My mother’s daughter and children’s mother dreamed of the day she’d become a lawyer; and, believe it or not she almost made it; and, of course, that she is me – a much younger version, but me. The same me that prepared for the LSAT the way she does for other important events. I shopped. Just barely 20, if that, my approach far different from that of my friends approaching graduation – those whose fathers were lawyers and their father’s father before that.
I was so out of the legal loop that I looked at the letter of early admission I later received and said I couldn’t possibly do that. Such were the days when most got degrees as insurance before dream chasing; and, I was two years away from that. I did enroll the fall after but on a part-time basis, never thinking part-time would be one day – uno -and the day before I was transferred from Oxford.
I won’t bore you with the rest of the story but simply say, I must hold a record. Every move I made after that was the year the whatever school of law in wherever I was living would decide to admit full-time only – usually just as soon as I’d get the next baby old enough for me to give it another try.
Reality does that to dreams, this time mine; but, folks, at last I know I’ll die happy. This bird’s eye view we’ve all had of the legal system since last November was been my taking the cure – and reading the depositions filed this week ensured there will be no relapse. We’re talking people getting paper-f__ked statewide with an all out orgy in Oxford.
I’d never read a deposition – the actual topic of this post in case you wondered -until the world was wallpapered with Cori’s and Kerri’s in preparation for “celebration” of State Farm v Attorney General Hood going to Court. My thought after the first – WTF with the little numbered boxes of text? Hence, lesson one in what’s wrong with our legal system – people who read in a box are more likely to think there as well.
Sour grapes? Not. When I wasn’t dreaming about law school or changing diapers, I was in graduate school studying the science of human behavior. You write something and I not only read what you wrote, I read you.
That said, those who think trial lawyers are a branch of the mafia, have it all wrong. The knuckle breaking, ball crushers of the profession are insurance lawyers and the one, last name Robie, is the horse- head – in -your-bed Don of Depositions.
All the “Scruggs takes the fifth” headlines were little short of remarkable – too bad that wasn’t the real story. You had to trash the press release and read the depositions press to find it. Obviously, no reporter did. Otherwise the headline would have read “Robie sucking toes and playing with the Constitution”.
Mr. Mallette, yesterday we had a discussion about the necessity of creating a record on the basis of the assertion of the Fifth Amendment. I’m not interested at all asking him, if in every instance, why he’s taking the Fifth Amendment, if, in fact, his answer to each question will be the reassertion of that privilege, as we discussed yesterday.
…That’s correct. If you ask that question, you are going to get the Fifth Amendment response.
So there’s no need for me to go through that exercise?
Also, we did develop yesterday a shorthand technique for the assertion of the privilege. I see Mr. Scruggs, again, is reading from a prepared little piece of paper which I would ask to be copied and marked as Exhibit to this deposition.
That’s fine…for the record. I don’t think there’s any reason to add — to make that piece of paper an exhibit. I don’t see why we would need to do that. But I do agree that we can –do that, Dick, you can say, I assert — or maybe we can call agree that the answer, “I assert my Fifth Amendment rights in response to that question” is fine.
Which is what we did yesterday.
Fine. But I will mark the piece of paper, and copy it and make it Exhibit 1.
Why are you doing that, Jim? I don’t see any need to do that.
Because I want to. It’s no more complicated than that.
(Exhibit 1 was marked.)
Want to guess what bellesouth found on Pacer? You got it. Also filed was a Motion declaring “a state of emergency” and asking Walker to issue the order to compel. Also filed was a truck load of exhibits – this the one you need to read. It’s a letter to the court from attorney Tina Nicholson, counsel for McIntosh and witness to the orgy in Oxford. My hat’s off to Tina – everyone’s should be IMO as she gave as good as she got and she’s going to give them even more.
The Plaintiffs intend to file a Motion for Protective Order seeking to limit the scope of the second set of depositions, if they are allowed.
At the Scruggses’ depositions, State Farm rampantly violated the scope of the depositions as allowed by the court. Since it was extraordinary to allow a party to depose the opposing party’s counsel while the case is still pending, the court properly restricted the topics for the deposition to the Scruggses’ relationships with the media, third party witnesses, and the allegedly improper acquisition of certain documents.
However, State Farm violated the court’s order, using the depositions as a fishing expedition in an attempt to extract information about the Scruggses’ privileged communications with their clients, the McIntoshes; the Scrugges’ internal law firm communications about the McIntosh case; and the Scruggses’ strategy in the McIntoshes’ case.
In just one bold example out of hundreds, State Farm probed for details of the Scruggses’ discussions with their clients, the McIntoshes, about a possible settlement of the case. State Farm spent hours of those depositions trying to get attorney client communications and discover the work product of the Plaintiffs’ attorneys about the case, clearly violating the very limited scope of the depositions as allowed by the court.
Farm also inconvenienced all counsel by demanding that the depositions be continued for two days instead of the one day originally noticed for both depositions. State Farm scheduled both of the Scruggses’ depositions for the same morning, an hour and half apart. Since the topics of the deposition had been severely limited by the Court, we reasonably believed that both depositions would be concluded in a timely manner.
We only made arrangements to attend one day of depositions. Instead, State Farm wasted hours of time asking questions about matters that were privileged or far beyond the scope of topics authorized by the court. State Farm spent hours on questions about the Scruggses’ involvement and strategy in the Shows case and other State Farm matters that have no bearing whatsoever on this case. That is the only reason the depositions took a day a piece. If State Farm had limited its questions to those topics authorized by the court, both depositions could have been completed in a matter of hours.
The Plaintiffs intend to file a Motion for a Protective Order that (1) opposes the re-setting of the depositions; (2) asks the court to explicitly set out and limit the scope of the depositions, if they are allowed, preventing further abuses by State Farm; and (3) asks the court to limit the amount of time State Farm is allowed to depose the Scruggses. As there are fourteen hours of questions and objections to discuss in the Motion, the Motion cannot reasonably be filed prior to August I, the date requested for the re-deposition.
So, what do you think folks? Did Robie lose his virginity in Oxford or does he run around any Judge’s order?