Eastland stands behind Motion to Dismiss – Greer files cross-claim for Patterson in Wilson v Scruggs

Big football weekend here in the land of the slabbed; but, no sports channel was covering the settlement game – and one is definitely playing in Wilson v Scruggs.

Almost simultaneously with their settlement with Team Scruggs, Team Wilson filed a weak response to co-defendant Steve Patterson’s Motion to Dismiss – an obvious incentive to settle.

Apparently, it was also incentive for Eastland to stick with the playbook while co-counsel Greer went with the legal equivalent of wild Rebel and filed across-claim for Patterson that suggests there is still more to learn about the money paid Ed Peters:

Patterson’s only involvement in the circumstances surrounding this action was that he was asked by Scruggs’ representatives to find local counsel in Jackson, Mississippi, for the Wilson asbestos case. Patterson had known Attorney Ed Peters (“Peters”) for years and recommended Peters to Scruggs as local counsel. The only action taken by Patterson was introducing Scruggs and his legal team to Peters so that Peters could be the consulting local counsel in the Wilson litigation.

At no time did Patterson have any direct contact with Circuit Judge, Bobby DeLaughter, nor did he attend any meetings when Judge DeLaughter was present. Specifically, Patterson never committed any criminal act whatsoever, such as bribery or fraud, and never committed any act which would amount to general negligence, gross negligence, breach of contract or any other action of whatsoever kind which would cause, contribute to, or relate in any way to any damages allegedly sustained by the plaintiff.

Plaintiff’s Complaint alleges that Scruggs is guilty of bribing Judge DeLaughter, and defrauding the plaintiff, by and through Peters, and that those actions caused a favorable result in the Wilson case. Patterson had no involvement at all in those circumstances other than introducing Scruggs to the local counsel, Peters. Patterson received no funds, was not compensated in any way, shape or form…and was completely unaware of the possibility that Scruggs would allegedly perform any criminal act of any sort to bring potential liability upon himself and others.

Scruggs, according to plaintiff, is allegedly guilty of the crimes charged to him in regard to Judge DeLaughter and has pled guilty to some of the same. Therefore, by his own admission, he is guilty of a crime which is one of the elements requiring common law indemnity in favor of Patterson if Patterson had any vicarious responsibility.

So, sports fans, what we have here is a crime where no one accused of attempting to influence Judge DeLaughter ever said a word to the man.

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.

…and then there’s the matter of the money paid former Hinds County District Attorney Ed Peters AKA DeLaughter’s close personal friend:

Booneville lawyer Joey Langston pleaded guilty Jan. 7 to getting money from Scruggs to try to influence DeLaughter’s decision. In his plea, Langston said he was paid $1 million from Scruggs to Peters to get a favorable ruling from the judge in a lawsuit against Scruggs for attorneys’ fees from asbestos litigation.

A similar article ups the ante to three ($3,000,000)

In the $16 million Wilson vs. Scruggs lawsuit, Dickie Scruggs’ former attorney Joey Langston admits getting $3 million to influence that case before Judge DeLaughter. Langston says Peters pocketed $1 million to convince DeLaughter to rule in Scruggs’ favor.

The total amount in play and the distribution of same was included in the criminal charges admitted to by Langston in his negotiated plea agreement with the government.

Between July 2006 and July 2007 Langston, Patterson and close personal friend of DeLaughter split $3million.

How is it then that some months later, Langston recanted with no repercussions for what amounted to lying to the government:

Richard “Dickie” Scruggs didn’t pay me what he said he would, says former Booneville attorney Joey Langston in newly filed court documents. Even so, Langston said he paid former Hinds District Attorney Edward Peters his share — $950,000 — of what they “saved” Scruggs by allegedly bribing a judge to rule for Scruggs in a legal-fees case now the object of a federal investigation and a civil lawsuit…

Langston’s affidavit says he paid Peters $1 million “even though I did not receive $3,000,000.00 from Scruggs.”

So, Langston, not Scruggs, paid Ed Peters to influence Judge DeLaughter.  Could that be what’s contained in Peters’ immunity agreement with the government that Phillip Thomas of the MS Litigation Review has been unable to obtain from the USA or the Department of Justice?

Shockingly, the government has another trick up its sleeve to stall on producing the Ed Peters immunity agreement. Taking a page out of Dean Smith’s playbook, the DOJ has gone into the four corners.

I can sue DOJ to try to get a judge to order production of the agreement, but not until the appeal is decided. I’m sure DOJ will be in a big hurry to rule on (deny) the appeal. I’m starting to see how Yossarian felt.

Is Thomas the only one who feels caught in a Catch-22 since Balducci expanded his cooperation with the government to include the attempted bribe by flattery of Judge DeLaughter?

