The Money Store and Dickie Scruggs

Eventually, lawyers all over Mississippi had Money Store clients. In the Southern District of federal court, most of these lawsuits hit, as I say, in 2002-3.

But the owner of The Money Store was Wachovia Bank (which had ended up with it via mergers, and whose deep pockets — the Wachovia theory went — could exhaust these puny Mississippi lawyers).

Enter (now-Justice) Mike Randolph, whose primarily defense-oriented firm had been winning lately and had some money lying around. My source believes that Pond and/or others approached Randolph — but in any case, the latter, gathering together Pond’s and most of the other lawyers’ clients around the state, began seriously going after Money Store/Wachovia and hanging tough. Eventually he proposed a settlement, to which they agreed on condition it include an end to any future litigation from unfiled claims. Here’s a story about the demise of the Money Store.

Now since Randolph would hit if not cross an ethical line in representing non-class as well as class-action clients on the same issue, he brought Dickie Scruggs in to file a class action, act as class counsel for the class clients, and put a quick end to any future Money Store litigation; this was the Keys v. Money Store case.

But Dickie conducted no litigation whatsoever, instead settling the Keys plaintiffs’ claims for a much lower amount than Randolph’s settlement achieved for his (non-class) plaintiffs.