It will take me all weekend to do an update on the three Katrina qui tam cases – ex rel Rigsby v State Farm, ex rel Denenea v Allstate, and ex rel Branch Consultants v Allstate et al – but with so much serious discussion taking place on SLABBED, I thought it was time to lighten up and, since State Farm’s proposed “Supplemental Jury Questionnaire (“SJQ”)’ had me ROFLMAO, I thought it might tickle your funny bone.
As a warm up, I’ll quote from State Farm’s Motion:
Numerous Courts, including the Southern District of Mississippi, have used an SJQ to help screen potential jurors, thereby reducing the amount of time needed for live questioning of the jury venire. Here, the use of a short but pointed case-specific questionnaire would expedite the voir dire process and save valuable court time…The Court and the parties can review the prospective jurors’ written questionnaire and identify by stipulation those responding with answers requiring automatic dismissal for cause…The Rigsbys oppose the SJQ for reasons they have not shared with counsel for State Farm.
Imagine that! Anyone reading the proposed Juror Questionnaire would find the reasons the Rigsbys would oppose State Farm’s SJQ so obvious there wouldn’t be a need to share.
Question 22, for example, asks prospective jurors, “How well did FEMA handle the claims of Hurricane Katrina victims in this area?” – as if there is anyone in America (other than our President who thought “Brownie” was “doing a heck of a job”) who doesn’t know FEMA was a bigger disaster than Katrina!
State Farm’s Memorandum in Support of the Company’s motion is also good for a grin or two:
State Farm is willing to pay the cost of mailing the SJQ to and from the potential jurors and to pay for a third party to make copies of the completed SJQ’s for the Court and all parties.
The Juror Questionnaire is below the jump. Continue reading “Let’s lighten up – Here’s State Farm’s proposed Juror Questionnaire to tickle your funny bone (a Rigsby qui tam update)”
My calendar was marked with the due date for Allstate’s Answer to the Branch SAC (Second Amended Complaint); and, given the Allstate Motion for Extension of Time…and…Page Limits, I expected the “good hands” to mix things up:
In its notice of nonintervention filed in Denenea, the Government stated that ‘with the addition of Allstate as a defendant in Branch Consultants, the question of whether the jurisdictional bar under 31 U.S.C. § 3730(b)(5) is triggered as to either the relator in Denenea or the relator in Branch Consultants arises’…Allstate seeks a ten day extension of the deadline for it to respond to the SAC so that Allstate may address the impact of the Denenea action on the viability of the SAC’s claims against Allstate…
Allstate also respectfully moves for an extension of the page limit…In addition to the issues raised by the Denenea action, Allstate’s motion will address the first-to-file, res judicata, and law of the case issues raised by the Rigsby complaint and this Court’s and the Fifth Circuit’s prior rulings dismissing Allstate under the first-to-file rule.”
Allstate, however, did more than just mix things up. The Company’s Answer to the Branch complaint reads as if Abbott and Constello were heading Allstate’s legal team and offering who-filed-first as a defense! Continue reading “Allstate files Answer in Branch – and this I couldn’t make up!”
Imagine that! Judge Walker’s law clerk read Rossmiller’s blog to “keep up with the McIntosh case”!
Since there were blog-reading clerks “working” in the northern district Mississippi federal court when USA v Scruggs, Scruggs and Backstrom was before Judge Biggers, I certainly wasn’t surprised to learn the same was happening here . The difference between the two courts is that Chief Judge Mills “blew the whistle” but no judge in the southern district had toot to say about it.
I happened upon that revealing bit of information the old-fashioned way – reading case documents from the docket of the Rigsby qui tam case – because Over the wire or under the wig – ex parte is ex parte (Part 1, 2 and 3) and Katrina’s surge fueled the quest for money at the expense of ethics: Earwigging and Blawgs.
Other than that single revelation, the post-discovery motions filed by State Farm have been “much ado about nothing” of significance to the merits of the Righby’s allegation of State Farm’s fraudulent claims handling. Judge Walker issued an Order denying State Farm’s Motion to Compel Computers:
Ultimately, the Court finds that the motion to compel should be denied because State Farm has failed to give a sufficient justification for going behind the discovery process and for disregarding counsel for Realtors’ sworn representations that all responsive documents from the computers have been produced. Continue reading “Judge Walker's clerk read blog to keep up with McIntosh case – a Rigsby qui tam update!”