9 thoughts on “Eastland stands behind Motion to Dismiss – Greer files cross-claim for Patterson in Wilson v Scruggs”

  1. For the kind of money we have here, whats the chance that Peters and DeLaughter are still close and Peters is the outside man holding the loot till the sentence is served.

  2. Nowdy: I’m not sure precisely where you are “going” with all of this. But please be sure to have your “moral compass” strapped on tightly, so that you can be assured of navigating so as to avoid shoal waters. I wouldn’t trust ANY of these scoundrels to tell me whether it was daytime or night time. NONE of them is “trustworthy”. Patterson pleaded guilty to being part of the conspiracy to bribe Judge Lackey. It looks to me like he is now desperately trying to avoid being charged as having been part of the conspiracy to deprive the Citizens of the Sovereign State of Missisippi of the “honest services” of Judge DeLaughter, which could add a few years to his sentence (Dicky pleaded guilty in that case, and added 2 to his 5-year Judge Lackey bribery sentence). As part of his plea agreement in the Lackey case, Patterson agreed to submirt to one or more lie detector tests. It will be “interesting”, to say the least, to see how well he fares on a lie detector test when asked if his ONLY involvement in the DeLaughter conspiracy was to recommend Ed Peters as “local counsel”, an individual who (just coincidentally, mind you) was well-known to be DeLaughter’s former boss and mentor, and perhaps (just perhaps) in a position to “influence” De Laughter. Also, if there wasn’t something much more “sinister” happening, why was it necessary for the “Scruggs Machine” to have to seek the assistance of that “widely acclaimed legal and accounting genius of National fame and reputation”, Steven Patterson, to pick “local counsel” in a civil matter being presided over by DeLaughter? Didn’t the members of the Scruggs Machine already know “the lay of the land” in Hines County? Lastly, you seem “fixated” on your belief that the Government’s case appears (to you) to rest solely on the testimony of one man (who reasonable, rational, honest, law-abiding people KNOW belongs in jail): Ed Peters. What about Dickey Scruggs? Can’t he testify against anyone else the Government decides to prosecute in the DeLaughter bribery scandal, or the Hines County asbestos case, or the …, or the … ?

  3. My moral compass is just fine, Ashton. In this case, it followed the record and that should be clear as I very carefully documented sources and indicated the text was quoted. Look before you leap!

  4. To Robert: “[T]he kind of money we have here”, in the “Victims of KATRINA” litigation pending in Federal Court in New Orleans, makes whatever may have occurred (or may be occurring as we speak) in civil litigation even peripherally-related to Dickie Scruggs in the State of Missisippi look like “chump change”. WHERE IS THE GODDAMNED FBI?

  5. All of this is very sad for the good people of MS. All of these scumbags deserve the the ultimate form of justice that is available

    How is the Attorney General weathering this storm?

  6. The AG’s doing just find he has his own scams to run and his chioce of attorneys running them. Mostly those who give in return to his political endevors. There seems to be an unspoken rule that those doing these evil deeds not turn on one another as each little branch of state government in state has its own little gig. Ashton I just don’t know, as you stated ” If there wasn’t something more sinister happening” Mississippi is presntly in a wide sweep mode to clear its name. Untold amounts are being hid.

    There are some matters the Doj won’t investigate, but whats new?
    Maybe we should all guess where the FBI are. No doubt their bing paid to do ??/??/?? Damn I just don’t know. Maybe their at home. One thing for certain none of these crimes have given interest.

    RE: Mississippi, claims will be made, that the states new and improved but nothing will change. As one political group replaces the last. It will assume that if the last group got away with x that their x+1 won’t hurt. Thats when it all get repeated. AGAIN.

  7. Tom Dawson was working on the Scruggs case as a giant research project on the DOJ dime the last 6 months of his employment. It’s clear with the post above that he was involved with influence over a case he is now attempting to profit from. It’s disgusting and should be seen for what it is…another greedy lawyer trying to profit off of Dick Scruggs. Thanks for this post nowdoucit. Try to get this information out on many other blogs covering this and the host deletes the comments he doesn’t personally agree with.

    It will be interesting to see if State charges follow any of these participators, the civil ramifications for Langston and Balducci and Peters and what exactly DeLaughter will do when he gets out of prison. The only thing he’s admitted to doing illegal is lying to an FBI agent. He maintains he rulings were proper.

  8. OxbloodAxe, there are so many “truths” about everyone involved and it seems only just that they all be on the table. For example, DeLaughter admitted to lying to the FBI but did Langston lie to the government or did the government “overstate” the factual basis for his plea and allow him to correct it with his later contradictory statement? We don’t know.

    The list of what we don’t know seems to grow longer and, as it grows, it calls into question the list of what we thought was certain. Meanwhile, the government ignores the evidence of wrongdoing in the handling of Katrina claims.

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