in their landing transports before they hit the beaches by one of the 10,000 kamikaze planes assembled to oppose the landings, was a young staff sergeant named Fred Rossmiller, my Dad.  In addition to the perhaps 400,000 American dead expected in the battle, it was thought 5 million to 10 million Japanese soldiers and civilians would die.

As we now know, Operation Coronet never happened, because the war ended in September 1945.  If it hadn’t, my Dad might never have made it back to Wildrose, North Dakota, where years later, he delivered me, the fifth of five children, one October morning on our farm.  My Dad never said much to me about the war.  I asked him once if he had killed in battle.  He said he didn’t know: he fired at the enemy and they fired at him.  If he had killed someone, he had not personally seen it.  He then told me a different story, about how when he was fighting in Luzon, he and his unit came upon some members of the Filipino Army, who had captured a Japanese soldier, tied him to a tree and were beating him.  My Dad stopped them, but his unit was involved in a battle, and had to move on.  They couldn’t take the prisoner with them.  After his unit moved out, my Dad said, he didn’t know what happened.

The mutual enmity between the Japanese and American armies in World War II was extremely high.  Yet my Dad had tried to protect this enemy soldier, and apparently thought this a more appropriate lesson for his child than his other combat experiences, because he never talked to me about them in the same kind of detail. Mostly, what I know of the Sixth and its battles I have read in the official division history and elsewhere.

In the abstract, it may sound like a cliche to talk about honoring those who have served and sacrificed for our nation.  But that abstract concept of service and sacrifice is made up of millions of individual real acts by real people who did things like carry a 70-pound machine gun on their backs through dense, mountainous jungle, and sleep with their boots on both to keep snakes and bugs out and to be ready for an enemy suicide attack.  People like my Dad, who fought in 306 days of combat, the last 219 of them consecutive, and then went home and farmed, didn’t complain, and didn’t talk much about what he had done.  There is a word for people like that, people like my Dad: heroes.  And they have Memorial Day lest we forget.

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Renfroe seeks inquiry into whether new Katrina counsel associated with Scruggs, KLG

The Disqualification Wars continue. 

First, after an initially unsuccessful effort by State Farm late last year to disqualify Dickie Scruggs from Katrina litigation on ethics grounds, Scruggs in essence disqualified himself on, uh, ethics grounds.  Then State Farm — with new evidence gained in depositions including further depositions of the "whistleblower" Rigsby sisters, they of the sham consulting agreements featuring no-show or low-show $150,000 jobs from Scruggs, they of the 15 minutes of fame and 30 years of infamy — successfully moved to disqualify the Scruggs(less) Katrina Group, later known as the Katrina(less) Litigation Group.   Then, of course, we all had a great time when the Trailer Lawyers hit the stage of the Katrina Follies, but regrettably they too were disqualified from the False Claims Act case Ex rel. Rigsby.

(As an aside, I sorely miss the Trailer Lawyers — Trailer "Snake Farm" Chip and Trailer Tony, Trailer Todd and Trailer Mary — and I especially miss writing the Trailer Lawyer songs. I’m working on one last song, tentatively entitled Since You Went Away the Trailer’s So Quiet I Can Hear My Teardrops Falling.  Well, maybe it’s not really the last one, I’ve got another I’m working on called Don’t Park Your Trailer in the Middle of a Snake Farm.  I also have a third song, sung to the tune of that State Farm jingle "like a good neighbor, State Farm is there" — it starts out "You can hide in your trailer, but Snake Farm is there"). 

Then there were various disqualifications of other firms that tried to step in to represent policyholder former clients of the KLG, but these firms were struck down in the wings before they even hit the floodlights.  Now, the latest broadside is a motion by E.A. Renfroe, the contract claims adjusting firms the Rigsbys were working for when the illicitly took State Farm claims files and gave them to Scruggs.  This particular motion is in the Shows case, which is the RICO folderol  Scruggs filed about this time last year.  I haven’t checked other cases, so it might be filed in them too.  The motion asks Judge Senter to consider whether new counsel Provost-Umphrey, a Texas firm recommended by tobacco lawyer Don Barrett, of the late Katrina Litigation Group, to former clients, has ever been "associated" with the KLG in Katrina litigation.  If so, the legal memorandum argues, Provost-Umphrey would have to go (I included the exhibits to the memorandum as part of the link).

