On the Meaning of Lecky King Taking the 5th Amendment

I found a great explanation, beginning on page 20 of the Answer to the Defendant’s Counterclaim in the Affirmative Defense section. I wondered aloud if State Farm were grasping at straws in their recent filings on the Qui Tam case. I wondered privately if the lawyers at Butler Snow knew anything about the False Claims Act after reading their briefs. I’ve seen far better work out of that firm.

The salad days of using Dickie Scruggs as a boogie man to bulldoze the insurance civil litigation are over. The McIntosh family has a real blue Chipper on board in Chip Merlin. The Rigsby sisters, who happen to be clients of the Missouri duo, have specialized False Calims Act Lawyers who actually appear to know their Qui from their Tam. Let’s join them in reading some excerpts from today’s Answer to Defendant’s Counterclaim. You can find that and all of today’s filings on our Qui Tam page.

Since at least September 3, 2005, State Farm Insurance, E. A. Renfroe & Company, and its other many co-conspirators have been engaged in a concerted effort to defraud the United States through its National Flood Insurance Program.

State Farm sent a “catastrophe team” to the Gulfcoast for the purpose of carrying out a complex scheme to reduce the amount of cash outlay that State Farm and its reinsurers would have to expend in paying Katrina damage claims.

One mechanism selected for this purpose and process was a plan to push as much of the coverage issues as possible off on the National Flood Insurance Program through the submission of false and fraudulent claims.

The chief facilitator of this plan was a State Farm employee by the name of Alexis King. Continue reading “On the Meaning of Lecky King Taking the 5th Amendment”

And Alex the Question is: When was April 14, 2006? (Updated)

Why was State Farm fishing for the date of that April meeting between the Rigsby sisters and the Qui tam Attorney’s referenced in Cori and Kerri Rigsby’s depositions? To set up today’s legal filings let me quote from Kerri Rigsby’s November 20, 2007 deposition on page 21.

Q. Did you access that file in March of 2006?
A. If you say I did, I believe you. I would not be surprised if I didn’t, but I don’t know if I looked at it in March 2006.
Q. Well, if I ask you to assume that you accessed that file on March 11th, 2006, starting at 2:20 in the afternoon, you wouldn’t deny that, would you?
A. I wouldn’t. I would not.

Why is this exchange important? The Rigsby sisters were not clear on the dates or whom they met with in the Spring of 2006. State Farm knew the exact date and time they accessed their system in March 2006. But there it is starting on page 181 of Kerri’s deposition no exact date was specified by State Farm’s lawyers because State Farm didn’t know the date. Let’s return to page 67 of Cori Rigsby’s deposition from November 19, 2007 to see more of the fishing expedition. Continue reading “And Alex the Question is: When was April 14, 2006? (Updated)”

Breaking: Graves, Bartle and Marcus Asking for Sanctions Against State Farm

Time for State Farm to put up or shut up.  Page 11 starts the counter attack.

Comparing these accusations against the Rigsbys’ actual testimony, it is apparent that State Farm had little regard for the truth in drafting its motion to disqualify. Where does Cori Rigsby state that she gave her counsel carte blanche to retrieve State Farm documents directly from State Farm’s database? Where does Kerri Rigsby admit “secret” [sic] meetings with Graves where State Farm’s databases were accessed?
State Farm’s unsubstantiated accusations are worthy of strong rebuke and sanction under Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Merely hoping that Relators’ counsel was engaged in wrongdoing does not make it so. Actual proof is required. State Farm presented no proof in support of its claims because the wrongdoing it alleges is make-believe. Continue reading “Breaking: Graves, Bartle and Marcus Asking for Sanctions Against State Farm”

Over the wire or under the wig – ex parte Part 3 (revised)

Improper contact intended to influence judicial decisions is certainly not a new concept. Earwigging, for example, is as old as the practice of wig-wearing judges.

The idea of making Internet blogs an innocent and unknowing partner in crime, so to speak, is as new as the reference to blog comments in the Motion for Change of Venue in US v Scruggs and Judge Mills’ recent remarks that led me to write the first of these three posts on the subject.

Blogs, as we know them, are less than a decade old. The term weblog didn’t exist until 1998 and first applied to a page of links that are now known as a blogroll. US v Scruggs, however, made that “roll” a role as blogs delivered breaking news, informed opinion, and public reaction in one powerful punch.

Mississippi’s own Y’all Politics and two others popular with Mississippi readers were the subject of Blogoshpere becomes authority and issue in Scruggs case in a February issue of Legal News Line, an on-line publication of the US Chamber of Commerce.

The blog world may yet have an impact on the outcome of the case. Scruggs’ defense team said the coverage has potentially influenced the jury pool and wants the case moved to a federal court outside of Mississippi. Continue reading “Over the wire or under the wig – ex parte Part 3 (revised)”