Scruggs Nation, January 28

Just some brief items today.  I’ve got some good Scruggs-related documents, but I’ll see if I can get them posted tomorrow.  Monday morning is a wicked time to post, and Monday in January in Portland is even worse.  T.S. Eliot said April is the cruellest month, but I’ll put my money on January every single time.  Incidentally, the poem where he said that, the Waste Land, contains what to me is the most chilling line in literature: "I will show you fear in a handful of dust."  It could mean various things, but one interpretation surely is in keeping with the answer to the question Tolstoy posed in his 1886 short story, How Much Land Does A Man Need?  The answer? Just enough for a grave. Here’s the story’s last paragraph:

His servant picked up the spade and dug a grave long enough for Pahom to lie in, and buried him in it. Six feet from his head to his heels was all he needed.

Throughout this sad Scruggs spectacle, I’ve had occasion to think over the uses of wealth and power, and their ends.  Gray’s Elegy Written in a Country Church-Yard gives one possible view:

The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e’er gave,
Awaits alike th’ inevitable hour:-
The paths of glory lead but to the grave. 

— A reader sent me a link to this 1999 Wall Street Journal story about bizarre goings-on including flying dog poop and gun play at a Dickie Scruggs mansion in Pascagoula.  I think the story’s first paragraph summed it up pretty well.

"I deeply regret and sincerely apologize . . . for the unfortunate incident involving the dog poop shoveled from my yard on May 16, 1999. My conduct was inappropriate as a good neighbor."

Paths of glory, indeed.

— Some misinterpretations have arisen of my previous posts: I am not ceasing to write about Dickie Scruggs, I merely am not going to write a Scruggs Nation post every day.  More of a time commitment than I can commit to over the long haul.  

—   On Friday, Scruggs filed a motion that asks Judge Biggers to reconsider and allow attorney Kenneth Coghlan to represent Scruggs after all.  Click here to read the motion, and here is an excerpt: 

Finally, while the Court is certainly correct that Mr. Coghlan is “not the only attorney in this local area … that would be available to assist Mr. Scruggs[],” Mr. Scruggs believes that Mr. Coghlan is the very best attorney to assist his lead counsel in this matter and respectfully requests that the Court give due weight to his constitutional right to counsel of his own choosing.

In the event that the Court does not permit Mr. Coghlan to enter an appearance on behalf of Mr. Scruggs, the undersigned counsel wishes to notify the Court that counsel intends to consult with Mr. Coghlan on issues related to local custom and practice, jurisdiction, jury selection and other strictly legal and procedural (i.e., non-evidentiary issues) that may be pertinent to the defense of the case but which do not implicate any attorney-client privileged communications or information. Mr. Coghlan will have no role in the trial of this matter and will not render any legal advice or consultation to Mr. Scruggs. Furthermore, Mr. Coghlan will not be consulted regarding the specifics of either Mr. Scruggs’s or Mr. Patterson’s alleged involvement in the conduct at issue in the Indictment.

See Wheat, 486 U.S. at 159; see also Powell v. Alabama, 287 U.S. 45, 53 (1932) (“It is hardly necessary to say that, the right to counsel being conceded, a defendant should be afforded a fair opportunity to secure counsel of his own choice.”)

What is this all about? Some attempt to create an issue for appeal? Gotta believe there are other lawyers Keker could consult with about local practice.

 

7 Comments

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7 Responses to Scruggs Nation, January 28

  1. Oxford Prof

    For what it’s worth–I’m not a lawyer, I don’t think like a lawyer, and I don’t do lawyer things…
    But this blog is dang funny–and it makes me laugh. So I read it.
    /still don’t want to become a lawyer.

  2. observer

    I think that the charges Mr. Scruggs, faces, as well as the incident with Longfellow House, his response to Judge Biggers’ order disallowing Coghlan as his attorney, and probably every other problem he has in life, all stem from the same basic source-rich people don’t like hearing the word “no”.

  3. Mississippian

    “In the event that the Court does not permit Mr. Coghlan to enter an appearance on behalf of Mr. Scruggs, the undersigned counsel wishes to notify the Court that counsel intends to consult with Mr. Coghlan…” With THOUSANDS of lawyers in the state, and Scruggs just MUST have this one??
    “Mr. Scruggs believes that Mr. Coghlan is the very best attorney to assist his lead counsel…” Well, if he was the “very best”, then why didn’t he hire him to begin with?
    Scruggs has 5 attorneys–very good attorneys–but for some reason (and it couldn’t possibly be related to the fact that Coghlan represented someone else, who could possibly testify against him)he’s just GOT to have this one guy on his side!
    Hope the Judge smacks this down and stops this stupid nonsence.

  4. duckhead

    “And it’s knowing that I’m not shackled by forgotten words & bonds, or the ink stains that have dried up on some line.”
    John Hartford
    1963

  5. msbarfly

    Rossmiller: This man-crush Scruggs’got on Coghlan has me all puzzled. And, I don’t like being puzzled. As long as I’ve been in AP “reading between the lines” class, I don’t like it one bit. Now, I’ve got my ideas; and I’m thinking if I can bounce ’em off your good nose for no-good, won’t take us long at all to nail this little fixation. Holler when you get a few and we can meet up over behind the steno pool.

  6. Mississippiguy

    I remember the Longfellow House thing. All of it was pretty funny. It is so obvious that Dickie paid off those electricians to say they were threatened. That is what he has always done, pay people to get his way. I do wonder why Mike Moore was involved with this incident? Was he still on big tobacco payroll? I agree with the blog previously written. Scruggs does not like to hear the word no.

  7. Mississippi just wondering

    Has anyone even seen or heard from Mike Moore? As all of these indictments come to fruition he seems so GUILTY to taking money for the tobacco litigation, as does Jim Hood for other cases given out to outside counsel. Who else will be indicted?