(almost) Breaking News – Trial date set for Rigsby Qui Tam

My computer broke before I could post the breaking news (hence the “almost”).  $%#&  Now, I’m broke; $%#&  However, Sop (and everyone else who saw the Katrina survivor I typed on until today) will tell you that I’ve needed a new computer at least as long as he’s known me.

I’ve got one now…it looks a lot like the trip to the beach I was planning because I didn’t  just buy one, I bought two and an external hard drive that backs up what I put on them (and will  hold more than I’ll have to save before placing  my order with Walmart) – but enough of that and on to the (almost) breaking news.

Rigsby qui tam is going to trial. December 1 is the date…2010 is the year – according to the scheduling order locked in my old computer.

It’s been a long day.  I started shopping after lunch but didn’t have everything working until an hour or so before midnight.  So, tomorrow Scarlett (or maybe the next day) I’ll come up with the scheduling order and update this post.  Meanwhile, let us all ponder WTF is the reason there will be no trial on the Rigsby qui tam claim until the sixth year following Hurricane Katrina.

No more Mr. Nice Guy – Merlin takes on Safeco and Liberty Mutual

Chip Merlin, fired up and ready to go after Safeco and Liberty Mutual, issued a call to arms on his blog today in Safeco and Liberty Mutual Claims Practices Questioned on a National Basis: Policyholders Organize Against Wrongful Claims Practices.

Having seen what wrongful claims practices can do to family and communities in our State’s coastal counties, SLABBED  grabbed a keyboard and stands ready to type.

Suppose you knew that your insurance company had started a new claims practice program called “Quantum Leap” to increase corporate practices by making certain no claim was overpaid—would you buy that insurance? Would you feel peace of mine if you knew that secret program was in place and had such a claims philosophy? Continue reading “No more Mr. Nice Guy – Merlin takes on Safeco and Liberty Mutual”

from here to eternity

s-WAL-MART-largeSLABBED is just mainly a legal affairs and insurance blog. No respectable woman here in the land of gourmet funeral food could possibly ignore an event as significant as Walmart extending its reach into the hereafter.  Huff-Po had the story and the picture:

Never mind its typical merchandise, the world’s largest retailer has a new item on the shelf.

You can now purchase Walmart caskets, a development that could threaten funeral homes. Beginning at $999 for lower-end models, all 27 caskets in the Walmart online inventory cost less than $2,000, except the “Sienna Bronze Casket,” which sells for $3,199. The caskets come from Star Legacy Funeral Network, Inc., of McHenry, Ill., and ship within 48 hours.

Star Legacy Funeral Network is in for a big surprise if the company believes shipping within 48 hours is a selling point.  If not already happening, it won’t be too much longer before they’re fielding calls about their lay-away plan.  Continue reading “from here to eternity”

Just a twig about Branch qui tam

Ordinarily, a Motion to appear Pro Hac Vice does not merit a mention, much less a post.  However, there is nothing ordinary about the appearance of a Susman Godfrey attorney for the plaintiffs in the Branch Consultants qui tam case.

Founded in 1980, Susman Godfrey focuses its nationally recognized practice on just one thing: big – stakes commercial litigation. We are one of the nation’s leading litigation boutique law firms with locations in Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, Seattle, and New York. Each of the firm’s 79 trial attorneys devotes all of his or her time and talent to achieving excellent outcomes within the complex commercial litigation environment…

Susman Godfrey’s very first case, the Corrugated Container antitrust trial, led to one of the highest antitrust jury verdicts ever obtained.

Like that antitrust experience a lot; but, what I really find intriguing is… Continue reading “Just a twig about Branch qui tam”

Patsy Brumfield scratches the surface in Too many connections for lawsuit against Scruggs et al…

In Too many connections for lawsuit against Scruggs et al, a post to her blog published by the Daily Journal, Patsy Brumfield touches on a subject that  has needed discussion since the indictment of Scruggs et al back in 2007:

Have you ever expressed your awe for how things just get “connected” in Mississippi?

Like, you find out your Mama is the governor’s second cousin or your former hometown baby-sitter is living down the street? Or you run into the mayor of Lucedale as you ride the elevator to the top of the Washington Monument? (That really happened to me.)

You know what I’m talking about.

Some know what Patsy’s talking about because they recall the motion filed by Scruggs, Scruggs and Backstrom for a change of venue:

Prominent members of the Northern Mississippi legal community, knowing full well the risks of prejudicing a venire in small-town Mississippi, have nonetheless piled on in condemnatory public statements about Scruggs. Clarksdale attorney Charlie Merkel told one reporter about the indictment: “I’m not surprised, because [Scruggs is] willing to use any means to an end. And it irks the hell out of me when Scruggs skates on the edge and makes the profession look bad.”  Elsewhere, Merkel called Scruggs’s alleged acts “despicable.” Grady Tollison, who represented Johnny Jones in the fee-dispute before Judge Lackey, alleged that Scruggs has “had a consistent pattern of violating his fiduciary duties to partners in these legal ventures.”  Another lawyer for Jones, Roy Percy went even further, declaring of Defendants in their hometown Oxford Eagle: “They should be ashamed to the deepest core. My clients are ashamed they were once associated with them…

Patsy did not have the local bar “connections” in mind when she wrote about the connections that appeared to force the Fifth Circuit to go to Texas to get a judge for the latest installment of legal cases against former Oxford mega-lawyer Richard “Dickie” Scruggs and co-horts: Continue reading “Patsy Brumfield scratches the surface in Too many connections for lawsuit against Scruggs et al…”

Jim Brown on Counterfeitin

Thursday, October 29, 2009
Baton Rouge, Louisiana



Even though it’s just a second rate game for the LSU Tigers this Saturday night against Tulane, the crowd noise in Tiger Stadium will be deafening, but not because the ninth ranked Tigers should make mincemeat out of my old Alma Mater, Tulane. The biggest burst of ear piercing volume will come when the number one LSU legend is introduced and waves to the crowd of over 92,000 fans.

