Fool me once, shame on you!

From the hearing on motion to disqualify the dumbass judge in December 2007 after he’s “told Renfroe to move for Civil Sanctions”:

First, Judge Acker:

Now, whatever I said, and I can’t remember the quote, that triggered or generated the request by Renfroe to hold both Scruggs and the Rigsbys in civil contempt in the form of sanctions, monetary sanctions. Quite frankly, when I put that down, I wasn’t thinking about Scruggs. I was thinking about the Rigsbys.

I’m not saying that they misread me or that they were wrong in seeing that opportunity or the possibility in what I said to seek civil sanctions against Scruggs also. And they did. And that’s why we’re here..

Then, it’s Keker, representing Scruggs:

The only way you get jurisdiction over non-parties is if they aid and abet a contempt. And here there wasn’t any contempt to aid and abet you so found. Therefore, no jurisdiction; send us home. The 11th said not yet; let the district court decide this.

The next thing is that you suggest to them that they take another look at whether or not the Rigsbys are in contempt. What we think is that that’s a very shrewd, tactical move by an excellent first class prosecutor to shore up the jurisdiction in his case. And by prosecutors, I’m referring to you.

And so the Renfroes very willingly and well-briefed, although I’d like to point out something that’s wrong with their brief, bring the matter to you. And they put it in front of you, and now they are saying do this, which you now know has the effect of maybe shoring up jurisdictional argument, and then you tell us, when I was doing that I wasn’t thinking about Scruggs.

Well, I’m not about to say — And what can I say? And we’re talking about what’s in your mind. And it’s not fair for the parties to have to speculate about that. It’s not fair to you for us to think cynically about what’s in your mind. It’s just not right, and we shouldn’t be having to do this. And it would be better for you, it would be better for

… end of quote

From the response we learn:

It is admitted that Scruggs and Scruggs Firm paid (without protest or objection) invoices from Zuckerman Spaeder, including invoices from September and October of 2007, for fees and
expenses incurred in representing the Rigsby sisters.

It is admitted that Scruggs and Scruggs Firm did not pay due and owing invoices from Zuckerman Spaeder for fees and expenses associated with the firm’s representation of Cori and Kerri Rigsby, beginning with the November, 2007, invoice.

It is admitted that Zuckerman Spaeder properly demanded payment for outstanding and past due invoices associated with its representation of Cori and Kerri Rigsby to Scruggs, Scruggs Firm, and SKG.

It is admitted that two (2) SKG joint venturers have agreed to pay Zuckerman Spaeder $750,000.00 of the total outstanding balance of billed fees and expenses owed to Zuckerman Spaeder to be applied, by agreement, to the firm’s latest invoices first.

But you know Scruggs is saying:

Scruggs law firm is not liable for the debts of SKG after early December 2007 and paid in full any and all indebtedness to Zuckerman for which it could be held liable. In its invoices, Zuckerman reflects hourly rates as much as four times the customary fees for the legal work it allegedly performed. Zuckerman’s fees are exorbitant. Zuckerman is not entitled to any recovery whatsoever from Scruggs, personally and/or individually.

Zuckerman’s response!: Whoa Cowboy are you listening!

By letter agreement dated September 9, 2007, the Rigsby sisters retained Zuckerman Spaeder for legal representation in the Alabama federal litigation and other matters.

Even though Scruggs and Scruggs Firm paid Zuckerman Spaeder’s initial invoices through funds drawn from a Scruggs Firm account without protest or objection, Scruggs and Scruggs Firm did not pay invoices beginning with the November, 2007, invoice, and, through invoices for billed services through April, 2008, Zuckerman Spaeder has accumulated $1,332,784.02 in unpaid and billed legal fees and $89,856.71 in unpaid and billed expenses (including significant expenses for expert witnesses).

Zuckerman Spaeder has also accumulated $23,366.52 for unpaid and unbilled time and expenses incurred in providing professional services for the Rigsbys in May, June, and July, 2008.

Zuckerman Spaeder continues in its representation of the Rigsbys in an appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit concerning an order by the federal district court quashing a subpoena duces tecum to the Rigsbys’ internet service provider.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. $Dang that is a lot of money.$

7 thoughts on “Fool me once, shame on you!”

  1. I do think these are the highest paid lawyers in the US. Dick Scruggs, Bill Taylor, Bruce Rogers and John Keker. Expert witnesses to file motions?

  2. If Scruggs agreed to defend and indemnify the Rigsbys and if the attorneys did the work for them, then why don’t they deserve to get it from Scruggs?

  3. justme, why shouldn’t the money come from the SKG settlement instead of Scruggs? If the agreed to amount was $750K, has all of the work been completed – that’s an awful lot of lawyering for two girls still dealing with the situation.

  4. It is a curiosity, justme. Obviously, the court is going to have to decide this. But I bet the court is going to frown on such exorbitant prices. It is surely hard to imagine how they came up with such a huge bill owed to them. And then to keep on representing the girls when there is a dispute on who is going to pay them is wild! It’s not like these are the girls’ only lawyers.

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