BREAKING NEWS Judge Biggers wants to know! – Order sets date for Government to respond to Zach’s Motion for Depositions

As short and to the point as he is known to be, Judge Biggers got the week off to a fast start with his Monday morning Order on Zach Scruggs’ Motion for Depositions:

“Upon due consideration, the court orders that the government respond to the defendant’s motion for depositions by Friday, March 11, 2011”.

My “friendship circle” includes an attorney who admits that north Mississippi Federal District Judge Neil Biggers is as hard as they come – but he really likes Biggers.  I recently asked if he thought Biggers had been fair in his treatment of Zach and the Scruggs defendants.  His answer was a “qualified yes” – qualified by “based on the information the Government gave him”.

It’s without question at this point that the Government withheld certain evidence from the Scruggs defendants and Judge Biggers  – and that Biggers, in turn, made decisions based on – incomplete and/or inaccurate information.

In other words, the Government needs to cut the “snark” from its replies and make the admissions necessary to come clean with Judge Biggers.  IMO, those admissions include misrepresenting Zach as “arrogant” (“haughty) when “indignant” (“resentful”) was and is the appropriate word.

The tooth fairy visits LA Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon

Rebecca Mowbray reports on this incredible development in Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon says insurance market is competitive again for Sunday’s Times Picayune:

Last fall, Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon ditched his longtime homeowners insurance policy with Travelers and signed on with one of the new companies that has come to Louisiana in the past few years.

After a kitchen renovation, an increase in the insured value of his Metairie home and a couple of rate increases by Travelers pushed the price of renewing his policy to $11,300 a year, Donelon decided it was time to shop for new coverage.

He found a policy with comparable coverage for $4,800. And, making the deal even better, his storm deductible decreased from 3 percent of the insured value of his home to 2 percent.

“I was amazed at what I was able to find,” said Donelon…As the switch in his own policy represents, Donelon now believes that the market has stabilized.

Sure thing, Commissioner. Just keep on believing that and let us know how things work out.

Read the rest of the story online at nola.com.

Let’s play Liar, Liar Pants on Fire – the political version – Oops, we need rules!

Inspired by a recently published photograph of someone looking a bit like Jim Carrey with big hair (real big hair), one of SLABBED-nation’s faithful suggested we entertain ourselves with a game of Liar, Liar!

I was game for the game until I tried to write the rules and realized how far we’ve come from the days when there telling a lie was stating something that was in any way an untruth.

For example, I’ve been told that what I called a lie in a pleading from Katrina litigation was “legal advocacy”; i.e., the responsibility of an attorney to represent his client’s position in the best possible light.  Then there’s the matter of a “white lie” championed by none other than the late, outspoken mother of former President Jimmy Carter, Miz Lillian – and, speaking of former Presidents, there’s the “but I didn’t inhale” and “I didn’t have sex with…” President Clinton and the “weapon of mass destruction” himself, George Bush.

With the advent of spin “true facts” is no longer oxymoronic; so, if anyone wants to play, present a lie, the “true facts” and provide documentation.

 

Just has to be a funny uncle farm in Grand Isle ’cause here’s another one – jeeze

If there’s not a funny uncle farm in Grand Isle, you gotta wonder if Patrick Walsh “hangs [his] out” with Jerry Dantin, Camardelle and Euris Dubois.  What a bunch of “jerks”

A Grand Isle man who was taking pictures of children at Sunday’s Krewe of Dionysus parade in Slidell has been arrested on several counts of possessing child pornography, police announced.

Patrick Walsh, 66, was spotted taking pictures of girls 5- to 10-years-old along the parade route and was stopped and questioned by a state Alcohol and Tobacco Control agent, Slidell Police Chief Randy Smith said Friday at a news conference. After further investigation, officers found several sexually explicit images of children on a computer inside Walsh’s van, as a 9mm handgun and rope, Smith said.

A search of Walsh’s home in Grand Isle uncovered encrypted discs as well as more graphic images of children, including some that were stored in a hidden room, Smith said. Continue reading “Just has to be a funny uncle farm in Grand Isle ’cause here’s another one – jeeze”

Zach Scruggs files the mother of all motions – Motion for Deposition of all Scruggs defendants and key players UPDATED

Update: Patsy Brumfield reports on Zach’s motion in the Sunday edition of NEMS360What may they say, if Zach Scruggs questions key players?

