“And so I am become a knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows!”
Just a few months after finally reaching a settlement with Dickie Scruggs in a lawsuit stretching back 15 years, attorney William Roberts Wilson has moved into the office space that once housed his nemesis’ law firm on Oxford’s Square.
“Ever since watching ‘Intruder in the Dust,’ I’ve wanted an office on the Square,” Wilson said. He had previously worked out of Tuscaloosa, but he said that, after a decade and a half of financial issues, he could afford to make the move.
Faulker’s Intruder in the Dust may have inspired Wilson. However, it is the similarity of Wilson’s story to what one source called the “social hyporocrisy” and “irresistible comedy” of Twain’s The Prince and the Pauper that comes to mind.
“Social hypocrisy” and “irresistible comedy” are so common on the Square that Wilson – a knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows attempting to assume the role of the King of Torts – should feel right at home.
The government made his move even more affordable today when it settled Wilson’s claim Continue reading “Wilson v Scruggs and the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows”
The “drafts file” is overflowing (again) and time is short (again) – nothing to do but pull a handful of things I think worth a mention and go for what Sop has called a “round-up” post.
First up is an update on Young v Scruggs – brief because the case is stuck on proper service of the summons issued to Dick Scruggs, a discussion I passed on recenty when reporting Defendant’s Rebuttal. What’s happened since the, however, is more interesting. First, the defendants fied a Motion to Strike Purported Summons that basically restated the argument Scruggs was not lawfully served and there was a pending motion to dismiss on that basis. Next, plaintiffs pop up and file Notice the summons has been reissued – and on that same day, according to the docket, defendants filed anAmended Motion to Strike that cites and attaches a recent Mississippi Supreme Court ruling on the subject that’s worth a look.
The latest news on USA v Minor (Whitfield and Teel) makes for interesting reading – so did the recently filed Motion for Rehearing that was sitting in drafts when most media had the story up. Here’s the Motion and here’s the latest:
Pursuant to Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 28(j), Paul Minor notifies the Court of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Citizens United v. FEC, No. 08-205 (Jan. 21, 2010). That decision clarifies that the jury instructions in this case, which allowed the jury to convict the defendants of honest services fraud for campaign contributions made with only an intent to influence and without any quid pro quo, violate the First Amendment. h/t Legal Schnauzer (entire letter posted there)
Now, news on the “odds” – the first “odd” appears to be Gerald Nielsen or, more accurately, Mr. Nielsen appears to be odd – long on ego but short on memory. Continue reading “Scruggs, Minor, and some legal odds and ends (pun intended) – Nielsen, Wilson, Robie and Tort Reform”
Big football weekend here in the land of the slabbed; but, no sports channel was covering the settlement game – and one is definitely playing in Wilson v Scruggs.
Almost simultaneously with their settlement with Team Scruggs, Team Wilson filed a weak response to co-defendant Steve Patterson’s Motion to Dismiss – an obvious incentive to settle.
Apparently, it was also incentive for Eastland to stick with the playbook while co-counsel Greer went with the legal equivalent of wild Rebel and filed across-claim for Patterson that suggests there is still more to learn about the money paid Ed Peters:
Patterson’s only involvement in the circumstances surrounding this action was Continue reading “Eastland stands behind Motion to Dismiss – Greer files cross-claim for Patterson in Wilson v Scruggs”
Patsy Brumfield has the story for the Daily Journal.
Zach Scruggs, convicted for his part in the scheme to bribe Circuit Judge Henry Lackey of Calhoun City, is out of federal prison and assigned to a community re-entry facility in Tupelo. An earlier report, which said he was in Montgomery, Ala., was not accurate. Inmates in the Tupelo center technically are under Montgomery’s jurisdiction, and that’s why on the Bureau of Prison’s web site it shows him there. His custody location is noted on www.bop.gov. Aug. 19 is his projected release date, the site shows.
Cheryl Dennings with BOP in Atlanta said Scruggs was moved Tuesday from a low-security prison in Forrest City, Ark. to Tupelo as he prepares to “transition” back into society. As soon as he finds a job and gets various other details approved, like driving a car, he will work away from the center and return each night.
