All in this together? I’ll say!

The attorney-client privilege relates to and covers all information regarding the client received by the attorney in his professional capacity and in the course of his representation of the client. Barnes v. State, 460 So. 2d 126, 131 (Miss. 1984). Included are communications made by the client to the attorney and by the attorney to the client. Id. Only the client may invoke the privilege and the attorney has no standing to invoke the privilege if the client does not wish to. Id. Like the attorney client privilege, the work- product doctrine insulates a lawyer’s research, analysis of legal theories, mental impressions, notes, and memoranda of witnesses’ statements from an opposing counsel’s inquiries. Dunn, supra, at 875.

So writes the attorney Grady Tollison filing the Motion to Quash Notice of Depostion and for Protective Order on behalf of his client, Jones who formerly represented McIntosh in McIntosh v State Farm.

Jones has relevant, non-privileged factual information that is highly material to the claims and defenses in this case … about the whereabouts of an original engineering report on the McIntosh property.

Judge Walker granted the motion to quash saying:

State Farm offers nothing but speculation that Jones had any information whatsoever about any original engineering report.

But maybe it was more than speculation?  Mr. Grady Tollison, Jr. also represents Mr. David Stanovich (who was an agent of State Farm) while representing Jones according to the Plaintiffs’ response to motion in opposition by State Farm.

David Stanovich contacted Mr. McIntosh during the critical period of time just before and after State Farm admits that it knew of the October 12 report, and was attempting to prevent Mr. McIntosh and the national news media from discovering the original engineering report.

Also, it said:

In the months before Plaintiffs filed suit, quite a number of State Farm representatives called them, made false representations to them, and induced them to assist in covering up the fraud upon them, which did not occur in most other Katrina cases. Plaintiffs were contacted by at least the following nine State Farm employees and agents: Blalock, Deganhart, Rennick, Barrett, Turner, Huey, Slaughter, Perry, and Stanovich.

That would be when Jones was still represening policyholders with Scruggs.  Jones knows and Tollilson knows and here is Tollison representing Jones who knew about these engineering reports and State Farm wants to depose him.  And then here is Tollison representing Stanovich who was acting as an agent of State Farm and McIntosh wants to depose him.

Jones and Tollison also have an attorney-client relationship in Jones v Scruggs, the fee dispute central to USA v Scruggs.

In that capacity, Tollison presented the proffered testimony of Judge Lackey to Judge Coleman at a hearing in February and was present at the most recent hearing on the case – the one where Judge Lackey testified before Judge Coleman about Tollison’s role in sealing the suit.

This is Cal Mayo’s reported cross-examination of Judge Lackey from just before lunch. It was riveting, alright.

Cal Mayo, representing Scruggs, hands Judge Lackey the order sealing the case.

Q Judge Lackey, at time you assigned this order, Mr. Tollison was there with you and Mrs. Busby was in the area.

A It was in the courthouse on the square, in Mrs. Busby’s office, and she was in the area.

Q. reason for seal

A. It was a dispute between lawyers, did not want to hang our dirty laundry in public, and that’s why.

Tollison did not say who the parties involved were. Did not say whether it was lawyers who practiced in Oxford, does not believe they did not know for sure. Did not say the parties had signed an arbitration agreement. Did say there were settlement discussions. Said sealing might keep help from hanging the dirty wash out.

That is a very strange statement isn’t it?  If they didn’t know who the lawyers were, whether they were from Oxford (can we say jurisdiction here? or was it as in Oxford-one-of-us kind of deals?), didn’t know about arbitration or settlement talks but “sealing might keep help from hanging the dirty wash out”?   And Judge Lackey entered the order under seal just because Tollison asked him to?

What dirty wash?  In the transcripts from the FBI’s recording of Zach, Balducci and Backstrom where Zach notes that Tollison is:

Citin’ SID’s email and, and just one little part of it, and you know, just chicken shit shit. I mean, STATE FARM is usin’ uh, JOHNNY JONES’ action. and all the shit they’re gettin’ from it. They’re gettin’ all these internal emails.

BALDUCCI:….and … Sure. … and they been using some of that, and using it in an action that I’m forbidden to talk about …

Well … … that they filed against the Attorney General, STATE FARM is. They’re using that as discovery

Yeah, and they’re probably intentionally doing that.

Fuck yeah. Uh, so, so, so, you know, GRADY might, so these new filings, shit we need to find, that’s the thing. We need to find, GRADY mighta just filed, he mighta just put all kinds of crooked shit …

Well, you need to … … that’s just it. … that’s all I’m saying is you need to look, get uh, not for purposes of getting this order entered, but you probably all just know anyway from your lawyers what GRADY has filed, but urn, I mean the, I guess the the issue … There is no telling. He might pulled all kinds of crazy ass emails, uh …

Well … … trying to (UI) … 1, I think he’s, he’s probably doing that because he knows that it’s causing us pain elsewhere. You know?

Of course that’s why he’s doing it. It’s just a, a pressure point.


Of course it is. But here’s, there’s gotta be something we can do about that. We could move to seal it, but after this is entered …

Well what about … We … don’t wanna gum up the order …

well what do, what do we do about him releasing privileged stuff? I mean there’s got, I mean we [could] file a bar complaint? That, that, you know, that, that he’s filin’ a bunch of stuff that has nothing to do with his dispute against us to try to get out in the public domain.

And we all wondered how State Farm was getting their information?  Tollison has been representing both sides!

4 thoughts on “All in this together? I’ll say!”

  1. bellesouth, that’s a mighty powerful first post – not to mention rather shocking news.

    Wonder why this hasn’t been mentioned? A lot of people had to know. Imagine what else could be buried in the 100 page McIntosh docket.

    Not exactly what I had in mind when I wrote “we’re all in this together” as your title suggests.

  2. Thanks, Nowdy. I couldn’t have done it without you! When you said that Tollison was noticed by State Farm in the McIntosh case that rang some bells for me.

    I am still amazed that Judge Lackey was on the stand testifying that he had lied to Balducci about Tollison, but was it really a lie? How can you say you were lying on the stand? It kind of seems like maybe there was a little more contact between Lackey and Tollison that neither want to admit to.

    At the Jones’ hearing Lackey said:

    There was a discussion with Balducci about a conversation with an attorney from the Tollison law firm. This was a total fabrication. I was giving him a reason for me getting back into the case. Had been to a retirement reception for Doris Patton, retiring as a deputy circuit clerk. Did talk to Christine Tatum at that reception. She had severed as a law clerk for me and Judge Kenneth Coleman. Did not realize until that time that she was in the Daniel Coker firm, representing Scruggs

  3. Beat me unless it’s an example of why it’s always better to tell the truth – then you don’t have to remember what you said when you told a tale and end up confusing yourself and others.

  4. I’m struck by the fact that it took a good bit of double dealing, lying and cheating to take Scruggs down. I’m flabbergastered Grady Tollison was able to represent both sides in the McIntosh litigation.

    The people on the bottom of all this such as the McIntosh family certainly must be growing tired of all these yahoos impersonating ethical lawyers pissing all over them so they can continue their internecine power plays and feuds amongst each other.

    There is dirt on the hands of every lawyer here in Mississippi too; to the extent Scruggs activities was an open secret yet the bar did nothing means they all have culpability since they could not police their own profession. Even Judge Senter had a chance to nip this in the bud yet he too turned a blind eye. Is it any wonder that out of state sleazoids like David Rossmiller are naturally attracted to this cesspool hunting a quick buck?

    I doubt seriously the legal profession is any cleaner with Scruggs out of the way, more likely it is just another group of nabobs taking over to use the system to their personal benefit.

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