Breaking News! Judge Senter denies State Farm’s Motion to Exclude Testimony of Ralph Sinno – a Rigsby qui tam update

“It is a rare case in which the parties’ expert witnesses will agree on how physical evidence should be interpreted, and this is not one of those rare cases.”

Judge Senter’s decision was not exactly a surprise given his earlier Order referencing the testimony of Ralph Sinno but his Order and Memorandum of Opinion are nonetheless welcome news:

The Court has before it the motions [298] [715] of State Farm Fire and Casualty Company (State Farm) to exclude the testimony of R. Ralph Sinno, Ph.D. (Sinno), one of the Relators’ expert witnesses. For the reasons set out below, this motion will be denied.

Sinno is trained as a civil engineer. His opinions concern the “Structural Response of the Property of Mr. And Mrs. Thomas McIntosh During Hurricane Katrina.” Sinno has made extensive engineering studies concerning the effect of hurricane force winds on buildings, and he relies on these studies along with his formal training as an engineer in forming his opinions…

The purpose of a motion challenging the qualifications of an expert is not to test the ultimate validity or credibility of the expert’s opinion. That is the job of the finder of  fact on a complete record. The purpose of this type of motion is to test whether the expert is qualified by training and experience to form the opinions he holds, to test whether those opinions are supported by factual interpretations and conclusions that are at least arguably sound, i.e. based on substantial evidence and reasonable assumptions, and to test whether the expert has reached his opinions using methodology and principles that are generally accepted in the expert’s field… Continue reading “Breaking News! Judge Senter denies State Farm’s Motion to Exclude Testimony of Ralph Sinno – a Rigsby qui tam update”

Flipping the wig on “whiggocracies”

“To understand the world, you must first understand a place like Mississippi”

When I need words to explain something “Mississippi”, I reach for the last work of the late (and great) Willie Morris, “My Mississippi” – and what words I find! Some, such as those of Faulkner, come as quotes from other Mississippi writers.  The most telling, however, are those words that show the depth of this understanding of this place he called “home”:

“It has been remarked that Mississippi has produced so many fine writers because the state is such a complicated place that much interpretation is required.”

Victoria Pynchon’s recent piece on Mississippi earwigging and Zach Scruggs was the impetus for my calling on Willie.  SLABBED considers Pynchon a friend.  In fact, we hold her  in such regard that the link to her “Settle it Now” Negotion Blog has been a constant on our blogroll and will remain so despite the “h” she inserted in “earwigging” or her need for “interpretation” of  the practice in this “complicated place”.

Here in this “complicated place”, perhaps because so many once lacked the skills to read and write, “earwigging” is not a reflection of a “whiggocracie” but is, instead, an art — a form of the storytelling that, like the run-on sentences often found in “our literature…and music” that boggies all night long — that doesn’t know when to stop.  Yet, it too, was grown “directly out of land and the sense of place – the mark of the land… the love of narrative:

One sees this at some times directly and at other times through a vivid concreteness and emphasis on detail, as in the stories we love to tell…We are talkers.  We talk about ourselves, each other, our ancestors, events, the funny and quirky and bizarre things people do — true stories, more or less, and the richer and more plentiful the detail, the better…Like storytelling, art of whatever form plays a communal role: it draws people together, helps them understand themselves and their common humanity…”

Pynchon’s article focuses on Zach Scruggs’ Motion to Vacate his conviction for Misprision of a Felony, his failure to report the earwigging of Judge Lackey in the case of Jones v Scruggs.  However, in a March 2008 post, Earwigging — A Mississippi Tradition, Steve Eugster wrote of the earwigging by the Plaintiff’s attorney [Grady Tollison] in the Jones case: Continue reading “Flipping the wig on “whiggocracies””

We forgot to mention yesterday we had a copy of the fee letter from Mole to Gardner in the Porteous impeachment case.

We have some friends that have friends…..well you guys know, we have sources in some amazing places.  :-)

Our newer readers should start with Whitmergate’s post yesterday which dealt with Joseph Mole’s testimony in the House impeachment proceedings against Federal Judge Tom Porteous.  Judge Tom liked to tote water for big businesses such as Rowan Drilling and home cooked plaintiffs that sued the clients of his lawyer friends that paid for the vacations, booze, food and gambling.  This of course does not include his mistress though I’m certain she plays into the full narrative heavily.

So without further adieu I’ve embedded the Mole/Gardner fee letter below the fold. Continue reading “We forgot to mention yesterday we had a copy of the fee letter from Mole to Gardner in the Porteous impeachment case.”