A reader provided me with some outstanding research on Zach’s defense team, including some stuff from my own blog. Remember, the team now includes Mike Moore, Todd Graves, Chip Robertson and Mary Winter.
Graves is the former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, who, according to this press release, left resigned his office on March 24, 2006. Remember that date.
Here is the Kerri Rigsby deposition transcript I posted some months ago and referred to again just a few days ago. Look again, starting on pages 16 and 17. You will see, as I’ve mentioned before, Rigsby testifies to meeting in a trailer with Dickie Scruggs and some other lawyers: "Tony DeWitt, Mary, Todd and Chip." Tony DeWitt and Mary Winter are former law clerks for Chip Robertson when he was on the Missouri Supreme Court, and worked for his firm. But who is Todd? Rigsby testified this Trailer Summit took place sometime in March 2006, she wasn’t specific as to the date. According to the press release, Graves didn’t leave office until March 24, which leaves seven days in March after he is out of office to meet with Rigsby.
We may assume the Todd mentioned is Todd Graves, because his name appears on the complaint of the Ex rel. Rigsby False Claims Act lawsuit filed the next month, along with Dickie Scruggs and Chip Robertson, Tony DeWitt and Mary Winter. (Look at the end of the lawsuit for the attorney signatures). Someone of Graves’ reputation would surely have worked on the case before it was filed, rather than just consenting to have his name added.
Here is a press release from 2007 showing Robertson’s previous involvement with the Scruggs firm on some kind of nursing home lawsuit (Sid Backstrom’s name is also mentioned, you have to scroll down a bit to find it).
Robertson’s connections with Scruggs go way back — in fact, he resigned from the Missouri Supreme Court to get in on the tobacco litigation, according to this article in the Kansas City Business Journal. His firm continues to represent the Rigsby sisters in the "whistleblower" lawsuit.
Question: how did Graves get involved in all of this so early, considering he was a U.S. Attorney from another jurisdiction right before the False Claims Act was filed?
Interesting, isn’t it, how Dickie Scruggs likes to keep it all in the family? And interesting how all these Rigsby sisters lawyers are now representing Zach. A Scruggs legal affair is like a Cohen brothers movie, the cast is always the same.
Also, hearing at 10 a.m. today in Oxford, Mississippi on Zach Scruggs’ latest motions. Here’s the notice.