Denial – Biggers’ reaches decision on Zach Scruggs’ Motion to Allow Discovery

This morning’s not altogether unexpected rise-and-shine news is Judge Biggers’ denial of Zach Scruggs’ Motion to Allow Discovery.  h/t  Y’all Politics

Time will tell if Biggers’ you’ve-already-had-discovery decision means Zach’s Motion to Vacate is doomed. While the Court had discretion to decide the motion, the next decision is a matter of law – and the point of Scruggs’ motion was no discovery would be needed if the Court followed the law. Biggers’ Order is here (another h/t to Y’all)

Hey, asshole, your “cognitive biases” are showing – Pynchon’s new book adds to SLABBED discussion of cognitive maps

We’ve all got one and we can all be one – but  “an ‘asshole’ is not a person but a behavior“, according to  blogroll friend of SLABBED and author of “A is for Asshole: The Grownups’  ABC’s of Conflict Resolution”, Vickie Pynchon.

“We are all blinded by the part we play in disputes” – Amen!  “Asshole” is a behavioral tango – “not one person but two” with  cognitive biases: “something that our minds commonly do to distort our own view of reality”.

Resolving conflict requires taking the blinders off and accept mutual responsibly for both the conflict and its resolution.  Ouch!  It’s so much easier to keep blinders on and see a conflict as “the other guy’s fault” – a “fundamental attribution error” cognitive bias:

“over-attributing intention and under-attributing circumstance to another’s harm-causing behavior while over-attributing circumstance and under-attributing intention to our own harm-causing behavior”

Although each a form of cognitive bias, “clustering illusions” – “seeing patterns where none exist” – and “confirmation bias” – “selecting from a vast amount of data only that which confirms our pre-existing opinions” – feed “fundamental attribution errors“.

What researchers have found is that whenever someone else’s behavior causes us harm, we tend to assume that person intended to cause us the harm we experience or, at a minimum, caused us harm by virtue of their carelessness in regard to our well-being.

Pynchon, an accomplished professional “neutral”, readily admits “mistakes about the intentions and motivations” of another and “the constraints under which they are working” happen in both personal and professional relationships – and, setting aside the personal, we move to a brief review of the asshole behavior and cognitive biases evident in Katrina-related litigation. Continue reading “Hey, asshole, your “cognitive biases” are showing – Pynchon’s new book adds to SLABBED discussion of cognitive maps”

USA tells Judge Biggers more time needed for response to Zach Scruggs

After pulling a truckload of briefs in the various qui tam cases last week, my desktop was so loaded that I skipped my routine Friday evening check.  One more confession while I’m in this tell-all mood — I actually welcomed the notice of “routine maintenance” that made the PACER system inaccessible most all weekend as I’d begun to feel like the computer version of  of Shel Silverstein’s television-watching Jimmy Jet:

“He watched till his eyes were frozen wide,
And his bottom grew into his chair…
And grew a plug that looked like a tail…”

In my eagerness to avoid Jimmy Jet’s fate, I didn’t catch the latest item on the docket of USA v David Zachery Scruggs before I got out of my chair for the weekend.  Patsy Brumfield, however, somehow got word and posted Prosecutors ask for time in Zach Scruggs’ appeal in today’s NEMS360.com”:

“Federal prosecutors in Oxford say they need more direction from Washington before they respond to Zach Scruggs’ motion to vacate his 2008 conviction.”
Hoping the “beach brief”  makes “my butt look smaller”, I raced to the tuned-up PACER and picked up the USA’s Motion for Extension of Time that appears in full below the jump.  Before we go there, let’s examine the USA’s argument that additional time to respond is needed because Zach cited “the United States Supreme Court’s recent Skilling opinion” and:
“… the Department of Justice has promulgated guidelines to federal prosecutors regarding Skilling responses, the undersigned prosecutor has submitted to the Department of Justice an outline of the government’s proposed response, and is awaiting approval…”
Skilling, while opening the door for Zach Scruggs to file his motion, is not the only matter DOJ should consider.  The USA falsely claimed the jurisdiction needed to build a case against Dick Scruggs –  SLABBED explained but it was the 5th Circuit that declared there must be a “nexus between the criminal conduct and the agency,” administering the federal funds: Continue reading “USA tells Judge Biggers more time needed for response to Zach Scruggs”

USA singing for Judge Biggers

“Life’s too short to make a mistake

Let’s think of each other and hesitate…”

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