In what has developed into a sort of game show called "Who’s My Attorney?", Judge Biggers has denied permission for attorney Tony Farese to withdraw as counsel for Zach Scruggs — he was going to withdraw and reportedly represent Joey Langston. Here’s the latest from Judge Biggers, who is described to me by those who know as "a very hard-nose federal judge."
In this order, Judge Biggers also asks why Kenneth Coghlan, who used to represent defendant Steve Patterson and withdrew in favor of substitute counsel Hiram Eastlake, can now represent Dickie Scruggs, as Coghlan has asked permission to do. Both instances raise conflict issues — what if Patterson testifies against Scruggs and Coghlan has to cross-examine his own former client? Judge Biggers raised this concern. The same could be said for the Farese situation, I suppose — what if Langston testifies against Zach Scruggs? In any event, Biggers denied permission for Farese to withdraw at present because the trial date is approaching and Zach Scruggs has no substitute counsel.
In light of the judge’s questions, it appears Coghlan is dropping out. Here’s the very last entry on the PACER docket for this case, under the judge’s order.
|01/09/2008||Attorney update in case as to Richard F. Dickie Scruggs. Attorney Kenneth H. Coghlan terminated. (nsm, USDC)|
Is it just me, or is this whole thing starting to resemble a runaway stage coach on fire, careening over rocks and through gullies, wheels flying off and folks jumping out, hoping to land on something softer than a cactus?