Skipping the legal argument of Zach’s Motion for Depositions (below in Scribd format) and going straight to what everyone has always wanted to know:

“The following states the name of each person whose deposition is requested, along with illustrative (but not exhaustive) information explaining the discoverable information that person is likely to provide. For the sake of brevity, each entry incorporates the knowledge stated for prior witnesses”.

Sidney Backstrom:

Mr. Backstrom was a co-defendant in this case, who worked in the Scruggs Law Firm across the hall from the Petitioner. Mr. Backstrom has discoverable knowledge concerning the Scruggs Katrina Group and their assessment of the Jones case, whether Petitioner ever knew about an alleged bribery scheme or whether there was any such bribery scheme. This Court has previously suggested that Mr. Backstrom would surely have discussed a bribery scheme with Petitioner (see Petition, D.E. 303 at 33), and Mr. Backstrom will put such speculation to rest. Specifically, Mr. Backstrom can provide context to the November recording, testifying as to whether Petitioner was present during key moments. Mr. Backstrom is also a witness regarding the existence of certain alleged conversations and emails, about which Timothy Balducci has testified falsely.

Mr. Backstrom can also testify to whether Petitioner ever did anything to join the conspiracy, in support thereof, or to conceal the same, along with the state of mind of the Petitioner regarding Judge Lackey’s order compelling arbitration. Mr. Backstrom also has knowledge of exculpatory discussions he had with federal authorities concerning Petitioner both before and after he became a cooperating witness, as well as about the existence or absence of any documentation of such discussions, which should have been disclosed to Petitioner. Mr. Backstrom will also impeach testimony and representations previously given to this Court by both Government witnesses and the Government itself. Mr. Backstrom presently resides in Texas, outside the civil subpoena power of this Court, making a deposition the only practicable way to get his testimony for this Court…(citations omitted)

Richard Scruggs

Mr. Scruggs was the primary defendant in this case, and has discoverable knowledge about the foregoing issues. Mr. Scruggs is also in the best position to testify about who created the alleged bribery scheme, when, and how, and most importantly, whether Petitioner was ever told about that alleged bribery scheme. In addition, Mr. Scruggs knows whether Petitioner was ever informed about the $40,000 and $10,000 payments to Mr. Balducci, or whether Petitioner was informed that the legal work assigned to Mr. Balducci on a Hurricane Katrina case was a mere sham, as the Government alleges, to provide cover for reimbursing the alleged bribery funds.

Mr. Scruggs can also testify to whether Petitioner ever did anything to join the conspiracy, in support thereof, or to conceal the same. This testimony will also serve to impeach testimony and representations previously given to this Court by both Government witnesses and the Government itself. Mr. Scruggs resides in a Federal Correctional Institution in Ashland, Kentucky, outside the civil subpoena power of this Court, making a deposition the only practicable way to get his testimony for this Court…(citations omitted)

Zach also seeks to depose Steven Patterson,Timothy Balducci, Judge Henry Lackey, William Delaney, Joseph Langston, Anthony Farese, Tom Dawson, Judge David Sanders, and Robert Norman – specifics below the jump. Continue reading “Zach Scruggs files the mother of all motions – Motion for Deposition of all Scruggs defendants and key players UPDATED”

AUSA Bob Norman loses his grip – throws Tom Dawson under the bus and rolls over Judge Biggers in Government’s Response. Zach’s Reply calls for Government’s backup!

After it took one Court order, one 30 day-extension, and a total of 77 days for the Government to respond to Zach Scruggs’ Motion to Vacate, Judge Biggers ruled on Zach’s Motion for Discovery before the Government filed any Response at all.

However, haste makes waste – and in its haste to produce the one-day-wonder filed today, the waste was former AUSA Tom Dawson who went under the bus as the Government rolled on.

Dawson is co-author of the “impeccably researched” Kings of Tortsa “true story…”.  Zach Scruggs’ Motion for Reconsideration claims:

Only with the publication of these facts in 2009 did Petitioner Zachary Scruggs learn that the Government induced his own attorney to procure a witness that the Government assured the Court and Petitioner would testify against Zachary Scruggs, a witness that created an “insurmountable” challenge to his defense, and undermined his rights to effective counsel and fair trial. The purpose of the requested discovery is to probe those murky depths, to determine whether the Government affirms or denies those facts provided by Mr. Dawson. If the Government now concedes that Mr. Dawson’s account is true, then these questions can be dispatched quite quickly.

