State Farm v. Hood hearing today

What a show it’s going to be today.  We’ve got Jim Hood, Courtney Schloemer, Kerri Rigsby, and the transcript of the deposition of Dickie Scruggs all showing up today for the big hearing to decide if State Farm’s injunction against Hood’s criminal investigation will continue. 

As far as that Scruggs deposition, no one is supposed to talk about it because it’s sealed tighter than an FBI waterproof body microphone, but I believe the deposition happened late Monday after Judge Mills woodshedded Scruggs. Since Scruggs’ own attorney said he was going to refuse to answer each question on grounds that it might tend to incriminate him, it would be shocking if Scruggs did not journey to the Fifth Dimension. The questions, from reading the transcript of Friday’s hearing about the Scruggs deposition (see below for a link, it was in yesterday’s post), included many about how much Scruggs and Hood cooperated in linking civil litigation and criminal investigations, when both of them began working with the Rigsby sisters, Mike Moore’s involvement, and many, many "Moore."  But even though Scruggs didn’t answer, look at that All-Star cast listed up top, they’re not all going to take the Fifth — should be plenty of good questions and answers today.  Where’s Court TV when you need it?    

I’m sure Hood is tired of getting pies thrown in his face, but I thought the tactic in this Motion to Strike State Farm’s trial brief was overly defensive.  This new filing by Hood takes to task the State Farm’s trial brief, which I linked to in yesterday’s post, as being nothing but a surrebuttal to Hood’s motion to dissolve the injunction.  Maybe, maybe not, but complaining about a party’s extra briefing usually comes off as pretty whiny, like running to teacher to tell about kids who won’t give your ball back.  It just highlights the fact you believe the brief was effective — if it wasn’t, you wouldn’t care, because you never try to stop someone who is damaging themselves.  Better to just use the occasion as an excuse for writing your own extra brief knocking down any new points they made and making your own again. 

 

 

5 Comments

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5 Responses to State Farm v. Hood hearing today

  1. WiSam

    I have to agree with your assessment of this brief being overly defensive. I like where the pleading refers to State Farm’s “unjust and unchecked wrath”. I think a criminal investigation against State Farm after the agreement and payment of $5 mil to the state entitles State Farm some wrath. Just my opinion, for what it’s worth.

  2. msbarfly

    Rossmiller: looks like i missed 2-3 important links: miss. ag hood’s motion to dissolve, and maybe something called a “rebuttal.” and, since i missed the REBUTTAL, i must have missed what was being REBUTTED, which I assume would be SF’s response to the motion to dissolve. i’ll scroll through your posts to see where i missed all that. if you have a sec, could you provide a “whereabouts” for that. thanks, David.

  3. tsetse

    David, I’m wondering why some of these lawyers keep writing that the other side is “trying to confuse the Court.” We’re not talking about justices of the peace down here — all the education required for that is a high school diploma, i think. I’m just not seeing that these federal judges are going to be “all confused.” If you understand why lawyers need to be sure the FEDERAL JUDGE isn’t confused about the FEDERAL LAW, that’d be helpful to me. thanks.

  4. Barfly, I’ll probably round it all up tomorrow when I talk about the results of the hearing today.
    Tsetse, in my view, judges get confused all the time, but when I’m writing legal briefs to them I try to pretend that this is not so. So instead of saying someone is trying to confuse the judge, I will say the other party is confused or has been led astray by false doctrine. You are right, with federal judges, more often than not, if they do get confused they will take the time to get unconfused, and having to write opinions is one reason they are able to achieve a high level of clarity in the end. Doesn’t mean they always agree with me, but at least the opinion is respectable and not confused. The Fifth Circuit’s opinion in Leonard v. Nationwide, however, is an example of confusion in the causation analysis, pure and simple, it is wrong in the fundamentals of the analysis. So even really, really smart judges get confused.

  5. silas

    I think the 5th circuit was not confused, but rather intellectually dishonest.