Settlement noted

The docket report on Boyd v State Farm, includes an entry made today noting a settlement has been reached in the case. Yesterday Mr. Boyd submitted an affidavit stating his claim against State Farm was valued at less than $70,000.

Readers may recall Boyd’s case was unusual because he had previously settled his claim in mediation – and Sop’s post on that aspect generated a good bit of discussion. Hopefully, Mr. Boyd is now both settled and satisfied and can begin to move forward within days of the third anniversary of Katrina.

Jim Brown Speaks Out on Louisiana Citizens

Jim Brown was kind enough to send us his weekly column as it deals with the disaster that is Louisiana Citizen’s Insurance and we are happy to run it here. Click here to listen to Jim on Sundays.

Thursday, August 21st, 2008
Baton Rouge, Louisiana


It looked like it was going to be a real horse race. Who would win the title of being the most dysfunctional political body in Louisiana? The final choices were whittled down to three. The mayors of both New Orleans and Mandeville made the final cut. But when all was and done, Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Company won the title of being the most inefficient, corrupt and dysfunctional agency operating in Louisiana state government.

The two mayors in contention, both in the greater New Orleans area, gave it their best shot and made last-minute efforts to show how inept and out of touch both could be. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, who seems to create some major blunder monthly, is back in the daily headlines by trying to justify his way out of a rehab housing scandal that involves his brother-in-law. There is plenty of evidence that private companies billed the city of New Orleans for demolition work that they did not actually performed. Nagin brushed off both the criticism and calls for investigations by saying that those who criticize are “hurting the recovery efforts.” He may soon be able to express his protests to a Grand Jury. Continue reading “Jim Brown Speaks Out on Louisiana Citizens”

Renfroe "emergency" – one hour with each Rigsby sister not enough – new Motion filed today

Renfroe’s emergency will surely land the depositions of the Rigsby sisters in the next edition of Ripley’s Believe It or Not – rivaling, no doubt, the record of Sally Mae Wallace of Great Grits, Mississippi, for world’s longest tapeworm.

The Emergency Motion to Compel filed today relies on an order from October 2007 for justification of the emergency currently experienced because of the short time remaining before the trial in October 2008.

The Court previously held in its October 19, 2007 Order that “Renfroe is entitled to question the Rigsbys, and shall not be bound by the four-hour time limitation which has been imposed upon State Farm” (previous limitation due to State Farm’s earlier depositions of the Rigsbys). Under Fed. R. Civ P. 30(d)(1), Renfroe had a total of seven hours to depose each.
In light of the October 19, 2007 Order and the fact that Renfroe has deposed Cori Rigsby for 2 hours 15 minutes of the 7 available hours (4 hours 45 minutes remaining), and Kerri Rigsby for 2 hours 9 minutes of the 7 available hours (4 hours 51 minutes remaining), Renfroe is entitled to continue questioning Cori Rigsby and Kerri Rigsby on September 3 and, if necessary, on September 4, 2008.

In the email correspondence enclosed as exhibits, Renfroe attorney Hunter Twiford writes to Rigsby counsel Harlan Winn and Ben Mullins – one upping State Farm by including both McIntosh counsel Tina Continue reading “Renfroe "emergency" – one hour with each Rigsby sister not enough – new Motion filed today”

Not a surprise but Scruggs settles with Zuckerman Spaeder

From our friends at Phunk and Wagnalls h/t comes word of a settlement in another Scruggs fee dispute – this one Scruggs v Zuckerman Spaeder.

Why no surprise? We had a big clue in a footnote in the first motion filed by new counsel for the Rigsby qui tam case.

The Rigsbys recently have had some discussions with representatives of Richard Scruggs and/or the Scruggs law firm regarding whether to reduce the indemnity agreement to writing to avoid any confusion regarding its terms. New Counsel intend to assist the Rigsbys in connection with the possibility of reducing the indemnity agreement to writing.

The Scruggs-Rigsby indemnity agreement was at issue in Scruggs v Zuckerman Spaeder. Logic holds that any effort to reduce Scruggs agreement with the Rigsby sisters would have to recognize and resolve the dispute with Zuckerman-Spaeder.

