Judge Acker issues duh-say-what Opinion Order in Refroe Rigsby

Judge Acker issued an Opinion-Order in the Renfroe-Rigsby Alabama case that speaks for itself – and says, “Duh, say what?” Honesttogod.

The court has previously granted the joint motion of the parties to continue the pretrial conference previously set for

January 15, 2009, but the court has a question or two about the proposed briefing schedule and stipulation that accompanied the motion.  The court’s questions must be answered before the court can intelligently react to the stipulation and proposed schedule.

Turns out not to be “a question or two” but three four.

First Question: Is the court to understand that plaintiff is waiving any claim it may have to damages in the form of its attorneys’ fees except for the previously paid $65,000?

Second Question: If plaintiff is still seeking attorneys’ fees, how do the parties propose to obtain a decision on the amount of fees attributable to defendants’ breach of contract? The only alternatives the court can envision are a stipulation or a trial.

Third Question: In its opinion of June 5, 2008, this court held, consistent with its prior rulings and with the representations of the parties, that “Scruggs is obligated as indemnitor to pay all monetary damages assessed in this case against the Rigsbys”. Thereafter, Scruggs paid the judgment of $65,000 entered by the court against the Rigsbys.

As an indemnitor, does “due process” require that Scruggs be given the opportunity to participate in the resolution of the remaining controversy over what, if any, monetary damages should be awarded to plaintiff and against defendants?

Oh, please, tell me someone was taking pictures as the parties and their attorneys were reading this.  After all the time and money invested in this case, I can only imagine the looks on their faces as they read this official now, help me out a little opinion-order.  There’s more.

Either jointly or separately, the parties shall file their answers to the foregoing questions by 4:30 p.m., January 26, 2009. A copy of this order shall be transmitted by the Clerk to counsel who have appeared for non-parties, Richard Scruggs and The Scruggs Law Firm.

Don’t you know counsel for Scruggs was stunned, just stunned.  The 11th Circuit has yet to rule; but, Scruggs’ appeal asks the Court to keep Acker away from him – forever.  The Renfroes and the Rigsby sisters might want to consider a joinder!

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