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”