“A rich man is just a poor man with money” – Scruggs denied right to equal justice

There is little irony in W.C. Fields providing the title quote as the line between comedy and tragedy is thin. The extent to which the wealth of Dick Scruggs was considered in his sentencing was nothing short of a tragic violation of his Constitutional right to equal justice – and that’s far more reprehensible than anything Scruggs did.

And yet you – – you neither thought you needed money or did need money; yet you committed a reprehensible crime which, in my opinion, is one of the most reprehensible crimes that a lawyer can commit, the corruption of the rule of law which he’ s sworn to uphold…

Another thing that doesn’t make any sense – – well, it makes your crime more reprehensible is the justice system has made you a rich man; the court system has made you a rich man. And yet you have attempted to corrupt it…

The concept of equal justice is the bedrock of democracy, articulated as early as 430 B.C. by Pericles.

Our constitution…favours the many instead of the few; this is why it is called a democracy. If we look to the laws, they afford equal justice to all in their private differences… Continue reading ““A rich man is just a poor man with money” – Scruggs denied right to equal justice”

The Mississippi Press Opines in Favor of HR 3121 & Nicely Takes the Commish to Task

Some comments left on Nowdy’s excellent post “Bet your sweet potatoes on the weather and take the pot”  brought to mind a question I asked Dr Edwin Duett at Commissioner Chaney’s insurance forum in response to his remark in reference to HR 3121, “You don’t want actuarily sound wind premiums”.  My question was something along the lines of how do we know exactly what constitutes “actuarily sound”? Before I ramble on further and invite an email from Nowdy that I’ve once again buried my lead I’ll disclose I’ve concluded that insurance is the synthesis of a healthy dose of complex financial calculation along with art in the form of literary sophistry.

I don’t know what is in Commissioner Chaney, Senator Wicker or Governor Barbour’s hearts when they proclaim support for the HR 3121 multi peril concept but sometimes I think I detect a wee bit of political sophistry in their positions. I came away with the feeling the Mississippi Press editorial board does as well when I read their opinion printed yesterday that Gene Taylor’s multi peril bill needs a bigger push which also referenced the Commish’s recent visit to Jackson County to speak to the Kiwanis Club. I wonder if our readers come away with the same impression:

It’s fascinating that Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney doesn’t “see any way that the private industry can cover all the major catastrophic events that can happen in this country.” Continue reading “The Mississippi Press Opines in Favor of HR 3121 & Nicely Takes the Commish to Task”

Media Coverage of the Lisanby v USAA Verdict Continues (Updated)

We have two media reports on yesterday’s verdict each containing some new tidbits of information including the fact the presiding judge BIlly Bridges hails from Rankin County, which is very conservative and not known for electing judicial activists to the bench.

First we check in with Karen Nelson at the Sun Herald who reports on the length of jury deliberations, the courtroom reaction and USAA’s request for the judge, rather than the jury to make the decision on punis:

The total Friday for the Lisanbys came to roughly $910,000, awarded by the jurors. But it’s not over.

On Monday attorneys will argue and the jury will decide whether USAA should also pay the Lisanbys punitive damages. Continue reading “Media Coverage of the Lisanby v USAA Verdict Continues (Updated)”