Chief among those facts cited by Scruggs is that “Mr. Dawson’s 2009 book further explains that the Government proceeded with nearly a month of secret negotiations, using Mr. Farese to secure Mr. Langston’s plea and agreement to cooperate with the Government, all without notifying the Petitioner, the other defendants, the other joint defense counsel members, or the Court about the conflict the Government had created.

In the Government’s Opposition brief (below in Scribd format), ND Mississippi AUSA Bob Norman refutes the truth of Dawson’s account:

Let us be clear. There were no month-long secret negotiations preceding Joey Langston’s plea. There has been no “adverse testimony” from Mr. Langston. There is therefore no conflict.

By all means, “let’s be clear”- and for clarity we turn to Zach’s Reply (below in Scribd format), filed before the ink was dry on the Government’s Response: Continue reading “AUSA Bob Norman loses his grip – throws Tom Dawson under the bus and rolls over Judge Biggers in Government’s Response. Zach’s Reply calls for Government’s backup!”

Tall tales and coverying a$$ – former US Attorney (mis)speaks about Scruggs case in presentation to Memphis Rotary

Coffee in hand, I found an email message waiting for me to wake up and get going this morning – and Former U.S. Attorney Greenlee Discusses Big Cases did ever more get me going.  Going straight to my bookcase to confirm that Greenlee was trying to cover his a$$ when he told tall tales to the Memphis Rotary Club:

Circuit Court judge, Henry L. Lackey, came to see…[him]…without an appointment to say there had been an attempt to bribe him with $40,000 by a young lawyer working for Scruggs.

Greenlee’s a$$ is certainly exposed; but, before that discussion, let’s take a look at what I found in my bookcase.

“During the first week of April 2007, John Hailman, Chief of the Criminal Division, came into First Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Dawson’s office and closed the door.  Hailman had been contacted by Judge Henry Lackey and, at the Judge’s request, had a lengthy meeting with him earlier in the day”.  (Kings of Torts, page 123)

“On the morning of April 11, two weeks after his meeting with Balducci, the judge telephoned his old friend John Hailman, a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Oxford and told him, “John, something’s come up and I really need to see you”. (The Fall of the House of Zeus, page 149)

Clearly, Judge Lackey did not contact Greenlee and when he came to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, he came after making arrangements to meet with John Hailman.

Tall tale, part two – there was no $40,000 to mention.  Returning to my bookcase, we find:

Balducci sought rulings in favor of Scruggs, and, during the same conversation, he offered an “of counsel” position to the judge in Balducci’s firm when the judge stepped down from the bench. (Kings of Torts, pages 123 -124)

It was some five months later before money was mentioned – and, even then, it was the Government that brought the subject up and Judge Lackey who decided the amount.  In part, that aspect of the case is the reason Greenlee needs to cover his a$$.

As tantalizing as Judge Lackey’s report must have been, a competent U.S. Attorney would have known immediately there was no federal jurisdiction.  In other words, Greenlee had no authority to conduct an investigation, much less offer Judge Lackey the protection of official right to commit extortion by asking Balducci for $40,000 in exchange for a favorable ruling. Continue reading “Tall tales and coverying a$$ – former US Attorney (mis)speaks about Scruggs case in presentation to Memphis Rotary”

Obama got a round tuit – Nominates Felicia Adams for north Mississippi USA

Reportedly, President Obama has finally gotten a “round tuit” and nominated “Felicia Collette Adams of Jackson…for U.S. attorney in the Northern District of Mississippi.

Adams, current chief of the Southern District’s civil division, faces U.S. Senate confirmation before she can take the office vacant since Bush appointee James Greenlee retired more than a year ago.

Adams was not available for comment when the announcement was made late Wednesday.

“Felicia Adams has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to justice throughout her career, and I am honored to nominate her to serve the people of Mississippi as U.S. attorney for the Northern District,” said President Obama in a White House news release.

Hmmm. Continue reading “Obama got a round tuit – Nominates Felicia Adams for north Mississippi USA”

“Got my medal, feel so proud, James ‘fire+rain’ Taylor.”

Oh, I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain
I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I’d see you again

Sweet Baby James was “among the 20 performers and intellectuals awarded the National Medal of Arts or the National Humanities Medal at the White House”.

Taylor also took part in an unofficial tradition of visiting dignitaries, descending a staircase to the room below the White House press briefing room to scrawl a note on one of the walls. His reads, “Got my medal, feel so proud, James ‘fire+rain’ Taylor.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-T35WXFOmwI