In the end, Rule 59 or 60 mattered not. No rule ever does when a case is mutato nomine de te fabula narratur – a relatively new concept in a nation long distinguished by it’s commitment to justice for all.
Translated from the Latin, it reads, change the name and the story’s yours – implying as intended that justice for all has been overturned in favor of justice for some with Judge Senter’s order denying reconsideration of the Rigsbys’ request for continued representation by the two Missouri firms.
Mad I’m not – chiefly because I’m overwhelmingly sad that Judge Senter totally lost sight of the fact that the Rigsby sisters have rights.
He has assumed their right to file under Duggins and, then, used Duggins to take their right to counsel – and, in doing so, he has exposed every lawyer in our State to risk of judicial interference with a lawyer-client relationship.
Did the authors of tort reform legislation – a list that reads like a who’s who of tort with names like Ed Blackmon, Percy Watson – leave themselves and others with exposure under Duggins while abolishing such liability for potential clients and removing the protection for others?
Will a judge hold every lawyer with Adams & Reese liable should any allegations about acts that took place in Mississippi prove true? What about all the attorneys associated with State Farm – a dozen or more in a joint venture on McIntosh alone – and those in a joint venture for USA v Moultrie?
If Judge Senter can become a one-man legal system, mutato nomine de te fabula narratur.