Todd Graves asked Judge Senter to admit him pro hac vice in the Rigsby qui tam suit (it crosses my mind to wonder why this filing is so recent, since he’s been involved in some way for quite a while). As David Rossmiller and the folks at Slabbed have noted (with presumably very different reactions), State Farm responded by opposing the motion. The very brief response says “For the reasons set forth in its April 8, 2008 ‘Motion to Disqualify Bartimus, Frickleton, Robertson & Gorney, PC and Graves Bartle & Marcus, LLC,’ (’Disqualification Motion’) () and the accompanying memorandum (), State Farm opposes the Graves PHV Motion.”
Am I the only one who has noticed that the names of these law firms sound like the names you would expect from a law firm (or business firm) in a Dickens novel?
Anyhow, the State Farm lawyers at Butler, Snow filed this pleading, an abrupt slap in the face to Mr. Graves. And, honestly, given their motion to dismiss, with its allegations that have now been essentially admitted by Mr. Graves that he worked with Scruggs and the Rigsbys during the period of the document dump and the cash payments to the Rigsbys, it’s hard to see how State Farm could have done anything else but oppose that motion. While Mr. Graves wants us to know that he, himself, personally kept his hands clean of paying money and taking documents, and that he himself personally was not a member of SKG, no one has explained to me how that amounts to clean hands given the timing of his involvement with Scruggs and the Rigsbys.
I understand that the qui tam suit is a different lawsuit than the policyholder actions, but it is a lawsuit filed by Dickie Scruggs, who was paying the Rigsbys, who are by definition fact witnesses in the qui tam case (either that or not proper relators) and who the KC lawyers note in their own filings, would be improper to pay as parties, too! The KC lawyers knew about the payments and did nothing to stop them, they knew about the documents dump, and they were associated with Scruggs from the git-go. How is it they aren’t disqualified along with everyone else? I am ready and open to hear an explanation why they aren’t disqualified but have yet to hear one that passes the laugh test.