Mississippi’s just-us-justice: Balducci and Patterson sentenced to two

Patsy Brumfield of the Journal reports on today’s events in the just-us-justice system of Mississippi.

Timothy Balducci and Steven Patterson will do prison time, despite their cooperation into the infamous conspiracy to bribe Circuit Judge Henry Lackey of Calhoun City.

Their sentences were set today by Senior U.S. District Judge Neal Biggers Jr. today at the federal courthouse in Oxford.

• Balducci, formerly of New Albany, will serve 24 months in prison. Balducci was given no fine, because records showed he could not pay one.

• Patterson of New Albany will serve 24 months in prison. Patterson was also given a $150,000 fine.

Justice or just-us-justice?  It’s really hard for me to say –  not for lack of thought or thought-provoking comment from others here on the blog and off-blog as well.  However, there often is a difference between justice as commonly defined and the sometimes just-us-justice here – a difference that is one of the many that make Mississippi the “State of Paradox”.

I’m suddenly short on time (yikes) so I’ll leave you to ponder the state of the “State of Paradox” and return a bit later to give you a guided tour of that “state”.

Big Mac is Back! Senter issues Order in Rigsby Qui Tam – holds the fries

I believe it is appropriate to conduct a hearing on the pending motions to allow the parties to present evidence concerning the question whether the payment of the flood insurance limits in the McIntosh case was justified, as a matter of law.

No one following Katrina insurance cases would have expected Judge Senter to issue a Burger King have-it-your-way order.

Took the case straight to the extra value meal of Big Mac; he surely did, but, you can’t blame him.  Who hasn’t wanted to take a  bite since the most peculiar settlement of any to date?

IMO, you really can’t fault him, either,  for hitting the drive-thru window instead of parking and going in – not when he clearly put a lot of work and thought into his Order.

My reading of the Amended Complaint and the documents submitted in connection with the pending motions leads me to the following conclusions:

1. The merits of this action depend on evidence that the defendants, acting in concert, systematically submitted false flood insurance claims to the United States, claims that were not valid under the terms of the Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP) used in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

2. It is the amount of the flood insurance claims that the Relators allege to be false, i.e. the allegation is that the defendants acted in concert to submit flood insurance claims in an amount greater than the flood damage that actually occurred. Continue reading “Big Mac is Back! Senter issues Order in Rigsby Qui Tam – holds the fries”

Double Trouble – Kuehn v State Farm

Imagine having to file not one, but two, lawsuits against your insurer in an attempt to resolve your Katrina damage claim!  That’s exactly the situation facing Henry and June Kuehn – a couple with by far the most interesting case in the small sample I selected at random from the approximately 200 insurance cases in the Southern District Federal Court showing some activity last week.

As we move further from the August 29, 2005 storm and more cases make their way through the courts, at times it seems only the name has changed.  The circumstances described in the Kuehn’s Complaint, however, don’t fall in one of the usual patterns.

Ironically, the central issue in Kuehn v State Farm is a policy provision intended to resolve disputes and prevent litigation – appraisal.

In a letter to Plaintiffs dated January 4, 2006, State Farm Fire, contrary to the subject policy coverage provisions and despite the fact that the insured property was damaged by wind, rain and/or wind-propelled objects, informed Plaintiffs that it would not cover the loss beyond what was already paid, which was $10,765.48. Continue reading “Double Trouble – Kuehn v State Farm”

The [eager] Beaver’s Lesson – Joint Motion filed in Renfroe v Rigsby

Then a scream, shrill and high, rent the shuddering sky,
And they knew that some danger was near:
The Beaver turned pale to the tip of its tail,
And even the Butcher felt queer.

Judge Acker’s latest order must have also called to mind the sound of … a pencil that squeaks on a slate – particularly the final point he directed toward the Renfroes – but such is surely expected as an [eager] Beaver’s Lesson in the Hunting of the Snark.

It is obvious at this juncture that plaintiff is unprepared to prove, and apparently does not claim, compensatory damages of the kind this court erroneously thought it was claiming. Plaintiff should not waste its time, or that of this court, undertaking to prove the amount of, or the reasonableness of, the attorneys’ fees it incurred in prosecuting this case.

“‘Tis the note of the Jubjub! Keep count, I entreat;
You will find I have told it you twice…

The Beaver had counted with scrupulous care,
Attending to every word:
But it fairly lost heart, and outgrabe in despair,
When the third repetition occurred.

It felt that, in spite of all possible pains,
It had somehow contrived to lose count,
And the only thing now was to rack its poor brains
By reckoning up the amount.

According to the Joint Motion for Extension of Time filed today in the case, a reckoning is exactly what’s taking place.

Plaintiff E. A. Renfroe & Company, Inc. and Defendants Cori Rigsby and Kerri Rigsby are negotiating a settlement that would resolve all the remaining issues in this case. Because of these on-going settlement negotiations, the parties jointly request that this Court extend the deadlines for briefing set out in the Order dated January 28, 2009… and the Memorandum Opinion and Order dated February 9,2009. Continue reading “The [eager] Beaver’s Lesson – Joint Motion filed in Renfroe v Rigsby”