In the early 1990s, Wilson and Scruggs made an agreement for Wilson to leave the practice and in the agreement set forth how they would divide up the future proceeds from the asbestos cases. In 1994, Scruggs fired Alywn Luckey, claiming he was firing him for misconduct. Scruggs was under the misapprehension that he could just “fire” a shareholder (Luckey) and deny him the benefit of his stock ownership. Thus Luckey’s lawsuit.
The rest of this post is essentially from the perspective of Wilson’s side of the lawsuit.
Wilson cross-claimed against Scruggs about Wilson’s own fees. The lawsuit proceeded at a crawl.
Lotus’s post from yesterday tells some of the story of the case in its first decade. I’m going to pick up the story later on.
By early 2005, Wilson and his lawyers were trying to find ways to bring the case to a resolution. They proposed to Scruggs that they send the case to the federal court in North Mississippi, to be resolved by a binding, non-appealable decision by the federal magistrate there, Jerry Davis. Instead of accepting Wilson’s proposal, Scruggs seized on it as a way to end Luckey’s claims rather than those of Wilson. Apparently believing that he was going to win and zero-out Luckey because of misconduct, Scruggs’s lawyers approached Luckey’s lawyers and proposed that Luckey’s case and not Wilson’s go to Davis for quick resolution. And, according to statements later made to federal investigators, Scruggs also believed that Magistrate Davis hoped to become a federal circuit judge, and that, knowing Scruggs’s connection to Trent Lott, this would give him an extra advantage with Davis.