The motion is really only a motion to consider whether they are associated counsel — it admits the facts aren’t yet known, but says two other firms that were disqualified were booted only because they self-reported on Katrina litigation links to the KLG.  The Renfroe motion encourages the Provost firm to do the same, points to the firm’s own publicity about representing policyholders in Katrina and Rita litigation, and wonders whether that representation included working with the cast of the Katrina Follies.

Paragraph 16 of the memorandum is the key one to read.  Up until that point in the memo, I would have said there is nothing there.  That paragraph, however, makes me want to know more.  It certainly puts pressure on the Provost firm to disclose anything that might resemble the type of association that is covered by Judge Senter’s disqualification order. 

 

  

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Landry Valued Policy Law: Louisiana Supreme Court rules for Citizens Property

I heard about the Louisiana Supreme Court’s decision in Landry vs. Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp.  yesterday morning, but had no time at all to do a post.  Got too busy even to do an emergency post linking to the decision.  But now I’ve read it, and I have a few moments to comment briefly.  By the way, here is the Landry decision.  Here is a link to a story by Rebecca Mowbray in the Times-Picayune.

This decision is the first thing I’ve read in Landry that has made sense to me.  The Court of Appeals’ decision was more or less completely incomprehensible.  The state Supreme Court went for the simplest analysis, which is always a good idea and keeps courts out of trouble, and that analysis is basically as follows: when the state’s Valued Policy Law was re-enacted in 1991 after being eliminated three years before, the Legislature reached an apparent compromise with insurance lobbyists that inserted into the law a provision allowing insurers to determine a loss by a different calcualation than that contained in the statute, as long as this was announced in both the policy and the application for the policy. 

The loss calculation of the statute is that the insurer must pay the full value of the policy if the property is a total loss because of a covered loss.  The exception allowed in the statute, of course, swallows up the rule, because what insurer will stay with the statutory formula when it can write a more favorable and more clearly defined one?  The Supreme Court found that the method of loss calculation in the policy — in essence, the cost to replace or repair — was valid under the exception noted in the Valued Policy Law. 

This is significant because the plaintiffs’ argument was that the Valued Policy Law requires the insurer to pay the face value of a policy whenever a covered loss factored into a total loss, even if much or most of the loss was due to an uncovered cause.  In the case of the Landrys damage from Hurricane Rita, it appears to me highly likely that most or all of the damage was due to the uncovered cause, flood, rather than the covered cause, wind.  Under the Supreme Court’s decision, the insurer will be liable only for the share of the damage that can be attributed to wind.  

The court appeared ready to limit the Valued Policy Law strictly to its literal terms — fire insurance policies, rather than policies like homeowners insurance that happen to have fire coverage — but said this was not necessary because its other analysis produced the same result.  The court noted that insurers have typically interpreted the law as applying not just to fire insurance policies but to all policies with fire coverage, and the court encouraged the Legislature to clarify the law.  

Lastly, in looking at the list of concurring justices, I see one of them is named Jeanette Theriot Knoll, and I am just guessing, but Theriot is probably not pronounced "the riot."

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Mississippi Supreme Court agrees to hear anti-concurrent cause case

A huge development: the Mississippi Supreme Court has agreed to hear the interlocutory appeal of Corban v. USAA, which I have written about here.  Being as this case is about anti-concurrent cause, my favorite subject next to Scruggs and the Trailer Lawyers, I wish I had more time to write about this, but I don’t.  So this Anita Lee story will have to suffice for today.  

 

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The Day the Music Died: Trailer Lawyers disqualified from False Claims Act case

It is with much sadness I report that the Trailer Lawyers — Trailer Chip and Trailer Tony, Trailer Todd and Trailer Mary — have been disqualified from Ex rel. Rigsby, the False Claims Act case often known by the incredibly ugly phrase "the Qui Tam," which of course is Latin for "Trailer Lawyer."

This is sad because the Trailer Lawyers have been a source of much enjoyable fodder for this and other blogs, and now, I fear, we will have to do without pleasant diversions such as making up Trailer Lawyer songs, like the following (sung to the tune of Don McLean’s American Pie):

Bye bye Trailer Lawyer pie,

Drove my trailer to the courthouse but the judge said bye bye

Them Snake Farm boys was laughing while we cried

Singing this will be the day your case dies,

This will be the day your case dies. 

Now for five months, we’ve been on our own

Since Scruggs got knocked off his lawyer throne.

But that’s not how it used to be.

When the Rigsbys sang for ABC,

With some quotes they borrowed from Dickie,

And some files that came from piracy.

