Breaking News! Judge Senter’s issues two Orders in Rigsby qui tam – makes it clear he’s the boss, will hold December 1 Status Conference and reschedule trial

Well, State Farm’s proposed juror questionnaire obviously didn’t tickle Judge Senter’s funnybone like it did mine, nor did he find it as valuable as Sock.  However, there’s no guessing what he thought as he issued an Opinion – Order denying State Farm’s motion today and made his thinking exceedingly clear:

In the past I have used a juror questionnaire consisting of a single yes or no question: “Do you or any member of your family have a pending lawsuit for Hurricane Katrina damages, or have you had such a lawsuit in the past?” This questionnaire has worked well in the past as a means of screening jurors who would be subject to dismissal for cause without creating any of the problems outlined above. I will follow this same procedure in this case.

He actually said a bit more about his objections but I need to move quickly to the other order Judge Senter issued today because I, first, have to apologize for leaving a related October 5, 2010 Orderr lingering in my bulging “drafts file”.

I will decline at this time to vacate my order of dismissal until I reach the merits of the USA’s objection to this settlement…negotiated between Relators and Forensic Analysis and Engineering, Inc. (Forensic)…the United States of America shall have a period of twenty days within which to make known any objection it may have to the terms of the settlement at issue by the filing of appropriate pleadings; and Since the United States of America is not a party to this action, I will allow the Relators and the other parties a period of ten days from the date the United States files its pleadings to respond through pleadings addressing the issues raised by the United States. (emphasis added)

The USA was johnny felicia-on-the-spot and a few days early filing the government’s Notice of Rejection of Settlement…and Motion to Dismiss…[Forensic]Without Prejudice – but I suppose an assistant US Attorney pays more attention when reportedly under consideration for the top spot.  Nonetheless, the government has a history of untimely filing in the Rigsby qui tam case that includes a nunc pro tunc January 11, 2007 Application for a Second Six-Month Extension of Time to Consider Election to Intervene.

Judge Senter may or may not have been surprised by the timing of the government’s filing but hisOrder Continuing Trial and Setting Status Conference clearly indicates he was perplexed by the government’s position. Continue reading “Breaking News! Judge Senter’s issues two Orders in Rigsby qui tam – makes it clear he’s the boss, will hold December 1 Status Conference and reschedule trial”

Shaving with Hanlon’s Razor – the unsealing and disclosure of Rigsby qui tam (Part 1- 2006)

“Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.”

It hardly seems possible there is anything about ex rel Rigsby v State Farm that has not been subjected to scrutiny and speculation; but, starting around a month before the May 2009 pre-trial hearing and continuing during the many that have followed, something on the docket would catch my eye and I’d make a note to take a closer look later.

“Later” came when I saw mention of a familiar name on the blog Main Justice:

A Southern District of Mississippi prosecutor is in the mix for the Northern District of Mississippi U.S. Attorney nomination, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) told Main Justice…Assistant U.S. Attorney Felicia Adams is being considered by the Obama administration for the Northern Mississippi slot…

Ms. Adams has been the “face” of the government in the Rigsbys’ qui tam case.  Her signature, not that of Dunn Lampton, “the U.S. Attorney who wasn’t fired,” is affixed to the documents filed by the government.

However, this series of posts is not about Ms. Adams, reportedly now a leading candidate for appointment to one of the two USA positions in the State.  Instead these posts are a year-by- year timeline reporting the events reflected in the docket of ex rel Rigsby v State Farm, supplemented with events recorded on the docket of other cases when required to document events related to the unsealing and disclosure of the Rigsbys’ qui tam Complaint.

Nonetheless, the government’s position on the unsealing and disclosure of ex rel Rigsby v State Farm often left the Rigsby sisters as vulnerable as a “sitting duck”.

Did “the government” shave the case with Hanlon’s Razor or malice? SLABBED reports, you decide.

Continue reading “Shaving with Hanlon’s Razor – the unsealing and disclosure of Rigsby qui tam (Part 1- 2006)”