Scruggs Nation, Day 11: Coffee, Tea or Dickie?

Air Scruggs may be grounded no longer.  Scruggs has filed a motion, not opposed by the United States, to allow his private jet to take to the air once more, for the use of his attorneys in the criminal actions against him in Mississippi and Alabama. As a condition of release, U.S. Magistrate S. Allan Alexander ordered on November 28 that Scruggs not use his plane except for charitable and emergency purposes.  But Scruggs' attorney, John Keker, is a busy guy and flying commercial is apparently just not in the cards for him -- thus the motion. 

Click here to see the motion.

Here are some other relevant documents from the case docket, brought to you by the continuing miracle of PACER. 

A proposed order for the judge to sign regarding the plane.  (I am not well versed in criminal cases, except for clerking for a criminal defense lawyer in Phoenix after my first year of law school, but in civil cases, in my experience most federal judges write their own orders, unlike state court judges, and don't want you to submit proposed orders). [UPDATE: I'm told by those who practice in federal court in northern Mississippi that it is a local rule that a proposed order must be submitted]. 

The court's acceptance of the plea agreement by Tim Balducci and of the change of his plea from not guilty to guilty

The scheduling order in the case.  Note the rapidly upcoming deadlines for discovery and motion practice, and the January trial date. I wouldn't expect any of these dates will be kept, but the whole picture suggests the government is ready to go.

Notice of trial date.

Pro hac vice application on behalf of John Keker.  Keker, if you do not already know it, is one of the biggest of the big-time defense lawyers, and is based in San Francisco. He previously has been defending Scruggs against a charge of criminal contempt of court in Alabama federal court.

Notice of appearance of Sid Backstrom's attorney.

William Quin, a lawyer with Joey Langston's firm in Booneville, Mississippi, has been representing Scruggs lately. Langston, after being so prominent in the first few days of the Scruggs scandal, has been markedly less visible in recent days.  I wonder why.  

If you desire additional coverage beyond that of the Scruggs Nation, please refer to Y'all Politics, Walter Olson at Overlawyered and the Wall Street Journal Law Blog, all of which have had simply Scruggsational coverage of these events.

NOTE: for those not familiar with the reference in the headline above, it is to this bookHere's a New York Times story about the book as a cultural phenomenon.

UPDATE: The New York Times breaks its silence on the Scruggs scandal, which was almost as deafening and protracted as that of Mississippi AG Jim Hood, with this story. (Hat tip: lotus). Better late than never.  The story is pretty good, and points to further federal investigation of Scruggs in other legal battles, including between Scruggs and attorney Charles Merkel. Jr.  I've been looking at that myself, along with reading for background a couple of books -- Assuming the Risk: the Mavericks, the Lawyers, and the Whistle-Blowers Who Beat Big Tobacco, by Michael Orey; and The Rule of Lawyers, by Walter Olson, Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, whom you may know from the websites Overlawyered and Point of Law and from numerous brilliant articles like this one in Reason Magazine. 

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Written By:Wolf On December 9, 2007 6:08 PM

The NYT previously had a story about the Scruggs indictment on Nov. 29.

Written By:David Rossmiller On December 9, 2007 7:52 PM

Wolf, thanks for pointing this out. I was aware of this story, but with all due respect, it wasn't really the kind of story I would have expected from the Times. This story was. But you make a good point. Not quite in the same league as Hood.

Written By:duckhead On December 9, 2007 8:12 PM

After several day at "duck camp" I am glad to be back to the wealth of blogs and links here.

Of particular interest is the well written NYT article "Court Intrigue for the King of Torts".

The last three paragraphs discuss Scruggs relationship with P.L. Blake.

This exposure comes from portions of a deposition in the Merkel fee dispute.

It is amazing to me that the reporter chose to devote a small portion of his report to Blake. Anyone else who knows of Blake's past antics would too!

The man who once owned the famous "Fighting Bayou Hunting Club" for a short period of time has made the New York Times. What a small world.


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