It was 50 years ago to the night when Billy Cannon made football history with his 87 yard run to beat Ole Miss and keep the Tigers undefeated. His story is the rise and fall, than the rise again by LSU’s all time sports hero. And guess what? I played a minor role in what became Billy’s personal nightmare and fall from grace.

Even those who are not Tiger fans will admit it was one heck of a run. Cannon either sidestepped or pushed away tackler after tackler as he weaved his way towards the end zone. I wish I had a dollar for every time the magical run has been replayed on television. You can well imagine the crowd’s reaction this Saturday night as one more time the fans in the stadium and the millions on national television once again see Ole’ Billy tear through the Rebel opposition. (You can watch the run on the web at www.jimbrownla.com).

The feat by Billy beat Ole’ Miss 7 to 3, and made Cannon a legend for life. Paul Revere had his ride and Billy had his run. And ever since when Halloween falls on a Saturday night, the airwaves are filled with replay after replay of “the run.” Some folks in Louisiana would sooner lock up the kids and throw out the candy than to miss seeing Billy strut his stuff on All Hollow’s Eve.

It was on New Year’s Day 1960, between the goal posts of the Sugar Bowl, Cannon, before 83,000 fans, signed a contract with the Houston Oilers of the AFL. That contract offered him $100,000 over three years, a $10,000 gift for his wife, a slightly used Cadillac and a promised chain of Cannon gas stations selling Cannonball Regular and Super Cannonball.

He led the league in rushing in 1961 but hurt his back in 1962. He was traded to the Oakland Raiders in 1964 and ended his career in 1970 as a tight end. During the off- seasons, though, Cannon had gone to dentistry school. With five children, Billy knew he had to prepare for the future. Because of his popularity, Cannon’s practice flourished to an estimated $300,000 a year.

OK, so how was yours truly involved? Continue reading “Jim Brown on Counterfeitin”

Catching up on Katrina litigation

With a lot of catching up to squeeze in a single post, I’ll jump right in and start with Bossier v State Farm as the trial starts in just a few days.  Judge Senter tied up all the loose ends with two orders issued last Friday.  First up is his Order granting in part Bossier’s only motion in limine.

Plaintiff’s Motion in Limine addresses three subjects: the admissibility of evidence surrounding Plaintiff’s receipt of a Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) grant and a loan from the Small Business Administration (SBA) arising from the Hurricane Katrina loss which is the subject of this cause of action; the interjection of personal comments by counsel for the Defendant during voir dire; and a letter from one of Defendant’s employees unconditionally tendering a check to Plaintiff for the payment of dwelling extension coverage under the insurance policy at issue here. Continue reading “Catching up on Katrina litigation”

The Warning: The Incredible Story of Brooksley Born. How the Financial Crisis Might Have Been Averted.

One week ago Tuesday I sat in front of my Television spellbound watching PBS Frontline’s profile of Brooksley Born, a former Clinton Administration agency head who has since been termed the “Credit Crisis Cassandra” by the media. As the show ended all of my questions regarding the ineptitude of Obama’s economic team were answered and then some. Before we get to the answers we must first explore how Ms Born, as head of a sleepy federal agency in the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, tried to rein in and regulate over the counter derivatives of the same kind that imploded our financial system back in late 90’s. Lets begin with a story the Washington Post ran on the subject last May for the background:

A little more than a decade ago, Born foresaw a financial cataclysm, accurately predicting that exotic investments known as over-the-counter derivatives could play a crucial role in a crisis much like the one now convulsing America. Her efforts to stop that from happening ran afoul of some of the most influential men in Washington, men with names like Greenspan and Levitt and Rubin and Summers — the same Larry Summers who is now a key economic adviser to President Obama.

She was the head of a tiny government agency who wanted to regulate the derivatives. They were the men who stopped her.

The same class of derivatives that preoccupied Born — including the now-infamous “credit-default swaps” — have been blamed for accelerating last fall’s financial implosion. But from 1996 to 1999, when Born was the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the U.S. economy was roaring and she was getting nowhere with predictions of doom.

So, upstairs in the big house in Kalorama, Born tossed and turned. She woke repeatedly “in a cold sweat,” agonizing that a financial calamity was coming, she recalled one recent afternoon.

“I was really terribly worried,” she said. Continue reading “The Warning: The Incredible Story of Brooksley Born. How the Financial Crisis Might Have Been Averted.”

Keep Yer Filthy Hands off my Oysters (Updated)

Has the FDA lost their f#cking minds? Just saying there is gonna be some cranky sum bitches down here if Drago’s does not have fresh oysters year round including me. I’m gonna have to contact my congressman on this one.


Update: Gene’s Letter (h/t Steve in comments) Continue reading “Keep Yer Filthy Hands off my Oysters (Updated)”