Round 2 – Responses filed to Motions in Rigsby qui tam

The filing of Response briefs last Friday signaled Round 2 in the briefing cycle  to be completed before the Court reschedules the Status Conference previously set for today. Since Judge Senter’s Order canceling today’s conference did not specify the pending motions, we turn to the docket listing showing the Rigsbys filed a Response in Opposition to each of the three dispositive motions filed by State Farm and State Farm’s Opposition to the Rigsby’s Motion to Reconsider the Scope of Proceedings.

In a single sentence, Relators’ Counsel summarized the obvious in all three of State Farm’s motions:

In what seems to be a common theme in recent motions, State Farm Fire & Casualty Company (“State Farm”) completely ignores the fact that the Court already decided the issues raised in its Motion.

For example, the Relators’ Response in Opposition to State Farm’s Motion to Dismiss Due to the Rigsbys’ Repeated and Calculated Violations of this Court’s Seal Order stated:

In its August 10, 2009 Memorandum Opinion [343], this Court unequivocally denied State Farm’s motion to dismiss for alleged seal violations. Undeterred, and still intent on making this case about Dickie Scruggs, State Farm makes the surprising assertion that “[t]he Court did not decide this issue in its August 10, 2009 Order.” See [739] at 2. In any event, and as set forth below, the Court should deny State Farm’s Motion to Dismiss again because (1) there was no actual harm to the government; (2) any alleged seal violations were immaterial and do not warrant dismissal; and (3) State Farm has made no showing of bad faith by the Rigsbys.

State Farm “dicked around” in three other federal court districts during Discovery  – District of Columbia; Eastern District Kentucky, and Northern District Mississippi – and, in the process of court shopping, established evidence aplenty the Company remains both “intent on making this case about Dick Scruggs” and “undeterred” by the decisions of the Southern District Mississippi federal court or the evidence on the docket documenting the government’s lapse in maintaining the seal.

However, as the Rigsbys’ point out, “the FCA does not expressly prescribe dismissal for seal violations…[and]…Scruggs, his firm and co-counsel already have been disqualified…” – leading me to believe this motion is simply another example of State Farm “dickin’ around”: Continue reading “Round 2 – Responses filed to Motions in Rigsby qui tam”

Slabbed remembers Katrina plus 5: The day Ashton O’Dwyer was arrested after the storm.

Professor Carl Bernofsky over at Tulane Link has an excellent piece on Ashton’s arrest without warrant, detention and beating which gets the hat tip for this post. Following is an embed of a 12 minute companion video Carl and his people put together. It is well worth the watch.