And as we reached the motion stage, 

My hands were clenched in fists of rage,

No story we could tell,

Could break that Snake Farm spell.

And as our briefs climbed higher in the fight,  

We just couldn’t seem to get it right, 

I saw bloggers laughing with delight,

The day the Qui Tam died.

And they were singing,

Bye bye Trailer Lawyer pie,

Drove my trailer to the courthouse but the judge said bye bye

Them Snake Farm boys was laughing while we cried

Singing this will be the day your case dies,

This will be the day your case dies. 

My oh my, is this end of the Trailer Lawyers? No more Trailer Lawyer songs!  Truly, the Day the Music Died.  

Almost forgot, here’s Judge Senter’s opinion

 

 

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Update on McIntosh v. State Farm case, May 19

I’ve got a lot of catching up to do, but thanks to all those who e-mailed ideas for posts.  I’ll work my way through those as time allows, but for now, let’s look at Magistrate Judge Robert Walker’s rulings on Friday in the Verdun-like battle of McIntosh v. State Farm

As you may recall, State Farm issued a number of discovery requests in this case last year when it noticed the depositions of Dickie and Zach Scruggs, and these depositions have been held up while various other things happened:

  • Scruggs got indicted and pleaded guilty;
  • Scruggs withdrew from the case and all other cases;
  • the Katrina(less) Litigation Group, the rump successor to the Scruggs(less) Katrina Group, was disqualified from the case for ethics reasons:
  • the Rigsby sisters were disqualified as witnesses for ethics reasons;
  • the illicitly obtained State Farm documents were barred as evidence for ethics reasons, except where they had been obtained through lawful discovery; and
  • the February trial date was postponed as totally impractical.   

Scruggs and the Rigsbys objected to this discovery, and in a series of rulings dating to December, including this one Friday, Walker has largely said these objections based on attorney-client privilege are bogus.    

Let’s look at a paragraph from Judge Walker’s ruling:

The Rigsbys appear to claim some protected interest in the State Farm documents they provided the Scruggses and law enforcement agencies. The Court has previously ruled that the Scruggses undertaking representation of the Rigsbys does not transform “everything [the Rigsbys] … physically took from [Renfroe/State Farm] into privileged information…” Those documents are discoverable, and are not protected by attorney-client privilege or attorney work product. The Rigsbys attempt to be more specific in their objections to the subpoenas, but their opposition, like that of the McIntoshes, is essentially a broad claim that the subpoenas call for documents protected by privilege. As with the McIntoshes’ motion, the Court has simply not been presented sufficient information to hold that any particular document request infringes on any legitimate privilege. The Court is not omniscient and cannot bar discovery based on speculation that a request might lead to disclosure of privileged information. 

That is a remarkable position, isn’t it? That the documents you illicitly take from someone are protected from discovery by that person?  Wow.  It’s embarrassingly foolish, to put a word on it.  Lots of things are not covered by attorney-client privilege, including actions like taking documents and the documents themselves.  As said in the immortal Coen brothers movie The Big Lebowski, "This isn’t Vietnam, there are rules." 

Let’s look at something else, from Judge Walker’s rulings on specific State Farm discovery requests. 

Request No. 23 seeks documents “picked up or otherwise retrieved by Richard Scruggs from a highly placed source at State Farm on a trip to Bloomington, Illinois, which Richard Scruggs referenced in a March 30, 2006 interview.” The Scruggses’ objection to this request is that it is “not reasonably calculated to lead to discoverable evidence” in the McIntosh case and that the documents are privileged “to the extent that they were provided by individuals who are clients or former clients of Messrs. Scruggs.” The Court has been provided nothing upon which to base a finding of privilege, and orders Richard Scruggs to produce the requested documents.

I don’t recall this interview that is mentioned here.  What is this, a case of Scruggsian bombast and psychological warfare?  Who at Bloomington, the headquarters of State Farm, would have so lost any remaining impulses of self-preservation as to give documents to Scruggs?  No one, I suspect, but I guess we will find out, because the Court ordered Scruggs to turn over these documents.

As I said, I’ll work my way through the stories that have piled up as I have time over the coming week, which will be another very busy one.  Catch you in the next post.

 

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Blogging schedule, May 19

Time continues to be extremely limited, and blogging has been impossible.  However, if politics is the art of the possible, blogging is the art of the impossible.  I’ll see if I can sneak a post in later this morning. 

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