Although an Internet site speculated Scruggs may have been seen in Oxford on Tuesday, Dennings said that wasn’t likely since she believes he was brought to Tupelo directly from Arkansas.
The just-us justice of north Mississippi challenges the meaning of “likely” on a regular basis. Today, for example, the Clarion Ledger is reporting the previously unlikely move of Judge Delaughter’s April trial to Oxford. Late yesterday, the Ledger reported the even more unlikely, but long suspected, grant of immunity to former Hinds County District Attorney Ed Peters.
So, while Peters and his immunity were lunching with the current DA, Sid Backstrom and his integrity remained confined in Arkansas – and some dare call it justice when it’s just-us.
Stone walls do not a prison make nor iron bars a cage.
In that light, true justice emerges as those guilty of just-us justice serve a life sentence – forever confined by the limits of their small and narrow minds. Continue reading “Welcome back Zach!”
Patsy Brumfield of the Journal reports on today’s events in the just-us-justice system of Mississippi.
Timothy Balducci and Steven Patterson will do prison time, despite their cooperation into the infamous conspiracy to bribe Circuit Judge Henry Lackey of Calhoun City.
Their sentences were set today by Senior U.S. District Judge Neal Biggers Jr. today at the federal courthouse in Oxford.
• Balducci, formerly of New Albany, will serve 24 months in prison. Balducci was given no fine, because records showed he could not pay one.
• Patterson of New Albany will serve 24 months in prison. Patterson was also given a $150,000 fine.
Justice or just-us-justice? It’s really hard for me to say – not for lack of thought or thought-provoking comment from others here on the blog and off-blog as well. However, there often is a difference between justice as commonly defined and the sometimes just-us-justice here – a difference that is one of the many that make Mississippi the “State of Paradox”.
We’ve birthed the blue; performed the first successful heart transplant: and, bottled the firt coca-cola – but even considering USA v Scruggs and all its implications, we are better people in a better place with a better legal system than that of our past. Some would disagree but none could argue the point with fact.
Lack of fact has never been a barrier for the low-literate but language-rich story-telling population of the “State of Paradox”. Here, the direct descendants of the first Mr. Right (fn:Always) and his Mrs. (nee Promise you-won’t-tell-another-living-soul But) have informed and entertained for generations. In doing so, these story-tellers have defined and devined how the outside world views Mississippi and distorted the outside world to those here.
Just-us-justice established the practice of selective disgrace during a period in the history of the “State of Paradox” when it was not disgraceful for one man to own another – just doing business. As the then wealth of the State evolved into generational poverty, people began to trade on favor – a transaction that makes one man’s word another man’s bondage with the ever present threat of public disgrace from a legal flogging. Continue reading “Mississippi’s just us justice – final”
Here in Mississippi it’s known as Scruggs II. Today is the day Dick Scruggs is expected to enter a second guilty plea in Federal Court – this time before Judge Glen Davidson in Aberdeen.
Those who followed USA v Scruggs closely, however, know today’s event was carried over after plea agreements cut Scruggs I short.
On November 28, 2007, Scruggs and four others were charged in a six-count Indictment alleging they conspired to corruptly influence a judge. All initially entered pleas of “not guilty”. Dick Scruggs was represented by attorney Joey Langston.
Six days later (December 4, 2007), Balducci – the only defendant that communicated with the judge – changed his plea to guilty under a Plea Agreement. It was later revealed Balducci had cooperated with the government and provided the evidence needed to indict Scruggs, Scruggs, and Backstrom.
The defendant agrees to plead guilty under oath to Count One of the Indictment, which charges conspiracy to commit bribery of an elected state official, and which carries maximum possible penalties of 5 years imprisonment, $250,000 fine, 3 years supervised release, and a mandatory special assessment of $100; all in violation of Title 18, United States Code § 371.
In early January, Langston’s office was searched by the FBI and on the 7th, he entered a Plea Agreement on a Bill of Information implicating his former client Dick Scruggs as well as defendant Steve Patterson in a scheme to corruptly influence Hinds County Judge Bobby Delaughter. Continue reading “Dick Scruggs and the Plea Tree for Scruggs II”