Patsy Brumfield reported on the settlement in todays Daily Journal – with a misleading lede lawsuit against Scruggs Law Firm of Oxford correctly stated later in the story. Continue reading “Not a surprise but Scruggs settles with Zuckerman Spaeder”

A Couple of Odds and Ends

First off we’ve been negligent in not mentioning the ground zero equivalent of blog a palooza in the Rising Tide Conference to be held this week in New Orleans. From the looks of the promo this event will be attended by all the finest cyber movers and shakers including our good friend Editilla from the Ladder.

Speaking of Editilla he spoiled us by finding and posting links to several more articles on Cat Bonds today including this entry from the Bull Bear Trader Blog which describes their growing popularity. Now that mortgage backed securities are out of style it seems hedge funds have found the latest investing fad:

For those unfamiliar with catastrophe bonds, they are similar to normal bonds in that you invest a principal in return for periodic coupons. Once the bond matures, you receive your principal back – hopefully. As with other bonds you have the risk of losing your principal, but for cat bonds it is less about credit risk, and more about catastrophic risk. In most cases this is a binary proposition. If there is no event, you get all your money back. If there is an event, you do not get anything back. In return you get a nice coupon to compensate for the risk you are taking. Cat bonds have returned over 33% from 2005 to this May, ahead of the 19.1% offered by the Lehman High Yield Corporate Bond Index over the same time frame. After Hurricane Katrina one cat bond tranche was offered by Swiss Re with an annual coupon of near 40%. An additional benefit of cat bonds, beyond the high yields, is that their returns are often uncorrelated with the returns of other equity or fixed income investments, providing another vehicle for diversification. Continue reading “A Couple of Odds and Ends”

McCain Comes Out Against a Federal Multi Peril Solution: Slabbers Everywhere Unite for Obama!

I had a feeling the presidential candidates would narrow down the field from two to one for us slabbers on their own and John McCain has done the narrowing. The big business loving wing of the party may just cause me to leave the Senate race ballot blank too. I simply will not vote against my economic interests in 2008. Arthur Postal has the story for the National Underwriter:

Republican presumptive presidential candidate John McCain voiced opposition to a bill proposing a national risk pool for natural catastrophes, and a Florida Democratic congressman rebuked him for his comments.

The issue arose yesterday, when the Arizona senator, while traveling on his campaign bus in Florida, said while he sympathizes with homeowners battered by soaring insurance costs, he was not prepared to endorse a national risk pool as a way to bring those prices down. Continue reading “McCain Comes Out Against a Federal Multi Peril Solution: Slabbers Everywhere Unite for Obama!”

Supremely surprising events in Jones v Scruggs (Corrected)

Surprising events can turn old news into new – and that’s certainly the case with the latest news about the fee dispute between Jones, Funderburg, Sessums, Peterson and Lee and the other member firms of the defunct SKG joint venture group.

Surprising event # 1 came from the Mississippi Supreme Court. The MSC granted the Interlocutory Appeal filed by Dick Scruggs as well as the Motion for Reconsideration of the Interlocutory Appeal filed by the other former member firms of SKG – surprising enough to generate Rossmiller’s mildest post yet about a Scruggs related event that alone was a surprising and welcome event.

News editor Patsy Brumfield had the story for the Daily Journal and Alyssa Schnugg followed in the Oxford Eagle story reported on the blog folo.

The Mississippi Supreme Court has granted Richard “Dickie” Scruggs and former Scruggs Katrina Group attorneys a hearing to decide whether a lawsuit involving Hurricane Katrina litigation should go to arbitration.

In April, Circuit Court Judge William Coleman ruled the law firm of Jones, Funderburg, Sessums, Peterson and Lee is entitled to fees and possibly punitive damages arising from their case against the Scruggs Katrina Group for $26.5 million in legal fees from Hurricane Katrina-related litigation. Coleman ruled in favor of the Jones firm because the lawsuit over legal fees led to the attempt by members of the Scruggs Law Firm to bribe Circuit Court Judge Henry Lackey — the original judge presiding over the lawsuit.

MSC’s website provided little information and no clues about what will be considered – clues come instead from a folo reader commenting on the Eagle story. Continue reading “Supremely surprising events in Jones v Scruggs (Corrected)”