Two Mississippi blogs that gained some measure of recognition for creating a “Scruggs Sideshow” following the indictment of attorney Dick Scruggs are attempting a re-run based on the otherwise uneeventful ruling of a DC court judge – and “I call bullshit”.
The matter before the DC court was “bullshit”, too – “bullshit” from the “good neighbor” that’s Dick-Scruggs-made-me-do-it-defense to fraud was thwarted when Judge Senter issued an order bifurcating the trial of the Rigsby’s qui tam claim from State Farm’s counterclaim.
I am of the opinion that an attempt to try the Relators’ claim and State Farm’s counterclaim in a single proceeding is likely to hopelessly confuse the jury on the merits of both claims. Accordingly, I will bifurcate the trial of these two claims, and I will hear the evidence on the Relators’ qui tam claim first. I will stay discovery on State Farm’s counterclaim until the trial of the Relators’ claim has been completed, and I will schedule a separate trial to reach the merits of the counterclaim.
Since the fraud was so evident, hopelessly confusing the jury was the only hope State Farm had of defeating the Rigsbys’ claim. A decision for the Rigsbys in the first trial automatically defeats State Farm’s counterclaim as it would prove the documents copied by the Rigsbys were not stolen property but evidence of the fraud.
As the slabbed would expect, State Farm’s legal team came up with a bullshit-and-shovel-strategy to circumvent Judge Senter’s Order. In other words, State Farm launched a deep-sea fishing expedition into all things Scruggs using the D.C. based Rendon Group as bait. Rendon responded with a Motion to Quash and the Order issued yesterday denied all but two of the 20 requests for production State Farm demanded in its subpeona.
Yesterday’s ruling was a huge defeat for State Farm and there is no reason to believe there will be any admissible evidence produced as a result. On the other hand, the Rigsbys are continuing to turn up evidence that supports the allegations made in their qui tam complaint. That’s the big story in the trial based on the merits of the Rigsbys’ claim and that’s the story we will tell on SLABBED – the story of a fraud that brought the Coast economy to its knees and, in turn, that of the State as well.
“The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it“