A Few Odds and Ends From the Heart of the GO Zone

I saw our friend Steve stopped by last night leaving this comment in response to Alan’s link and Yallpolitics thread on the suggested movie stars for Katrina the Movie. Not wanting to leave the cast short handed Steve suggested Meatloaf play Edward Rust.
I gotta say there is a resemblance there.   Check out this picture of Mr Rust to the one Steve linked of Meatloaf. Perhaps instead of Katrina the Movie we could have a musical and call it Katrina the Musical.  Meatloaf, playing Ed Rust could sing his way through the various and sometimes strange events that have at times lent a Kafkaesque quality to our existence here in the GO Zone post Katrina.

The cast is still short however, as we need actors for State Farm employees like Mr Drain and Ms King. Continue reading “A Few Odds and Ends From the Heart of the GO Zone”

New orders issued in USA v Moultrie

Magistrate Judge Alexandar issued three orders today in preparation for next month’s trial of USA v Moultrie – all fall under what I’d call “housekeeping” and I’m going to summarize rather than link.

  • Granted in part. Motion from Carothers to increase the number of pages in memorandum of law granted from 35 to 43 pages, not the 50 requested.
  • Granted. Motion from USA for extension of deadline to respond to motions with deadline set on or before 12pm on the 5th of August.
  • Granted. Motion from Moultrie to join motions four motions, including, the motion to dismiss count one. Use these numbers to identify the motions involved on USA v Moultrie under legal in the left side bar (124, 125, 126, and 127)

The absence of motions in opposition is noteworthy – so rarely do we see those in adversarial positions making nice and accommodating the needs of others without a hidden agenda.

Rarer still, much to my amazement, is Judge Alexander’s even tone. Continue reading “New orders issued in USA v Moultrie”

Judge Acker grants Scruggs motion to release security to satisfy judgment begrudgingly

Judge Acker issued his Memorandum and Opinion today on Scruggs’s motion to release the cash “deposited with the Clerk as security pending appeal to E.A. Renfroe & Co. Inc. in satisfaction of the civil contempt sanctions entered against Scruggs and the defendants.”  Also, the Rigsbys have filed a motion for a mediation order, today as well.  Busy day in Alabama.  The motion for a mediation order was suggested by the judge on Monday. The Rigsbys took him up on the offer.

I suspected that Judge Acker was waiting on issuing his order on Scruggs’s motion because he was going to have to do something reasonable but didn’t really want to.  My guess was correct! 

The court voiced its incredulity and its concern over granting the said motion without caveat.  The court made clear that the motion will be granted only with the court’s disclaimer of any belief that there will remain any right by Scruggs and/or by the Rigsbys to appeal and/or to recover from Renfroe the amount of the satisfied judgment in the event of a successful appeal by anybody.

But he was extremely impressed with Scruggs and counsel’s brief filed with the Eleventh Circuit filed on June 19, 2008 quoted in the memo: Continue reading “Judge Acker grants Scruggs motion to release security to satisfy judgment begrudgingly”

Provost Umphrey Was a Qui Tam Smokescreen. Gilbert Randolph Welcome to Slabbed

So interesting that one day after David Rossmiller proclaimed for the 15th time the False Claims Act case Ex Rel Rigsby was unraveling the Rigsby Sisters found a firm out of DC to take the case over. I highly recommend Rossmiller’s thread for the constant bizarre wondering of Belle’s whereabouts (the guys must be hard up for a date after reading Tammy Hardison’s deposition) along with another belated admission on Rossmiller’s part that industry money drives his blogging. Having met Belle in person I could only add she is wayyyyy too much woman for guys who get their jollies reading legal porn in depositions.

In any event our own Anita Lee tells the story of a renewed State Farm character assassination campaign that has been stopped cold by the facts as told by Ms Lobrano and the now announced hiring of Gilbert Randolph. Did Rossmiller fall for it hook line and sinker this time? LOL. Sounds to me like Galloway, Robinson and company at Butler Snow were just punked.

Ma Lobrano says Tammy Hardison is a liar, sounds like she has some proof too:

As State Farm levels new allegations against two former insurance adjusters, the sisters have found another law firm to represent them in a whistle-blower lawsuit they filed against the insurance company.

Washington-based Gilbert Randolph plans to represent the women, partner Scott Gilbert said Tuesday. The news came after State Farm accused sisters Cori and Kerri Rigsby of pursuing allegations against the insurance company because they wanted “money and fame.” The company offered sworn testimony from another adjuster and her assistant, who, like the Rigsbys, worked on State Farm claims after Hurricane Katrina Continue reading “Provost Umphrey Was a Qui Tam Smokescreen. Gilbert Randolph Welcome to Slabbed”

"the weather is here I wish you were beautiful…"

Actually, the weather was here – this is the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet at the center of the legal storm known as Robinson v Corps of Engineers – the case the Editilla of the Ladder and I have been trying to get a handle on.

Understanding the case requires a basic understanding of the geography of New Orleans – giving an advantage to Editilla and the Ladder. I once sat through an entire Sugar Bowl virtually alone at the wrong end of the stadium; so, you can safely say I have had a lot to learn.

