I know, I know. The indictment against Dickie Scruggs looks bad for Dickie (though not, I keep emphasizing, Zach Scruggs, whose indictment given the evidence mystifies me). But I can't help but notice a few details from the short form of Judge Lackey's tell all (I'll look up the long form after I meet my damn deadline today). First, Judge Lackey's first thoughts after Balducci broached the subject of a bribe were for Balducci's future.
“I worried what would become of this young man, his wife, his children,” said Judge Lackey. “He was one of the brightest legal stars on the horizon that I’d come across, and I worried a great deal about the consequences.”
Balducci, by all appearances, also cooperated in the investigation, though the indictment doesn't care to tell us that detail. And note, by Lackey's own admission, it took some time after he recovered from his concern for Balducci before he started cooperating with the USA office.
Also note the emphasis that Scruggs' defense attorney puts on matters, when commenting on how odd it is that a key witness would do (one whose day job is supposed to be ensuring that the accused get fair trials) is run to the press for an interview.
Scruggs’s attorney, John Keker, said: “I find it remarkable that this high-minded government witness is talking to the national media, and it makes me wonder if he is interested in notoriety rather than seeing that justice is done. I’ll say this — he sure as hell didn’t get bribed by Dick Scruggs or anyone else in his law firm.”
Well, yeah, he got bribed--at least first-hand--by Balducci, the guy that Lackey was so concerned for. Balducci isn't a member of Scruggs' firm.
One more point. I find it interesting to note that within a day of the indictment, the other firms involved in the State Farm Katrina suits tried to oust the Scruggs firm from the team. It sure raises questions about who might benefit from Scruggs' indictment. After all, the alleged bribe pertains directly to how lawyers get paid from past insurance settlements.
I guess those Mississippians weren't kidding when they were talking about knowing where the bodies are buried. They're a cut throat bunch, these southern gentlemen.