Lawsuit legend and admitted felon Dickie Scruggs is headed for the Big House, but his methods are continuing to tarnish his partner in lawsuits, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood. Last week, Alabama federal Judge William Acker gave Mr. Hood a well deserved whack for colluding with the trial kingpin to evade a court order in a case regarding Hurricane Katrina claims.
In December, Judge Acker ordered Scruggs to surrender documents improperly obtained by two sisters, Cori and Kerri Rigsby, working for Scruggs as part of his litigation against State Farm insurance. Scruggs had a different idea. Instead of giving the papers to Judge Acker, he handed them to Mr. Hood, claiming that the AG qualified as a “law enforcement official.” At the time, Mr. Hood was suing five insurance companies including State Farm.
Judge Acker isn’t buying. In an 18-page memorandum-opinion last week, he wrote that the Scruggs-Hood maneuver was “too cute by half” and clearly intended to exploit a loophole, rather than comply with the law. The judge added that the “so-called law enforcement official” was really acting as a “friend, associate and close confidant” of the trial lawyer. As such, Mr. Hood’s actions to relieve Scruggs of the documents was as “a co-conspirator . . . and an aider and abetter.”
The AG has bristled that the judge was out of line and says he’ll file a motion to demand the judge revise his “uncalled for derogatory conclusions.” As a prosecutor who has abused his powers, Mr. Hood clearly isn’t used to having someone tell the truth about him.