I recommend the interactive map produced by the Times Picayune for those similarly challenged – although I doubt there are many.

I also recommend you read the post that went up over the weekend when I was under the impression the big story was related to the lead attorney, not the case, and that you check out the case website.

The flooding of New Orleans following Katrina is widely associated with the levees built for flood control by the Corps of Engineers. US District Court Judge Stanwood Duval dismissed the suit filed over the breech of the levees earlier this year – eloquently.

While the United States government is immune for legal liability for the defalcations alleged herein, it is not free, nor should it be, from posterity’s judgment concerning its failure to accomplish what was its task… Continue reading “"the weather is here I wish you were beautiful…"”

Carothers files rebuttal to Moultrie's response and makes it a ballgame!

If law is a sport, welcome to the Super Bowl with Freeland v Rideout shooting word-filled cannons down field like they were Manning and Farve.

Rideout held Team Moultie scoreless in the first quarter and Moultie came back in the second.

The score was even at the half.

While the “devil is in the details,” Carothers and Moultrie apparently agree that the correct statement of the test to be applied by the court is that quoted by Carothers in its original Memo and likewise quoted in full by Moultrie in his Memo. As stated by the Court in United States v. Ball:

[I]n order for the court to authorize Rule 17(c) subpoena, the moving party must be able to describe specific documents, or, at least specific kinds of documents. [cit.] Moreover, the moving party must specify why the materials are wanted, what information is contained in the documents, and why those documents would be relevant and admissible at trial. (citations omitted). Without detailed information on the requested documents, a court is only left ‘to speculate as to the specific nature of their contents and relevance.’ (citing United States v. Arditti, 955 F2d 331, 346 (5th Cir. 1992) (emphasis added)

With the butt-kicking rebuttal filed today, Rideout has pulled Team Carothers so far ahead in the third, it’s going to be hard for Moultrie to catch up. Continue reading “Carothers files rebuttal to Moultrie's response and makes it a ballgame!”

Paul Minor has NOT been denied in his motion for an appeal bond to visit his dying wife. Corrected: Government Opposes Minor's appeal

Larisa Alexandrovna, the Managing Editor of Investigative News for Raw Story and who regularly reports on intelligence and national security matters has got the scoop on Paul Minor’s having been denied motion being opposed by the government in his motion for an appeal bond to visit his wife.

Paul Minor, a Mississippi trial lawyer famous for taking on big tobacco in the 1990s and now imprisoned on what many consider to be questionable corruption charges, has been denied in his motion for an appeal bond to visit his dying wife.

The primary grounds for denial offered by Justice Department attorneys is that letting Minor visit his wife would present “a danger to the community.” They cite an “incident” when he was found drunk and escorted out of a hotel by security while free on pre-trial bond, after which he was ordered to attend treatment for alcoholism, as well as an occasion when he met with a hurricane expert at a restaurant near his home while he was supposed to be under house arrest. Continue reading “Paul Minor has NOT been denied in his motion for an appeal bond to visit his dying wife. Corrected: Government Opposes Minor's appeal”

Breaking: State Farm's motion to seal held moot by Walker's denial of Scruggs motion to seal

Both sides were playing the “seal” gameState Farm and the Scruggses – a point that appears to be lost in related reports

Convicted attorney Richard “Dickie” Scruggs and his son want to prevent their sworn testimony in a Hurricane Katrina lawsuit from becoming public and “undermining the presumption of innocence” if they face criminal charges in the future.

…and Judge Walker sent both to the bench when he issued this Order. Continue reading “Breaking: State Farm's motion to seal held moot by Walker's denial of Scruggs motion to seal”

New Legal Developments in Louisiana State Farm Wind-Water Litigation

I’ve added a new left hand section called blawgroll where our readers can find good insurance legal case coverage and commentary. Joining Chip Merlin in our new blawgroll is Insurance Law Hawaii, which landed on my radar screen thanks to Brother Bruce’s sharp eye at the Ladder. Robert and Trey are Joe Friday like in their commentary just sticking with the facts. Yesterday they covered Perrien v. State Farm Ins. Co. a case where the issues seem straightforward. We have covered payment apportioning many times here on slabbed including Weiss v Allstate, where the Eastern Louisiana District Courts took the oddball position that an insured’s acceptance of a flood check essentially means an insurer gets away with a bad adjustment and claims dumping.

Here is an excerpt from Insurance Law Hawaii on Perrien:

The insureds’ home sustained significant damage from Hurricane Katrina. State Farm provided both flood insurance and homeowner’s insurance on the property. State Farm paid policy limits under the flood policy, $152,900 for dwelling damages and $52,900 for contents/personal property. Under the homeowner’s policy, State Farm paid $9,125 for dwelling damages, $400 for contents damages, and $11,564 for Loss of Use of the home. State Farm denied the remainder of plaintiffs’ claim under the homeowner’s policy because the additional damage for which recovery was sought had resulted from flood, an excluded peril under the homeowner’s policy.

The insured filed suit seeking to recover the policy limits under their homeowner’s policy as well as asserting a claim for bad faith based on State Farm’s arbitrary and capricious failure Continue reading “New Legal Developments in Louisiana State Farm Wind-Water Litigation”