Judge rules Scruggs, others not racketeers

ACKSON – A federal judge dismissed a 2009 lawsuit against former Oxford attorney Richard Scruggs and others, saying the allegations do not rise to the level of a federal racketeering violation.

U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett ordered an end to the claims by Gulf Coast attorneys Lee Young and Charles J. Mikhail, who insisted they were owed more than $1.4 million in legal fees for their work on national tobacco case settlements.

Other defendants were attorneys W. Steven Bozeman, Hayden S. Dent and Samuel M. Millette Jr. and their legal association, SMBD Inc.

With dismissal of the federal racketeering claims, Starrett said the court declines jurisdiction over their other claims, which should be refiled in state court.

The judge also denied a defense motion to dismiss because they claimed Scruggs was not properly served notice of the lawsuit. The court acknowledged that ultimately he was served in a Kentucky federal prison.

Read more: NEMS360.com – Judge rules Scruggs others not racketeers

6/7/10