Scruggs Nation, February 12: the sweet potatoes edition

Well, everyone has been waiting for some time for the other shoe store to drop in the Scruggs scandal, especially after the guilty plea of Joey Langston. It  wouldn’t surprise me to see some big developments soon. But be that as it may, for today, in USA v. Scruggs (Mississippi version), the news is the mass filing of motions in the case — under the amended scheduling order of this case, yesterday was the deadline for pre-trial motions (March 11 is currently the last date for submission of plea agreements).

Below are the documents filed today.  I skimmed most of the memoranda, read some parts closely, looked at some of the evidence, but there was more here than I had time for.  However, it’s all here for you to peruse at your leisure.

Here is a motion by the three remaining defendants — Dickie Scruggs, Zach Scruggs and Sid Backstrom — to dismiss the indictment for outrageous government conduct.

Another big motion: to suppress wiretap evidence.  And here is something that you will love to comb through, I’m sure — the affidavit in support of these motions along with accompanying exhibits.  Read the affidavit and find which of the exhibits below you want to examine — a lot of this is transcripts of phone conversations, wiretap applications and other good stuff.

A third: a motion in limine to exclude extrinsic evidence of alleged involvement in the Joey Langston plan to bribe a state judge. 

And a fourth, a motion to dismiss counts 2, 3 and 4 of the indictment.

Also, here is Sid Backstrom’s motion to sever his trial from that of Dickie Scruggs, on grounds that it would be prejudicial to Backstrom if he were tried with Scruggs.

The same kind of motion from Zach Scruggs, with commentary on page 4 from Tim "Sweet Potatoes" Balducci. From "man crush" to "where the bodies are buried," the man is just a fount of quotable quotes.

UPDATE: There was another motion filed yesterday, although I didn’t see it on PACER the last I checked about 9 p.m. Pacific Time last night.  It’s a motion to change the venue of the trial — too much bad publicity in Mississippi.  Some I’ve heard from would disagree and say there hasn’t been enough publicity.  




Filed under Industry Developments

16 Responses to Scruggs Nation, February 12: the sweet potatoes edition

  1. nomiss

    Thanks to Tim Balducci, there are two images I can’t get out of my head.
    The first is Johnny Jones sitting in Grady Tollison’s office “blowing snot bubbles” as they prepare the lawsuit against Dickie Scruggs.
    The second is of the FBI agents confronting Tim B. with the audio and video tapes and telling Tim that they are going to “put the corn on the ground.”

  2. Bill

    In the Motion to Dismiss the Indictment, U. S. v. Stringer, 408 F. S. 2d 1083 (D. Or. 2006) is cited as having dismissed an indictment for improper conduct of the government in using a parallel civil proceeding to gather evidence for a criminal case. In fact, the indictments in that case were NOT dismissed.

  3. Hemenway

    Page 5 in the motion to dismiss for outrageous gov’t conduct:
    “…but it appears that something Balducci said may have made Judge Lackey believe that he was the target of an investigation or government sting.”
    To whom does the pronoun “he” refer back to? Badlucci or Lackey?

  4. Tim

    I don’t know the outcome of this case, but I’ve got to say there is meat in these Motions, that raises a lot of questions in my mind which looked pretty bleak up until now. Of course, I’m sure the Gov’t will have a response.

  5. JR

    Maybe we can call Zach Scruggs “Scruggles”, as in that cute little teddy bear associated with the fabric softner! Afterall Zach is so cute and innocent that he couldn’t have been aware of all this sweet potatoe business!

  6. shm

    Dickie wants his case dismissed for “outrageous conduct”. Isn’t that ironic– that is what he has been doing for years.

  7. observer

    Well, I guess we will see how much “meat” these motions have on their bones, once Judge Biggers starts hearing them. They look like pretty typical motions to me, for a case with a wealthy defendant and a large stable of attorneys to churn them out (something that some attorneys may not be familiar with, but those who have tried drug dealers with deep pockets most certainly are). I would label it the “let’s throw everything up against the wall and see what sticks” form of motioning.
    But, the motions don’t address the biggest problem the Scruggs and Backstrom have, (maybe not counting their own words on wiretaps and tape recordings) which is, how to convince the jury that their two former (three former if the 404(b) evidence of other crimes gets in and Langston testifies) buddies and associates, are now lying sacks of crud who got together to make up a story about them?

  8. Tim

    Well, I read all the wiretap conversations and I am just saying there’s an awful lot to work with there and I am not defending Scruggs et al. It still a difficult defense, but there’s a lot of truth in what is said in the Motions in reading the wiretaps too. Realizing the Motions give us the best defense view and the Gov’t will have evidence in response which may swing the other way. Also the Langston plea (and Wilson Case) with predisposition issues complicates it even further. Its just not as clear cut as it appeared is all I was saying.

  9. observer

    I can see where a lot of this stuff looks novel to someone who doesn’t do it a lot. To me it’s like watching a John Wayne western. Even though I haven’t seen this particular one before, I have seen enough of them to have a pretty good idea what the plot is going to be, what the characters are going to say, and what the ending is going to be.

  10. DeltaNative

    What, no cite to ICL Blog in the Motion for Change of Venue?

  11. Observer, remember Red River, The Searchers and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Nothing formulaic about them.

  12. observers

    Yeah, but those movies are always the ones fans of Wayne mention because they were NOT like most of his westerns.
    Really, when have you watched another one of John Wayne’s movies where you had a, “Wow, I never saw that one coming,” moment. Maybe the Cowboys, when he got killed, but that’s about it.

  13. I would say, not having seen every single Wayne movie, because there are a lot of them, that he was a much better actor than most people assume. I think some of his performances even in the standard cavalry movies bring some surprises and depth, like his portrayal of Capt. Brittles in She Wore A Yellow Ribbon, which is one of my favorite John Wayne movies. Here he played a guy facing the end of his career who, despite being an old warrior, had a sense of responsibility to the Indians he dealt with.

  14. Ironic

    “I mean he, you know, you don’t, you don’t climb the mountain he’s climbed without… cuttin’ a corner here and there”
    Balducci referring to Dickie Scruggs
    So, how much of Scruggs past success is legitimate?

  15. Scruggs: I’m the real victim here

    The beleaguered tort tycoon is now seeking to have the federal indictment dismissed on grounds of “outrageous government misconduct”. Roger Parloff at Fortune Legal Pad explains how Scruggs’s attorneys are evoking the atmospherics of an…

  16. Ironic

    Let me try to quote Balducci again as my first attempt was less than successful.
    “I mean he, you know, you don’t, you don’t climb the mountain he’s climbed without… cuttin’ a corner here and there, so.”
    Followed up by, “And listen, this ain’t my first rodeo with Scruggs.”
    Tim Balducci quotes