Luck runs out for tort king, Scruggs indicted for bribery

At a meeting of the Katrina Group in October, according to Jones, Scruggs advocated paying the Rigsbys from funds of the group, for consulting services.

Jones claims he objected and Scruggs offered to obtain an ethics opinion. Jones claims Scruggs did not tell the group he represented the Rigsbys in a lawsuit.

Jones claims he later discovered that in October the group paid Scruggs more than $120,000, to reimburse him for payments he made to the Rigsbys.

Jones claims that Scruggs did not tell the group he represented the sisters in a suit.

In December 2006, U. S. District Judge William Acker of Birmingham referred Scruggs for possible prosecution over his possession of confidential State Farm documents.

Acker ordered Scruggs to send the documents to Renfroe but Scruggs sent them to Hood, who sent them to Renfroe.

State Farm, facing prosecution from Hood, began negotiating a settlement of 640 Katrina suits.

Jones claims Scruggs told him that when State Farm settled, the group would allocate $1,000,000 to his firm. Jones claims he protested and asked for arbitration.

In February, State Farm settled and agreed to pay the lawyers $26,500,000.

As part of the settlement, Hood called off his criminal investigation.

Jones claims that on March 2, at a meeting of the Scruggs Katrina Group, Barrett offered him six percent, about $1,500,000.

Jones claims he turned it down and asked again for arbitration.

His associate, Steve Funderburg, vented in a March 4 e-mail to Scruggs.

"I have looked in the mirror all weekend and tried to figure out how I could be so stupid," he wrote. "John and I DEFENDED you in fee dispute litigation for God's sake."

He wrote, "We DEFENDED you when people said you were greedy, or were a back stabber, or a liar, or anything else."

He wrote, "You have developed a good routine. It worked. But go to your grave knowing that you have shaken my belief in everything I hold dear."

He wrote, "I did not believe that people like you really existed. I am ashamed and will always be ashamed of having defended you and protected you."

Scruggs wrote back, "I respect and am grateful for the devoted efforts you and Johnny made in your representation of me and those in privity in the Wilson/Luckey matters."

Scruggs added that the group had become leery of working with them because they might seize upon a pretext to sue.

He wrote that in the best interests of all, the group would move on without them.


SE Texas Record
12/6/7

Posted December 7, 2007 - 2:26 am

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