Tower of Babble – USA v Delaughter and Wilson v Scruggs

60017055With a little more than a month away from Hinds County Circuit Judge Bobby DeLaughter’s corruption trial, the U.S. attorney’s office is bringing in witnesses imprisoned for their roles in attempting to bribe a different judge…Records from the Bureau of Prisons show Timothy Balducci has been moved from his prison in South Carolina to a transfer facility in Oklahoma…Balducci was the one who tipped off the FBI to the DeLaughter case.

So, Balducci tipped off the FBI a high stakes game of Let’s Make a Deal and the Minor bribe he offered Judge Lackey stays behind door #2!

The obviously clairvoyant Langston pleads guilty, claims he has all the answers, changes the game to Jeopardy and the Tower of Babble begins to build.  Patterson makes three to plea – but he’s no game changer and doesn’t seem to be much of a player – so, he just babbles.

Two P’s in a pod? Not. But, Peters comes next and pays to play.  The game changes to Charades.  Scruggs appears guilty of attempted flattery but pleads to mailing the Court the paperwork required for Langston and Balducci to make an appearance.  The Tower of Babble with Delaughter not and Witness accounts seem to conflict.

Through his lawyers, Scruggs seemed to discount the prosecution’s case in their response to Wilson last week in the civil action: “Wilson assumes that Scruggs corruptly influenced Judge DeLaughter in his rulings. Scruggs has pleaded guilty to attempting to corruptly influence Judge DeLaughter in his rulings, but Wilson has presented nothing to connect this attempt with actual influence or to any such influence with any harm to Wilson.”

What if Ed Peters falls apart on the stand? This question has been bouncing around in my head for awhile now. Absent a smoking gun email, doesn’t the Government’s entire case rest on the word of Ed Peters? After all, neither Scruggs, nor Joey Langston, nor Balducci, nor Patterson can testify to having a conversation with DeLaughter. What if Peters does not? Similar pro-Scruggs sentiments came out early on Tim Balducci (as he was the only one with contact with Lackey – by design, I might add).

Horrors! What if people have to look at the evidence? Continue reading “Tower of Babble – USA v Delaughter and Wilson v Scruggs”

Keeping Score #5 – Who is telling the story?

We’ve don’t engage much in self puffery here at Slabbed, Nowdy and I always figured the cream would rise to the top on its own when it came to our core topics of insurance in general and the insurance litigation in particular. And while those with responsibility and culpability would love to be able to dismiss us they find it impossible to ignore us. A colleague of mine that works for the NSA has a favorite saying that goes “Facts are your friend” and indeed they have been very friendly to us. In fact the facts are what sustain us, especially in the face systemic denial and engrained cognitive biases we’ve found prevalent among insurance professionals not on the claims side of the equation. It has not been lost on us the cyber chatter has quieted a good bit since Nationwide’s lawyer beclowned himself before Justice Pierce at the Mississippi Supreme Court with his now famous “5% oral argument” in Corban. But that doesn’t mean this topic isn’t being discussed, it’s just that it is being discussed now on a more national stage.

So Who is Telling the Story?

Amy Bach at United Policyholders is telling the slab story as we’re linked in their Katrina library. United Policyholders is a national organization of consumers that was founded in the aftermath of extraordinary insurer bad faith claims handling after the two major 1990s California earthquakes and various wildfires. A self help group, Amy does great work but unfortunately ran into a road block trying to help coastie Kevin Buckel obtains claims data from our industry friendly Insurance Commish.

Who is Telling the Story?

Policyholder attorney Chip Merlin is telling our story most recently today on his blog as he helps make certain Magistrate Judges cyber famous or infamous as the case may be:

Discovery in Mississippi Katrina litigation has proven difficult. There is little downside for an insurer to refuse to turn over Continue reading “Keeping Score #5 – Who is telling the story?”

Keeping score #4 – Who’s calling the game?

After a review of the pleadings and the applicable law, and considering argument of counsel, the Court finds as follows…

Who made the call?

The actual issue now before the Court is whether discovery propounded and responded to in state court is valid and enforceable and whether or not the limitations of 30 contained in the federal court case management order should be interpreted to include the already propounded state court discovery. Had counsel raised the issue, it is probable that the undersigned would have allowed a very limited amount of additional discovery. Because no attorney mentioned the prior discovery, the usual limitation of thirty was included in the case management order. Unaware of the state court discovery when the order was entered, the undersigned had no “intent” either way by entry of the Order…

Who made the call?

Counsel have both submitted pertinent cases…Some of the cases involve discovery propounded but not answered prior to removal. The law is clear that this discovery is no longer answerable, as Rule 26 specifically provides that no party shall serve or seek discovery from any source until after the attorney conference required in Rule 26(f). The law is less clear as to discovery which was both served and answered in state court.

After careful review of the authoritiesContinue reading “Keeping score #4 – Who’s calling the game?”